Most of the time I know what I am doing, since I am a very black and white type of person. It is either one way or the other, simple, really. As of lately my simple, regular and in a way comforting method has been crashing. A lot. For some unknown reason to me, everything went fucking south and now here we are, with my cat on my lap and me on my sofa contemplating all my thoughts.
I rethink my options one more time, keeping in mind what my boss asked of me two days ago, Friday to be specific. She said, “We as a company know you are a great part of the team, and we believe that you can give us so much more. That is why I want to give you the challenge of writing for the Summer 2018 Write Some More!, and show us those skills . We seen you be such a great proof reader, editor and so much more, but I strongly believe you have what it takes to win this years challenge. With that said, that will be your new assignment, write us a novel, Eleanor.”
Well, she really didn’t give me much of an option, but I could still tell her I’m not comfortable with the idea of writing. It’s not that I have never written anything great, I mean I am so close to being a head editor, but writing a novel is whole other level of writing. Definitely something I was not comfortable with.
Looking back at my cat, I pet his head and look at my laptop for the tenth time that night. A blank page with the words, I dont know, staring back at me. “Sometimes I wonder why I can't just grow a back bone and say no. It is not that hard, I tell you no all the time.” My cat looks up at me and stares, giving me those eyes.
Just when I am about to start writing, my phone vibrates signaling I have call. It's my mother. “Hi mami, how are you?” I can hear her smile. “Oh, baby, I am doing great! I just wanted to call you because I heard you got a promotion....... Micheal called me this morning asking if I knew. Oh, Halle, why didn’t you tell me? I am so happy!”
Micheal. How could I have forgotten my brother. Of course he would have been the bearer of good news on this one. “Ah.... yeah, it’s not a promotion ma..”
“Halle, don’t be like that, yes it is. Any position that is given to you where you can show your skills is bound to give you a promotion. And that my daughter is a promotion of its own. Oh, I have to tell your papa, but he is still on his work trip. You call him, Halle, and tell him.”
I roll my eyes, “Mama, slow down. I’m not even sure I want this opportunity. I’m not a writer mama, I’m an editor, I edit. I don’t do the writing, I fix it. This isn’t what I wanted, and sure as he-” I knew what she was going to say before she said it.
“Halle Eleanor Kerr , you better be saying something Godly because if I hear one foul word out of that mouth, I will make you pray right now. Understood?”
“Yes, mama, I’m sorry. What I wanted to say was that it was not Micheals news to tell. I don’t feel comfortable with this new challenge given to me and I don’t know if I am capable of committing to it. What am I supposed to write about, anyway? Love? I never been in love. Fantasy? That’s just completely out the question. Do you see my point, mama?” I sighed and rub my eyes, finally expressing out loud how I truly feel. There is a reason I studied to be an editor, not an author. I never desired to be an author, but my boss sees it differently.
The sound of her chopping something comes through the phone and I smile, of course she is cooking. That is her hobby. My ten year old thick body can testify to that. “Halle, I hear you loud and clear but all I can truly take away from your speech is that you are scared. I know you baby, and just like your boss, I know you can write a great novel. It’s doesn’t have to be about love, but just about what you love.”
It would be easier to win a discussion with a wall then with my mother. “You’re not going to let me think otherwise are you?”
“My Halle, have I ever let you believe you are anything other than great?” The water from the sink can be heard from my side of the phone call. My guess, she is washing her dishes.
I smirk, “I believe you once told me I was stupid, but that was about thirteen years ago when I fell off a bike trying to run away from dad with his football.” I had to laugh at the visual I got. Dad had been playing football that day with my brothers outside the yard. I was on the chair while my auntie and mama did my braids for the second time that week. My curls could not be contained.
It was exactly when mom said finished, that I bolted up and ran to take the ball from dad, but I failed to realize she hadn’t sealed my braids yet, so while on my run from trying to steal the ball, dad ended up chasing towards me and I made a run for my bike, I was close to ten seconds on the bike before I fell face first on the pavement. Mom had for the first time in my life called me stupid. My hair a mess from the fall and my face scratched up.
