Chapter 1 – Auto Biography
A man in his late twenties enters the little corner coffee shop, ringing the bell attached to the top of the door as he enters thus alerting the waitress to his presence. She looks up at him with a welcoming smile.
He assesses the room with his big green eyes, searching but unsure as to whom he is searching for. His gaze scanning over the occupants seated at the various tables, who are all engaged in their own conversations and gossip, when his eyes finally meets mine, sitting in the far most back corner, he gives a small nod in acknowledgment.
I stare blankly at him, not really in the mood for company. Lately I'm not in the mood for anything, even though I was the one who requested this meeting.
After searching my eyes for a few seconds he makes his way to me, weaving through the close set tables, intent not to bump into anything or anyone.
When he finally reaches the side of my table he seems almost out of breath and starts fumbling and stuttering, trying to find the right word for his introduction and seemingly, still not sure if I am indeed the person he seeks but before he can utter a word I motion for him to sit down across from me and he eagerly takes a seat, placing his laptop on the table and squirming around in his chair trying to get comfortable.
Instantly the waitress is at his side smiling at him, batting her eyelids. Waiting to take his order but her body language says that she's wanting to take much more, the lust in her eyes evident. He doesn’t even notice but I’ve been around long enough to pick up the change in her demeanour.
I can understand her flirtation, he is rather attractive in a nerdy kind of way with golden-blond tousled hair, those big green eyes, and innocent boyish look. If it wasn’t for his stubbled chin, broad shoulders and large frame he could easily be mistaken for being much younger, maybe even a college student.
He orders a coffee and the waitress turns and looks at me, waiting for my order but I don’t acknowledge her and keep my gaze on him. He seemingly becomes uncomfortable with the silence and awkwardness of the situation and attempts to break the silence by asking if I would like something to drink.
I still don’t answer, analysing him, studying him intently. I find it amusing that I can make someone feel so uncomfortable by doing absolutely nothing at all. After a few silent moments I simply state, “My usual”, and the waitress disappears into the kitchen area without a word.
He takes a deep breath and states:
“My name is Alex, José said you wanted someone to type your autobiography?”
I roll my eyes and snort. Muttering under my breath, but loud enough for him to hear.
“José... I hate that little weasel” with irritation in my voice.
Alex: “Sooo than, you don’t want assistance with your autobiography?”
Before I can answer the waitress is back and places a cup of steaming coffee in front of Alex. She smiles and him for almost a second too long, forgetting she still has my order on her tray, quickly grabbing the tall aluminum tumbler and placing it in front of me with a straw on the side, disappearing again to attend to other customers.
Alex looks around the room over his shoulder, It didn’t go unnoticed that I was the only one drinking from an aluminum tumbler. He motions with a nod of the head and asks “what are you drinking?”
Alex repeats “Clair?” in complete confusion.
I smirk and motion to him over his shoulder. He looks back over his shoulder to find the waitress eyeing him. When she sees him looking back at her she smiles a little too eagerly and gives a small awkward wave.
Me: “Clair... The waitress”
Alex looks back at me even more confused and then back at her again, as if his trying to process what I’m saying.
Realising this is going to be a harder task than I thought, I roll my eyes and state “she likes you” and I can almost see the A-ha moment in his demeanour when he figures out that I was mealy stating the fact that the waitress was into him. He quickly adjusts himself in his chair and looks back at me. Not pushing further for an answer as to what I’m drinking.
Alex: “Excuse me miss but I am rather pressed for time, do you want assistance with your autobiography or not?”
I smirk at his clear irritation and lean forward, softly stating “If you want to type my autobiography than being pressed for time is going to be a problem.... I’ve had quite the life, and you can’t possibly relay my whole life story over a cup of coffee”
Alex takes a deep breath to regain control over his annoyance as I had clearly irritated him more than he could stand.
Alex:” Miss, with all due respect, I write editorials, novels and autobiographies for the rich and famous. I am a well-known author and my works are highly sought-after. Needless to say, my time is precious... I am here at the personal request of José and you madam, I do not recognise as a celebrity nor of high stature and therefore I doubt you even warren as someone important enough to deem worthy of having an autobiography written about”
He slumps back into his chair as if a weight has just been lifted from his shoulders and now he awaits a full-on argument from me, but I don’t give him the satisfaction and stay completely calm and collected. Waiting for the awkwardness of my silence to become visible before I speak.
