Chapter 29: In This Town (Boredom eats me like Cancer)

The Surprising Life and Death of Diggory Franklin

I reached my office at about five to nine, which was extremely late for my usual routine. Lorraine glared at me.

“Thought maybe you were calling in,” she said. “Ms. Brown has left a message.”

“I’ll call her myself. Good morning, Lorraine.” I tried a smile.

“Good morning, sir.” She didn’t.

“Lorraine, do you want to come to Colorado? Or would you prefer to stay here and run the office, be my eyes and ears?”

She raised an eyebrow over her glasses. “I get a choice?”

“Of course.”

Lorraine looked at me funny through her glasses, that steely gaze boring into my soul. I shivered.

“You’re acting strangely lately.”

“You said that before.”

“It’s still true.” She paused, holding her hands together on her desk. “Be that as it may, I would rather stay home than travel.”

“I’d love to have you here running the office. It’s easier than getting someone else familiar, and I know I can rely on you to keep it organized while I’m gone.”

“Thank you, sir.”

“Good. Glad that’s settled. I’m going to go call Ms. Brown.”

“Don’t forget that you have coffee on your shirt, sir.” Lorraine said as I slipped into my office. I shrugged sheepishly.

“Vanessa, it’s Diggory,” I said once she came on the phone.

“Good morning! All ready for your interviews?”

“Yes, are they all scheduled?”

“First one starts in fifteen minutes, conference room three. See you there?”

“I’ll be right down.”

I grabbed the spare shirt I kept in my closet and changed while I glanced over my calendar for the day. I took a moment, trying to gather my thoughts. Calla had left me pretty shaken. I breathed slowly, and then headed to the conference room. I entered and sat down with Vanessa on one side of the conference table. She had the files for each of the three interns in front of her, including their resumes.

“Who’s first?”

“Carrie Harrison.”

The energetic Ms. Harrison came into the room a few moments later with a big smile and a hearty handshake. She sat down with straight posture and faced us. Her hair was cut short, with just enough gel to make it shiny and edgy, a modern-yet-professional look. She seemed very focused as we asked our questions.

I let Vanessa handle most of them. I wanted a sense of her operating style, as we had never really worked together before. She asked some pretty insightful questions, hitting both legal expertise and personal style, which mattered almost as much. We didn’t want to take a personality we’d find incompatible with our own.

Truthfully, I was bored with the process after three questions. I don’t need to hear lawyers talk law, and I knew from the way they interacted that Vanessa would get along with Carrie. Unimpressed with the dialogue, I couldn’t help but let my mind wander along irrelevant paths. First, was the realization that Carrie would one day become a Soccer Mom. She had that attitude, the one that says “Hey Team, I’ll bring the Kool Aid and bake some brownies!” Except maybe she’d lean towards healthier fare. She wasn’t a lifer, that was for sure. It’s just something you can see in a lawyer.

Vanessa, for example, would never turn into Super Soccer Mom. She was too elegant, too refined. She’d possibly transform into Sexy Socialite Mom, the kind who hired nannies and ran benefits, and organized cocktail parties, unless she continued to work.

Inevitably, I wondered what Calla would turn into, in a few years. I had avoided thinking about her since returning to the office, but she found her way back into my thoughts. What would she become? The Sexy Physics Professor? Were there such things? She had a simple clarity to the way she dressed, a sense of restrained style, so she wouldn’t have much trouble fitting in with the upper class. Yet I could also see her baking. It was a weird thought: being mostly a fantasy, with a lively existence in my head, Calla could become anything. Who was she really? Did I really want to find out?

“Thank you for coming, Carrie,” I stood up and shook hands with her. As she left, I turned to Foxy.

“Who’s next?”

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