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Write To Challenge

writetochallenge

Over the years, I’ve come to realise that writing isn’t just writing. In order to become a better writer, I’ve got to do more than writing.

You see, writing isn’t just about writing my niche genre, building familiar worlds, and creating characters I can relate to. Yes, it’s good to have a label under my name. And it’s natural for me to keep building it – heck, I should build it. I should master the art of my choice. But in order to become a stronger writer, I have to expand. I have to grow. Just like a kingdom, once established doesn’t remain stagnant, I need to push the boundaries of my world. But… how do I do that? Do I change my writing style and publish novels in different genres? No, I don’t. I simply experience – experience what I’ve never experienced.

To grow as a writer, I need to write beyond the comforts of my pigeonhole. I need to write outside of what I’m accustomed to. It will make me extremely uncomfortable, yes. I will struggle to convey my thoughts. And potentially, I’ll create disastrous pieces. But in order for me to become better, I need to take the leap of faith. I need to explore the vast universe and adapt to its varying nature. I may not be a master of all realms, but I have to experience them. And who knows? I might just write a decent piece.

There’s a reason why writing challenges and writing prompts exist. They don’t merely serve as a filler for when you don’t know what to write. These challenges, as they are called, challenge a writer to write something different. Despite not being good at a particular genre, world, or character, taking the challenge helps one get better. It is the stepping outside of a comfort zone that carves a writer. It is the embracing of something new that broadens the mind.

Personally, I’ve endeavoured to write in other genres, embrace different worlds, and toy with characters. I’ve written and will continue to write sci-fi, romance, mystery, and other genres outside of fantasy. I’ll mould different worlds with different cultures, beliefs, and eras. And I’ll create protagonists whom I’ll dislike more than the antagonist itself. Even if I don’t excel in these challenges – even if I don’t write novels through them – I’ll write anyway. I’ll write to challenge. I’ll write to challenge myself, my imagination, my skill, and my potential. I’ll write to challenge, because I know it has helped me in many ways. And I’ll write to challenge you, to write to challenge too.

I’m not just saying this on a whim. Through past experiences, I’ve grown from the challenges I put upon myself. From Dr. Slubgob’s Letters, a novella about a demon and his quest for the truth, to The Clubhouse, a blog series with characters I disassociate from; I’ve learned to construct deeper worlds and fuller personas. I’m still not good in either arenas – I don’t think I’ll ever master them. But, I have improved. And with a long way to go in my writing journey, I’ll continue to challenge myself.

This 2017, my writing goal is simple: write to challenge. As this year revs its engine, I encourage you to adopt this goal too. In fact, I encourage you to adopt this goal in general. It isn’t just for writing, but for anything – for areas you want to see growth. And If you stick through it, no matter the obstacles, you’ll come out a finer jewel than before.

Also, it can be quite fun.

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Posted by on January 5, 2017 in Writing Journey

 

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Chapter 75: Hitting Reset

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For the first time, the fate of her family’s survival rested upon her sister’s shoulders. And though it was the result of her so-called betrayal, Guinevere couldn’t be more pleased. When it briefly became Genevieve’s burden, Guinevere could breathe.

To save the company after her father pleaded guilty, her mother found Genevieve a match. Giving Guinevere the silent treatment, it meant Genevieve had to put up with their mother’s pushing and nagging. Under the pressure, Genevieve stopped her habitual loitering and submitted to their mother’s plans. Six months later, she married the second son of a foreign competitor and the Dae’hans lived to see another day.

As much as Guinevere felt guilty for her actions, she had no regrets. It was her opportunity to start anew – her family’s opportunity to do things right. And despite her father never being able to forgive her, her mother and sister had little to no choice but to rely on her expertise. So even if her family was broken – not that it wasn’t to begin with – they were still together. That was all that mattered.

After the marriage, Guinevere and her brother-in-law restarted the company. The responsibility of putting branded goods on the table returned to Guinevere after the short-lived hiatus. It required more work than she’d ever done before. But, she could truthfully say she didn’t mind. It was better than being puppet-ed by her father. Also, it was a breath of fresh air when people stopped assuming she was a rich, spoilt brat. Back in her father’s shadow, nobody took her seriously despite her attempts. Now, she could make something of herself.

