Everyone swallowed simultaneously.
“This was really hard for me. I don’t like assigning things to my closest friends. So I wanted to make it as fun as possible, so I thought I would give everyone a topic or topics that suited their interests.
Hunter – Since you mentioned castles, I want you to research and plan our living arrangements.”
Hunter gave a fist pump. “Alright! I’ve already started looking. This is going to be awesome!”
Bethany smiled and felt a little bit of relief.
“Bill – You’re our resident expert on food. You worked at the grocery store for many years, and I think you’d be great for this task. I want you to find out as much as you can about restaurants, markets, grocery stores, and so on.
Anabelle – Since you’ve traveled so much here in the U.S., I want to you to be the main planner of the itinerary, including transportation.”
Bethany paused to catch her breath. She glanced at the monitors – The smiles were all she needed.
She turned to Will next. “Baby, I want you to help design this trip. I think it’d be awesome if you’d be willing to photograph and take video of our adventure.”
Everyone nodded. Bethany took a deep breath – Only one person remained.
“Lizzy. I saved you for last for a reason. I wanted to get to know you first. I think you’d be great in helping us with languages. You’re one of the smartest people in this group. I want you to help us with our Spanish, English, French, German, and any other languages we may need to learn along the way. Are you okay with that?”
Bethany focused on the screen that showed Lizzy’s face. It was hard to read her at first; her eyes were downcast.
Suddenly, her head popped up. Bethany caught a glimpse of a smile at the corners of Lizzy’s mouth.
“Well, B., I thought you’d never ask. I guess I should probably share this with everyone – Did you know that I’m tri-lingual?”
Everyone cheered. The plan was officially in place.
As everyone started chattering away, exactly like the other meetings had gone, Bethany flopped back into the pillows and sighed. She couldn’t believe her luck. She had worked so hard, for so long, to try to delegate as best as she possibly could. And it appeared that everyone not only approved of the entire plan, but everyone was thrilled with it.
All the worry, anxiety, tension – along with that constant pit in her stomach that had taken residence over the last two months – just melted away like after-dinner mints did in her mouth.
She just watched with content as the Skype session stretched into the fourth hour of non-stop talking and excitement. There was no immediate indication of worry over money, or their jobs, or their current livelihoods in that particular moment – It was just pure joy. Everyone was excited about their tasks at hand and they couldn’t wait to get started.
The conversation died down a little, and Hunter noticed Bethany wasn’t speaking.
“Bethany? Hello? Anybody home over there?”
Hunter knocked on the computer screen to get her attention.
Everyone fell into silence, except for the faint clearing of throats.
Bethany flushed a rosy pink.
She waved her hand.
Hunter looked puzzled and a tad worried. “Everything okay over there? You’ve barely said three words in the last hour.”
Everyone’s eyes focused on hers.
Bethany swallowed, struggling to get the right words. She felt tears coming to her eyes.
Will released her hand and put his arm around her shoulders.
“Everything okay, baby?”
Bethany nodded. She sniffled a couple of times, and then looked directly into the camera and smiled.
“I’m good. I’m just – I’m just …”
No one spoke.
Bethany swiped at her eyes.
“I’m just proud. And excited. And overwhelmed.”
She sniffled again and asked Will for a tissue.
“I’ve been so worried over the last several weeks. I wanted to make this fun. I don’t have a lot of experience with management, but I didn’t want to make this feel like a job, either …”
She sighed, closed her eyes, and took a deep breath before continuing.
“Basically what I’m trying to say is that I’m so happy that y’all are happy. I tried so hard to make each of your tasks fun, something that you would enjoy, and make sure everyone was contributing equally.”
She took another deep breath. She couldn’t contain the grin on her face.
“So, now let’s plan the biggest adventure of our lives – Together!”
Everyone let out another cheer.
If that weren’t any indication of the excitement, the Skype session went on for four more hours …
Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