30 Day Writing Challenge
Coral steps into the short man’s apartment in amazement. His walls are floor to ceiling bookshelves full of everything from books, magazines, trinkets, globes, action figures, on and on. As you move through the living room into the dining room and towards the kitchen, you realize each room has a different theme, starting with a rosy love themed living room to a Moroccan inspired kitchen.
“My name is Giuseppe, by the way,” says the short man as he sets the tea kettle on the stove. Cora is mesmerized by the colorful tile design of the kitchen backsplash. She doesn’t even realize he’s talking, “My real name is actually Giovanni, but I decided to permanently change it to Giuseppe because I thought it had a better ring to it, you know, if I was going to be famous and all. Now I like Giovanni, but still Giuseppe has more zeal.” Still distracted by the mosaic patterns, Cora is only half listening to the man, “Oh Giuseppe, that’s a great name! You know the editor in chief of the magazine OH SNAP is named Giuseppe, well his name is Giovanni but he legally changed it to Giuseppe when he was first starting out. ”
Giuseppe looks up from the tea kettle at Cora and starts to chuckle. The chuckle becomes a laugh. The laugh becomes a hysterical—can’t breath—kind of laugh. This finally breaks Cora’s gaze and she looks towards him. “Oh my,” she starts, “I’m so sorry, I was starring at your tiles, totally distracted….actually I was thinking of a cool new story I might write later inspired by this tile. I’m a wrier, sort of. I’m….I’m sorry, I missed what you were laughing about.” She looks awkwardly at her hands and fidgets in her stool.
Giuseppe studies Cora for a second longer before he replies, “Oh a writer. I see. I know a few writers myself, they can be spacey.” He chuckles again and asked, “What do you write? Anything good?” Cora blushes as she lowers her gaze even further and continued to look at her hands. She’s always been shy about her work. “Shy huh?” Giuseppe takes the kettle off of the stove and pours Cora and himself a cup, then seeps the earl grey tea as he signals them towards the “love lounge” as he calls it.
“I write stories,” says Cora. “I write short stories about little snippets of my life that inspire me,” She starts, “For example, the tiles in your kitchen remind me of a time I fell in love with this moppy looking dog in Egypt while I was on a trip with my mom and dad. I wanted the dog so much, but my mom said we couldn’t have a dog because we travelled too much and who would take care of the dog? And I was so sad, and I’d never see a dog like that. But then I saw this other family looking at the dog, and I talked to the little girl whose family was going to buy the dog and she told me her parents travel alot too but she isn’t allowed to go because she has to go to school so she stays with her nanny. She told me her parents are getting her a dog so she won’t be lonely because dogs are a man’s best friend and it could love her and be her best friend too. I felt really bad for her because she didn’t get to see her parents often and I was lucky because my parents homeschooled me so I got to travel everywhere with them and see cool things while she was stuck home alone…”
Cora realizes she’s babbling on. She looks up at Giuseppe who is sitting in the seat next to her with his legs crossed, elbow on his knee, leaning forward as he listens in. He nods his head for her to continue.
“Well anyways, I felt really happy that Emily was getting a dog, Emily is the little girl, and the coolest thing is that we kept in touch all these years, we used to write letters, then emails, then text messages. She actually moved here last year so we are roommates. I thought that might be a cool story, I don’t know.”
Skipper starts wagging his tail and Cora looks down at him for the first time. She almost forgot he was there. She looks at her watch and realized she’s 30 minutes late to drop off Skipper. Oh well, she thinks, a longer “walk” is never un-welcomed. She starts to get up and realizes Giuseppe is still looking at her. She offers him a wry smile as she puts Skipper’s leash on.
“I like that story. You should submit it to the OH SNAP magazine.”
Cora smiles apologetically and replies, “Thank you. I submit all my stories to OH SNAP. Maybe one day they will get published, who knows. They receive millions of stories of course, but maybe one day.”
Giuseppe smiles and sits up proudly, “Oh my child, haven’t you ever heard that it’s not what you know, it’s who you know.”
Click. Click. Click. It finally clicks in Cora’s head. Giuseppe. Giuseppe is Giuseppe.
“Oh my GOD! You aren’t Giuseppe De Santis? Thee Giuseppe De Santis, Editor in Chief of OH SNAP? Oh my GOD! Oh my GOD! I can’t believe it.”
Giuseppe is still smiling as he nods his head slowly. Cora is in disbelief. Up until just 15 minutes ago, her life was a tangled mess. But now, just now in this moment, the tangles unravel to reveal a hidden treasure. The unassuming short man, Editor in Chief.