“Serve the entrees,” Guinevere informed the catering crew.

“Is everyone here?” Genevieve asked.

“No. Not everyone. But those who want to be here, are already here. So we should start.”

“Shouldn’t we wait a little longer?”

Guinevere shook her head and her sister pouted. “Stop hiding in the kitchen and go entertain the guests,” Guinevere said. “Or stand next to your husband if you don’t want to.”

Not waiting for her sister’s glare, Guinevere left through the back door into the garden. She’d said her round of ‘hellos’ and yearned for a pinch of quiet. But in that silence, she involuntarily thought about Wayne.

Planting herself on a bench, she wondered if what Jodie said was true – if Wayne was simply too busy savaging his status. But then reality hit, and along with it the reminder of his warranted silence.

Since her confession, Wayne refused to speak to her. Even after he was cleared, he didn’t answer her calls. He was also seemingly impossible to find and catch. The only times Guinevere saw Wayne were when he entered his car. And despite having made eye contact once or twice, he’d turned away as though he hadn’t seen her at all. How could he be so cruel?

Yes, she’d made a mistake. But everything she did, she did for family. Why couldn’t he forgive her? Why couldn’t he see her loyalty instead of her betrayal? Some days, Guinevere wished she’d come clean earlier – at least to Wayne.

“If only I-”

“Your sister said I’d find you here,” someone interrupted.

Turning to the direction of the voice, Guinevere stood at the sight of the intruder.

“You… came.”

“I was in the area when Jodie called.”

“And, you came?”

“I was in the area because I, well, I thought it’ll be good for our companies to work together.”

“Oh. Yes, it will be. Thank you, for coming, Wayne.”

Guinevere dropped her gaze to the freshly mowed grass. His polished shoes in her peripheral vision turned toward the kitchen door. But Wayne didn’t take a step.

“I’m sorry, for not responding to your messages and calls. I’ve been busy,” Wayne said.

He’d been busy for over a year? The old Guinevere would’ve rolled her eyes.

“I know. I’m glad everything worked out for you. And I’m sorry for being the cause of… everything,” Guinevere replied.

“You’re not in the wrong. I’ll be honest. I dated you because of your family. So in some respects, we used each other.”

“That’s… comforting.” Guinevere chuckled. It was indeed comforting to know she wasn’t entirely to blame for his former predicament.

“But for what it’s worth, I did like you. And the only reason I didn’t reach out after it ended, was because I knew I was in the wrong too.”

“So I guess now we’re even?” Guinevere finally shifted her eyes to meet his.

“We’re even.”

“Good. Friends?” She stuck her hand out hopefully.

As tensed as the conversation was, Guinevere hoped to put the past behind them. She also longed to hold his hand again, no matter how brief a moment it was. But while her heart raced with expectation, Wayne hesitated. His hands remained stuffed in his crease-free pockets.

“I don’t… want to be friends.”

Her throat tightened at his blatant candour. Pulling her hand back, Guinevere nodded with a forced smile.

“I mean, I don’t think we can be friends,” Wayne added.

“You’re right.”

“But I want us to try again. Honestly, try again. With no ulterior motives.”

“As… a couple?”

“Yes. Would you like that?”

With breath held, Guinevere replayed his words in her head. Did he mean it? Was he sincere? More importantly, should she say ‘yes’? It was tempting. She’d missed him – his voice, his gaze, and his touch. But what they’d done to each other couldn’t be erased. They’d have to carry it for the rest of their lives. Was it a good idea to try again? Guinevere had to choose.

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You’ve decided the fate of the characters. Now they live on in their own stories, not to be tempered by our own desires. Thus the end of The Clubhouse.

