Rogelio paid the cabman and greeted the watchman while entering the front yard of the library. It was nine o’clock, due to his luck Collin had just entered the library’s parking and he saw Rogelio, happy by his presence he told Rogelio to wait in the lobby in the meanwhile.
“Do you need any help, Mr Rogelio, some clarity on how will be the publishing process conducted?”, asked Collin.
“No, not really. Here is the script all typed in for you”, replied Rogelio.
“A high performer got your back, right?”, laughed Collin, amazed by the results.
“Yeah, even I didn’t know Corin was a high performer. He completed it in one single night!”, said Rogelio.
“Great then, wait here then come meet me in my office in 5 minutes, tea as usual?”, asked Collin.
Collin walked through the library to give a look around if everything was fine then he came back entering his office waving at Rogelio to come in.
“I’ll go through the script today itself and give a call later on”, said Collin.
“Okay, now you have to tell me about the publication. That’s what I’ve been waiting for”, replied Rogelio.
“A pocket-size book, easy to digest. I’ll try being flexible on formatting the book so it doesn’t come out like a big fat dictionary. Royalties will be sixty per cent for you and forty per cent for the house with five thousand Euros in advance which will be given to you upon approval of the script. Book cover and other copyright materials are on the house’s side. Actually, you did the hard work, our job is to get your work out there in public. As I told you before, your book will be published and exposed in the fair occurring next month, so no worry about marketing as we are expecting some publishers around the globe to come by. Just have some patience and we’ll see to it if your book is worth becoming a best-seller, Rogelio”, elaborated Collin.
“It’s way better than I expected, I lacked much clarity on this matter”, said Rogelio.
“Just sign the non-disclosure agreement as a procedure of submitting your script to us and we’re ready to embark on this journey together”, requested Collin.
“Gonna have to give my assistant the good news. It took me eight years to amass information to craft this script with a pencil and he did the digital drafting in one single night”, said Rogelio.
“That’s what I was telling you, a high performer. May we end here or you got some more questions?”, asked Collin.
“I’m good with all that you told me, thank you very much”, assured Rogelio.
“The pleasure was all mine, see you later”
Rogelio signed the document and left the library with a smile on his face to go back to his apartment. Nearly noon, it was lunchtime and upon entering Hotel Le Clement he ordered lunch for two and went upstairs into his apartment to see Corin. There he just woke up and was about to leave.
“Wait Corin, let’s have lunch before you go. I actually submitted the script to Collin and he was astonished by your performance”, Rogelio praised Corin.
“You’ve already submitted it? That was pretty swift on your part!”, declared Corin.
He came by the couch and had lunch with Rogelio as a mini celebration for their achievement. The hardest part was done and now Rogelio had to be patient, waiting till the release date.
“I have a reward for you because of your dedication to getting it done before the deadline . . .”, Rogelio opened his chequebook and offered a signed check of a thousand euro to Corin.
“Wow! Isn’t that too much for such a task?”, asked Corin.
“You did it in a single night you fool. You deserve it”, revealed Rogelio. “I believe in meritocracy”, he added.
After the celebrating lunch, Corin left to his demise leaving Rogelio alone for the day. “Maybe that’s a turning point for my career”, thought Rogelio while cleaning the table in the living room. Now he had decided what he wanted, to do something significant in life. He was already doing that by delivering speeches but now, it was different as he would be sharing what he knew to the world through a book.
Going back reflecting on the teachings of his Father figure about life and everything that encompassed it. He set forth his desire to be recognised as a best-selling author who would impact generations through his research and writings.
Too young for such accomplishment, he knew he had to start somewhere. He journaled his journey of publishing the book ‘Another Discovery’, his habit of journalling had already made a significant impact in his life for it was that habit which helped him gather all the required substance to craft the amazing manuscript.
“Ever grateful to Father for teaching me how to respond to life and not be a victim while experiencing it fully to the core. It is a great time period for me, most of my dreams are coming true one at a time and Father do not know what I’ve been doing lately. The first print will have to be gifted to Him. It’s been a year since we’ve not talked to each other. Life is different outside the realm of the church, I am sure he is still serving others selflessly as it has been his purpose to be a servant of God; the saviour always here to help and serve others in time of chaos.”, he wrote.
