Tim entered the coffee shop. The store was toasty and warm, especially compared to the snow outside. Tim took of his coat, and scanned for Jenny. He quickly spotted her, sitting at an empty booth, drumming her fingers. She hadn’t spotted him – her eyes were cast downwards a stack papers.
Tim approached her, and sat down opposite. She looked up at him. “Alright, what do you need?”
“What ya doing?”
“Editing a manuscript.”
“I thought you hated her?”
Jenny stared at him, ignoring his comment. “What is it that you needed?”
Tim handed her the copy of the email. “What does this mean? It came from my agent.”
Jenny sighed, and read the email, murmuring it as she read. “Dear Tim… I am writing to inform you that as part of your royalties scheme, you are due to receive payments at every quarter of the year, being March, June, September and December. Your book Headless has currently sold over 1300 copies, and is expected to have paid out your advance by late January. If the book continues to sell at its current rate, you can expect your first payment of royalties by March 31… Yours sincerely… P Matthews.”
Jenny looked up at Tim. “Basically, it means your book is selling well and you’ll be getting royalties in March, June, September and December.”
“What are royalties?” Tim asked, a blank expression on his face.
Jenny sighed. “Tim, royalties is the money you get from your book selling. Every March, June, September and December, you’ll get money from your publisher.”
“So I’ll be getting money soon? This month? It said December.” Tim asked, still confused.
Jenny sighed again, and hit her forehead. “No. Your advance hasn’t been brought out yet.”
“Didn’t you pay any attention to what I told you about this stuff?”
“Well, yeah. But I forgot,” Tim said sheepishly.
“Right. Well, you remember when the publishers paid you for your novel? Well, when your book earns you more than that, your publishers will send you the extra every three months. The email simply says that your book should earn you more than your advance but the end of January, and you’ll be paid in March.”
Jenny was about to continue, when the door to the coffee shop opened, Laura entered.
“Laura!” Jenny called. Laura turned to look at Jenny and Tim together, and turned to leave.
“Laura!” Jenny called again. She stood up, grabbing the manuscript. Tim turned around, seeing Laura hurry from the shop.
Jenny dashed from the store. She spun around, searching vainly for Laura. Finally, she spotted the mousy blonde hurrying away.
“Laura! Wait up!” Jenny ran after Laura, quickly catching up. She stopped in front of Laura.
“Leave me alone!” Laura snapped. “I heard what you said about me!”
“To Tim. On the phone.” Laura pushed past Jenny.
Jenny blushed with embarrassment. “I was wrong!” she called out, but Laura ignored her. “Look! I even edited your manuscript.”
Laura came to a stop. Slowly, she turned around.
“You… edited my manuscript?” she said slowly, and Jenny nodded.
“It was great!”
Laura paused, digesting the information. Then, she dashed up to Jenny and wrapped her arms around her in a tight bear hug.
“Let’s never fight again,” she whispered.