Part XXII: Connor and the Launch

Today’s daily prompt: Never Too Late

Is there a person you should’ve thanked, but never had the chance? Is there someone who helped you along the way without even realizing it? Here’s your chance to express your belated gratitude.

To my mother’s friend, May,

I remember an argument my mother and I had when I was in elementary school. My mother ended up crying, saying she had no friends. It shocked me to see my mother cry. Kids don’t know what they’re supposed to do when they see their parents cry.

My family immigrated to Canada because they believed that my sister and I would have a better life here. I cannot even fathom how they could leave everything behind for that vision. They gave up their jobs, family, and friends to come here and were faced with many hurdles: the language barrier, racism, employment credentials, and so forth.

My mother was a stay-at-home wife. Aside from interactions with other parents at my elementary school (which likely did not happen very often because of my mother’s English capabilities), my mother must have been very lonely.

Thank you for being my mother’s friend. Thank you for all the times you helped her, although I will never know all the things you have done for her.

Sometimes I feel like all people need is just one friend- one good friend- who can make you believe that you are not all alone in this world. I think you are that person for her, so thank you.

NaBloPoMo

My short story series, inspired by NaNoWriMo/NaBloPoMo and the daily prompt.

<< Part XXI: Connor and Pam’s Meeting


“I’m so glad you were able to make it, Connor. Have you taken a look at other books in the collection?”

The launch event for Dutton’s “Stories” campaign was held at the Mapleton Cultural Center. It coincided with the Children’s Art Festival, so the park was crowded with children and parents lining up for face paint, balloon animals, and other craft tents. Connor felt dreadfully out of place and overdressed in the midst of graphic T-shirts and baseball caps.

Needless to add, he was not a fan of children either. Who would’ve thought his book, which was supposed to be a personal heartbreaking story, would end up being categorized as a children’s’ book.

The Boy with the Golden Feathers was placed with all the other illustration books on a large white display in the center of the main foyer. It didn’t specially stand out among the entire collection, but Connor was satisfied with what it looked like. He specifically asked Pam for a matte cover and embossed lettering; Pam did not let him down.

“Thanks, Pam. I haven’t yet but I’ll check it out.”

Connor strolled aimlessly around the dozens of books until one caught his eye. It was titled Dreams Do Not Come True. Connor snickered at the pessimistic title and wondered what kind of a person wrote this for a child audience.

“Think my book is funny?”

Connor’s head jerked up at the sound of a stranger’s voice. A raven-haired woman with brown skin and a gray band T-shirt grinned at him with her arms crossed over her chest. Connor looked back down at the book to see the author’s name. “Isabella Mayherd, I assume?”

Her teeth gleamed like rows of Dentyne gum. “Author of Dreams Do Not Come True, yes.”

“A little discouraging, but it’s quite an eye-catching title.”

She laughed a throaty laugh. “Well I ‘ain’t no children’s book author, that’s for sure. No idea why it was included in this collection.”

Connor broke into a grin, glad he found someone he could talk to in the middle of cotton candy chaos. “Same here.”

He showed her The Boy with the Golden Feathers, to which Isabella reacted with a pout. “Damn. Why didn’t my book get a matte cover?”

Perhaps it was because Connor had cooped himself in his one-bedroom apartment for too many months, but he found himself keen to continue conversation with Isabella. She made conversation flow easily with witty sarcasm and self-depreciating humor. The two of them poked fun at the other books and joked about how a real launch event should always include an open bar. Connor was about to ask for her number when she directed his attention to the entrance doors.

“Looks like someone is as overdressed as you are.”

A man with a crisp black suit and a navy blue tie strode into the foyer, promptly standing out. Connor’s brown eyes stayed glued to the figure and he could feel his body turning away from Isabella. “Excuse me… I have to go for a minute.”

His body flew instinctively towards the man. It was like he floated across the foyer to meet him. “Father, what are you doing here?”

Father tightened his tie. “I came to see your launch event.”

Connor wanted to ask him why, but the words wouldn’t come out. Father glanced around the room at the scattered parents and children and just nodded. Connor had never seen him look so stiff.

With a deep breath, Connor used his courage. “I heard you uh… nominated my story for this campaign.”

“Yes, I did.”

Silence. Awkwardness.

Father surprised him by continuing to talk. “I thought you did a good job on it. I could tell you worked hard on it.”

Connor was in awe. He had waited twenty-seven years to hear a compliment from this man and it finally happened. “Uh, yeah… thanks.”

He wasn’t sure whether to believe Father or not. Although Father never said it out loud, everyone knew that Connor did not end up doing what Father wanted him to do. He did not go into law or engineering or business. Connor was a freelance designer, one of the most unstable employment positions. And to top it all off, he was in the arts, the one area of study Father had warned him to stay away from. Father had never visited once since he moved to New Jersey. Connor had always just assumed that he was just a disappointment to him.

Father cleared his throat and clumsily patted him on the shoulder. “Well, I just wanted to drop by for a few minutes because there was a last minute change in my schedule. I have to go back to Seattle.”

Connor walked him out the foyer feeling just as awkward as his father’s pat of encouragement. “Thanks for uh, dropping by.”

Father turned to go and then stopped and turned back to face him. “Visit your Mother when you have time.”

Connor couldn’t help but feel like Father wanted to say more, like maybe to visit him as well. “Yeah, I will.”

“And Connor?”

“Yeah?”

“Samantha told me to relay the news to you. She’ll be getting married in December.”

Oh.

To be continued…

eb66a206fcba478341eac3efd4d5ac5d Sincerely, Loewe

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2 thoughts on “Part XXII: Connor and the Launch

To Loewe:

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