Chapter 2 – In The Company Of Friends

The Attic – Lost Souls & Forgotten Stories. Book 2.

Tom had called upon his hospitality students to create a feast for the celebratory luncheon, which would contribute to their new year assessment. They arrived early to decorate the dining area upstairs in the office. ‘Beautifully Simple’ was Tom’s request. The food was lovingly prepared and  professionally presented. He had passed on to them the importance of being aware of their personal energy when preparing and cooking food, and was very pleased with what his students had produced. They too were to join them for drinks and something to eat at the end of the meal. The room had taken on a magical feel. On top of each placemat was a large envelope. The interactive white board was set up against the wall, behind where Tom was to sit.

The guests were asked to arrive at 1pm. With all the members of his team and their partners seated around the table, Tom stood and invited Delilah to join him. He had prepared a speech to thank the team for all they had contributed during what was a turning point year for this little business. He picked up the remote and activated the whiteboard  which displayed the familiar Skype symbol. Curiosity had everyone’s attention on the screen, whoever was making the Skype call must have been important for Tom to make such a fuss. The music of the Skype call announced the arrival of their internet guest – Moana! They all cheered, pleased to see her beautiful smiling face filling up the large screen. She waved  energetically at them all. “Kia ora (hello)!” she said cheerfully. Tom had invited her to join them for the presentation of ‘In The Company Of Friends’. She too had received an envelope with instructions not to open it until the Skype call.

“Little did I realise what the ongoing ripple effect of creating this small gift of appreciation to you all would be. Please open your envelopes,” Tom invited them. A silent atmosphere of awe filled the room as they each took out their own copy of the book ‘In The Company of Friends’. Moana began to cry. 

“I don’t deserve this Tom, I left you all!” she whispered between soft sobs, emotion chocking her voice.

“Oh but of course you do Moana, you have been just as important to the growth and evolution of this little company as any one else. Besides….” He paused dramatically, “I know you will be back! How can you resist us?!” He flashed his mischievous smile, which was met with an encouraging response from the others. “Yes, Moana, your job is here for you whenever you decide to return. Because we need your beautiful smile here with us, your vibrant, effervescent energy that keeps us all going. And there is a place for you to stay until you find your own. So please, let us know when you have booked your flight…..” He teased her.

“I don’t know what to say….” Moana’s voice trailed off, surprised by all that had just been offered to her.

“Say YES!” everyone in the room shouted in unison.

As tears streamed down her cheeks, her eyes sparkled, she nodded and said with quiet modesty, “Yes, I will be back soon. Thank you.”

“Perfect!” Tom said smugly, knowing that she would not refuse the offer. “Now, if you will all turn your attention to the remaining contents inside of the envelope. You can see now what Will and Molly have been up to and why they have been helping me to create, and why they too are here today….they are our new members of The Little Book Publishing Company and, as are all of you now – share holders too.” Puzzled faces peered inside the envelopes as each of them pulled out their shares portfolio. Will and Molly too had been given an envelope, for now they were a part of The Little Book Publishing Company family.

Tom continued, “This is a ‘Thank You’ to all of you for what you have each individually contributed through your work and presence here with us. And maybe a little blackmail insurance that will keep you here until you are very, very old,” he laughed. “Nah, actually it is a new approach to business we have taken on. That employee’s become shareholders and participate in the decisions needing to be made and contribute creative ideas for the growth of this company. Which leads me on to our next step together.

I have shared this idea with some of our colleagues, and they were so impressed they have asked me to create a similar Gift of Appreciation for their companies too. Therefore I have called upon the help of Will and Molly and, thank god, they have agreed to join us in this new venture, enabling our little company to grow. We will maintain the boutique book publishing aspect, and continue to provide for our clients personalised assistance in the publication of their books. However, I do need a clear vote from you all. All those in favour….” And before he could finish his line, they all cheered, “YES!” 

When the excitement had settle, Tom continued, ”As you are all aware, Kelly’s belly is getting bigger by the day, and the anticipated arrival of our babes is on the horizon. I can relax into maternity leave for a month knowing that our business is in very capable hands. From my heart to yours….thank you.” Tom held his hand to his heart and bowed to his audience and then to Moana’s face on the screen behind him. A brief respectful silence was broken by a loud cheer of excitement and much chatter. Moana’s face shone brightly on the screen with excitement, her energy like a full moon rising over the mountains. As the excitement settled, Moana shared with the others how she had found her father, Nathaniel, and had been staying with him and his family in Hawaii for the past two weeks. Of how she now had a step-mum and three half-sisters. She knew it was time to come home, and this news provided perfect validation for her. Moana hoped that her new family would come to visit her in New Zealand.

After the meal, the students came to join them for coffee and liqueurs having had their lunch in the Zen Room that had been set up specifically for their job, enabling them to experience mobile catering. Gradually the crowd diminished, until just Tom, Kelly, Delilah, Louise, Will and Molly remained. Leaning back in his chair, Tom let out a contented sigh, “Well, that was worth it!” He turned to Molly and said, “Thank you for squeezing us into your lives. I understand the importance of this road trip for you both, and the writing of your next book. And I am eternally grateful for you weaving our needs into this as well,” he bowed his head with playful respect. “As an extra thank you, we would love to publish your book with you. As for all of our books, they embrace the authors involvement.”

Molly looked up with surprise. “Really?”

“Yes really, and it would be my pleasure to take your book to print. But for now, let’s have a day off and then start this new project, shall we?”