Me: “Well, now that we’ve accomplished that you do have some back-bone, I’m a little less reluctant to tell you my life story, and for your information the fact that you do not recognise me as one with high stature does not mean that I’m not, it mearly means that you are not as knowledgeable as you think.” I state as a matter of fact.
I can see his eyes burning with anger. He takes another big breath and I can almost see him processing the right words for a come-back but before he can speak I interrupt him.
Me:” Alex Monroe, I am well aware of who you are and of your works... That is the very reason why I requested you... Who better qualified to write the autobiography of royalty?”
I can see Alex's dumbfounded expression, searching me for any tell-tale signs that I’m telling him the truth.... or not.
Eventually he opens his laptop and pulls a recorder from his jacket pocket, pressing the record button before placing it in the center of the table.
Alex:” Very well, I will indulge you for a few minutes” disbelieve evident in his demeanour, then he quickly adds “Your highness” sarcastically at the end of his sentence.
A smile crosses my face. Alex my look all innocent and sweet but he is confident and cocky. I’m sure I made the right decision in choosing him for this task.
Alex: “Tell me about yourself?”
I frown slightly. This is clearly not going to work in my favour. I need a different approach. I need to ease into things.
Me:” Tell me Alex... You seem to think you are well knowledgeable and with that, most likely a good judge of character... So why don't you rather tell me... When you look at me, what do you see?”
Alex: “Please miss, we are here for you to tell me about yourself, not for me to speculate and assess you.”
I wave my hand nonchalantly in the air and state: “Indulge me”
Alex: “Fine, since you have not even introduced yourself or answered any of my questions, I am left with only assumptions.” he takes a deep breath and interlocks his fingers on the table in front of him, looking at me intently. “You state that you are royalty yet you are sitting alone in an average coffee shop surrounded by everyday people. You have no body guards or security, you’re wearing a plain Gucci suit and no expensive or glamorous jewellery. There is no limo or other lavish vehicle outside waiting for you. All tell-tale signs that you are not royalty and therefore a complete liar or just plain insane. No offense.... On the upside you are a rather attractive looking woman with the most unique silver eyes I’ve ever seen, so unique in fact that I doubt they are natural and therefore I assume you’re wearing contacts. I suspect that you’re in your early thirties, definitely not older than thirty five. Very well taken care off as your skin is smooth and youthful. I very much doubt your black hair color is your natural color as it is too vibrant but you have very thick and long healthy looking hair indicating good health although the paleness of your skin indicates otherwise however your paleness could just be due to being indoors mostly, and the way you speak tells me you’ve had a good education which means you probably come from a wealthy family. You were likely a rich little brat treated like a princess and that’s why you are delusional about being royalty....
So tell me how accurate is my deduction? ” He sits back with a smirk. Clearly very impressed with himself.
I burst out laughing loudly startling Alex at the sudden outburst. Alex, clearly embarrassed at my outburst quickly looks around at the other occupants of the shop and then frowns in confusion when he notices that no one even gave me a second look, as if I don’t even exist, but I don’t give him a chance to ponder over it.
Me:” I'm sorry to disappoint you Alex but you are completely wrong in your assessment, well all of it accept the fact that I’m wearing a Gucci suit and a fine suit at that... It’s one of my favorites. The fact that you don’t see a body guard does not mean that I don’t have one. It just means that I’m not in any danger at the moment, the same goes for security... I don’t have my security detail with me as I am very capable of taking care of myself and that’s the very reason I prefer wearing a suit... It’s easier to conceal my weapons in.”
Alex snorts aloud at me, clearly not believing a word I say, and frankly I’m getting tired of this game. It’s time to start showing proof and get this charade over with or else we aren't going to make any progress. I pull my 9mm glock Vector from the inside of my jacket and plonk it hard on the table in front of me, as my hand leaves the weapon I continue to pull a knife from the strap around my ankle and stab it forcefully into the table top, next to the hand gun. Alex’s eyes huge with shock as the look of fear crosses his face.
