“Ms. Weathers?” A young man was calling her name.
“Yes?” She glanced up at him. He wasn’t overly tall, and she figured him to be about 30.
“Are you all right? I’ve been talking to you for the past five minutes and you haven’t responded.”
“Oh, I’m sorry. I was just lost in thought. Please, continue.”
“I was just explaining to you that we are willing to approve your loan, but we need some information from you first. I need specifics on the building, I need paperwork showing that it is up to code, or if it’s not, how you are going to get it up to code. I’m afraid that we can’t give you a loan unless everything is legitimate. I’m sure you understand.”
“I have everything in order. The building itself is empty and abandoned, but I have a note from the city that you require. I just need the loan to purchase the building.”
“Why would you want an empty building? What do you intend to do with it? As it stands now, the value of the building isn’t worth the cost of the loan.”
“Ah, but I have plans. When I am finished with the building, it will have returned its value over sixty times. It is to become an art gallery. I have the blue prints and design plans for you to approve as well.”
“This is all fine. May I have these documents to pass on to the loan committee for their approval? They will meet this afternoon to discuss your loan.”
Blair opened her briefcase and handed him all the paperwork she needed. The blueprints were rolled up and the loan officer’s eyes widened when he saw the plans.
“These plans are not cheap. Marbled floors, gold faucets, living fountains? I don’t think we’ve given a loan of the size you are asking for. Your only collateral is an empty, abandoned building not worth the ground it sits on?”
“The living fountain is art. It will be created, not installed. Trust me, the costs are less then you are expecting. The name ‘Weathers’ should be enough collateral for your loan committee, as much money as my father has invested in this bank for the past fifty years.” Blair refused to let the young, haughty man deny her.
“I will need the contact information for your contractor then so we can verify the costs will not exceed the loan amount.”
“I have that information right here in my purse.”
She turned her purse over and dumped the contents all over the young man’s desk, pushing some of his stuff onto the floor. Despite all the paid for organization, Blair’s purse was a disaster area. She was afraid to put her car keys or cell phone in it for fear of never seeing them again. She likened it to Mary Poppins’ bottomless carpet bag because of the way it seemed to swallow things whole. Her impatience showing, she began sorting through the cacophony on the desk, trying to drown out the memories that crowded her mind as she discovered things she had thought lost in her search for the contractor’s business card. It’s a good thing I don’t carry this purse all the time, she thought to herself. I really need to start cleaning them out, too. She slowly started picking things up, one at a time, some of them being hastily shoved back into her purse (like the spare tampons and dental floss, her eyeglasses and case for when she loses a contact), others moving slowly from desk to purse as she mused over them. She took a particularly long pause over a tube of lipstick. She opened the cap and twisted it until the merlot color showed at the top of the tube. Her mind drifted and she started to think about him again, remembering a happier time when life wasn’t so hectic and the sky seemed bluer.
The sound of the young banker clearing his throat brought her back to earth. “I have a tight schedule, Ms. Weathers. I am already late. I really need that information, or we will have to wait another day.”
“No, no, another day won’t do. I’ve already waited longer then I should have to, and there’s another bidder trying to take the building from underneath me. I need this decided today. It’s here, I promise you, and I will find it within the next minute or so.” She sighed and dropped the lipstick back in her purse.
It was soon joined by a packet of tissues from the funeral of her father’s oldest and best friend, the roll of double sided tape her seamstress gave her on the way to the dinner with the business attorney she wanted to work with, the travel size hairspray and comb she kept in every purse for windy days, a Tide pen for messy lunches in her Prada suits, a pair of gold hoop earrings she took off one evening when she wanted to listen to some music through headphones in a music store, the three tubes of lip gloss she hadn’t seen in forever, two forgotten paint brushes, and a mini sketch pad that was supposed to have given her ideas for her new canvas. She finally found the contractor’s business card stuck the bottom of a can of winterfresh Altoids. She offered the banker one, which he refused, and popped one in her mouth as she handed him the card. She scooped up the last of her belongings and dropped them in her purse. “I told you I would find it. Now, when can I expect an answer?”
“The meeting usually lasts for about three hours. I should know something by 7:00 pm. Would you prefer I contact you via your cell phone, or via your home phone?”
“I haven’t finalized my evening plans yet. I’ll call you.” She picked up the business card on the corner of the desk and studied it. The name on the card read Topher Stevens, JP Morgan Chase Bank Officer, and had his phone number listed on the bottom. “This is the number I can reach you personally with?”
“That’s the office number. You may not get an answer tonight if you call after 7 pm, since it will automatically switch over to the answering service. Let me give you my cell phone number as well.” He took the card from her, flipped it over, and quickly scribbled his number down on it. When he handed it back, she could smell his cologne on the card. He watched as she held it under her nose for a few seconds before sliding it into her bra.
“For safe keeping, lest it ends up on the bottom of a can of Altoids,” she told him. His hazel eyes lingered over her breasts a little longer then they should have before he looked away. The smile on her face told him she had caught him looking. She coyly raised one of her finely waxed eyebrows and started walking away. “Perhaps we will have something to celebrate later. Ta ta!”
This week’s prompt was: ““Your protagonist empties the contents of his/her pockets, purse, and/or backpack onto a table. What all was dumped onto the table?””
I’m a little stumped as to where to go next. I have 3 million ideas for this story, plots and twists, it’s just the getting there that’s causing the biggest issues…and I am only 3,000 words in. Ay-yi-yi. I’m going to make like the Little Blue Engine and puff “I think I can” all the way over the mountain……