Tuesday, October 21, 2008

A Walk With Caileen (Chapter 10)

Chapter 10: Book Cover

The following morning Caileen woke up with a smile on her face. She heard laughing downstairs so she quickly went down to take a peek. Gathered in the living room were her parents and Anthony who were laughing. Caileen quickly ran towards Anthony and sat down beside him, she wrapped her arms around his arm and she smiled at her parents. “I was just telling your parents a while ago that I had to leave again” Anthony said and the smile on Caileen’s face quickly vanished and turned into a frown. “You are going to leave again! Why does it always end up like this? One moment you make me feel like I am in the clouds then the next minute you shove me back to the dark pits of hell!” Caileen expressed and her parents laughed at her.

“Anthony I think she doesn’t want to go with you, better take me instead” George said and Caileen looked at her father and slowly turned to Anthony. “You are taking me with you?” she asked. “I was supposed to but it seems you don’t want to come then I might take your father instead. Oh George we shall be travelling by private jet and when we get to New York a huge limousine shall be our carriage” Anthony said and George delightfully nodded. “You’re taking me with you and were getting on a private jet? New York? I have never been there, are we going shopping?” Caileen enthusiastically asked. “I thought you didn’t want me to leave?” Anthony asked her and Caileen was full of smiles and shyly fixed her hair. “Well you didn’t explain it very well and I just woke up so I was a bit grumpy” she explained.

“Oh by the way Karen I want to give you this one” Anthony said as he handed over a book to her. “Wow, this is your fourth book?” Karen asked as she inspected it. “Yes, and that is why we are going to New York for the book launching” he said. Caileen frowned again and looked at her mother. “How come my mother gets your new book, I thought you loved me? I am supposed to get the first book” Caileen mumbled as she crossed her arms. “Trust me you don’t have to read it” he told her and Caileen tried to grab the book but her mother moved farther away. “Hey Anthony how come there is no title? Is this book a test production? But I do love the cover, it’s a peaceful place” Karen said. “Oh that book is for the published one, ready for sale and distribution. About the title well I placed it at the end, actually the last phrase is the title” he explained. “Come on mom open it to the last page so we get to know the title” Caileen egged her mother. Karen hid the book and smiled at her daughter. “I think you should go prepare now Caileen, you two have a tight schedule” Karen said and Caileen quickly ran to her room and get changed.

After an hour they were already on the private jet and headed to New York City, Caileen was so excited for this was her first time to fly. As soon as they touched down a private limousine was there to pick them up and at that moment she truly felt like royalty. As they were travelling towards their destination Caileen’s eyes were fixated on the tall buildings and the new scenery. With them on the limousine was the woman she was jealous of but she could see that their relationship was purely business. The blonde woman was narrating the schedule they had to follow, she looked at Anthony who was slouched on his seat and was smiling at her. “Anthony are you listening to me?” the lady asked and he nodded. “Yes yes I know I read your e-mail twice. But how about the place I told you about? When are we going there?” Anthony asked and the lady checked her PDA and said, “Whenever you want to” and Anthony nodded and smiled. “What place?” Caileen asked and Anthony shrugged his shoulders and said “To the cover of the book.”

Caileen didn’t understand what he just said since the car stopped and there was a huge queue about two blocks long. The limousine stopped and finally they have arrived at a huge bookstore, they have not opened their doors yet but the people outside started to go become noisy. Photographers rushed towards them and as they stepped out Caileen was blinded the flashes of the cameras. Anthony embraced her and shielded her; several security personnel cleared the way for them so they could enter the bookstore. Once inside a table at the center of the store was ready, a large board with the book cover was present and a lot of people were rushing things for the finishing touches.

