Musk | 1

I twisted. I turned. For a seat in business class it really wasn't as comfortable as I imagined. I spun around to check if Rebecca was asleep. I grinned when I saw her dozed off, curled up into a ball, shivering in her bright pink pyjamas. Immediately, yet cautiously, I bent over to fetch her blanket that had slithered onto the floor. As I covered her up against the cold cabin air I couldn't help but wonder if she's doing this all for me. She wasn't really pleased with the idea of migrating to the other side of the country, but being my little sister, she knew how much this job means to me, how much it means to our family. I couldn't safely say we were desperately poor, but I couldn't say our lives were a cinch either. In fact, the day I received that call I knew it was the start of my early career in journalism, and the end of an arduous life.

Colt Magazine gave me a ring one humid afternoon back home. They mentioned that they were highly partial to my 'services' and that the editor-in-chief was interested in having me as a fellow writer. I can't explain how exalted I was lingering over the idea of being employed by one of the most prominent firms in mass media in the country, the North American continent, or even the world. I understood that it would change my life comprehensively... but with a cost. Headquartered in Toronto, there was no way I would leave my family to go there all by myself, and not seizing the opportunity was utterly out of the idea.

I lay back down on my unpromising seat turned into a bed. I was puzzled how anyone could drift into sleep on hard leather cushions albeit glad that the magazine sponsored the flight tickets for my entire family. Painstakingly, I got up with the intention of exploring the aircraft before a voice came behind me.

"Sir, I would need you to return to your place and convert it back into a seat," she mumbled swiftly, as though in a dash for an emergency plane landing. "I would also appreciate if you could be so kind as to wake your seating partner up and assist her in doing likewise."

I kept silent as my mind was in a daze trying to figure out what she was blabbering.

"I'm sorry, Sir, do you speak English? Vous parlez fran├žais?" she said suggestively, insinuating that she thought I was some kind of tourist because of my oriental appearance.

"What? We're landing already?" I retorted, a little unhappy with her presumption.

"Yes. We will be landing in fifteen minutes."

I watched as the air stewardess spun around brusquely and wound down the aisle only to alert other passengers with regards to the apparent emergency plane landing.

"Hey, Beck," I whispered while attempting to form the bed into a seat. I roused her and realised that my parents seated at the back have just bestirred themselves. The seatbelt light glowed.

"Good morning, passengers. Please return to your seats and promptly adjust your seatbelts. It is four twenty-six and we will be arriving in Toronto in ten minutes. Thank you for travelling with Air Canada." After a repeat in French, and a rather rough landing, we finally arrived.

Adapting to a new culture was not easy. Doing it for a job for the survival of my family was nerve-racking. I was on my way to meet Karl White, the editor-in-chief of Colt. Me. Personally. I had no idea what awaited me.

It felt odd standing firmly at the foot of a colossal emerald-tinted glass building trying to contain myself before I faced my soon-to-be boss. I gazed up to the top of the cone-shaped edifice in an attempt to locate the offices only to be partially blinded by the blazing September sun. Shifting into the safe confines on the building with remorse, I was greeted with the main receptionist.

"Excuse me, where can I find Mr. White?" I uttered. The underweight middle-aged woman with conspicuously bleached hair simply gestured four fingers in front of me with her free hand while another fixed a telephone on her right ear. Assuming she referred to the fourth floor, I headed to the elevators.

When the lift doors opened I poised myself before I stepped out into the sublime offices in my view. I pumped my chest up, lifted my chin, and sashayed across the hustle and bustle. I approached a young woman in a charming vermillion dress.

I began confidently, "Karl White, please."

"Yes, follow me." She responded almost flirtatiously, getting up her seat before giving me a wink. I tailed behind her whilst absorbing the pulchritudinous design of the area structured by virtually nothing but glass and adorned by exquisite contemporary furniture.

"Mr. White, Tristan Oakley is here," I heard behind the heavy clear doors after she poked her head into what I presumed to be to main editor's office. She made way for me to enter the room and gave me another seductive wink just before shutting the doors behind me.

"Sleazy." I hushed to myself.

"Yes, Mr. Oakley. Aren't you a handsome one? I have been anticipating your arrival here. How's Toronto?" The man, unusually muscular in his late forties in a neat grey plaited suit began as I composed myself upon realisation that Karl White is actually speaking to me.

"Brilliant," I replied valiantly. I sat down on a maroon velvet chair in front of his oversized cedar desk after he gestured me to do so.

"Let's get to business then. I have read your famous work on capital punishment in Saudi Arabia and I have to say I am thoroughly impressed that it's composed by such a young writer. Needless to say, I'm sure you know you've stepped into a men's magazine and what makes Colt distinct is that social opinions are welcomed as well, which is the primary reason behind me inviting you here in the first place," he continued, "The prime editor of Weekly Magazine is a dear friend of mine and I hope his recommendation of inviting you into my office is a good one. And are you really nineteen?"

I casually folded my right leg and clutched my hands on my knee.

"Yes." I said in a deep voice to sound slightly more serious. "And I can assure you that I take pride in my work and I am resolute to give my all to be at the top."

"In our December issue we will be introducing social ideology intertwined with sports." He announced. "It's speculated to be a hit against our rivals Men's Health."

"But it's only September." I blurted, staring at the movement of his surgically uplifted chin as he talks.

"Yes and as we speak our October issue is being printed and the orchestration of November's is nearly complete. Here's what I want you to do." Mr. White handed me a thin white sheet of paper.

"'Life of a Jock'?" I murmured, feeling as though my abilities were being underestimated.

"The relevant details and objectives of your task are stated in there, I expect constant updates from you." He spoke as he fitted a pair of spectacles and got back to his work after giving a slight wave of his hand to denote I was dismissed.

"That was quick." I buzzed, yet again, to myself.

I walked out of the grandiose office feeling a little perplexed. What did he mean by 'constant updates'? I strolled back to the elevators while scrutinising the sheet of paper. Turns out, I'll be joining a school rugby team to assess the social behavior of so-called 'jocks'.

In the lift, I laid my eyes on a framed picture on the back wall of two muscular nude men shyly covering each other's privates in a pretentious manner, which happened to be the cover of Colt's Sex issue last February, that is to say the issue exclusively taught young men how to screw their lovers more than they do every month.

I wasn't sure if I was still elated to be working for the magazine anymore.



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