Just a Few Words

Chapter 10 of Life After 30

An hour and several tequila sodas later, Maya was effectively drunk. 

Drunk, but functioning. 

Everyone was sitting down to a steak and lobster dinner when Rebecca came up to the stage with a microphone. 

“Good evening everyone! How are we tonight?”

There’s a good hefty cheer in the crowd.

“Great! I’m glad you’re feeling good. We all should be. Big Book House has always been successful but the next few years will be our best yet!”

Everyone cheers again. Maya sips her drink, sort of paying attention. 

“And this is mostly thanks to our assistant editor, Maya! Maya, will you come up here and say a few words?”

Maya is definitely paying attention now. She gets up from her seat and grabs her drink before walking toward the stage. 

Getting drunk before saying a few words in front of everyone in the company plus our authors… maybe not the best situation to be in… 

Maya makes it to Rebecca and takes the mic from her. I’ll just have to see where this goes.

“Thanks Rebecca,” Maya turns to face the crowd. Her coworkers and clients, dressed in their most fabulous attire, look back at her.

“I’m so happy that recruiting Tess McHan has gotten us to enjoy this fancy party! Cheers!”

Maya takes drink with everyone. 

She pauses, and decides where she wants this to go.

“I’m going to tell you something about me that a lot of people here don’t know. I used to want to be a writer. Oh yeah. I had big dreams in having my own words bound in books. To you authors out there, I know what it takes to get rejection letter after rejection letter. It’s not fucking fun. ”

She spots Karolynn in the crowd. Maya feels her blood boil again. Or is it the tequila now? 

“But some authors have a fucking easy time getting published, don’t they? Especially when they’re not that good. How does that happen? There’s always that one non-talented writer who gets a few of their books published and it’s left me wondering, how did they fucking do that?”

The guests starts to look uneasy and Maya can feel some whispers float through the crowd, but she ignores them.

She’s on a roll.

“Oh, I’m not saying Tess is not talented. I signed her, I know she’s amazing. This book is going to be big.

“No, I’m talking about other non-talented authors. How do they do it, is what I want to know.”

“Case in point, Karolyn Keats. I’ve known her since college in our first creative writing seminar we had together. We pretend to be friends, but we both know we hate each other. We all know her writing is mediocre at best. So how did she do it? How is she already about to publish her third book?!”

Everyone is silent now. Maya is looking directly at Karolyn. Karolyn is not looking happy and Maya is feeling thrilled. 

“I know how! She went to her fucking rich daddy and asked for his help! And I don’t mean he helped lick the stamps for her inquiry letters! Everything always comes fucking easy to you, Karolyn! A fiancé, a mansion and two published books with one on the way? Well, let me tell you something! My boyfriend of 8 years might have broken up with me last night and I never fulfilled my dream of being an author. But at least I’m going to be a fucking lead editor for the biggest fucking publishing house in the fucking United States thanks to signing on fucking Tess McHan!!!”

At that point, everyone starts talking and Karolyn stands up in an angry fit. 

Maya drops the mic, finishes her tequila soda, and throws that down on the stage, where it shatters into a million pieces, and runs off stage. 

Karolyn runs at her.

“You fucking bitch! You’re right, I do fucking hate you!”

Maya ducks to avoid Karolyn’s punch, but while doing that, she runs into a waiter with a full tray of water glasses. 

The waiter, Maya, and the tray of water fall to the ground, and Maya’s head hits the floor. 

Come back every Friday for the next installment of Life After 30!

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