by Lord Malinov
“Hey, Brian,” said Tim as he stuck his head into my office. “We need you to interview this woman in about ten minutes. She’s already talked to Phil and Nancy and she’s meeting with Irene now. She’s already hired but we’re trying to figure out where to use her.”
“Gotcha,” I replied.
“Here’s her resume. I’ll send her over when she’s done with Irene. Phil thinks she’d be good for your team.”
“That would be nice,” I said, barely believing it was possible. Most of the kids they send me are enthusiastic but worthless when it came to the crunch.
“You’ll like this one,” Tim said with a smile. “She’s experienced.”
I looked down at the paper in my hand, curious now. The list of jobs and responsibilities was immediately impressive. This was no kid. Then I looked at the letter head.
“Shit,” I said. “Monica.”
I assumed, during the rush of emotion than heated my face and shortened my breath, that it was only a coincidence. Odds were slim, I told myself, that this Monica could be my Monica. But every line I read seemed to make it more possible, until finally Bayes led me to conclude it was true. Finally, I saw the oldest listing for her work experience.1987. Corman’s office. That was no coincidence.
Tim opened my door with a lazy knock. “Miss Sherman,” he announced.
I rose and took her dumbfounded hand.
“Shit,” she said. “Brian?”
“Thanks, Tim. I’ll bring her back when we’re done.”
“I didn’t know,” she said, when Tim had shut the door on us. “I wouldn’t have applied if I’d known.”
“How have you been?”
“Good,” she replied. “I’ve been good. What is it now, thirty years?”
“Wow. Seems like yesterday.”
“It does and it doesn’t. It seems like ages.”
“Andy works here,” I said.
“No kidding? Maggie’s the one who gave me the lead.”
“Yeah, that’s right. I forgot Maggie worked at Cormans.”
“I didn’t know her then. We do yoga together.”
“I see you’ve been busy. I thought you moved to Seattle.”
“I did. I married Roy and we went to the coast to work with Singer.”
“I don’t think I knew him.”
“Tall guy, balding, worked on the Gruyers case.”
“Oh, tax guy.”
“He taxed me.”
“Back to Dallas in ‘99?”
“We couldn’t make it work. I had to get away. No kids, though. That was part of the problem.”
“Yeah, work too.”
“I’m sorry, Brian.”
“I’ve always regretted the way we ended.”
“It was inevitable.”
“I know. But I didn’t have to just abandon you like that, with hardly a word.”
“You said, ‘no,’ and that sufficed.”
“Yeah, I suppose it did.”
“I guess you broke my heart but that was several hearts ago. I got over it.”
“I did too. But I was always sorry.”
“I know you were. There was nothing easy about being young.”
“We were just kids.”
“I learned from the experience. That’s as much as we can hope for, really.”
“Yeah, but I’m sorry for it.”
“Never mind. I do need someone who can handle a deposition on my team.”
“That’s what I do but I should probably just go.”
“Don’t. The past is gone and while I’m glad we shared some of the crazy times together, and sad that we never managed to get together, but that’s ancient history. We’re old, older anyway, and we can’t let what has been foul what might be.”
“No shit, Monica. Welcome aboard and let’s do some law.”
“Thanks, Brian. I could use a new start.