NAPOLEON, by Emilia Rutigliano, $11.70 ($3.99 Kindle).
They say that when a student is ready, a teacher appears.
What they don’t say is where to register, and how to matriculate in that teacher’s class.
That is a divine gift.
Veronica had it all: the looks; the brains; the personality; and the wardrobe. Not to mention a perfect husband, a fabulous career and two adorable children, until the perfect husband leaves her for another woman.
Thus begin the daily routines of a typical New York City immigrant with ambition whose teachers keep appearing, and for whom divine interventions keep affording new opportunities.
Though it starts like ordinary connections going through the tried and true, each relationship continues to delve into parts of her own universe that Veronica didn’t know existed. A universe that is suddenly open to her.
This is a different kind of heroine…
Welcome to the New American Dream, Dare to Dream…
“You see the details and you are awed by them. It shows in your dress, in your manner, in how you look at things, how you eat... It’s all art. No amount of money or education can give it to you. You either see it, or you don’t.” He took another sip.
He was about to tie it all together for her. “Our society works in layers...”
“Oh, my god ... what did you just say?” Her eyes opened wide, and she stared at him. But he didn’t see what was so shocking.
“Our society works in layers. Notice I didn’t say levels. It’s not linear.” This was important. He needed her to see this. “Think of it this way. You consider a person’s worth by their financial statement. This is how much you earn/own, and this is how much you owe/spend. Like, John Smith is worth a billion dollars. With me so far?”
She shook her head ... Someone else subscribes to the layers theory? She continued to stare at him.
“You transcend that, Veronica. There are several more layers of you that you don’t even know. You know that you are very beautiful, but you also have this magnificent charisma, this affect on people. You talk with your clients, your friends, your kids, and with me on completely different “layers”... like a napoleon, yes?”
She nodded her head, still in awe.
“It isn’t that one layer is better than the other, although some will argue that the soaked bottom is best because it has the most flavor; others will say the flaky top is best; still others prefer the middle because it is just the right amount. But one cannot exist without the other. I would very much like to see you discover the layers of yourself. There are many that you have not discovered, and it's only because no one has taught you. You excel in things that you do. You’re quite a virtuoso, and I’d like to teach you about more. Interested?“
I’m being presented with an opportunity. Am I even hearing this correctly? Did he just say that there is another world, layers, that I am worthy of attaining, and that he would like to help me reach and discover these layers? Wasn’t that what I was hoping for when we first met … to learn from him? Concentrate, Nika, this is serious. “I’m more than interested, Jeremy, but I’m unaware of what is required of me.”
He smiled. “Good question. There are many layers here, but let’s deal with the first two. First things first... you have trust issues.”