Thank you for joining me in crafting the stories of Zach, Jodie, Matthias, Richard, and Guinevere. I hope you enjoyed this series. Despite its ups and downs, I hope it entertained you. Personally, I entered into The Clubhouse with a goal to improve my character development skill. And, it’s safe to say, I’ve come out of Skypeak a better writer. Though I’m not sure if I have ‘character development’ nailed down, I’ve pushed my boundaries and brought this series to completion. That, I’m proud of – I didn’t give up halfway through.

So thank you for coming along for the ride. If you’re new to this series, you can find the chapter list here. Fingers-crossed, the story stands on its own without the polls.

The Clubhouse © 2014 – 2016 by Jeyna Grace.
All rights reserved. No part of the series may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without prior written permission from Jeyna Grace.

 
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Posted by on December 15, 2016 in Original Works

 

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Chapter 74: Descending After A Climb

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She hit reply. Then tossing her invite into the bin, she typed, ‘Sure.’

Jodie had received the beige envelope too. But despite the surprise, she decided to go. Guinevere had proven to be more than a gold-digger when she stood for the truth. And the least Jodie could do was acknowledge that. Knowing Zach made good company, she agreed as his plus one. Honestly, it was a relief when he asked – she preferred seeing a familiar face than none. Little did she expect, there were more than one.

After Jodie’s case with the Cortezs resolved, she spent most of her time in the office. Due to the scandal, her company took a financial hit. Stabilising it required arduous hours of work. There were never-ending meetings with investors, partners, and staff. She had little to no life outside those concrete walls. And the almost non-existing friend’s list shortened even further.

Mentally visioning the list, Jodie realised the only person she still met was Zach. Wayne hadn’t responded to her text message two months ago. Neal was on life support. And Piper… well, Piper’s life only made her envious. Piper didn’t run a publishing empire, and had the time to travel the world. Those pictures on social media, garnering thousands of ‘likes’, tempted Jodie to take a sabbatical.

“That’s a good idea,” Piper said, during her phone call from the ruins of Machu Picchu. “We can see the world together.”

“That sounds fun, but I can’t just pick up and leave. The company needs me.”

“The company needs you?”

“There are still-”

“Jodie, I know you. The company doesn’t need you. You need the company.”

“Well, I do need to survive.”

“Oh, please. You have more than enough.”

“Not for the rest of my life.”

“Your company will still be there when you get back.”

“That all depends.”

“Even if it isn’t, you can always start another. Perhaps it’s even better to do so without Neal involved. Bless his soul.”

“Too soon, Piper.”

“We’ve grieved him. His parents are only dragging it out for money. By the way, do you have the contact of that lawyer friend of yours?”

“Which lawyer friend?”

“The one that helped with your case?”

The call ended with Jodie giving in to Piper’s request for Matthias’ phone number. She also promised to ‘seriously, seriously, seriously consider the sabbatical’, as how Piper worded it. Despite the denial, Jodie knew Piper was right. She needed the company. She needed how it made her feel – powerful and influential. Nothing was holding her back, except for the fear of losing the glory that came with the crown. But how long could she keep it up? Jodie opted to rethink that life decision after the party, which arrived sooner than she’d like it to.

“Do you think she invited Richard and Matthias?” Zach asked, as he rang the doorbell.

“She might have.”

As Zach parted his lips to add to his thought, the door swung open. Instantly, the melody of a classical piece, accompanied by a pastel yellow beam, escaped the white-walled bungalow. And there, standing by the doorway, was Guinevere in her favourite colour – red.

“I’m so glad you two made it,” Guinevere said.

“You have a neat house,” Zach replied.

Guinevere chuckled. “You’ve not changed a bit, Zachary.”

“Actually, it has always been just Zach,” Zach corrected.

“Zachary sounds better. Come on in.” Guinevere stepped back to make way. “Oh, Richard and Matthias are here too. You should go over and say ‘hi’.” Guinevere pointed to the staircase where the pair were chatting.

“You go ahead,” Jodie prompted. “I’ll be right over.”

The moment Zach left, Jodie turned to Guinevere with a smirk. “You’ve not changed either.”

“Well, I have. A little. But yes, I’m pretty much the same.”

“I’m surprised you invited me.”

“I’m surprised you showed up. And, as Zach’s plus one.”

