Prompt – This year, your character resolves to publish her novel. She sends it to an agent, who almost immediately finds a potential publisher. The problem? The novel’s protagonist is recognizably based your character’s best friend, and the novel is based on the friend’s secret love affair. When the book comes out, everyone in their small town will know the friend’s secret. Is there a way for your character to publish the novel without ruining their friendship and her friend’s life?
Rebecca was exhilarated. Her book had a potential publisher. Her Agent had sent her dates when the publisher will review the book and sign the contract. Nothing could be better than this. This was her New Year Resolution of 2015 and she could do it before the year ended. What could possibly go wrong in this wonderful turn of events? Except, there was one slight problem. Melissa’s secret was at stake. Melissa was not aware that Rebecca had based the lead character in her book on her and that the character also shared Melissa’s secret. Now, they lived in Townside, a small town where everyone knew everyone and they all had lived there forever. So when the book would come out, everyone would know Melissa’s secret and … it would be nothing short of a disaster. She had trusted Rebecca with her secret. What would she do now?
Melissa was the Beauty Queen of Townside. Her beauty was unparalleled not just in their town but also in the neighboring towns. People looked up to her beauty and used it for comparisons. Rebecca was her best friend since childhood. They both knew everything about each other. And that includes Melissa’s secret love affair, which found it’s way into Rebecca’s book and now she cannot undo it.
Something had to be done. The book was set to release on Christmas. Rebecca had an idea. “Here goes nothing”, she had thought. She organized a book fair and fashion show on the occasion of her Book Release. Everyone in the town was invited. They all enjoyed participating in the Fashion Show and bought some books at the Book Fair. Then came the moment of the Book Release. Rebecca took the stage. Melissa was backstage arranging everything for the Book Release.
“Welcome everyone!! I am so glad to see you all here encouraging me for my new book. I hope you enjoyed the show and the fair hosted for you. While you were enjoying, I made some observations of my own. Those who had participated in the fashion show did not come to the book fair while those who spent quite a lot of time and money at the book fair did not participate in the fashion show. Now, that might seem a natural course of events for you all. However, I have something interesting to show you on that context. Please turn the projector on.”
The screen showed a lady with black horn rimmed glass sitting on an over sized brown leather cushion seat, with hair tied up in a pony tail held up by a pencil, dressed in baggy pajamas and over sized comfortable t shirt, deeply engrossed in Sherlock Holmes Adventures. Everyone looked at each other confused by this image. No one could understand what Rebecca was trying to say with this picture. By this time, Rebecca had called Melissa from the backstage. On seeing the picture, Melissa screamed loudly and ran to attack Rebecca. Rebecca ducked and rushed for the stage.
“Now, all of you must be wondering who this lady in the image is. Although she might be looking slightly familiar, unless I point it out to you, you will not be able to identify Melissa in the picture indulging in her own Secret Love Affair with Sherlock Holmes.” Melissa was looking shocked and turned to see the reaction of the crowd. The crowd were looking equally stunned, taking turns to look at Melissa and the girl in the picture, failing to relate the two of them.
Rebecca continued, “What I wanted to say here with this picture is that even if you are beautiful, it should not stop you from increasing your knowledge. And those of you who are book nerds should not stop feeling beautiful. Right now, Melissa is very angry with me for outing her Secret to you all, but I am sure you will all understand the reason why I am putting it out to you. You should not let one thing dictate your life. Melissa is our very own Beauty Queen who everyone looks up to. But she does not stop that from affecting her love for reading. She dresses up for the world but at home, she just loves this cozy corner with her books. You should continue evolving beyond who people think you are and keep on creating new identities for yourself.”
The crowd applauded. The nerdy girls looked up enthralled at Melissa with renewed hope. Seeing them, Melissa forgot her anger on Rebecca and felt proud on becoming a role model for everyone. Beauty took up a whole new meaning at Townside, all thanks to Rebecca’s book and Melissa’s Secret Love Affair.