Chapter Twelve

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It takes a week and a half. A week and a half until there's no other option but pitching our idea to Rita's brother. I didn't expect it but it happened. One person with a lot of followers shared our link and then it got spread all over social media without me and Melanie even pushing a button. And now the chatrooms are filled and people call on the hotline and I tell them that we still need a little time but there's no way back now and I know that we need to take this chance. The teenagers following our site already love the concept and they believe in it and they're excited about it and it warms my heart to see them so passionate about it, embracing the idea. And that idea includes meetings, more chances for phone calls, organisation that we can only afford with some financial support. There are people from all over the place who can't come to us so we'd need to start finding local representatives for different areas. And that's going to cost and that's going to be hard. And that's also going to aquire someone with a little more business experience than me and Melanie. So I told her about Rita's brother. She wasn't thrilled but she also didn't want anything less than to let those kids down that already have accepted us as people who want to and will help. There's so much interest and such a big response that it would not be fair to them to just shut down the whole thing now and take it slow when clearly the time to act is now.

And that's why I'm now at Mason Remford's office. I still haven't met Rita but I'm about to meet her brother. I knock on the door after his secretary has told me the way. What father tests his son's ability for business by giving him a company, a secretary, a whole business? Apparently, Rita's and Mason's. "Yes, hello?" he calls from inside and I push down the door handle, stepping into the office. Sometimes I regret wearing high heels, not today though. Otherwise, I would feel extremely out of place. He's about my age and he looks kind of out of place himself in his suit but at the same time, it fits him really well. Really well as in Daley would be jealous well. I have not met Rita but I have seen a photo of her and having suspected her brother to look half as good, I was wrong. He looks better, this family is rich and good-looking. None of them are ever going to get the message of what I stand for. But the priority are the kids who count on me and Melanie and our promise.

I step up to the desk and he gets up, his eyes widen a little as he holds out his hand. I shake it and smile politely. "I'm Beverly Nicholls" I introduce myself, hating to use my full name but it just comes across better than introducing myself with my nickname. "Mason Remford" he says and gestures for me to sit down. I sit down in the chair opposite him on the other side of the desk. "So, my sister tells me you're a friend of a friend?" I nod and smile. "Yes and I came to know through them that you're looking for projects to invest in." "That's correct. Rita told me roughly about your plan and I've already looked at the website you e-mailed me the link of. It looks very promising. And I've seen the statistics of possible participants, it's impressive after such a short amount of active time." I smile. "We're aware. Which is why we have to act fast. All these teenagers are counting on us and our help, our ability to get to work quickly." "I understand, Miss Nicholls. I understand you're working with a partner." "Yes but I am responsible for all official arrangements that are made, given the fact that she is underage. She is one of my students but she's just as committed as me." "Underage?" "I hope that's not a problem. I take all responsibility for her, there's not supposed to be any pressure for my student." Mr. Remford nods. "I've already thought about this and I'm wondering about how big of a role you want me to play in the whole process." "Honestly, as much as you want if you make our idea possible." He smiles. "I don't want to take your concept away from you. I would just like to promote it my way but we'll keep all your original ideas. I'd give it a bit of glam to make it bigger so it doesn't all depend on me." "That would be great, really, that sounds like what I imagined." He nods. "I'm glad."

Melanie is still waiting outside when I step out of the building. "I told you to get coffee or something and not just stand around here" I laugh. She shrugs it off. "I didn't want to miss you coming back out, Miss Nicholls. What did he say? Have we got a deal?" I smile big and nod. "We've got a deal. And he's really nice. He may not get the message but I think he does understand how much it means to us. At least I hope so. Either way, we're in control, he will only help with the advertising, making it into a bigger thing and all the organizing that has to be done, especially if we want to expand." "That's amazing, can you believe it?" she grins. I shake my head, exhaling in relief. "Honestly, no. It seems like a dream, it all happened so fast, right?" "But we made it!" She holds up her hand and I high-five her. "Yes, we did!"

Melanie lets her mum pick her up and I walk home, stopping at Starbucks to get myself some coffee but also to be a nice roommate and get Daley his favourite drink. Stepping in, I first think he's not even home but then he comes out of the bathroom. I almost drop the drinks. "Oh, for fucks sake, Daley!" I curse and put the drinks down on the kitchen table and turning away. "I didn't know you'd be home!" "I just came in" I defend myself, keeping my back to him. "Sorry, sorry, got a towel, you can turn around" he says and I sigh, unfreezing. "It's not like you haven't walked in on naked me before" he says, rolling his eyes. "And it's not like that's a reason for having to do it over and over again. It's not my favourite thing to do, you know that." He laughs. "Strange, you're the only one who complains, Bev." I look up at him. "Yeah. Strange" I reply sarcastically and he laughs again, reaching out for the transparent plastic cup. "Thank you, I'd say I'd get naked to thank you but I don't think you want that." I take my drink and make my way across the room and towards my own room. "Get off whatever you're on." "You mean, beauty? It's impossible, Bev, it's my curse." I shake my head, slamming my door shut with my shoe.

When I come back out after having read a little and also gone through some e-mails with suggestions by Mr. Remford, Daley is fully dressed and the table is set with my favourite Thai food and a can of Dr. Pepper. "If me getting naked was a thank you, I'd do it" I joke and he winks. "Back you are. And I'm just apologizing and giving back for the Starbucks, aren't I?" "We should stop counting favors." He laughs. "Yeah. Sit down, will you?" I sigh and climb onto one of the stools, taking a big sip of Dr. Pepper. "So, can I tell you about my meeting with Rita's rich ass brother?" Daley's eyes grow and he sits down opposite me, watching my every move. I laugh. "We got a deal" I smile. "That's awesome!" he exclaims. "I'm so happy for you!" "Thank you. I'm really excited too, I've just already got a list from Mr. Remford, telling me all the things he wants us to do for advertising." "Like what?" Daley asks, stuffing some noodles into his mouth. "For starters, he wants some photos on the website, of me and Melanie, other possible volunteers, he'll put one of himself up. He says the whole organisation needs a face and obviously, that's me." "And you don't want that? I mean, it is your thing after all." I nod. "I know. I just ... you know, I'm not self-concious, I'm just afraid we'll lose possible participants because they're not okay with ... me." "Bev, that is bullshit." "What if it isn't?" He looks at me, his eyes are intensely boring into mine and he only does that when I'm being extremely stupid. "I get it" I sigh, snapping out of it. "Good" Daley grins, satisfied with himself.

"You know, I used to know this guy at uni who's now a photographer. I've still got his number, he's pretty good and kind of a bit independent, maybe you'd want him to take them, I can recommend it." "Does he do this kind of work?" "Well, you can either tell him what you want or you explain the concept to him and what you want the photos to say about it and he'll come up with something." "Are you still in contact with him?" "Not really but like I said, I've still got his number and I could set up a meeting with him. Better than some ID photographer or someone that Mr. Remford picks out" Daley says, his voice rising as he says our benefacturer's name. I think about it for a second, then nod. "Yeah, you're right. Give him a call."

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