Ending his journalling session thinking about His Father, although one call away, Rogelio could not call him due to His very busy schedule.
It was time for some rest, and he napped on the living room’s couch for a while. He closed his eyes visualising his success story. Instantly, he shifted into a dream state where he saw his entry into a cave, a dark and fear-mongering environment. He continued his way to find out big chunks of blueish-white sparkling crystals. As he came closer to touch those crystals, a snake out of the blue appeared and snapped him right on his face. Rogelio woke up swiftly touching his face, the telephone rang at the same time. He reached the telephone and answered.
“Hello, Mr Rogelio. Collin here, from the Bibliothèque Mazarine”
“Yes, it’s me”, Rogelio replied.
“I have good news, we’re going to publish your book and the board managed to give you ten thousand Euros in advance instead of five thousand for your amazing work. Are you fine with that?”, Collin asked.
“Well, that’s great news! You’ve just made my day. I’m all good with the advance. Thank you very much!”, He replied happily.
“Gonna have to meet you tomorrow noon to sign some documents. Bring your agent with you. Have a nice evening, goodbye”, Collin hung up on a good note.
Rogelio being extremely joyful about the approval, he called Corin to replicate the good news and told him about the meeting. Now that everything had been settled, Rogelio was breaking his head around the recurring dreams he experienced all these times, bothered with it to such a point he called his Father to seek some answers.
The phone rang but no one answered, so he left a voice message.
“Hello Father, Rogelio here. Hope you’re fine. I am finally publishing the book I told you about some time back and it has been approved for publications. The bad news is, I’ve been experiencing strange dreams of snakes that are perturbing my sleep and peace of mind. Continual, for more than two months now, perhaps you can give me some lucidity to the matter. Please call me then you’re available”, the voice note terminated.
Rogelio went for a bath, subsequently, he decided to watch the news on television to relax a bit in guise of waiting for his Father to call back. In the news, the main headline of that night was people in the whole region of Walmer, in South Africa had been intoxicated and more than thirty thousand people were declared dead. Around two hundred thousand people were hospitalized, in severe condition.
It was the region where Rogelio actually grew up, dismayed by this news he was worried about the orphanage. It was a catastrophe for the country, the news reported that the three primary water reservoirs were poisoned because the authorities failed to disburse the money redeemed by the mob for the foundation of a new town, and in return society, had to perish. The authorities initiated an investigation on the matter and people of the crime syndicate were wanted.
Suddenly the telephone rang.
“Hello”, Rogelio answered.
* * *
“Hello, Rogelio? Sister Bernadette here”
“Yes, it’s me. How are you Sister?”, replied Rogelio.
“We thought we’d never hear from you since you left. I’m fine, what about you?”, asked Sister Bernadette.
“Been doing a lot since I left for Europe. Doing great, some nightmares been troubling me. How’s Father?”, asked Rogelio.
“To be honest son, he is not fine. He’s a victim of the current water poisoning . . .”, replied Sister Bernadette.
“How come? That’s why I called. I saw what happened on the news. Are the kids alright?”, asked Rogelio, as his eyes slowly filled up with tears that he held with great courage.
“The kids are fine but Father doesn’t seem to rehabilitate. His immune system is weak, losing vitality every day. We are with him day and night, we don’t know when he can break the cords”, revealed Sister Bernadette.
“I should be back this week itself. I shall meet him one last time. It’s so unjust what the wicked have done. They will surely face the wrath of God. Please have some faith in the Divine for Father to not experience great suffering”, expressed Rogelio.
“I hope he will be fine, but it’s against the cards. Doctors said he might live for another ten to fourteen days in pain before he subdues to the substance. It will be a good thing for you to be here, Father might be happy seeing you”, replied Sister Bernadette.
“I’ll be booking my emergency tickets right in the morning. How come when I was in the dark, he was there for me and when he is in pain I’m not there at all?”, emphasized Rogelio.
“Do take care of yourself. The situation is not so great here. The mob is everywhere looting tourists, and civilians wherever they want, they’re angry and you know how they are”, cautioned Sister Bernadette.