Alex:” Are you fucking insane!? Put those away!”
Me: “Like I said, I can take care of myself, no security detail needed. I have more weapons in my bag if you wish to see them...And just so you know, you don’t see a limo or fancy car out front because I live in the penthouse across the street, my cars would be in the parking, in the basement.” I state sarcastically.
“Now, if you are done with your half-assed assumptions I would like to get started. But in order for you to understand who I am, I suppose I have to tell you my history and how I came to be....”
“My name is Aurora Illyria... Queen Aurora Illyria. But that is not the name I was born with. The name given to me by my birth parents was Jaydene-Marie. However that name... That part of me died many years ago.
I was born in the year 1716 in what was referred to as the upper South regions, now known as South Carolina. I was born on a cotton plantation, not into royalty but into slavery.”
Alex takes a deep breath and closes his laptop, reaches for his recorder and stops the recording before sliding it back inside his jacket pocket. “I have no time for silly games, you are a complete whack-job and the fact that you are a whack-job carrying weapons is frankly unnerving, so if you would please excuse me” He slides his chair back to get up when I draw back his attention.
Me:” Did José discuss remuneration with you?”
Alex: “He is aware of my fees but even so, I don’t think this is going to work.”
Me:” I will pay triple your hourly rate...Upfront, for 5 hours a night, for the duration of the month. By the end of the month you can decide if you want to write my autobiography or not. If you choose not to, then I agree to leave it at that. No questions asked, you get to keep the money” I pull out my cell phone from my pocket and press a few buttons, waiting for Alex to give me an answer.
Alex gives a forced laugh as he states “that’s like a quarter of a million”
Me:” A quarter million... Easy money and if you decide not to continue at the end of the month then that’s your decision.... What do you have to lose?”
Alex takes his laptop under his arm and turns to leave but sarcastically states “if you paid me a quarter of a mill, I’d do whatever you want”
The corner of my lip twists into a devilish smirk as I press confirm on my cell phone banking app. No sooner have I pressed the button than the all familiar notification ping on Alex’s phone chimes out. He immediately snaps his head back to me and pulls his phone from his pocket.
I can literally see the color drain from his face, suddenly looking very pale and as if he is about to faint. He slumps back into his chair, unable to take his eyes off his phone.
Me: “I believe that makes you my bitch for the rest of the month... For, how did you put it...? Whatever I want?”
Alex clearly still in a state of shock slowly gets back to his feet and mumble “Yes of cause but I think it best if we start a new tomorrow, if that’s alright... I don’t feel all too well right now”
Me: “Of cause, tomorrow is fine. Same place, same time. I will be waiting”
Alex: “I will just pay the bill on my way out ....um... and I will see you tomorrow”
Me: “No need to worry about the bill”
Alex: “No no, I insist, it’s the least I can do.” He turns and walks to the counter where the waitress eagerly awaits. When he states he wishes to pay for our drinks she gives him a confused look, raising a brow and states: “Queen Aurora’s account is already settled” and then cheerfully recite her line: “We hope you enjoyed your coffee, please come again”
Alex looks at me in utter disbelieve. I just shrug my shoulders and move to stare out the tinted window, at the cars passing by. Alex’s reflection in the window still very clear as I see him trying to assess me. Finally he turns around and leaves the shop. The bell above the door ringing as the door opens and closes.
Sitting at my usual table, staring out the window once again, hoping that today is going to be a better day. If I was a person to get medical or psychological treatment I would most definitely be diagnosed as suffering from severe depression. The symptoms are there, constantly in a bad or sad mood, not wanting to engage with people or activities. Most of the time I don’t even want to get out of bed and if I could I would just fall asleep and not ever get up again. Heck, I’ve even tried to commit suicide a few times, needless to say I wasn’t successful or maybe I just didn’t try hard enough, maybe I just wanted to feel the burning pain temporarily in order to take the real pain away. The pain of a broken heart, a broken soul and broken dreams. The pain of loss and feeling like a complete waste and failure...