“Why? We’re friends.”

“Of course. Was I implying something else?”

“I’m glad we’re on the same page.”

“For once. But honestly, I’m glad you’re here.”

“Really?”

“Yes. I’d like us to be friends. I know I didn’t make a great first impression, but I’m not as horrible as you think I am. If you must know, I really did have feelings for Wayne.”

“Did you invite him tonight?”

“I dropped the letter at his office myself.”

“But he’s not coming?”

“I didn’t hear from him. So, no. But that’s fine. I understand.”

“He’s just busy.”

Guinevere nodded with a thin smile. “Now if you don’t mind, I need to make sure the kitchen is ready.”

“Sure.” Jodie waved Guinevere off, before retrieving her phone.

Whether they could be friends, Jodie didn’t know. But seeing how Guinevere was making an effort, she thought she should do the same too. Despite it being out of character, she considered giving Wayne a call. Perhaps she could convince him to show up. Still, Jodie hesitated. Helping Guinevere meant stepping down from her ivory tower – the self-made empire that defined who she was. And in that consideration, she noticed its uncanny resemblance to her outside world. The simple act of calling Wayne wasn’t going to change her life, but it could affect the way she approached it moving forward. With Wayne’s contact at her fingertips, she had to decide. Jodie had to choose.

 

Final Chapter >
(For the chapter list, visit here.)

____________________________________________________________________________________________

The Clubhouse © 2014 – 2016 by Jeyna Grace.
All rights reserved. No part of the series may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without prior written permission from Jeyna Grace.

 
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Posted by on December 1, 2016 in Original Works

 

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Chapter 73: When Life Gives You Lemonade

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Zach never thought he’d see the amount in his bank account surpassing five digits. And when it did, he was amazed. He was amazed at how someone like him, who always identified as the kid at the back of the classroom, finally found himself in front. He was in disbelief at the possibility, when he made not a single effort. It seems the universe remembered him after all. And it felt surreal – like a dream broke the code of fiction to cross into reality – as though he was living an alternate timeline.

Through Matthias’ recommendation, Zach found himself working for a private investigation agency. He started as an office assistant, but began handling cases on his own a couple of months in. He found his niche – one he had no idea he had the talent for. After his first successful case, he was banking bundles of cash weekly. And suddenly, he wasn’t the underdog any longer. Suddenly, invitations to grand parties, hosted by his rich clients, slipped under his door. Suddenly, he was somebody. The shift of identity came so subtly, that it only dawned upon him then, as he sat staring at the brown envelope beside the embroidered party invite.

“So you going?” his colleague asked.

“I don’t know yet,” Zach replied. He wasn’t a big fan of parties. He wasn’t a fan of socialising in general. But since it came with the job, he tried not to turn them down.

“Who’s it from?”

“I don’t know. I haven’t looked.”

“And the cash?”

“Upfront payment from an… acquaintance.”

“That’s a pretty thick envelope.”

“I’ll have to leave the country for this one.”

“Then I suggest you go for the party.” His colleague gestured at the invite, before picking it up. “Fancy paper. Ah, look what we have here. I didn’t know you know the Dae’hans.”

“Who?” The name rang no bell. Then his colleague flashed the invite and he caught the signature at bottom.

“Is this for someone else? No, wait, it has your name on it. You sure you don’t know these people?”

“I know them.”

“They’re rebranding, so I’ve been told. Looks like you’ve been invited to their private launch party.”

“Sounds fun.”

“Come on, if you’re not going, let me go. Families with scandals invite prominent people to make amends. Here’s your chance to build your client base. And guess what, this party invites two. I can be your plus one. What do you say?”

“No. You’re not going to be my plus one.”

“Ah, I’ll just go in your place then.”

“Nice try. But no.”

“Killjoy. Have fun by yourself then.” His colleague stalked off.

“I will.”

“And don’t expect your desk to be here when you get back.”

“It will be. I’m the best,” Zach called out with a chuckle.

