Summers 2C

“The Route 20 files.” Scott’s smile melted, like ice cream mistakenly placed under a heat lamp. He pointed behind him with his thumb. “I found them, you’d uploaded them to the Projects drive before you left Friday for once, instead of keeping them on your hard drive.”

Jane Summers brought her hands up to her temples, closed her eyes and rubbed hard with her fingertips. “This is — so weird.”

Gary walked over, laid a hand gently on her arm. “Something tells me you want to say something, but are afraid of how we’ll react.” Jane looked into Gary’s eyes, nodded slowly. “Jane, how long have we known each other?”

Jane shrugged. “I don’t know — since I was a kid. Thirty years?”

“Exactly. I think I’ve heard it all from you before, there’s nothing you could say that would surprise me.” He turned to Scott, his tall body still within the door frame. “Maybe you should — ”

“No, please stay.” She looked at Scott, pointed to one of the two chairs on the other side of Gary’s desk. “I want — what I’ve got to say, I think — the more people I tell it to, the more likely I’m going to believe it myself.”

Gary looked quickly back at Scott. “But you should probably get the door.” Jane’s tone suggested she was more giving an order rather than making a recommendation. Scott shrugged, stepped forward and closed the door behind him. Gary sat in his desk chair, which creaked wearily as he leaned back. He folded his hands behind his head, and continued his reassuring tone. “Why don’t you start, at the beginning.”

Jane cleared her throat. “Not sure where this all started, to be honest.” She shook her head. “Look, there’s one thing we need to get clear on before I start. Honestly, have I ever said anything  . . . and I mean anything . . . which would make you guys think that I was – losing it?”

Scott laughed. “Don’t you have to have it first before losing it?”

Gary brought his right hand forward, pointed his palm at Scott. “Jane, in all honesty, there’s been days when you haven’t been too pleasant to be around, and days when I’ve been glad you’ve left early, and days I’ve been glad to see you go on vacation.  I’ve told you this before — you’re a hothead, and sometimes you’re too honest for your own good.  You can be blunt, rude even, and when you’re in one of your moods you can say some pretty wild things.  Now if that’s what you mean by losing it — ”

“No, not that.  I’m not talking about shooting my mouth off.  I mean, have I ever seriously presented an idea, a concept, that was so bizarre that it left you wondering if I was insane?”

Gary broke eye contact with her, looked down quickly before responding. “Ah . . . I’d have to say no.”

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