‘I’ve read some of your work and I like it, but it’s going to be some time before we would start adding a kid’s page. There’s more changes we want to make and it’ll take time to approve everything.’
Piedro nodded and shook the editor’s hand. ‘Thanks for seeing me anyway.’
‘When we’re done I’d like to invite you.’
‘I’d like that.’
Piedro looked up at the sky outside the magazine’s building. ‘I knew it was too good to be true.’
He checked the time and decided to use the time to look for any job he could do before picking up Mouse from school.
When he arrived at the school he saw several parents with their kids outside.
‘Good afternoon.’ said one of the teachers.
‘Ah, good afternoon miss Jones.’
‘She’s been a hit with the kids and parents from the start.’
He smiled watching Mouse talk to the mothers. ‘I’m glad to hear that.’
‘And if you forgive me, I think you two going official was perfect for her.’
She saw him and excused herself to go to him. She took his hands and wagged her tail wildly.
‘Did you have a good day?’ he asked.
She nodded. ‘The children listen to me and they love when I read one of your stories. So, how did your interview go?’
He shook his head. ‘Unfortunately it’ll be some time before they have a spot in the magazine for me.’
‘I’ll work hard, so don’t stop looking for the right job.’
He smiled at her. ‘Thanks.’
When he noticed the women giggling he looked away. ‘Anyways, it’s time to go home. I’m getting hungry.’
She smiled and hurried inside to get her things and they left the school under the approving looks from the women.
The next day Piedro visited several magazines to see if they had a spot for him. At the end of the day he arrived early at the scho
ol with a few small chances of writing something for a magazine.
He sat down in the hallway where he could see her showing the beginnings of the alphabet to some kids.
‘She really is something.’
He looked up at the older man in suit who stood next to him looking at Mouse.
‘Sorry, the name’s Lloyd, Markum Lloyd. I founded this school.’
Piedro shook his hand. ‘Piedro Legrand. Thanks for taking care of her.’
‘I understand you two are close.’
Piedro smiled. ‘She’s a small miracle. And I’m lucky enough to be with her.’
‘Isn’t any loved one?’
Piedro nodded. ‘I guess so.’
‘I understand you wrote the stories she reads to the children.’
‘Yeah. I used to write those for a magazine until they wanted me to satisfy advertisers instead of the readers. Since then I’ve not
used my own stories except for her to read them here.’
‘Have you looked at other magazines?’
‘I did. But they either have no plans to hire another writer, or they won’t have a spot for some time.’
‘What about publishing a book?’
‘Too many writers to invest into some unknown one.’
‘I’m gibing it one more shot tomorrow, then I’m going to take any job that pays.’
‘But she has a paying job now.’
‘Yes, but I’m not going to let her be the only one to support us. She’s been my support as a plush for so many years I’m not going
to burden her any further.
The bell rang and the kids came out the classrooms and hurried down the hall.
Mouse smiled as she saw Piedro. ‘Hi.’
He smiled back at her. ‘Hi cutie.’
She fiddled with her fingers. ‘I need to get some papers from the teacher’s lounge.’
‘I’ll wait here for you.’
She nodded and went off to the lounge.
‘Time for me to go.’ said Markum. ‘It’s been nice to meet you.’
‘Same here.’ Piedro said and watched him leave and Mouse return.
‘You know him?’ she asked.
‘Only just met him. He’s the founder of the school.’
She held her muzzle. ‘And I never greeted him! That was so stupid!’
He squeezed her hand a little. ‘I don’t think he’d mind that much.’
At the end of the day he accompished just as much as the day before. He waited outside school because he didn’t dare to face her in
front of her colleagues.
He saw Markum walking up to him and greeted him.
‘Any luck today?’
Piedro shook his head. ‘And I don’t know how to tell her.’
‘You think she wouldn’t understand?’
‘I think she’d work even harder to support us, and I’d hate that.’
‘So you’re giving up on writing?’
Piedro pondered for a moment. ‘I couldn’t. I’d still write whenever I have the time during the day.’
‘I like that answer. How about writing a book full of your short stories for starters?’
‘A book? Who would take a chance on some unknown writer?’
Markum pulled out a business card and handed it to Piedro.
‘Someone who’s seen the effect of your writing on children.’
Piedro looked at the card. ‘For real?’
Markum smirked. ‘You thought funding this school was my full-time job?’
‘Your former boss is my sister by the way, so I did read your work before.’
Piedro looked dumbfounded at him.
The bell rang for the end of the day.
‘Go tell your girl you have a book to publish.’ Markum said gesturing at the school.
Piedro watched Mouse coming outside and stood up. ‘Thank you.’
‘Celebrate tonight, and call me tomorrow.’ Markum said and left.
Piedro hurried to Mouse and kissed her in front of all the children and parents.