Erased: Chapter 2 and 3

Erased, a novel

Chapter 2- Air Bubbles

Kayla- The last three weeks were unexplainable.  It was filled with lots of feedback about the book.  Tayeton had been texting me every time I'd gotten a new review.  They were no doubt random, but the pulse had intensified and it seemed they were beginning to drown me.  If it wasn't comments from someone at the firm, it was from some editor or another.  I hadn't been in this position in quite a while.  I'd mastered my role as hairstylist years ago and coasted by in the salon at times.  Now I waited insecurely for every scrap of feedback on Renegotiating Kayla.  Luckily, all of the reports were good.  I'd asked Tayeton for another copy, and had sent it to Ketly.  I didn't necessarily ask for her feedback, but I was surely awaiting it.  Things had gone as smooth as they possibly could at the dinner.  She'd done her best not to show any disdain, but I knew there probably was some hiding somewhere.  I think I probably sent the copy as a peace offering.  I was hoping it would be enough to get the motors running between us, but I hadn't even gotten a text or a call to say she'd received it.  So although I was happy to receive all the other reviews, I was still in limbo.  I was also trying to determine exactly what my next step would be concerning the salon.  I'd considered selling it, but I didn't know what I would do with the family I'd accumulated over the years.  Besides my customers were delighted by the announcement of the book, and I didn't want to steal their joy or mine.  Wood had been encouraging me to keep going; to balance the two and even become a traveling hairstylist, but I couldn't see that far.  All of this evolution was organic to me.  I suppose I'd spent so much time nursing my past wounds, and with my mind clouded by all the anxiety of growth, that I hadn't had much time to project myself into my future.  For the first time ever I was making choices without the burden of some menacing call to survive.  This was a different mental environment than I'd worked with before.  I thought surely this environment could produce an even better result, but then I missed the urgency of decision making.  It was a good catalyst and one that had even become a crutch.  I'd gone from success to success it seemed without a single valley, and it had left me a bit unresponsive.  The more out of my element I became, the more I heard the question, "What's wrong?"  My answer was always the same.... "Nothing." 

I'd left home with the intention of speaking with Brandy.  I still hadn't made up my mind, but I was sure the right answer would come to me.  I entered salon.  It was early in the day on a Tuesday.  Only one stylist and client was there.  I walked directly to my office, and I was certain Brandy was behind me.  It was the way she'd operated since the beginning; always no more than an arms length away with some briefing in hand or dangling in the air between us.  I sat down, placed my bag on the table in front of me, and signaled for her to take a seat.  She looked surprised.  After all, she had her own desk, and we were not girlfriends.  I'd thought to offer her the salon.  If she wasn't prepared, I'd put it on the market.  If she was, she could become my boss.  That's if I chose to stay in the game.  Still I didn't know which way I would go. 

"What's wrong?"  She raised her brows up dramatically.
"Nothing."  I could hear myself asking God to give me the answer.  We were friends now.  God and I.  I hadn't seen it coming.  I just kept listening to Wood pray over me, until I started to pray alone in my car.  After I'd gotten the inspiration for the books, I started asking questions.  They were small and simple, but I tested Him with the small and simple.  He didn't think it too small apparently, and it impressed me.  Actually it made me smile the first time.  Now I'm off in my head a lot trying to listen or asking something or another.  Only a few seconds had passed, but Brandy sat now with her eyes wide open sending me her usual signal that she needed information.  She was expressive that way, and it worked in an arena where it seems the customers are always so aware of all that's going on. She'd become the queen of non verbals.  I checked in one last time, and didn't hear anything, so I did it.  I offered her the salon.  Her face went from "Hello... what's happening?" to "Really?" with a smile.  She never actually uttered the words, but I responded "Really".  Funny, I was now also smiling, and I knew it was the right call.

"Are you going to be a world known author?"  She teased.
"Do you want it?  Yes or No."  I never liked her to know how much I did really like her.
"I don't know.  I never really thought about it.  I'm not sure I can...."
"I'm not leaving.  Don't panic.  I'll be renting."
"That's if I let you."  She always wanted me to know she was on to me.
"Right."  She placed the stack of mail she'd kept in her lap in front of me, and left the room.  It was still early, but she'd gotten an invitation to leap and she'd taken it.  I sat for a few more moments with my decision.  I needed to try it on a bit, and get the feel for my growing independence.  I picked up a few calls, sent a couple emails, texted Wood the news, and exited the box that could no longer hold me.

Chapter 3- The Heart of a River

Sam- Books and I have always had a romance.  I can still remember my first book auction.  I was only maybe about six or seven.  My dad thought it good for us boys to join him.  Most people keep books lying around collecting dust, but where I'm from, they're considered wealth.  My father only collected the books he planned on reading, and he'd read them over and over again.  We never really went to book stores or libraries.  There was no need to.  We were the ones supplying the libraries, and we tried not too.  Whenever the head of an estate died, they'd either assign their books in a will or an auction was held.  The wealthy never wanted certain books in the wrong hands.  Furthermore, a lot of these books were out of print, and if you could get your hands on one of them, you'd better keep them there.  I officially started my library at about ten years old.  Now I'm up to about thirty-five books.  My father paid for most of them, and not a few dollars.  This was certainly part of my inheritance I was glad I didn't have to return.  About fifteen years ago I'd gotten the book Thinking Outloud at one of the top auctions.  It didn't strike me then that it would become a solid contributor to Ample Publishing.

I'd paid close attention to the business of publishing, and I'd seen how my father had built the foundation of Simpleton and Fisher.  Everyone usually thought of all the major things we'd done, but it was the small quiet maneuvers he made that kept the company running when there was no star author or big ticket item.  I'd attempted to follow his blueprint.  The first book that came to mind was the little booklet with the author's childlike illustrations drawn on it of orbits, thought bubbles, and the like.  I remember when I first spotted it, and the striking impression it had on me.  I was looking around the room at all the faces, and I knew they hadn't suspected its genius.  I'd studied the owner of the estate, and I knew whatever books he'd kept would be worth looking at.  I couldn't get them all, but surely this one I could and would.   My plan as I pulled up to the school that had published the book was to find out about the copyrights, and the second was to find out who I could purchase them from.  That was five years ago now, and we've made leasing agreements with several firms to use the wisdoms of Nora Rivers, and still there's so much I haven't given permission to use.  The really profound and expansive thoughts, I guarded for a greater opportunity.  One perhaps even greater than the business of publishing.

For now I hold on to the heart of a great thinker until the moment of its ample publishing.

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Erased, a novel

Copyright 2018 by Natisha Renee Williams, All Rights Reserved

Grace Call Communications, LLC Copyright 2018

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