Zach had no issues with Guinevere, and his colleague made a point. Even if half of the people the Dae’hans invited didn’t show up, those who did were potential clients. And since he was on a streak of wealthy patrons, there was no reason to say ‘no’. The only question remaining, was whether he should fly solo or bring someone along.

Among the four other contestants, Jodie was the only person he still met. Their offices were a few blocks apart, and they had yet to change gyms. She was his friend. And he, despite denying, had developed feelings for her. Unfortunately, he never felt adequate to attempt to be more. Or at least, he never felt adequate until recently. The sudden urge to invite her along kicked in, but he hesitated.

Those who didn’t know of his past gave him the fresh start he needed. But for those who did, there were only two reactions when they learned of his success: they buttered up to earn his favour or pretended oblivious. The exception was Jodie. She was neither. She treated him the same, and Zach wasn’t sure if that was a good sign. What did it mean to her when she treated him the same? Despite their occasional meet up, she was tough to read. And Zach had become a good reader of character ever since his new job. If only he knew. If only she left hints of being interested in a deeper relationship, it wouldn’t be a risk to invite her.

Perhaps he should play it safe and RSVP alone. Why ruin a perfectly good friendship over a party? What if Jodie and Guinevere were still stepping on each other’s toes? Instead of making a positive impression, he’d make an unfavourable one on both ends. Zach was never a risk taker. He’d played it safe and it had gotten him this far. But how long was the universe willing to spoon-feed him? How long would it remember him? It was now or never. The decision would determine the rest of his life and how he lived it. He either took his life into his own hands, or continued to accept whatever is handed to him. Zach had to choose.

Next Chapter >
(For the chapter list, visit here.)

____________________________________________________________________________________________

The Clubhouse © 2014 – 2016 by Jeyna Grace.
All rights reserved. No part of the series may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without prior written permission from Jeyna Grace.

 
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Posted by on November 17, 2016 in Original Works

 

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Flight From Reality

Once in a while, I’d go away. Well, actually, at least once a year, I’d go away. This year, twice. So when I’m away, I schedule a post to tell you I’m away. Lest some of you diligent readers think I’ve forgotten you. Though, I highly doubt that. Still I’d like to think the absence of a weekly post is noticeable… at least to some. But is it though? No, I shouldn’t ask. I might not like the honest comments.

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So, yes, I’m away this week. I boarded a plane and flew from reality. And despite the uncomfortable budget flight, I’m loving it. Seeing the world is a hobby of mine. Absorbing the experiences outside of the norm – being in a new environment that requires me to adapt – allows me to feel, see, touch, smell, and taste something useful. It helps a great deal in my writing. From the countryside of Guilin, to the hustle and bustle of Seoul; from going unnoticed in Tokyo to the hospitality of Tasmania, traveling feeds my imagination. What is reality to some, is fantasy to me. And that’s why I need to go away.

If you’d like to know what I’m up to, especially during my globe-trotting weeks, head over to Instagram and Twitter. I upload pictures on both social media sites more frequently in new territories. But if you have no interest except for reading, there are tons of wonderful stuff here. I’d like to think they’re somewhat wonderful. Though some might disagree – you can be the judge. Until I get back and write another chapter of The Clubhouse, I hope you find something entertaining. If not, don’t worry, I’ll be back. There will be more to come and I promise, the new materials planned for 2017 are going to be fun.

Random, post script, fun fact: Did you know there’s a ‘Categories’ drop-down menu in the sidebar? 

 
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Posted by on November 10, 2016 in Others

 

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Chapter 72: The Apple And It’s Tree

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Life went on. For those in the Wilhelm Group scheme, their ship sailed into a storm that nearly brought the company to its knees. Lawsuits after lawsuits, it seemed never ending for the global multi-industry giant. Fortunately for Richard, he wasn’t a part of it. In fact, he reaped a massive cheque from suing the group, the law firm, and the Lees. It was easy money for the unexpected victim.

After Matthias surprisingly agreed to work with Richard, Richard launched his first fashion line. From a rich heir to an orphan, his story made him a celebrity. The day his first boutique opened its doors, hundreds queued around the block, with reporters snapping pictures for their favourable articles. In reality, what people assumed to be a ‘riches to rags to riches’ story was truthfully and simply ‘riches to riches’. Yet no one read between the lines of those biased, and occasionally paid, interviews.

