Chapter 3 - Mannequins
Melanie placed her luggage to the side of the empty desk - now, Paola assumed, her desk - and dashed into the bathroom to freshen up after her flight. Paola motioned for Chiara to come downstairs with her and they both quickly descended the curved staircase to the landing below where Chiara stopped. Paola gave her a frustrated look and motioned for her to continue following her into the conference room.
“I want to talk to you? Why would you stop on the landing? You know that the sound travels up and down from landing to landing.”
“What do you want, Paola?”
“Have you spoken with this Melanie before? Do you know her?”
“Yes. She was here when I first started before we had this office. She’s very nice and is very smart. She help me a lot to start the office with Meredith when we worked from Roberta’s son’s apartment.”
“Why didn’t you tell me about her?”
“Why didn’t you ask?”
“Chiara - don’t be smart with me. If I had…….
Just then, Melanie bounded down the last two steps and was at the doorway. Paola jumped slightly and suddenly changed tone.
“And when you’ve finished changing the mannequins, then I’ll have another project for you.”
“Change what mannequins?”
“The ones I told you about.”
Chiara looked at her like she had no clue what she was talking about and wandered back upstairs. Melanie looked at Paola quizzically. She then turned and closed the double doors leading into the conference room.
“So! It is great to have some time with you. I had spent about a week with Chiara very early on as Roberta was finalizing the lease for this space. She tells me that you were at Andrea Lee for several years.”