Fred had texted him early the same morning. “Show up a little earlier, man. I’ve got something to show you!” was all it said. Kevin wasn’t on the curious side, but he wondered what kind of surprise awaited him.
Sipping on his cup of strong black coffee, at the café just outside their office, he scanned down the crowd, trying to spot his old friend’s silhouette. He noticed his fingers tapping nervously on the wooden table, as Fred stopped by the counter to order his latté, before walking to him, throwing his bag and jacket on the banquette.
So, what’s with all the mystery, pal?
Frederic didn’t seem too eager to get talking, but they both knew they didn’t have much time before the monthly meeting with the company’s accountants.
When’s the last time you spoke to Laura, Kev?
He couldn’t believe he had rushed in earlier to talk about her. Of all possible subjects, Laura would have been the last he would have chosen, especially on a busy Monday morning…
About two years ago… taking a sip, leaning back, Why are you bringing her up on such an otherwise lovely day? I was almost in a good mood!
Fred opened his laptop bag, looked briefly in it, and turned back to Kevin.
Well, it seems like she kept busy since you and her… You know… new peek in his bag. She wrote a book, Kev… And she got published a couple of weeks back!
Kevin’s jaw muscles stiffened, revealing his growing annoyance. He couldn’t care less, even if she had won a world peace Nobel prize! He pushed away his cup with the back of his hand. Frederic had ruined the perfect dark Italian brew.
It’s selling pretty well, man…
Kevin’s irritation was now obvious, as he planted a cold and angry stare on his business partner.
I sure as hell won’t give the bitch a call to congratulate her!
Fred simply nodded and reached into his bag. The unusual worried look on his face gave away the bad news he was pulling out and resting on the table between them. The book bore Laura’s name in fancy letters.
You should have a look at the short preface, I think.
Kevin hesitated a moment. The very thought of touching Laura’s work gave him a sickening feeling. But his guts trusted Frederic, and he turned the first pages nervously…
He felt blood draining from his head when he read the couple of lines. He instantly knew what the rest of the book was about…. Life was about to get complicated, much more complicated. “It’s selling pretty well” The words resonated in the back of his mind.
I never wanted things to turn out this way. But since I was not allowed to tell you what I really thought, I figured I might as well make the most out of it, and tell everybody.
Yours, once upon a time,
Via today’s Daily Prompt: Complication