It would seem Richard’s story ended on a high note, unlike the rest of the clubhouse contestants. There was no lost of status, fame, or wealth – only time and perhaps, the truth. For him, time wasted in court wasn’t time wasted at all. But the truth that surfaced during each session weren’t full truths. And the more he realised they were empty shells, the more he found himself questioning his identity.

Everything his lawyer brought to the table was an assumption. What happened to his birth mother? Was there foul play in her death? Where was his biological father? Was he dead or alive? And all attempts to find the answers were futile. Leaving the courthouse with millions in his bank account was great, but no amount of green notes could buy the answers he wanted. After realising how his lost of self held him back, he decided to move on and start over. And that was how his fashion empire began.

A year after the Lees made the headlines of every newspaper in the country, Richard received a call from Guinevere. They didn’t bother keeping in touch, but they did occasionally say hello at galas and showcases. To actually see Guinevere’s caller ID on screen washed a wave of nostalgia up his shore.

“Inviting me to an event, are you?” Richard answered.

“Now that wouldn’t be surprising. But, I’m calling because of something else,” Guinevere said.

“What’s that something else?”

“My brother-in-law has taken over my father’s company, and while clearing old files, he found something you might be interested in.”

Richard made a conscious effort not to be involved in any subsidiary of Wilhelm group. So, he didn’t see how any old file would interest him.

“Are you planning to sell information on my competitors?” Richard joked.

“No. I have information about your father. Your birth father.”

“Wait… what? How?”

“When he worked for your other – the Lees – he was given insurance under the company. There is a family contact with a country code of another… country.”

That was new information. The records of his father and mother in the Lees possession had mysteriously gone missing during the trial. The few local contacts related to his father couldn’t be reached. And there wasn’t a single international contact on the list. It could very much be a dead end, but it was new nevertheless.

“I can send you this document, if you’d like to look into it,” Guinevere added.

For the first time, in the opportunity to find himself, Richard contemplated.

“Give me a minute. I’ll call you back.”

He wasn’t sure if he wanted to know. Aside from the fact that he didn’t have the time to go on a wild goose chase, he was afraid of what he might find. Should he try again? Was it worth it?

Just last week, he was invited to an internationally acclaimed fashion event. He could use the lack of time as an excuse to drop the idea. But as his thumb hovered over the dial, he recalled Matthias telling him about Zach. Zach had found a place in a private investigation agency. After all the spying and snooping during their Skypeak days, it seems the man discovered his forte. If Richard really wanted to find his father, he could hire Zach to get the job done. Unfortunately, it was a much tougher decision than he thought it would be.

The thought of completely tossing the opportunity lingered at the back of his mind. Perhaps it was better to ask Guinevere to burn the file. Perhaps not knowing who abandoned him – who sold him off as a puppet – was a smarter decision. What would he say to the man who left him with the wolves? How could he even face him, if he was still alive? And what if he was dead – would that make Richard feel any better?

Still, he promised Guinevere he would call her back. And if there was one good thing Mrs Lee taught him, it was to never keep a lady waiting. Dialing Guinevere’s number, Richard had to choose.

 

Next Chapter >
(For the chapter list, visit here.)

____________________________________________________________________________________________

The Clubhouse © 2014 – 2016 by Jeyna Grace.
All rights reserved. No part of the series may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without prior written permission from Jeyna Grace.

 
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Posted by on October 27, 2016 in Original Works

 

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Chapter 71: A Clean Slate

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He wasn’t ignoring anyone on purpose. He was simply too busy to entertain those he thought weren’t important. Matthias decided to return Zach’s calls once the workload lessened, but after countless went unanswered, he gave in to the ring that particular midnight.

“You picked up,” Zach said.

“I’ve been busy.”

“Don’t worry about it. I need your help with something.”

Matthias contemplated excusing himself. But he ended up feeling obligated and listened to the need instead. When Zach was done explaining, Matthias said, “Give me fifteen minutes. I’ll call you back.”

