Trish moves into the story just as Emily is starting to really get into her design classes. She is introduced in Call Me Emily but her character becomes even more integrated in Emily Calls It and Emily’s Calling. Trish is one of those deeply evolved friends you meet when you yourself have far to go. She’s cool, calm and collected and always seems to make good decisions. (Something Emily longs to do.) Trish is older than Emily, but only by about four years. She’s from the East Coast and is attending California West University to get her second Bachelors degree. Trish is quite beautiful; model-like in fact. But it’s not her beauty that invites you in, it’s something else. She’s warm and caring, but sarcastic and funny at the same time. Trish is supportive of Emily and wants her to date and have fun. But she also has a little bit of big sister in her, and keeps a close eye on Emily and her relationship with Graham.
When I created Trish I didn’t base her on any one particular girl, but instead I thought back to several of my college friends that helped guide me during those fairly tumultuous years.
Below is an excerpt Call Me Emily and one from Emily’s Calling. The first is an early exchange that Emily and Trish have that lends itself to a deeper friendship than the kind that simply passes once a shared class has ended.
The second excerpt…fast forward a few years and it’s graduation day. Trish and Emily have become great friends and are now about to enter the “real world.”
Call Me Emily
The Balancing Act
Thursday was a busy day in Design 101. Midterms meant projects for design students, so although it was a relief not to study in the traditional sense for this class, the project was intense. Trish and I were partners on an office building. Everyone was paired up that day painting and gluing. I wondered if the white paint would ever come out from under my nails.
“So this Graham, he’s good to you?” she asked in a way only someone with a few years on me could ask.
“Yeah, of course.”
“You’ve never felt like this before?” She held a balsa wood column in place.
“I don’t know, it’s early.” But the truth was I hadn’t felt this way. The intensity was unparalleled. Trish smiled. One that came from experience. Then she moved our conversation back to the project.
A New Day
“Good morning graduating class of 1994.” Trish lifted her cup in my direction. Her long auburn hair was pulled into a ponytail and in even the most casual shorts she still could easily have passed for a model: tall-thin-beautiful. A combination you would hate about her if she weren’t so completely likeable.
“It is a good morning, isn’t it?” I said as I approached the kitchen. She handed me a cup and rested against the countertop. I poured quickly and lifted it to my lips. It was a ritual that started my first day of college which now seemed long ago. Trish rolled her eyes as she usually did at my morning ritual but did so with a smirk.
“So when is the family getting in?” she asked holding onto her cup with both hands.
“Mom, Grandma and Hunter should get to Ethan’s house…” I looked at the microwave clock. “In a couple of hours. What about your family?”
“You remember. I have to pick them up at the airport.” She looked at her watch. “Now! Crap!” I heard the slam of the coffee cup as she grabbed the keys from across the counter, then the door shut before I had a chance to say anything.
“Bye,” I called after the door closed. Then I heard a knock about two seconds later. At her fierce pace I was sure it wasn’t Trish.
I opened the door and fresh beach air rushed over and past me. “Joel. Hey.” I moved aside for him to enter. He was dressed in his running gear.