Waiting was the irritation to all the things she enjoyed in her life. Thankfully that week was the bookshops new arrivals. Her name was Angelique, people called her Angelic because that was what her name meant, but she preferred Angie because it sounded more common, a trashy thing she had a soft spot for. She was small, blonde hair, large green eyes like a couple of traffic lights, fragile little frame with a sexy mole above her right cheek. She was French and had never left Paris. Her whole family was from Paris. A homely woman now at twenty nine years of age.
Angelique signed for the delivery. The delivery man was handsome and was always happy. She then walked into the shop with the large box that was almost as big as her. The shop was called 'Booky Types' (in French) Angelique liked her job, she had been there for seven years, it was one of the oldest bookshops in Paris. Each category separate from the other, the old rustic décor made them look jumbled.
Angelique put the box down. She was a reader by nature. Perhaps a somewhat fearful being, the type made to wait for things in life/didn't get things until late/a slow burner, like a song which took ten listens for it to grow on you. The manager of the shop was an old man called Jules who was going over paperwork at the till area. He was very tall gangly, very French with his accent, beliefs and notorious love for his country. He had been at the bookshop for sixty years! He had a full set of completely white hair and was also in good health. When he took over the bookshop it became his second home, like it became to Angelique. He was going to make her his successor when he eventually retired.
Angelique started unloading the new arrivals. There was only one book she was looking for 'The Way She Waited For Me' by 'Jean-Luc Angus' her favourite author. It was his latest book and a lot of hype was built up around it. It was a love story about a man falling for his role model. Angelique held the book, her large eyes lighting up. Jean-Luc and Angelique were a good match: she was a sucker for the romantics and he was heavily criticised for being a sentimentalist. The book came in the first release hardback edition, the only version Angelique believed in. A modest size of 375 pages. The cover art was aggressively pretentious with a pair of painted breasts next to a plate of half eaten crepes.
Chapter one. Page one. The man finds the genius within to maximise his full potential. Needing let go to guidance and a role model emerged. She was it.
Angelique loved the way Jean-Luc started his novels: straight to the point and made you question. There was a hint of the disgusting style of prose in his writing, the type found in a Houellebecq novel. This always made Angelique smile because of her empathy towards the trashy side to life. She sat at one of the far tables of the bar. The place was a three minute walk from her work. Ironically books were scattered on the shelves, which no-one ever read. The enormous windows covered the front end and entrance. The reliable drunks sat mounting the counter dependant on their vice whilst clinging onto the hope of getting lucky with the young female staff.
Angelique was a person of routine. She had her cigarette in hand, glass of red wine on the table, she hadn't eaten lunch (a slight eating disorder she was proud of) and had her book. The staff knew who she was. The non regulars noticed her as the 'booky type.' Angelique's brain scanned the text like a software program, she had a gift for reading fast whilst still enjoying the content. By page 25 in under forty minutes, the character in the novel had released his portfolio of work to his role model in hope of a response - and a date. And then bang! Something made the world of sense to Angelique. She was living the characters life for real.
Chapter seven. Page 144. The man still waited. But as the blankness lingered he occupied himself in new work to draw a fulfilling end.
It made sense to Angelique that Jean-Luc was her role model, she just didn't know it until now. She wished she could be a writer, like Jean-Luc the way the character in the book wanted to be like his role model. Each page turned as fast as the previous, now on page 178. The injection of new inspiration was ploughing fields in her mind and soul, she saw the content on the page with new eyes. She had her hair down, the usual way around the house, shorts, tee shirt and barefoot. Laying on her stomach on the bed, cigarette in the other hand.
Her one bedroom flat and job was situated in the Porte de Pantin area of Paris. The flat was orderly with old lamps and furniture. The other tenants around the building were mostly young professionals whom weren't loud. Angelique liked that, she was quiet with amazing hearing ability. She could hear the spider in the far corner of the room making itself comfortable during the night. She called it Henry and he kind of became the house pet because of his stubbornness to stay in the room. Plus Angelique didn't believe in cruelty to animals.
The neighbours in the flat above were a French couple, the same age as Angelique whom were barristers. Sometimes Angelique was awakened by their sex during the night, and it made her realize she didn't get enough sex of her own. She flicked over a few more pages, the character in the book was going through a persistence test. This resonated with Angelique and reminded her she didn't need people to be fulfilled because her reading made her march to a different drum in life.
It was 11.30pm, about the time Angelique would have her last cigarette, brush her teeth and go to bed, but this found inspiration gave her a new burst of energy. She sat at her desk, the lamp bright and she brainstormed. Ideas she didn't know she was capable of came out of nowhere. With each A4 sheet which became full of ideas, she turned the page with a flow of new ones. And when the time was 1.30am she had the product, she knew what the book was going to be about.
Chapter eleven. Page 235. In the shifting of his state, people and circumstances, the happenings attracted too like the butterfly effect.
There was a drive to Angelique's typing on her Macbook, it was filled with excitement like the discovering of something new. She was a writer now. The character in the book had explored new avenues to meet the woman of his dreams/his role model. And in doing so recognized connecting with more people was better than seeing the world through one set of eyes all the time.
