‘“Clang!” my sword fell into the puddle of blood on the floor. I stood over the dead body with a pleased smirk on my blood-splattered face.’ No, no, that’s no good. I crossed out the last two lines of my latest chapter, not liking the direction it was taking my story. It can’t end like that…… I re-read everything, finally finding it to my liking. Content with my work, I fist pump the air, “I’m finished!” Now I just have to deliver my work to Clive, my editor and best friend, who will surely scold me for not making the deadline on time. “I got it done, didn’t I?” I muttered, heading to my closet. Before I could set foot into the publishing company’s building, I had to transform into a completely different person. I had to become a boy.
Long ago, everyone in the media was treated equally; given the same respect and benefits as was given to men. That’s no longer true, however. While technology and the economy evolved, the media reverted back to its old ways; degrading women. People (men) thought that women gossiped too much about everything, and that a woman’s words could not be trusted in terms of certain things, so they got rid of women roles in the media. Now women are not allowed to be on television, magazines, newspapers, or even write all of the above. So, like many female authors, I have to write using a man’s penname and dress as a boy when I go to work. It’s a lot of work, but having numerous best-sellers definitely shows that it’s all worth it.
Once I’ve finished my “sex change”, as I like to call it, I make sure I have everything and start downstairs. I pass my mom working at our kitchen table and pray that she doesn’t notice me. “Alex, wait,” she calls. I don’t have time for this; they’re going to close soon. I ignore her and head for the front door, my door to freedom. “Alexandra Nora Lidell, get back here now.” Crap! I’m in for it now…. I turn around and slowly walk back to the kitchen. “Is there something you need mother?” I ask, acting as innocent as possible. She sets her paperwork down and stares at me with her “I’m pissed” look. “Where do you think you’re going? It’s a Sunday night and it’s almost time for dinner.” (insert poker face here) “I’m going to the library to get a book for a project.” I see her mouth open to protest, so I quickly add, “But they’re closing soon, so I really must go now,” I turn and make a run for the door. “I’ll be home by dinner!” I yell before slamming the door and taking my first step into freedom.
“Nice to see you again Mr. Cross, it’s been a while,” Kelly, the desk clerk greeted. “Hey. Is Clive in?” Of course he is, it’s not like he has a social life or anything. “He sure is, go right up,” she smiled and continued typing away on the computer with her freshly manicured hands. I walked up the three flights of stairs to Clive’s floor. I’d walked this exact route so many times that I had every detail memorized. Once at the end of the hall, I can see that his office door is wide open; indicating that he is currently sitting in his huge chair, staring out the window. Boy, will he be happy to see me……I hope.
“Knock, knock,” I rap on the doorframe. Clive spun around in his chair to face me, stroking a stuffed animal cat. “Good Evening Mr. Cross. I’ve been expecting you,” he did his best imitation of Ernet Stravo Blofeld. At least he’s in a good mood. Clive and I have a strange relationship; we’re both movie buffs, so our conversations consist solely of movie quotes 90% of the time. Lucky for me, I can tell what kind of mood he’s in based on the movie character he quotes. So far, so good. “The name’s Cross. Alex Cross,” I replied dramatically, ripping off a pair of invisible sunglasses. After my performance, I toss my manuscripts on his giant oak desk and take my rightful place on his oversized couch. His expression turns serious and the cat in his hands is replaced by my work. “Let’s talk business.”
Mom is going to KILL me! There’s no way I’m going to live to see tomorrow. “Can I get some more water?” Clive politely asks the waitress. “What’s wrong Alex? Why aren’t you eating? You need to eat if you want to grow up to be a big strong man like me,” He flexes his “muscles”. Oh brother. I play with the food on my plate, the majority still there, “Why did you bring me to the diner?” I ask, taking a resentful bite of food. Not only will I not be home by dinner, but I’ll have already eaten. He looked at me somewhat surprised at my question, like he never thought that I’d ever ask such a thing. Ok, so going to the diner is a normal thing that we do, but not on a Sunday night, and DEFINITELY not when mom’s expecting me home. “I thought we should celebrate,” he returned back to normality and shrugged. Celebrate what? Do I even want to know? But then my back-stabbing sense of curiosity got the best of me, “Celebrate what, exactly?”