Authors: Nella Tyler
book is a work of fiction. The names, characters, places and incidents are
products of the writer's imagination or have been used fictitiously and are not
to be construed as real. Any resemblance to persons, living or dead, actual
events, locales or organizations is entirely coincidental.
© 2015 Nella Tyler
free copy of my never released book Collide
I picked at my salad wishing that I had ordered more food, maybe
not just more food but different food in general. If I was honest with myself I
wasn't even sure if that would cut it. The destination had been a poor choice
and I only had my friend Sarah to blame. I should have been the one to choose
our restaurant destination, as I knew all the hot spots to find delicious food
in town. But Sarah already knew how nuts I could be when it came to food so I
tried to let her pick sometimes too. Though in this case, the food was a real
“Ugh! This is terrible. Why did you ever talk me into coming
here?” I wanted to spit the salad out. How can you mess up a salad? In this
case it just wasn't very inventive and by the looks of it, not very fresh
either. The lettuce was limp and pathetic looking and the tomatoes were
overripe. It really made me want to cry right there at the table. In case you
haven't noticed I am very passionate about food.
Sarah snorted, “What's wrong? It's not that bad.” She looked
into her bowl of soup as if she was checking to make sure her statement was
correct. I loved Sarah, she was one of my best friends and she often made
situations we were in that much more comical.
“It's terrible. My shitake tofu wontons almost made me gag.
It's not that hard to make that appetizer. I could make it in my sleep.”
Mushrooms happened to be one of my favorite foods and when someone messed it up
it made me fiery.
“You're something else.” Sarah said shaking her head.
“I love food Sarah, good food. I'm willing to pay good money
for it. But I don't think it's too much to ask to have a good meal. I'm scared
to think what my turkey confit sandwich will be like. If it comes here soggy I
just might die. Honestly, I’ll die right here at the table. Are you prepared
for that? My body, although light, will not be easy to get rid of.”
Sarah laughed, “You are always like this Gemma; you're truly
a food snob. It's embarrassing going out with you sometimes.” She said
laughing. “You can be a real food-hater.”
“Oh come on, you're telling me that you just loved your meal,
and that you would come back to this dump?”
“I'm not saying that…it did leave something to be desired.
But not every restaurant has gourmet-quality food. Do you remember the stuff we
used to eat in college? How did you end up being such a foodie?”
I did remember what we used to eat in college and it was
sort of tragic. Ninety percent of the time it was macaroni and cheese - from a
box no less! We’d gorge ourselves on greasy pizza and leftover French fries. It
was surprising that I wasn't grossly overweight considering the garbage we used
to put in our bodies, but that was a different time. We were poor college
students working our way through an education. We had to eat that crap then,
but now there was no excuse for it.
“The day that I realized that my hard-earned dollars should
go towards quality, that's when. I'm not a snob; I just have high standards
when it comes to food. How is that so wrong? How can you not have higher standards?
This stuff is terrible.”
“It's not wrong Gemma. It's just funny to see you this way.
You shouldn't worry about food so much. It's not the end of the world; we just
won't come back here is all.”
The waiter brought our entrees and Sarah waited in anticipation
to see what I was going to do. I knew deep down she often worried that I was
going to lose my shit on a waiter for bringing me low quality food. Worse than
that, she feared that I would ask to speak to the chef, because then things
would really be on. She worried about these things because I have asked to
speak to a chef more than once and it usually ended in tears-for the chef. A
good shaming will make for a better chef in my opinion.
I looked down at my sandwich hoping for the best. “Okay, it
doesn't look bad, I'm sure it's fine. Yours looks good too.”
“Don't start pretending now that you aren't fearful of your
food. I will still go out with you for lunch.” She looked at me with narrowed
I grinned, “Okay great, because this looks awful.”
Sarah started laughing as my phone dinged with a message
coming in. I looked down at my phone and noticed it was a message from my
brother Jared. My brother and I were very close. He was genuinely a good guy,
one of the best I knew actually.
“Geez, something is wrong with Jared.”
“What? What do you mean, what's going on?” Sarah asked.
“I have no idea but he seems distressed about something.”
I sent back a message to Jared before taking a bite of my
sandwich. I hoped he would give me some more information.
I cringed. Chewing on the sandwich, I set the rest down and
vowed not to finish it. The bottom bun was soggy. They had waited too long to
bring the food in; they must not be able to handle a busy lunch crowd. Chic
restaurant my ass, what was wrong with the chef? Someone should have a meeting
with the guy.
Another message from Jared dinged in and I wiped my hands on
the napkin in my lap before checking it out. My brother was not doing well and
I wanted to see him to determine what was up with him, if anything. I couldn't
imagine what could have him feeling so distressed but I had to find out. I set
my napkin on the table and grabbed my purse.
“Sarah, I'm sorry. I have to go. I need to go see Jared;
She waved me off. “Sure. No problem. Keep me posted about
what's going on.”
“Yep, will do. See you later.”
I smiled at her as I headed out of the restaurant.
