Writing for the past 10 hours with no sleep, her eyes had gone into her skull and there were dark patches under them. She had not touched anything save the desk and the laptop for the past 2 days. In just 6 hours she had an appointment with her agent though she had only written 18 chapters of the book. She had almost 6 more chapters to finish till 10:00 am in the morning.
There were several agents whom she had contacted to get some help with her book however she had received nothing positive. Most of them had rejected her almost immediately. All the same there was this girl who had answered her, asked about the plot and agreed to meet with her at a café, without even reading the entire piece. She had thought of her to have finished the piece, but did never confirm it.
At that time, 2 days ago she had only been done with the first 10 chapters of the 24-chaptered book, according to her outline. She completed those in 2 months where she was necessitated to finish the next 14 chapters in just 2 days. Thus her journey for the 24 hour write-a-thon began.
She dragged herself towards the washroom, gazed at her reflection in the mirror and backed away. She looked like someone else and was sure she would have to put on a lot makeup to cover those creases and the dark circles. She hastily washed her face and put on her glasses to get on with her task.
She was left with exactly 5 hours and 30 minutes and had 6 chapters to finish, so she drank her 6th cup of coffee as she stretched her finger nails before starting to type.
Just in 30 minutes she was tired with this typing thing and decided to finish the rest of the writing by using her hands. Several scenes were laid out with her hands as her writing had adopted a 10x speed compared to her typing.
She yawned, stretched, drank her coffee, wrote and finished the last 6 chapters with an (almost) one hour to spare. Editing took most of her hour when she realized that there was a plot hole and the continuation was a bit unusual. She tried to put all her effort there after only one re-read.
Her alarm went off which made her go extra fast as it was already 9:30 in the morning. Putting on a pair of jeans and blue t-shirt she preceded when she remembered that her piece wasn’t printed and that it would take too long. She picked up her laptop and the notebook which she stuffed into her small bag containing a book and her phone.
The agent sounded as if the meeting was urgent and so she didn’t want to disappoint her on their first meeting. She wanted to talk about some editing of the book and thus she continued editing it as she travelled to the café on a bus.
Her heart was thudding against her chest, so she realized she might never get this deal, she was going to disappoint her and make her bound to leave. Her piece was a complete disaster.
She was sweating and her pulse was racing as she neared a corner table, unable to find her agent. She sat there quietly and took deep breaths as if to calm her, but failed. As a waiter passed by she ordered a cup of coffee.
“Hello Miss Lucy, it’s good to see you.” She sat down opposite to Lucy with her eyes on her watch.
“Well same here Miss Bell” she too checked her watch; it showed 10:10 am.
Bell offered her hands and Lucy shook it so fast and austerely that anyone would have called her insane, though Bell didn’t. She looked eager faced and checked her watch again.
“So Miss Lucy do you mind if I, or I mean if we hire a professional editor for your book? If you do mind umm we can manage that.” She looked at her earnestly expecting a solid answer.
“Oh..umm..no..I mean,” she felt her voice crack, she was right, Bell was there to read and go on with the edits of her book, “Mm, er Miss Bell, wont it cost extra money? I mean I am okay with that if it’s completely necessary but I would rather prefer not, the money spent could be utilized if we do the edits together without an editor. Won’t that be better?”
“Yeah what you say is correct completely… yeah you’re right …” she checked her watch maybe for the 10th time since they began the conversation.
“Besides, if it’s to be published there ...it... it will probably be edited properly.”
She fixed her eyes on Lucy and began, “ I just need a yes/no Miss Lucy, you’re right of course. So what do you want the conclusion to be? Do we hire him or not?” She looked at her watch and Lucy did the same, it was 10:29 am by her watch, it had only been 19 minutes that they were there and she had checked her watch more than enough. “What do you say, Miss Lucy?” she repeated.
“I would prefer not but better than that I would be very glad to take your suggestion.” She narrowed her eyes at the mysterious Miss Bell.
“Then I would say no, because I am pretty confident with my editing and what I have read is an extraordinary piece and it would be done perfectly by both of us.” She checked her watch and stood up looking out at the entrance. “Well I think I must leave. Miss Lucy, it was a pleasure meeting you.” She started at the door when Lucy stopped rotating her empty cup and stood up straight and exasperated.
“What do you mean you should leave, we just met, Miss Bell it’s been,” she checked her watch and , “it’s been only 20 minutes. I thought…” her words drowned beneath Miss Bells loud voice. All others were staring at her.
“Miss Lucy, I told you we’d just discuss the editing and nothing else. Well goodbye I am actually in... a hurry. I will have to reach there at exactly 11:00 am. Thank you.” She was cascading down the stairs.
Lucy was losing control over herself, she felt like screaming at the top of her lungs. ‘WHAT DO YOU MEAN ‘JUST THE EDITING’, DIDN’T YOU SAY WE WOULD TALK ABOUT THE EDITING, DIDN’T IT MEAN YOU HAVE TO READ MY WHOLE PIECE AND HOW CARELESS ARE YOU TO NOT EVEN ASK WHETHER I’VE FINISHED OR NOT. WHY DID I MISS MY SLEEP, MY REST AND EVERYTHING? FOR THIS?’ she gestured at the empty cup. Unfortunately it was a public place and she was bound not to say or speak loudly, but she felt greatly betrayed.