A great summer that was.
“Because that day you were being stupid, Halle. I had all reason. Now, it’s already eight over there and it sounds to me like you haven’t eaten, have you?”
It’s a trap. “Yes. I ate an hour ago ma” lies, but she didn’t have to know that.
The line went quiet for exactly five seconds before I heard her response, “ You better not be lying to me Halle, or I will send your brother with food.”
I laughed. “Mom, Micheal has his girlfriend to attend to and I ate already. I’m sure you would have loved to come and give me a mouthful of food but unfortunately you live in Oregon and I live in New York.”
We went back and forth for another thirty minutes before I had to let her go. Ma had a point but I still wasn’t comfortable with the idea of writing a whole novel. I truly was lost at what the hell to write about, excuse the language. I was never one to write poems or things of the sort, the only things I write about were the research papers for university but nothing worthy of a novel. If anything that is how I found I wanted to work as an editor, by helping students perfect their papers. I loved the satisfaction of knowing I helped someone enter their work.
I got a kick out of helping others, not at being the one in need of help. As messed up as that sounds. I was known in my college for exactly that reason, because I was willing to help those who really needed an extra hand or two. I even got a minor in art just to help me become an even better editor in case my first plan didn’t come through, but I knew it would.
After graduation, I got an offer at my brothers job after interning there for two summers straight. I was very fortunate that my brother was cofounder of the company, but all in all, I got that job all on my own. My boss wasn’t so keen on my brother for the fact that Micheal was much more business that an actual editor. He was the right hand man, so much of the arguments were sent up to him first before the CEO. Micheal knew how to manage people and how to handle a business, as were I was the one who made sure his clients needs were satisfied.
I loved my brother but sometimes I wished he would be less of an uptight man.
Or more so, less on my case like today. He was definitely the older brother every sister on Instagram desired. He was attractive, a boss, lived in NY, and tall. To me, he was the one who was always in my business, telling every guy to back off, telling me about how to better my already A’s and 4.1 gpa. During my soccer games, he would try and coach me but that didn’t workout because my actual coach would back him right off.
But, I was very grateful for him. He got me my dream job one way or another and helped me get an apartment in NYC. He covered the first three months of my rent and for that, I will always be grateful. We weren’t poor, or even middle class. My parents owned four homes around the US, five apartments and my dad had his two companies that he ran. My mother was a very famous producer that had worked with Rihanna and other famous artist. That didn’t stop my parents from making us work for our own success though.
Even when they paid for my college, I still had to work to buy my own food and car, among other essentials.
Micheal was definitely the big brother everyone wanted, then again I had three big brothers. Micheal was the oldest, then there was the twins, Ahmad and Akeem. Both of them were now playing for the Lakers and were ruthless. There were recruited before they even enter their first year of college. I barely saw them but when we had our family gatherings, you could bet they were always there.
Ahmad and Akeem were both goofballs who loved to have fun and play around while Micheal used to try and beat them up. It didn’t workout so well for Micheal when they surpassed his 6’4 height in high school. Now he just tried and keep up with two giants.
I missed our family gatherings but alas, it was almost winter and that meant Christmas was around the corner. Smiling, I closed my laptop and picked up Pickles, who had fallen asleep next to my thigh. He’s sleepy eyes looked up at me and then closed again. My cat, Pickles, was very lazy. So lazy he actually didn’t mind being picked up and cuddled around my apartment, but I did mind, he needed exercise.
Laying Pickles down on his bed, I walked towards my bathroom and undressed. I had a mirror that substituted as a wall that had been hard to install but the workers did a magnificent job at it. On the other side I had my sink and toilet. At the very end was my shower with a bathtub in the middle. I had completely renovated everything in the bathroom to my liking and now it had more of a minimalistic/ modern aesthetic. I loved it.
After taking a much needed shower, I got ready for bed and did a small prayer before completely going lights out. Totally forgetting to eat or even set my alarm, but Pickles was bound to wake me up. He was a hungry and needy cat after all.