I drove a little too fast across town, but I was worried
sick about my brother. I kept my eye peeled for cops however; I wasn't a fan of
spending money on speeding tickets. Talk about throwing your money away.
I couldn't imagine what got Jared so upset and yet he was
flustered about something. My brother wasn't the type of guy to get all heated
over nothing. I had rarely seen him bent out of shape about anything. I needed
to find out what was wrong with him. Aside from chatting with my friend, I
wasn't too distressed that I missed out on lunch; the food at that place had
been devastating. Jared’s messages were actually taking me to a great
restaurant; I had eaten there many times and was never disappointed. The chefs
that worked there were some of the best in the city; it was a privilege to eat
their food. They knew exactly what they were doing and were right on point when
it came to blending flavors and spices perfectly. That's what a real restaurant
should offer you. The restaurant had a great atmosphere with food to die for
and some great cocktails on the menu. I hated shelling out money for food that
was sub-par; I didn't care how hilarious my friends thought I was. I would only
eat the best.
I pulled into the parking lot and noticed the place was busy
for lunch, not that I was surprised. I almost wished that I hadn't eaten lunch,
that way I could grab a bite while I was there. I walked through the front door
and made my way back to the kitchen. As I walked through the kitchen doors I
saw my brother slamming down his phone angrily. I raised my eyebrows in
surprise. Like I said, I had rarely seen my brother like that.
Jared was the proud owner of the aforementioned amazing
establishment. He had a natural talent for cooking ever since we were young and
it was no surprise to anyone when he decided to go into the food industry by
opening up the restaurant. I couldn't have been more proud of him; he was part
of the reason why I loved food so much. If you have a chef in the family then
chances are you will learn to love quality food. He was well known in the area
for his cooking and his restaurant was only gaining popularity. And my friends
wondered why I was a foodie. My god, it was practically in our genes to
appreciate good food. Our family was big into successful food preparation.
“Jared, what's wrong? I wouldn't be slamming down your
phone. They aren't cheap. Tell me what's going on. Why am I here?”
Jared looked up at me from his phone. He looked pissed.
“Someone is trying to screw me over. I am really having a hard time not losing
my cool completely here.” He started pacing the room.
“Why? Who is trying to screw you over?” I couldn't have been
more confused. I rarely saw my brother angry. “How can I help? Just tell me
what's wrong and if I can help, then I will.”
He stopped pacing and threw his hands up in the air. “Do you
know any good lawyers?”
My mouth fell open. What the hell kind of trouble was he
into anyways? “What are you talking about? Are you in trouble? What on earth do
you need a lawyer for?” The questions peppered out of me like a machine gun.
A grin formed on his face, as he looked me over. Oh great,
what was he up to now? It was never a good sign when a mad Jared started to
“Actually I think you could be my lawyer.”
I rolled my eyes heavenward. “What? What are you talking
“I need you to impersonate a lawyer for me. Be my lawyer.
It's brilliant actually.”
“Are you high? I'm not doing that! If anything you need to
start explaining what's going on here. Why on earth would I want to pretend to
be a lawyer?”
“Come on Gemma, you are already dressed the part. Hell you
could already be a lawyer looking like that.”
I looked down at my charcoal pantsuit and appreciated my
appearance all over again. I did look good, professional too, but that wasn't
the point. My job was not as a lawyer and I certainly didn't want to pretend to
“I'm not impersonating a lawyer for you. I'm not a lawyer
for crying out loud and I would get caught. I'm a financial consultant for god’s
sake, how would I get away with someone believing that I was a lawyer?”
“Please, I really need you right now. I don't have anyone
else and I don't need to be screwed over. You look the part and on top of that
I don't know anyone with a better vocabulary than you do. It would be a slam
dunk for you.”
I sighed. “Jared, I don't want to. I can't even believe you
are asking me to do it. Like seriously, what is wrong with you?”
“Jared, just hire a real lawyer. It's a piece of cake; I can
probably refer you to a dozen good lawyers in the area. I know you can afford
it, so money can't be the issue here. Tell me what is going on.”
“Nope, money is not the issue. I just need you to be an
awesome sister right now and help me out. I won't ask you for another favor
again, I swear.”
“Oh yeah, that's likely...”
My brother was acting completely weird. He seemed to have
this plan up his sleeve and I wasn't sure that he was giving me the whole
story. There was more to that issue, I just knew it. I didn't know why I needed
to be involved in that scenario when he could just pick up the phone and get a
professional. It was all very suspicious. Could he really be in some trouble?
I wanted to help him if I could. Maybe it
wasn't the end of the world if I just pretended to be a lawyer for a few
minutes. What was the big deal anyways?
“Fine, I'll do it but you better start spilling.”
I left my brother's restaurant and headed east towards
another restaurant. That would be three different restaurants in one day; I was
really on a roll. I should probably have quit while I was ahead. I still had
some reports I had to fill out for work but there I was heading off to some
restaurant to do my brother’s bidding. I couldn't even believe what Jared was
getting me into, but I would do anything for my brother; I loved him that much.
We had been through a lot together growing up and we always had each other’s
backs. That was the only reason I was doing the ridiculous task I was about to