The Interview | Teen Ink

The Interview

February 11, 2022
By BSmith2, Peoria, Illinois
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BSmith2, Peoria, Illinois
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Author's note:

Writing this story was very fun and interesting for me as I figure out what I want to do with my life as I transition on to adulthood.

“Next”. A firm woman’s voice said to the line, of many versions of what looked like myself, or replica’s of what looked like me but, through different stages of my life. They all stood in an office, this wasn’t just a regular office though this “office” looked surreal. Around the room each thing looked familiar, almost like I had seen, or maybe  it had belonged to me before at some point in my life. Some things in this unusual “office” were belongings of sentiment and others were just things that weren’t that important but still belonged to me. 

The first thing that stood out to me was the blanket that lay across the sofa. This sofa looked familiar; it was leather, an olive green color and pulled outward, so that one person could lay across it. It looked like something that belonged to my grandmother, in fact it was the same exact sofa as the one my grandmother had. Coincidental? Maybe. But still, as I examine it, The blanket that laid on top of the sofa was something that belonged to me as a child. I had kept this blanket for years. Even today, it still lay’s perfectly folded on the top shelf in my closet back home. It was red, miniature like a blanket meant for a toddler or small child. It was covered with small teddy bears all over. It was weird to see something like that sitting in this “office”.

 “How could my belongings be here?” I thought to myself. “No one is going to just come into my house and steal only MY things. Not saying it isn't possible but it didn’t make sense, you’d have to be a simpleton. Any logical robber would take big things like the TV, or the Xbox,  or even my playstation. It was unusual to say the least.  Everything in the room at one point belonged to me or was something I kept for years.

 I continued to examine the things around the room and even the different versions of myself stood before me in that room. Each with a different background and personality  and each from different stages of my life, one looked about ten years older then me, and the other about fifteen years older. They both looked different in appearance of course. One had many tattoos and piercings, the other had none at all which was concerning, and the last one had a few piercings but also took some out, this version had tattoos, but what was different from hers was she did not have grandma’s name tatted on her forearm. I mean.. Of course I hadn’t gotten the tattoo yet even now, but I thought that I would have gotten it by then right? to not see it made me kind of upset. 

Taken aback I stare at this older version of myself again, she looked just like me but older, early thirties at least, with thin fine lines in her face, her hair was completely different from what I had in my head too, her’s was dreaded and long. Just like how my mother had it. “I started dreading it?” I thought to myself again examining this older version. “Wow they’re so long and pretty”. I stared once more at her, her eyes were a cool gray and dark brown color just like how my grandmother’s eyes used to be. I stepped back from her. Surprised at what I was looking at. Still, nothing made sense, I questioned everything. I knew this wasn’t real, of course it wasn’t. I’m looking at three different versions of myself. I mean come on. But, still, it was interesting. I wondered why we were all here, maybe we all wondered that same thing. We looked at one another astonished to see the older and younger versions of ourselves standing in this unusual looking “office “ full of our personal belongings. “Next!” A voice screams out once more. The version that was about ten years older than me stepped up. “Please put your age and birthdate  down on this piece of paper” they said. “I am going to ask you a few questions concerning your life and career path, is that okay with you”? The interviewer asks. The slightly older version of myself nods her head then they proceed on. 

“So, tell me, where are you at in life right now, any big accomplishments you want to talk about?” the interviewer asks. 

This version of myself, speaking nervously, talked of her life and her career. She talked of how she is in college right now at the Saint Francis School of Nursing, getting her graduate degree soon and going on to be a pediatrics nurse. As I listen to her, I began to think about how everything she wanted to do, was what I had already planned on doing right now. The only difference is instead of moving out of the city, she settled. There wasn’t much of anything that was different about her career wise, nothing new she wanted. Her goals were neutral and straight forward. I still wondered though, how come she didn’t explore more? did she ever want more for herself? I mean yes, being a healthcare worker is great and all but I don’t know. I always thought I’d push myself for more then what I bargained for. Not settling was one thing I didn’t want for myself. Or what looked like a version of myself, anyways.  

Still,  she begins to tell how she has done well and is almost ready to take the NCLEX exam and push start her career as a hard working Pediatrics nurse. She still had big goals for herself beyond that but that was just the beginning of something much bigger, she was determined. That I could see. Though she was still learning and discovering who she was and what she wanted, It gave me a sense of relief knowing this version of me was so motivated and determined. 

 “That’s enough, thank you. '' The interviewer finished. “Next “ the interviewer says again. Next walks up the version of what looked like me in her early to late thirties. “Now, you’ll do just the same as the last person that came up. 

“You’ll need to put your age and birthdate down on this piece of paper, and then we’ll get into the rest of the questioning” the interviewer said. 

“Okay.” says this other alternate version of me. She begins, and talks of her life and accomplishments just as the other version did. “Well I finished college, graduated with my degree and..” As she went on with her story. I noticed it slowly began to change, different from the last. She started talking about how as she was attending college she did still finish, but changed her major while she was still in school. She talked of how at first she wanted to become a nurse, but as she got to college and actually explored all of the many aspects and majors that she could pursue she kept her options open and did not stick to just one thing. She talked of how she decided to pursue a career in Real Estate as well. Something she had thought of doing for a while, but the only difference this time is she actually took the extra leap. She wanted a different source of income for money, not just one and Real Estate was the perfect route. She talked of the income that she received and all of the things she has done with all of the money she’s made like own penthouses in different cities, and even a beach house in Rio. 

“Thank you, that is all that I’ll need.” The interviewer proceeds, “Next person up!” She say’s once more.