Fifteen minutes was all he needed. His company acquired insurance from the same agency and had access to their online portal. A boot of the hacking software he’d invested in a year ago would do the trick. And a minute short of fifteen, Matthias had what Zach needed.

“The case number is 763340. Call me if you need anything else,” Matthias said.

“That’s all I need. Thank you.”

With a click, Matthias had done his last deed for Jodie. There was no way he could make up for selling her out, but at least he did what he could to help. With no more rings from Zach, Matthias woke the next morning to a text from Guinevere. And when he tuned in to the morning news, another case was solved.

Neal Cortez was found alive, though unconscious, in the Wilhelm Group owned hospital. The case against Jodie was dropped, and his own case against the Lees had just been made easier. Matthias was certain he could put mama and papa Lee behind bars. Though unfortunately, there was nothing to pin Gabriel to, to lock him up along with his parents. The sly youth would take over what is left of the company, and if he were wise enough to save it in the midst of hostile shareholders, he’d rule the new empire. But Matthias couldn’t be bothered with what happened after. He wanted to move on. If anything, he’d made a good impression with the press in his fight for Guinevere and Wayne’s freedom. That was enough for him to leave his old company, and perhaps leave the country altogether.

A month after the settlement of Guinevere’s case, Matthias handed in his resignation. He then paid Zach his last paycheque, and put in a good word for him with an old college friend. He also signed a blank cheque for his sister to hand to his parents on one of her visits home. No, he still found no reason to reconcile with them. And being unable to sever ties, his only option was to get away. Perhaps one day, in the future, there would be a story to tell about his dark past. But for now, it would remain untold.

As Matthias’ life began to quiet down, he finally resolved on leaving the country. With multiple job offers, he started his search for the soonest flight out of town. But the day he decided to book his ticket, he received an odd proposition for him to stay. Richard had called for brunch, and after what they’d been through, Matthias agreed to the free meal.

“So, what do you say?” Richard asked.

“I don’t know what to say.”

“We’ll make a great team.”

“I kind of doubt that.”

Richard laughed. “We’ve changed, both you and I,” he added.

“I’m still the same. You, maybe.”

“Ah, yes. I had a lot of growing up to do. And I think, now that I’ve matured-”

“You over credit yourself, Richard.”

Now that I’ve matured, starting fresh would do us both good. I’ve gotten talented people on board. And with the world, just waiting to see what I’m about to do next, it’ll-”

“You’ve matured all right.” Matthias chuckled.

“Thank you for acknowledging that. The point is, my brand will sell. So are you in or out?”

“Let me think about it.”

“Take all the time you need, Matty.”

Joining Richard’s company was a shift in the direction Matthias initially aimed for. The creative industry wasn’t his ideal career path. But the change might be for the better. After all, the politics wouldn’t involve as much manipulation, blackmailing, or framing, as in the business world. He wouldn’t cross paths with familiar faces, who could use his past against him too. Perhaps Richard was right. Perhaps he had changed after all, seeing as he was done with dirty work. Replaying the accounts of when he betrayed people for the benefit of his past company, he inevitably reminded himself of Jodie.

Matthias had not spoken to Jodie since his last assist. She seemed to be doing well on her own, as the world moved past the claims of murder. If Matthias were to stay, he could hope they’d bump into each other and he could make amends. Despite living in a large city, the five had brushed shoulders one too many times. And seeing Jodie on the streets wouldn’t be a first. However, if he left the country as he initially planned, there would be little chances of admitting what he did. And seeing as he’d wanted a clean slate, telling Jodie the truth was a great start. Still, it all boiled down to his decision to stay or leave. Should he remain in the city to start over, or should he leave to a new place for a new beginning? Matthias had to choose.

Next Chapter >
(For the chapter list, visit here.)

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The Clubhouse © 2014 – 2016 by Jeyna Grace.
All rights reserved. No part of the series may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without prior written permission from Jeyna Grace.

 
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Posted by on October 13, 2016 in Original Works

 

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