Farrah’s blue eyes were once caring and full of happiness, at least I think they were. As they burned holes into me across her desk it was hard to picture her like that.
After staring at me for a good couple minutes she sighed, sat back in her chair and crossed her arms. “What do you want Wylder?”
I couldn’t help but smile a little, which I knew would only make her mad. She called me by my last name, like I’ve never seen her naked before. “Good to see you too, Farrah.”
She sat forward letting the bangs of her blonde hair fall into her face. The rest was pulled back into a tight bun at the nape of her neck. She used to hate wearing her hair up. When we were together it was always down and wild, just like her. “I don’t have time for this.” she growled.
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“Okay, okay. We need to plan the reunion. You know, us being prom king and queen all those years ago.”
She pressed her lips together, holding back a smile. I knew my Farrah was still in there somewhere. She took a deep breath and shook her head. “Collin. Get to the point or get out of my office.”
I sighed and got the contract out of my bag, sliding it dramatically across the desk.
Her eyes scanned it for a second with a bored look. “And?”
“You’re tearing down our old neighborhood Farrah, you can’t do that.”
She slapped the paper down and looked at me dead in the eyes, let’s just say if looks could kill, I was a goner. “You’re in no position to tell me what I can and can’t do.”
I felt sweat form on my hairline and I suddenly remembered where I was. I took a deep breath. “Okay, just hear me out please. This is our neighborhood. Our tree house is still there. These are the streets we walked every day to get to school. You can’t just bulldoze that!”
She blinked hard and looked up at the ceiling, like this was the most ridiculous thing she had ever heard. “You think memories are going to prevent me from tearing it down? I know what it was, but I don’t care about that, Wylder.” She stared me down again. “I’m looking toward the future. I’m not going to let some sentimental bullshit ruin that. The land would be more efficient as apartment buildings. This growing age, we have no use for those unnecessarily large houses.”
“But what about the people who live in those houses?” I kept my voice soft and gentle.
She put her fingers up slightly and made a face at me. “Once the buildings are built, they are welcome to rent an apartment there if they wish.”
I searched her eyes for something except fire, but saw no signs of life. “Remember Mr. Opali from Pleasant St.?”
She waited for me to say more rather than answering my question. I knew she remembered. She probably thought it would be a waste of her time to answer me. “He lost his job at the mill when the new mall was built, which correct me if I’m wrong, was your doing. He can barely pay his bills now! You want to make him pay rent?”
Her eyes softened for a second I thought, but then hardened again. “We don’t need mills. We have machines to do that work. It was his fault for getting a job in such a trivial industry in the first place.” Her jaw tightened. “Collin, I let you in here because we were friends…”
“Friends?” I interrupted.
She sighed “Lovers, even. But if you have nothing of importance to say then I have more efficient things to do with my time.” Her eyes flashed with hope. I knew she must have ran through this conversation in her head like she does with everything. I knew there was only one thing I could say to prevent her from kicking me out, but unfortunately for us both, I didn’t know what. “Do you still sing to yourself while you pee?”
Her face immediately told me that that was not it. She stood up and pointed to the door. “Out. Now.”
When I hesitated her voice grew louder “Do I need to call security?”
I stood up. “No, no. I’m going.” I reached into my bag and took out my last resort, our homecoming crowns. I placed them on her desk. She didn’t stop me. I turned and strode towards the door. I paused before opening them and looked back at her. Her gaze snapped from the crowns back to me. “See you later, Queen Farrah, ” I laughed.
I dreaded going home to tell my Mom it didn’t work. To tell everyone it didn’t work.
But when I stepped through the door I was greeted by cheers and laughter. Mom hugged me. “You did it Colly!” Excitement blew across her face even with my confusion. I couldn’t find words. What did she mean? But then I saw it. There was Farrah on the TV, having a press conference about her new plans to build the apartment buildings into the mountains, rather than tearing down the towns. She didn’t say why she changed her mind, but I knew it was me. Not only that but I knew she wanted me to know. For the first time since she became mayor, her hair was down.