It was a sunny day. Angelique was on the train, she had been writing for three hours straight with no break. She was visiting her best friend in the south of France. There was a cute frown on her face, concentrated and focused. The readers emotions poured into every paragraph, sparks constantly set loose allowing content to flow. She had always been a steady soul passing through time, her life consisted of going to the book shop and reading. On the occasion visiting her family and her best friend. It was Jean-Luc though, her idol which gave her hope and now the writing gave her a new lease on life.
By hour four, Angelique called time on her session. She closed her Macbook, lit a cigarette (the third of the journey) and finished her glass of red wine, the stain around the edges left due to the content being forgotten about for hours. Angelique's chiselled facial features and straw blonde hair shone off the sun. Her eyes were full of life. The train was thirty minutes from it's destination, the rows of fields and rabbits were in sight outside.
Angelique made an effort when visiting her best friend. She was wearing her favourite pair of green dungarees, flannel shirt and coal worker type hat, Converse on her feet. Her brain was changing as well. Her eyes scanned her surroundings. Her ears heard the pages turn of the people reading around her. She had a good eye for seeing similarities, other readers, booky types like her. However they seemed to be everywhere on the train, four people to her right and five to her left. Readers were always in her space, only now they became more apparent than before.
Chapter fifteen. Page 325. A masters response requires the ability to hear and speak at the same time. When you become a master of your craft, you become a master of your life. And watch an audience marvel at your bright stripes.
The character in the book had met a breakthrough, his role model responded to his email and wanted to meet him after finishing his pitch. Angelique liked it when the underdog got their comeuppance. She hadn't stopped smiling all day. She was in the bookshop piling a stock of books to be sent back to its publishers due to failed sales. One of the authors was Spanish, his sixth novel entitled "The Killer Blow." Angelique held one of the copies with a curious look like she should and shouldn't be interested. The critics slammed the author for that book, declaring his career was on the way out.
Angelique looked especially bright that day with her hair done in pig tails. She felt sexy in a short striped skirt, dark tights with boots on her feet. She had never seen Jules 'off duty' meaning he wouldn't do anything other than work while he was in the shop. But today he was typing at his laptop passionately. The curious part of Angelique's brain knew that sight, it was the image of another writer.
It turned out Jules had always been a writer, but for some reason Angelique only noticed that day. She read a couple of paragraph's and found Jules' prose well defined, the text leaped into her mind like the writer was at the peak of their powers. It was weird, Jules the writer was sitting under her nose the whole time. She realized things were more revealing by the day lately and sensed something around the corner was going to happen. But first thing was first, she had to finish the book in the park at lunch time.
Final chapter. Page 360. The sunset rose, his work grew into one shade. Her love became accessible in every way, sailing together into the sunset.
Angelique loved happy endings. She closed the book a changed woman. She looked at her surroundings and saw people happy, walking, talking, kissing. The character in the book got what he wanted through continuous effort. Funnily enough his role model turned out to be looking for a person like him her whole life. Immediately Angelique thought about her novel. They had been looking for each other too, that made her smile.
Even though Angelique was in a happy place at the time, the feeling of something happening but not knowing what didn't leave her. She was finishing the last of her prawn and avocado sandwich before going back to work. Then to her right a tall man, French, no older than mid thirties sat on the grass. He was wearing a pair of shades, all of his black hair combed to the left. Something about him made him come across as a reader. Then he removed a book and Angelique smiled. She looked closer and the book 'The Way She Waited For Me.'
"What a funny coincidence" Angelique thought. Not only were readers jumping into her daily life every hour God sent lately, so was the book she was reading. She believed in synchronistic events, not God, coincidences sometimes, but felt something was trying to tell her something. She put her copy of the book in her bag, then to her surprise the man in shades had his eyes on her. For better or worse (she didn't know yet) the man got up and walked to her. "Fuck" Angelique thought, she felt like running because that trait was a part of her which annoyed her and wanted to let go. At the same time a part of her made her stay because the occasion seemed thrilling.
Dialogue is spoken in French.
"I saw you reading Jean-Luc Angus latest novel" the man said.
"Yes" Angelique replied"
"What do you think so far?"
"I have finished it and I loved it. He is a genius, my favourite author." Angelique liked this event, she thought the reader man was brave. But didn't expect...
"Want a signed copy?"
The man took off his glasses, it was Jean-Luc! His strong but sweet face hit Angelique's barriers down in an instant. She couldn't believe it was him. His cat, ardent eyes gave it's picture full attention. "My God he is handsome." Angelique gave Jean-Luc the book and he signed it. The stroke to his autograph was delicate with no sign of overpower. Another point in Angelique's female brain. "For a famous guy he was so down to earth." Jean-Luc handed the book back.
"You are my idol and because of you has given me the confidence to start writing myself. Thank you Jean-Luc" Angelique said.
"You are welcome. And remember all the best writers are readers. You are halfway there" Jean-Luc replied.
Angelique took that free advice from a star like a blessing. Now there was no stopping her.