“Don’t worry. See you this weekend. Take care”
“May the Lord be with you, Son”, preached Sister Bernadette.
He hung the phone, troubled by the condition of his Father figure. It was a time of crisis and Rogelio was in the midst of advancing his career forward. The life & death condition of his cherished Father forced him to change his priority. Rogelio had to meet Him one last time. It was Father Audric who took care of Rogelio during his childhood. He learnt so much through his sole Father figure, an idol He was. Rogelio’s repetitive dreams were trying to convey something, and it was the sudden upheaval related to his Father’s health.
“It all makes sense now or else what would those snakes be telling me?”, self-questioned Rogelio.
The bad news changed the mood of Rogelio, what he was expecting did not happen that night. So, Rogelio went to bed early, he had some serious activities planned for the next day.
* * *
The next morning, Rogelio called Corin.
“Hello Corin, a tragedy happened. I’ll have to move to South Africa as soon as possible. Father Audric is in a critical condition”, he said.
“Hello Sir, that’s not great news. I hope he’ll be alright, I heard about the poisoning cases in South Africa yesterday. It’s insane!”, replied Corin.
“Yeah, he is among the victims. I was thinking if you’d come with me”, Rogelio asked out of curiosity.
“When are you leaving Paris?”, asked Corin.
“Once I get the closest flight ticket I’ll be leaving”, affirmed Rogelio.
“What about the book then?”, asked Corin.
“We’ll be back by the time Collin moves on to publishing it next month. I’ll be there for a week or so, just to make sure everything is alright”, answered Rogelio.
“Okay then, I’ll be coming with you!”, affirmed Corin.
“Then today I’ll be buying the tickets, start to pack your bags!”, said Rogelio.
“Yes, thanks. Good day to you Sir”
“Thanks, same to you”, They both hung up the phone.
That day Rogelio went to the closest travel agency in town Av Ion Agency which is about two blocks away from Hotel Le Clement. There he booked two tickets to South Africa for Thursday morning, enough time in between to get more things done. It did cost him a bit more as it was an emergency booking. After the travel agency, Rogelio passed by the bank to retrieve some money for his personal use. Suddenly, Rogelio’s mobile phone rang and it was Corin.
“Hello Sir, Collin called me about the book. It has been approved by the board for publishing. We shall be there today itself before five p.m, to sign some agreements”, declared Corin.
Excited by the news, “Well, good luck hits when the bad has already happened. Let’s meet at the library now, I’m at the bank and should be there within twenty minutes”, replied Rogelio.
Taking a cab to the library, Rogelio waited for Corin under the tree in the main garden, reflecting back about the conditions of his Father and country at large.
“An inhuman act by the immoral brought destruction and misfortune all over the country, people will fear venturing in South Africa due to these filthy terrorists spreading chaos and awe among the citizens”, Rogelio thought about the case.
He couldn’t bear the fact that something insane was happening in his natal country. By that time, Corin arrived at the library and both entered the hallway to meet Collin who was working on the script with his internal team.
“Great to have you back among us Rogelio. We’re moving forward with your intellectual property”, amazed by the work, Collin declared.
As if fortune smiled upon him, “Means you liked the script . . .”, asked Rogelio.
“We loved it to the deepest part of our heart”, Collin opened a file on the table, “Read and sign the agreement of us acting as your publisher and make sure Corin signs here as he is your agent representing you”, he added.
Rogelio read the whole agreement and made a copy for himself, Corin signed the agreement and was officially the agent of Rogelio.
“I’m leaving Paris tomorrow, we shall meet on the day of the debut”, said Rogelio.
“Just be here on time, 10th July 1999, nine o’clock the fair starts right in the morning”, declared Collin.
“I’ll be back before July 10th and if there’s anything just contact Corin. It’s great doing business with you Collin. Have a great week ahead”
They shook hands one last time, Rogelio and Corin left the library accomplishing one of Rogelio’s main desire. Walking down Rue de Seine, both separated along the way, Rogelio went to his hotel and Corin to his demise just after the Luxembourg Garden. Their flight was scheduled at nine thirty the next morning, Rogelio slept a bit early that night after packing all his things into two suitcases. As usual, he wrote in his journal before heading to bed.
* * *