Twiddling thumbs. Cavalier concentration. Unstifled yawns.
He looked away from the notebook, set down the pen and exhaled loudly. The girl sitting directly opposite him glared angrily at him. He pretended not to notice. He had many things to worry about, the main problem plaguing him and his reputation. And he had just one month to redeem himself.
It seemed like a joke: his debut novel, a best-seller in two continents and critically acclaimed worldwide stood proudly on the bookshelf behind the girl. He had felt so happy about this accomplishment, that he had happily signed a three book contract with the publisher of his debut book. All to be completed within five years. The day the publisher had called up and asked for the final draft of the second book seemed like yesterday. But in reality, that day had passed by eight months ago.
He looked at the scratched out lines on his notebook. Beneath them was the 32nd outline he had thought of till now. He flipped the pages and sighed.
There was a distinct thud, and the girl opposite the author said in a loud angry whisper, “Listen here, Mr. who-ever—you-are. I’m trying to work on my thesis: whether rabbits love rainbows. If you could just go home and sigh yourself to sleep, it would do me a lot of good! You’re a waste of space!” She shouted the last three syllables of the sentence.
The author merely raised his right eyebrow in a perfectly comical arch. He started packing his notebook and stationery into a blue backpack. Standing up, he asked the girl, “Do you need me to get some books to your desk? I promise I don’t sigh when I’m satisfactorily employed.” He grinned in that charming manner which makes young girls gag and old women swoon. “No thank you. But you could keep these books back, and then leave me in peace.” The girl went back to furiously jotting down notes at a breakneck speed.
He knocked at the door repeatedly. Five minutes passed, and the author’s wife opened the door, out of breath. “You’ve arrived early?”
He chose not to reply, as he knew that it would only exacerbate the pain of not being able to accomplish anything. Pushing past her, he walked directly to the master bedroom. And then set off for a nice warm bath.
The wife had anticipated a day when the visits to the library would become short, and then infrequent. Of course, she read the notebook in her husband’s backpack when he was in the bathroom. She knew how to correctly decipher the uncountable scratched-out lines. Some of the ideas were good, some unrealistic, and some too boring. She never tried to bring up the topic during mealtimes. But occasionally dropped hints as to what could have been better in the plot. This was studiously ignored by her husband.
She frowned a little, and then went to the kitchen to prepare a quick dinner. She had half-an-hour to toss up some vegetables in extra virgin olive oil and mix it in with some homemade pasta sauce. She added the boiled whole wheat pasta last, and then served it in bowls. Placing the bowls on the dining table, she took a deep breath, and prepared herself for another silent dinner.
Read Part 2 here
Hello! If you are wondering what this fiction post is about, head over to Write Tribe‘s blog and join the Fifth Edition of the Festival Of Words!
I have selected the theme Fiction (though there really isn’t need for any). The story revolves around an author, who is trying to rework his debutante magic into his second novel.
Watch this space and follow his journey to the perfect plot!