Chapter 10

Chapter 10

A Chapter by Paris Kim

            I headed into the Andover Arms straight away to call George, and f**k whatever time it was in San Francisco. I called, but someone�"sounded like French�"answered his phone. “Who is this?” I demanded.

            “This is Fran, at Berkeley Books,” he said, just as cross as me. “He just stepped out for a minute, but I can take a message, monsieur.” God, what was it with people over there answering each other’s phones, opening personal packages�"French influence perhaps.

            “Um, yeah that’d be great. Actually how long will it take before he returns?”
            “Perhaps any minute now. He’s been out for about fifteen minutes.”
            “Okay, I’ll wait.”

            Oui, attendre,” I blurted in French. Jesus. The young Frenchman on the other end wasn’t saying anything. Finally he had the common sense to ask me who I was. “A friend,” was all I said.
            “From where?” he retorted.

            “Europe. Tu le connais, n’est-ce pas?

            “Look, his phone was here, I happen to be working, I am just answering for my manager, okay?”
            “Okay, fine, no problem. Pas de problème. What time is it there, mister Fran?”

            “Almost eight.” A scuffle on the other end and soon enough I had George. “Who’s this?” he asked.
            “Oi, gotta watch that Frenchie George. It’s me!”

            “Yeah, and I’m glad I caught you when you’re awake. I’ve got a proposal for you! First, I need to know how well do people know about your bookstore.”
            “Well, pretty well, a lot of locals, and tourists always see it since it’s right on the waterfront.”

            “Well is business good then?”
            “Sure it is.”
            “Well, if you’re curious, it’s like any bookstore. A lot of browsers. People find it easier to start buying ebooks.”

            “Well they f*****g need to start buying your books! And that’s what I’ve come to you about. I want to help.” He said nothing.

            “How so?” he started. “I don’t need help, but what need did u feel was in order for my business?”
            “Well, I’m quite sure your advertising is s**t.”
            “You don’t know that.”
            “I’ve seen the place! I know my facts.”
            “You’ve only been to the bookstore once.”

            “But it was a very memorable visit.”
            “Everything is fine, Geoff. Business may be slow now and then, as with all local independents, but the funny thing is that we’re still here. We’ll be fine.”
            “This isn’t the point. I want to make your business better then!”

            “Oh Geoff, but we can’t do business together. It would never work.”
            “Why not?”
            “Well, you’re a Mac and I’m a PC.”

“ George, mate, I am serious! I have ideas, I know people, friends and associates who can get you international clientele, and without a doubt I have money!”
            His voice got serious and cold. “You’re saying I don’t.”
            “Well, no, I didn’t mean that directly,” I stammered, “but if I could boost things for you I could open a new door for you, new opportunities for you and Melissa. As a friend, I want to make sure my good friend is in the best care�"”

            “Oh for f**k’s sake, is that what this what it is all about? Back to that whole stupid ‘commitment’ anxiety that I don’t know where the f**k it came from? Don’t worry yourself over irrelevant and complicated things. As for the both of us, Mel and I are fine, and I’m not the only one working. Mel’s job and my business support us both. We may not be as well off as you are, but we make do and everything always works out.”

            “I can set up a safety net for you.”

            “Geoff, just being your friend is my safety net. So that answer is thank you, but no.”

            The b*****d hung up. He was quite proud, so his refusal surely meant something was wrong with the business. And I was ready to tackle the issues. I couldn’t wait, and too much was rushing through my mind. I called up good Jameson to come get me and Rolly at the Arms and off we were to start some serious business.

© 2011 Paris Kim

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Added on March 8, 2011
Last Updated on March 8, 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