 This time though, no one stepped up from behind me, I found myself surrounded by the two other version of me, just waiting on me, the last person in the room to be interviewed about my current status in life. I was confused though, I was still young, still in high school figuring things out before I went off to college. I had no big achievements that I’ve pursued like the rest of the versions did. No. My life was anything but exciting, it hadn’t even started yet. I chuckled to myself. Then proceeded. 

“Um.. this must be a mistake, I can’t be interviewed”. I said to the interviewer. “Really? And why is that” a shallow voice said back to me. 

I thought for a second. “Well.. there is nothing in my life exciting, no big achievements that I can really say are huge and worth telling about” I proceeded again. 

“I mean I guess there are a few accomplishments, but nothing compared to what they have done”. I said of the other versions of myself. 

“Bre, This is no competition, nor am I basing this off which version of you has a better life.” The interviewer said to me, 

“I don’t understand.” 

“You are not being interviewed based on who has accomplished more in their life, it’s deeper than that and if you let me finish up with you, it’ll all make more sense later.” 

“But I..” before I could finish up my sentence, the interviewer proceeds to sit a paper out onto the desk, and tell me the same instructions that she did the rest. “Name, age, and birthdate please” says the interviewer. “Now, just like the rest, tell me about your current everyday life, your accomplishments and anything else you’d like to share with me”. I looked around the room again for a second, surely I was confused on what all this was even for. Yet, I continued on with the questions.

 I began telling about my life, and my many accomplishments as far as college acceptances, grades, and discussing how I was ready to start my college life and have fun but be safe at the same time of course. “I enrolled and got accepted into about eight colleges so far and I’m still pushing for more acceptances so I can have a variety of choices..” I proceeded. “I can’t wait until I can finally get out of the city I am currently in and start fresh in a different state surrounded by new people and faces”. 

After I finished, I noticed the interviewer writing something down in her little pamphlet she had set aside on the table. “Thank you.” she says. She starts again, “I know there must have been some confusion as this interviewer went on, I know that you all are wondering the exact same thing. I will try to do my best to explain to you what this is all about, and how important your input is” she says, looking directly at me. “Now you.” She gestured to me. “Come with me”. She pulled me into a separate room outside of the office that we were in, this room looked quite bland. The walls were a dusty white color and there was nothing in the room except an old wooden chair that sat in the corner. Kinda creepy nonetheless.

 “Now before I ask you to make a decision I want your mind to be clear, I want you to understand that making this decision will determine where you will reside in your lifetime as the future creeps near and near.” the interviewer says. 

“What does that mean?” I ask. 

“Determines where I will reside in life?” I repeated. “ What does any of this mean”. “That’s not possible, I can’t choose how my life will be.. Isn’t that like cheating or something along those lines?” I said. 

“Well, not in particular, that’s not how it works “ The interviewer said. “ I know this seems surreal, as if you were in a dream. I myself wouldn’t believe a word I was saying if I were you either in all honesty”. She continued. ‘You were brought here for the purpose of being able to choose the life that you want to pursue '' She continued. 

“I held this interview as a means of you having a few available options to choose from as you continue on with your life and career path”. Each version of you that you’ve been introduced to today are replicas of what your future may or may not look like. “ She continued. 

“You can either choose the path and future you want to take. Or, you could settle with the life you already have right now, and choose to build the future how you want. In your own way”. “Whichever path you choose, won’t tamper with the way your future is created in any way, you’ll be fine, whether you decide to choose now or not at all”.

I thought to myself, It’s intriguing to think that I can choose whicher lifestyle I want to pursue, nothing like this is even possible. It feels like a fever dream. It almost didn’t feel right for me to be able to “choose”, I felt like if I did choose, my life would be affected in numerous ways because of the fact I didn’t let my life run its course, I chose my own course and way that I wanted my life to be, it almost felt unfair to say the least. 


“Okay, So? What is your decision. Bre?”

“I haven’t decided yet. I need time to think.” 

“The options are staring you in the face. Each determines your future. It’s as easy as cake.” 

“You’re right”.

I looked at each option standing before me in the office. Though the idea of choosing my own future was intriguing, for obvious reason. I felt like I wasn’t supposed to know my future yet. That’s just not how things work, That’s not how life worked. But still, I knew what version of me I wanted to choose. I also knew that I would be happy with living that lifestyle and enjoy obtaining the financial incentives that would come from that chosen future and career path. It was all to clear“. 

“ Well, I want to be the version of myself that has several sources of income, of course”.

“Great choice, and you’re sure?” She said.

“Yes. I think. I don’t know this all doesn’t seem right.” 

“Amazing. That is all I needed. Goodbye, Bre.”

“Wha- wait! What do you mean? Goodbye?” 


Before I knew it she vanished, and everything else in the room got dull. I was surrounded by my own self now and the office was no longer an office but a faded room that looked old and dusty. All of a sudden I hear a voice from a distance calling out to me. It sounded like a static voice telling me to wake up. Wake up? Was this all actually a dream? Or a delusion? The next thing I knew everything went black.

“Bre. wake up!” I heard my sister call out to me.

 I had been asleep for approximately, twelve hours. “What happened” I wondered. That was probably one of the best naps I’ve had in a while, I felt the same, but slightly different. More motivated then before, more driven. As I opened my eyes to look around the room, I heard a beeping sound in my ear, from what sounded like a vital monitor.  I then remembered I had been in the hospital for about four days due to a heart transplant I had to have caused by a hole reopening in my heart from when I was just a baby, which made me extremely sick. I was grateful to still be alive, I knew what I wanted for my life and I was going to do everything in my power to get it. I’m not sure if it was a dream, or an outer body experience, either way to me it was all a sign, it all made sense and I knew what I had to do. 

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