Anthony sat down behind the table, Caileen sat down beside him and the store manager shouted “Okay guys its show time!” They opened the door and lots of people rushed to get a copy of Anthony’s book, Caileen was surprised to see people running around, and some were already on the cashiers paying for the book while some already started reading it. A few minutes later there was already a line in front of their table and Anthony began signing. Some people wanted to take pictures with Anthony and he gratefully obliged but he always pulled Caileen to be in the picture with him. An hour passed and there were still a lot of people waiting in line to have their books signed. Caileen felt dizzy and exhausted and Anthony noticed it. “Lorna would you please accompany Caileen outside for some fresh air and refreshments” he said and the blonde lady smiled at Caileen.

After thirty minutes Lorna and Caileen went back inside. Lorna immediately excused herself to attend to some press people and Caileen went around the store to check on some books. It was lunch time and the doors closed, only a few people were left on the queue so Caileen decided go back to the table. She was about to seat down when she got the biggest shock of her life. Caileen stood frozen because standing in front of Anthony was lady who exactly looked like her. Anthony stood up and looked at Caileen prompting the woman in front of her to look the same way. Caileen was staring eye to eye with the woman who resembled her; people inside the store were even surprised.

“Hello Paul” the lady said, Caileen could not move but she managed to look at Anthony’s reaction. “Hello Jenny” he replied. Caileen saw a different sparkle in Anthony’s eyes, her mind felt blank and she slowly walked backward away from the two. Caileen went outside and sat down on the pavement; she bowed her head and took a deep breath. “You two look alike, at first when I saw you I thought you were her” she heard Lorna say. Lorna sat beside her and lit a cigarette, “I know exactly what you are feeling right now but let me tell you there is nothing to worry about” she said. “I saw a different look in his eyes, I could not explain it but somehow I knew he was happy seeing her” Caileen related.

Lorna laughed as she puffed the smoke away from Caileen. “Of course what would you expect? They have been together for eight years. They have not seen each other for about three years now, with that said how did you feel when you saw Anthony came back when he left for the first time?” Lorna asked. “Happy of course, I don’t know if you are here to cheer me up or put me down, but that question didn’t help” Caileen told her. “Caileen I am on your side and I must admit I hate that bitch” Lorna said and Caileen looked at her.

“About four years ago I was able to read Anthony’s blog, he had posted stories there and I read them all. I liked one story and so I had to contact Anthony and ask him if he wanted it to be published. At first he didn’t believe me nor trust me since we were just communicating on the internet. So I went to find him and when I did find him their relationship was starting to get shaky. He had nothing back then and he agreed to have his book published. To my surprise he already had three books ready to be published, I had to read them all and I definitely liked them a lot so we rushed the publication of the three books. He never told her about it, he wanted it to be a surprise. I am sure you have read them and you must know those three books are all about them. He asked me to rush things since he felt she was slipping away from him, he wanted to tell her about the books but he didn’t, up to the end he wanted it to be a surprise for her. The first book was released and after a month the second book followed. At first we thought it was a failure since he was a new name and only those who read his blog knew about the books” Lorna related.

“He still did not tell her but something miraculous happened, one morning lots of people were rushing to get a copy of his first two books. We panicked and had to work double time since the demand was great and we only published about a ten thousand copies each. We made millions and he became an instant hit, that is when we decided to release the third book and he decided it was time to tell her. He was too late, she left him without saying a word, and he kept his hopes up and still believed she would come back. Days passed by and he was getting richer and richer but he was falling into a deep state of depression. Three years ago he withdrew permission to have his third book published and the next thing we knew he was gone” Lorna recalled and Caileen sighed.

“Why did he stop his third book from being published further? It could have made him even richer since I think it’s the best among the three” Caileen said and Lorna agreed with her. “I asked him that question but he never responded but you well know those books are about them and you should know by now that Anthony doesn’t lie” Lorna said. “So he thought that book was now a book of lies since the ending was not true already?” Caileen asked and Lorna nodded. “Exactly, because at the end of that book they ended up getting married but it will never come true” Lorna stated and Caileen raised her eyebrows. “I don’t think so, the sparkle in his eyes a while ago said a lot. Maybe the ending to the third book could still come true” Caileen said softly. “There is a fourth book already, a new story and I should say it’s the best story he has ever written” Lorna told her and Caileen was excited. “Did you read it? Tell me all about it please. Anthony didn’t let me read it or even take a peek. He just gave it to my mom, so what is it all about?” she asked and Lorna smiled at her.

