Chapter 7

Chapter 7

A Chapter by Paris Kim

            It was a quarter after nine. I was right busy reading a very important book in my study, something by Thomas Hardy. I did read, though I didn’t seem exactly the type who would�"I invested in antique collections of classics and the sort, but my genre of choice resided in contemporary fiction like Dan Brown and Palahniuk and even J.K. Rowling to admit. To tell the truth, I just had the antiques and classics for investment and showing off.

            But tonight I felt like actually giving a classic writer, tonight Hardy, a go. It was The Return of the Native, but god, for a bloke like me it was dull and boring as hell. After forty minutes of making it to the third chapter I realized I barely remembered what just took place in the story, so I saved myself the trouble and put that book on the shelf. I got out instead the signed first edition of my ultimate favorite book ever: Nick Hornby’s High Fidelity. God, I loved the Londoner for it!

            I was soon interrupted by a knock at the study door; it was Tom holding my mobile phone. “Mr. George Berkeley for you,” he announced.

            Eagerly I took the phone and thanked Tom, then greeted George with, “God, it’s right late of you to call!”
            “We’re even then, I guess,” the bloke mused. “So, I hear you’re reading?” He was always one to take the piss out of me for how much I didn’t read.

            “Yeah, Hornby,” I began. “Funnily enough you should ring, because I’m reading that one about the record shop owner. You remind me of him, but you’ve got loads of books instead of albums.”
            I heard him laugh. “The American Rob Fleming, eh? Like the sound of that.”

            There was a pause. “So what’s wrong, mate?” I finally asked.

            “Sorry?” he returned, sounding awfully dumbfounded.

            “I mean, why did you call?” Bloody hell.

            “Oh, well,” he began, “I just wanted to call. Keep up to my promise, you know?”

            The only image in my head at this point literally was three dots

like that. What did he mean? “What promise?” I asked.

            I heard him sigh as he said, “Last night? I said I’d call you sometime soon after.”

            Did he? “Oh! Did you? Sorry, it must’ve escaped from my mind then.” Another pause. “What did you promise to call about?”

            “To further discuss your notions about commitment, I guess.”
            “I thought we concluded that bit last time.” 
            “Didn’t sound like it.”
            “What’s that noise in the background?” It sounded like Japanese.

            “Oh, just some tourists, around here. I’m sitting on the rocks next to the water.”
            “In Sausalito?”
            “Where the hell else?”
            “The waterfront right? God, that was something. I thought I heard cars and water as well.”
            “Anyways, Geoff, I’d also want to apologize for brushing you off so hastily. It was also just an awkward subject to talk about�"more like something a guy should bring up when he’s nearing fifty or something.”
            “Yeah, it sort of was a dodgy little bit to mention.”
            “But listen to me, Geoff. If you’re fine as is you shouldn’t worry yourself about marriage anytime soon. Just enjoy what you can, you know? You’re not really that old.  Both of us aren’t really, so to speak.”
            “Then why did you marry that Melissa of yours?”

            I heard him sigh again. “Because I’m not like you,” he answered. “I’m not the heir to some renowned ale namesake, I don’t have a lot on my hands�"and I certainly wouldn’t qualify for knighthood. Besides, you were always the more outgoing thrill-seeker of the two. You can live a great life. Me, I guess I’m more simple. Whatever I get or happens to me will grow on me and I’ll accommodate to it. That’s me. So when Melissa came around I knew I was ready.”
            “For what?”

            “Love, a life to share with someone else.”
            “F*****g hell.” What else could I say at that, when he drew the whole “love” card?

            “Well, that was it, you know? I know I didn’t get to be a lawyer or anything, but in return I was given a fairly successful and leisurely business as well as someone to love.”
            Another f*****g pause. “So,” I then said, “you’re basically telling me that I’m not cut out for the simple life and commitment.”

            “No, that’s not it. You’re committed yourself to lots of things besides the One. For one, the�"”

            “Yeah, yeah,” I finished bluntly, “music and friends. But about that friendship bit, I don’t feel fully committed.”
            “Why so?” he asked.

            Shuffling my hand through my hair I began, “Well, there’s you and I. I mean, we lost touch for quite some time. Almost a year I think.”

            “Ah, well, we were just busy with such different lives.”

            But then I thought it out�"the other bit in my mind that troubled me.

            “No, that simply isn’t it!” I stammered. “We’re not that different. I mean to say that I can be simple like anyone else.”
            “Not exactly, Geoff,” George contradicted. “Even back in the day when you were just the nouveau-riche heir to Armstrong Ale you were still one hell of a riot. You still thought that the world was yours to f**k around with.”
            I groaned at him and impetuously replied, “I really must contradict you, mate. I can be meaningful. And the music scene for me don’t work recently. I mean, I’ve been out of the business say, for months on end now? No labels to correspond with, no new acts to debut to the world. I’m on a sort of standstill, I am. It don’t seem like commitment if that be the case so far.”
            “You’ll come around eventually,” was all the Yank said to me. “Something new and exciting will turn up and work for you�"as it always does.”

            I didn’t say a word.

Then I heard a slight scuffle from his line as he continued, “Well, Geoff, I have to be going back to the shop soon. I’ll talk soon, eh?”

I shrugged and replied, “Right. I’ll let you get back to work. Your simple pleasures.”
“God, Geoff, there’s no hard in having fun. Wish I were cut out for a break once in


            But I knew him better to realize he didn’t wish such things. He always had better important things to do.

© 2011 Paris Kim

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Added on March 7, 2011
Last Updated on March 7, 2011


Paris Kim
Paris Kim

San Francisco, CA

an optimistic college student who takes her life growing up in the San Francisco Bay Area and turns it into truthful fiction. always finding a way to smile and laugh and make the most of anything thro.. more..

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A Chapter by Paris Kim