Tom had called upon his hospitality students to create a feast for the celebratory luncheon, which would contribute to their new year assessment. They arrived early to decorate the dining area upstairs in the office. ‘Beautifully Simple’ was Tom’s request. The food was lovingly prepared and  professionally presented. He had passed on to them the importance of being aware of their personal energy when preparing and cooking food, and was very pleased with what his students had produced. They too were to join them for drinks and something to eat at the end of the meal. The room had taken on a magical feel. On top of each placemat was a large envelope. The interactive white board was set up against the wall, behind where Tom was to sit.

The guests were asked to arrive at 1pm. With all the members of his team and their partners seated around the table, Tom stood and invited Delilah to join him. He had prepared a speech to thank the team for all they had contributed during what was a turning point year for this little business. He picked up the remote and activated the whiteboard  which displayed the familiar Skype symbol. Curiosity had everyone’s attention on the screen, whoever was making the Skype call must have been important for Tom to make such a fuss. The music of the Skype call announced the arrival of their internet guest – Moana! They all cheered, pleased to see her beautiful smiling face filling up the large screen. She waved  energetically at them all. “Kia ora (hello)!” she said cheerfully. Tom had invited her to join them for the presentation of ‘In The Company Of Friends’. She too had received an envelope with instructions not to open it until the Skype call.

“Little did I realise what the ongoing ripple effect of creating this small gift of appreciation to you all would be. Please open your envelopes,” Tom invited them. A silent atmosphere of awe filled the room as they each took out their own copy of the book ‘In The Company of Friends’. Moana began to cry. 

“I don’t deserve this Tom, I left you all!” she whispered between soft sobs, emotion chocking her voice.

“Oh but of course you do Moana, you have been just as important to the growth and evolution of this little company as any one else. Besides….” He paused dramatically, “I know you will be back! How can you resist us?!” He flashed his mischievous smile, which was met with an encouraging response from the others. “Yes, Moana, your job is here for you whenever you decide to return. Because we need your beautiful smile here with us, your vibrant, effervescent energy that keeps us all going. And there is a place for you to stay until you find your own. So please, let us know when you have booked your flight…..” He teased her.

“I don’t know what to say….” Moana’s voice trailed off, surprised by all that had just been offered to her.

“Say YES!” everyone in the room shouted in unison.

As tears streamed down her cheeks, her eyes sparkled, she nodded and said with quiet modesty, “Yes, I will be back soon. Thank you.”

“Perfect!” Tom said smugly, knowing that she would not refuse the offer. “Now, if you will all turn your attention to the remaining contents inside of the envelope. You can see now what Will and Molly have been up to and why they have been helping me to create, and why they too are here today….they are our new members of The Little Book Publishing Company and, as are all of you now – share holders too.” Puzzled faces peered inside the envelopes as each of them pulled out their shares portfolio. Will and Molly too had been given an envelope, for now they were a part of The Little Book Publishing Company family.

Tom continued, “This is a ‘Thank You’ to all of you for what you have each individually contributed through your work and presence here with us. And maybe a little blackmail insurance that will keep you here until you are very, very old,” he laughed. “Nah, actually it is a new approach to business we have taken on. That employee’s become shareholders and participate in the decisions needing to be made and contribute creative ideas for the growth of this company. Which leads me on to our next step together.

I have shared this idea with some of our colleagues, and they were so impressed they have asked me to create a similar Gift of Appreciation for their companies too. Therefore I have called upon the help of Will and Molly and, thank god, they have agreed to join us in this new venture, enabling our little company to grow. We will maintain the boutique book publishing aspect, and continue to provide for our clients personalised assistance in the publication of their books. However, I do need a clear vote from you all. All those in favour….” And before he could finish his line, they all cheered, “YES!” 

When the excitement had settle, Tom continued, ”As you are all aware, Kelly’s belly is getting bigger by the day, and the anticipated arrival of our babes is on the horizon. I can relax into maternity leave for a month knowing that our business is in very capable hands. From my heart to yours….thank you.” Tom held his hand to his heart and bowed to his audience and then to Moana’s face on the screen behind him. A brief respectful silence was broken by a loud cheer of excitement and much chatter. Moana’s face shone brightly on the screen with excitement, her energy like a full moon rising over the mountains. As the excitement settled, Moana shared with the others how she had found her father, Nathaniel, and had been staying with him and his family in Hawaii for the past two weeks. Of how she now had a step-mum and three half-sisters. She knew it was time to come home, and this news provided perfect validation for her. Moana hoped that her new family would come to visit her in New Zealand.

After the meal, the students came to join them for coffee and liqueurs having had their lunch in the Zen Room that had been set up specifically for their job, enabling them to experience mobile catering. Gradually the crowd diminished, until just Tom, Kelly, Delilah, Louise, Will and Molly remained. Leaning back in his chair, Tom let out a contented sigh, “Well, that was worth it!” He turned to Molly and said, “Thank you for squeezing us into your lives. I understand the importance of this road trip for you both, and the writing of your next book. And I am eternally grateful for you weaving our needs into this as well,” he bowed his head with playful respect. “As an extra thank you, we would love to publish your book with you. As for all of our books, they embrace the authors involvement.”

Molly looked up with surprise. “Really?”

“Yes really, and it would be my pleasure to take your book to print. But for now, let’s have a day off and then start this new project, shall we?”

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