“No I changed my mind; I think it’s about them again. How they got back together, maybe that is why he didn’t want me to read it” Caileen whispered and she again bowed her head. Lorna stood up and tidied herself and patted Caileen’s shoulder, “She broke his heart, and you placed it back together again. He wrote his first three books with Jenny as his inspiration, he stopped writing when she left him. Now he has a fourth book, who do you think inspired him?” Lorna explained and there was a glimmer of hope which made Caileen smile. “Will you just tell me how the story will end then?” Caileen asked and Lorna shook her head. “The book is finished, but the story is not” Lorna said and Caileen was confused. “I don’t understand the book is finished so the story must be finished too, right?” Caileen said and Lorna just grinned at her.

“Come on stand up we have to get going now. You go ahead in the car and I will go get Anthony” Lorna said. Caileen stood up and sighed, “Where are we going?” she asked. “To go finish the story, what else?” Lorna said and the more Caileen got confused. “I really don’t get what you are trying to say” Caileen said as she walked towards the limousine. “You will know when we get there. The book may be finished but it’s up to you to finish the story” Lorna said and she went inside. Caileen raised her hands and shook her head, the thought of Anthony and Jenny being together still lingered on her mind.

A couple of minutes later Anthony and Lorna got on the limousine; Caileen moved away from Anthony and just stared outside the window. Anthony looked at Lorna seeming to ask for answers but she just shrugged her shoulders. The inside of the car was silent, Caileen did not know where they were going, she didn’t know what was about to happen. What Lorna told her was still puzzling her mind and she wished she had a copy of the book to see how it would end. She got tired of thinking, she wanted to cry, to scream but she just decided to close her eyes and just sleep.

Anthony woke Caileen up and as she opened her eyes she remembered she was still mad at him. She turned to Lorna and wiped her eyes, “Where are we?” she asked. “Why don’t you go out and see for yourself” Lorna replied and Caileen waited for Anthony to get out of the car. As Caileen was about to step out Lorna grabbed her arm and handed her a card, “This is my number, call me or text me on how it would end okay?” she whispered. Caileen looked at Lorna curiously but the latter just smiled at her. Caileen got out of the car and immediately she was stunned at the scenery.

It was a long road with trees lined up on both sides making the long stretch look green. This was exactly the place on the cover of Anthony’s new book and she saw him a few steps in front waiting for her. She slowly walked towards him and he quickly held her hand. “This place is beautiful, it’s the cover of your book” she softly said and Anthony looked at her and smiled. “I made sure no cars would pass today” Anthony said and Caileen laughed. “Why would you do that?” she asked and he walked forward and looked at her, “Come walk with me Caileen” he said. She was still mad at him but she obliged, she looked back and the limousine drove away. Caileen didn’t know what was about to happen but she felt suspicious. A lot of scenarios played on her mind, she felt that Anthony would break up with her and he chose this beautiful place in order to ease the hurt or to make matters worse to make the break up memorable. Whatever would happen she just walked beside him, she gripped his hand tightly and leaned her head on his torso.

“About Jenny, you looked happy to see her” Caileen whispered. “Yeah, I must admit I was happy seeing her” Anthony replied and Caileen held back the pain inside of her. “You talked to her?” she asked. “Yes, we talked for a while” he answered. “What did she say?” she again asked. “I can’t remember I wasn’t listening much to what she said” he told her. “What did you tell her?” Caileen asked and Anthony took a deep breath. “Well what did you say to her?” she again asked but Anthony did not reply. Caileen didn’t bother to ask again, she somewhat imagined what he told Jenny and she just might get hurt if she learns the truth. She just walked with him even though she was hurting inside, “Anthony, you’re walking too fast” she whispered.