“I thought you’d be taller,” was as clever as I could muster.
“Siddown,” he clipped, never taking his eyes off mine.
I lowered myself into what looked like plush fabric but felt like concrete. Despite myself I thought the “taller” line over in my head. I must have smiled because his eyes smoldered, his brow furrowed and this time he barked: “SIDDOWN!”
I couldn’t have sat more upright if I’d wanted to. The chair seemed unwilling to admit it was there for comfort, only active repose, if that even makes sense. He seemed likewise inclined; sitting forward ready for action, willing to pounce.
“Take out the ruling.” No big flourishes, just a meaty jab towards the folio on my lap.
“Here?” I questioned before I could stop myself.
No harsh words or tone or yelling now. Just a slight up-turn of one corner of his mouth. It wasn’t a smile you wanted to have shared with you.
“This is the new reality,” was all he said.
“History will not judge this kindly,” I thought to no one in particular. No one who would care.