Today, the moment I got into the office Loraine asked to speak with me. She had that severe look on her face. The last time I had seen that look, was about a month ago when she told me that she would be shutting down the Agency – in a month.
This is it, I thought. Despite all the hard work, how we’ve all pulled together as a team, the massive amount of income that had been generated in such a short period of time, this was it. She would be shutting down the Agency.
She sat me down at the kitchen table, and she began by telling me how much she appreciated my hard work. How much I’ve grown and learned in such a short period of time. Without my help she could have never had coped. That she appreciated everything…
That was it. I was waiting for the ‘but’. ‘But’ I’m closing down the Agency. ‘But’ this still hasn’t changed my mind. ‘But’ it’s still not enough money to pay all the bills, my house is being taken away from me, you’re a big failure.
But the ‘but’ never came.
Instead, she said, ‘You’ve done a lot to remind me why I love my job, and that even if the industry is changing, it doesn’t mean that I’m too old to keep up. That’s why, I’ve decided to keep the agency open.’
It hadn’t quite sunk in. What was she saying? That all was well? Was I correct in hearing that? After months of hard work, I wouldn’t be broke, unemployed and pregnant? Holy shit. Was I hearing this right?
Loraine could tell that I was a bit confused. She stopped, and said again, ‘I’ve decided to not shut down the Agency.’
I didn’t say anything.
‘I know what you’re thinking,’ she said.
I don’t think she did.
‘There’s been so many changes, how can you be sure I won’t change my mind?’ she said more like a statement than a question. She then said she was going to go ahead with the original plan (if it was okay with London, Paris and I) where we all pool our agent fees, and share in the costs. The last few months when London, Paris and I all worked together has proved that we can do this. She doesn’t think we should take on any new clients for awhile and really focus on pushing those we have. Then she said, ‘I’m going to take a slight step back, but I’d like to list you as full agent.’
It really wasn’t sinking in. An agent? Me? I have no idea what I was doing. Me? An agent?
I expressed my concern, but she waived my apprehension away by saying, ‘Don’t worry. You’ve proved yourself.’
She had spoken with London and Paris the evening before, and they were extremely happy with the situation. It was sinking in slowly, but I wasn’t quite there yet.
The afternoon was spent working on stuff for the US deal. Since they did a three book deal, they essentially bought a book that hasn’t yet been sold in the UK, so we had to do some editing.
Later in the day we’d heard from RRManager who’s sent us over figures and other rights aspects – such as merchandising, serialization and so forth. I was keen to keep Conspiracy out of it until we’d completely negotiated the entire deal. However, he specifically told us that he wanted final say in the script. I knew that was going to be tough negotiating, so I passed the whole thing on to London. She thinks we can get a certain level of control over the script, but not casting maybe casting. And final control will be difficult as it would mean that Conspiracy would have to be on set, as sometimes scripts change all the way up to shooting. London is in the processes of putting all this together.
Six o’clock rolled around, and it was time to leave the office, just like every other weekday for the last five months. It all felt so normal, despite the big changes. I had a job and the potential to make a lot more money as an agent. But, as is the way with life, nothing felt different yet. Maybe it was because, at home, sitting on my lounge floor was that pink and blue box. My period was quite late by this point, and I couldn’t ignore it any longer. With all the potential for change it was time for me to find out. It was the night.
I went to leave the office, but Loraine stopped me. ‘You know, with the film deal there may be a confidentiality agreement,’ she said.
‘I’ll talk to [Conspiracy] about it tomorrow,’ I said.
‘No. I’m talking about you. Loose lips sink ships,’ and with that she left the office and went into the front part of the house.
I’ve been home for hours and I still haven’t taken the test. I can’t. I just can’t.