Erased: Chapter 4

Erased, a novel

Chapter 4- The Vaults We Carry

Ketly- It may sound brutal, but no one cares what all you're able to do in your life if you can't stick your landings.  I was happy to know, I'd stuck mine. Jeff and I were progressing far beyond what I'd imagined. We'd made a romance out of communication and we'd written our own language in love. I had a clear picture of what a wife and mother looked like, but more importantly, I knew what a man was and wasn't.  Jeff more than filled the shoes of my father. There was something compelling about the way he found his way around manhood. I myself wasn't as fluid as I usually wanted to be as wife and mother, but I was finding my fit. This fit demanded that I became more and more known in fast moving social circles.

I made no regrets, and tried only to offer a grounded view to all my husband's flighty ambitions. It didn't help that my last book had reached numbers none of my previous books had.  Now, it was Jeff's go, and as if preparing for the release wasn't enough, my husband had gently rested the news that he'd accepted the offer to become a partner at Ample Publishing on my shoulders.  I didn't see it coming.  It hadn't been a part of any of our talks or aspirations, but he'd decided to take the leap, so I quickly prepared to again adjust my fit.

It wasn't like Jeff to play small. It was the big style of play that probably got him the offer to begin with, and that big style meant a big announcement.  Only a few weeks had gone by since we'd found out about Kayla's book.  I'd gotten a copy and devoured it. I knew it was her way to reduce the sting of my being kept in the dark.  I also knew my impressions were highly awaited.  I didn't hold on to them as payback, but it had taken me behind the curtains of her life in a way that made my every word delicate.  I held onto my thoughts like a mother did a child.  In the midst of getting all the last minute small matters of my husband's promotion party settled, I stopped to jot my thoughts that were just about overcooked down.  I tried to be poetic and refined, but instead I found myself offering my suddenly overcrowded shoulders.  It wasn't that I hadn't taken note of her growth and her ever expanding joy, but the book had a way of encapsulating her within the story.  I tried to judge the writing, but the writing simply took a backseat to the courage it must have taken.  Anyway, I wrote the note that poured from my heart, and stuck it into my purse.

When we arrived to the art gallery where Sam had chosen to hold Ample's first official social, I quickly spotted Aisha's truck.  It was a quick turnaround on the invite, and I'd hoped all the girls would show up.  Knowing she'd come was a good sign that they would too.  The parking lot was buzzing with several small groups of guests; many with drinks in hand. We managed to get all the way to the door before anyone stopped either of us to offer congratulations or just make notice.  It was always fine with me; less notice, but all it took was one hand shake or pat on the back, and I could lose sight of Jeff for whole spaces of time.  Inside I was quickly enchanted with the art and all the well outfitted people.  Interestingly enough I was the first to break away, and left Jeff with a quick kiss on his cheek.  Aisha's hand in the air was my get away from having to greet all the people that were sure to start making their way to my husband.  I didn't see Kayla or Jennifer, or Tony, but I joined her and two other women.  Without my knowledge, they were fully aware of me, and one had boldly traveled with two of my books with plans on getting them signed.  I was the writer who never had a pen, but she was fully equipped with her own.  After a short while, we both spotted Jennifer's signature Bob making waves in the large room, and both me and Aisha's hands went up.  We became a moving circle almost instantly, while Aisha and Jennifer pulled on each other's clothing and exchanged compliments.  It wasn't but a few moments later until my eyes fell on a rather large circle hindering our path.  Naturally we speculated until it was clear that Kayla had become the center of a large amount of attention.  She and Wood were standing among what I could clearly identify as industry people.  They were all busily bouncing their thoughts back and forth with the two smiling, nodding, and offering many thanks.  We mostly waited for the moment to break up the huddle, then with a seamless and sudden introduction Aisha made her way in.  As the attention shifted and diffused, Jennifer and I moved in on the surprising star of the night.  I continued with the trend and again gave my congratulations, but there was still a slight draft between Kayla and I, and we both felt it.  It had come between us fast, and with no greeting.  I could feel that we were both trying to configure our new places, and positions while keeping the discovery of what was between us out of sight to everyone else. It kept me fumbling with my bangs, and Kayla browsing the room.  Eventually there came the sound of silverware knocking on glass, and I quickly passed my note off to Kayla before making my way over to where Jeff was standing.

We stood with our backs to the girls until the announcement was made and Jeff took his position at the front of the room.  The invitation had called the event an annual executive social, and Jeff's partnership was only known within the company.  I hadn't shared the news.  I figured it would make for a better party.  I stood looking on as Sam shared his reasons for extending the partnership to Jeff, pointed us all to his vision for Ample Publishing, and named my husband the Head of the company's new West Coast Division.  The moment the mic was passed, Jeff reached out for me, and I took my place beside him.  As my eyes freely roamed the room, they landed on my friends and I could see Aisha whispering in Jennifer's ears.  I didn't think much of it, after all, Jeff was speaking and it was only natural.  I couldn't read Kayla or the draft, and then suddenly I was holding the mic.  I'd missed most of what was said in my onlooking, but I was at no loss for words.  I knew exactly what I wanted to say, and I looked into my husband's eyes as I said it.

At the end of the short string of words I'd planned to deliver, there was a loud cheering and then what appear to be a line forming of people who wanted to commend us.  The hearts were warm. The sentiments were strong.  Then something was lukewarm, but I didn't let it spread.  I met it with a smile and a hug and great thanks, and it seemed to flee.

Erased, a novel

Copyright 2018 Natisha Renee Williams, All Rights Reserved

Grace Call Communications, LLC Copyright 2018