I’m so deep in my sorrowed thoughts that I didn’t notice Alex walking into the shop and coming to stand next to me. He gives a soft ugh-um to get my attention, but when I look up at him my facial expression must have still been one filled with pain and sadness as he quickly asks: “Are you alright, did something happen?” reaching to touch my hand as a comforting gesture but then changing his mind and retracting his hand awkwardly.
Me:” Oh! I’m fine.... My apologies, I’m not one to be all emotional in public... Please sit”
Alex takes the same seat as the day before, searching my eyes but not pressing any further for me to elaborate on my current emotional state.
A waiter appears and quickly introduces himself as Simon, our waiter for the day. Alex orders a coffee and Simon simply asks me if I want my usual to which I just nod.
Alex:” You have to forgive me for yesterday, you caught me by surprise and the whole meeting was rather unusual”
Me: “That’s quite alright, and take this as fair warning... The rest of our meetings will also be unusual”
Alex:” I do have a few questions, if you don’t mind me asking, firstly I’m not sure how to address you. You gave me various names and the waitress yesterday called you Queen, I mean, do I call you Queen, your majesty or your highness?”
I smile and shake my head at him, it’s obvious there is still sarcasm and disbelief in his voice but he is trying very hard to sound genuine.
Me:” Aurora is just fine. No need for formalities amongst friends.”
Simon returns with our order and as soon as it’s set in front of us, he disappears again
Alex eyes the aluminium tumbler with curiosity but does not ask as to the content this time.
Alex: “Okay then, tell me this... Why call me under the impression of doing your autobiography why not simply state you want to do a fictional piece?”
Me: “Still not a believer I see... Not to worry, if you still don’t believe me by the end of the month and you decide not to write my autobiography, it makes your life so much easier doesn’t it..... Easy money remember?”
A frown appears between his brows but he doesn’t say another word, instead he pulls out his recorder, press record and place the recorder on the table.
Alex:” Yesterday you said you were born in 1716 that’s like 304 years ago, firstly 304 years is a lot of info to go over in three weeks’ time and secondly you don’t look that old.”
And there it is... The sarcasm and attitude I expected from him.
Me: “Precisely why there’s no time for all these trivial questions, let’s just get on with it, I won’t bore you with the boring details. I will touch on all the important highlights and when you feel we need to talk about something in more detail, than I will fill in the blanks... Is that okay with you?”
I don’t give him time to answer, instead I get up abruptly taking my aluminium tumbler and state:” Follow me, I think we should continue in a more comfortable setting”
Alex jumps up grabbing his belongings and follows me as I leave the coffee shop. We hastily cross the street, weiving through the traffic and enter the 27 floor luxury condo Apartment block. As we pass the large double glass automated doors the neatly dressed concierge appears to greet us eagerly.
Concierge: “Good Afternoon Ma’am, you return early, is there anything you need?”
Me: “Afternoon Toby, I’ve decided to have my meeting with Alex at home, we won’t need anything at the moment thank you.”
Toby:” Very well ma’am, Mr. Monroe...” and he presses the up button on the elevator.
Alex:“Uhm Aurora... How does he know who I am...? And you are aware that you just walked out of the coffee shop with their tumbler in hand, right? Isn’t that theft? ”
The elevator doors open and Alex and I step inside. Toby reaches inside to the panel of numbers and punches random numbers, then steps back allowing the doors to close.
Alex looks at me in confusion:” What was that about?
Me:” Wow, inquisitive aren’t you....It's been non-stop questions since we got to the elevator.
Okay well, for security reasons the penthouse can’t be reached by mealy pressing level 27, the elevator will only go to the penthouse when a specific code is entered....call it extra security measures.
Toby knows who you are because I told him I was going across the street to meet with a Mr. Monroe before I left and lastly this building, as well as the one across the street, which includes the coffee shop, all belongs to me.... So if I walked out with a tumbler... it’s all mine anyway and therefor doesn’t matter, does it?”
The elevator doors open to a large lobby with a horse shoe counter with a large vase of flowers in the center.
Behind the counter, not visible from the elevator a security guard is seated monitoring various security screens. Once we step into the lobby the security guard jumps to his feet.
Security Guard:” Good afternoon your highness... Sir” and he rushes behind him to unlock the double mahogany doors using an access card and then push the doors inward to give us access.