That unearthly voice jolted him from his reverie.
Mr.Lee Johnson stood in front of him, blocking out the fluorescent light. It beamed behind his thinning dark hair, which was severely combed in thin strands over his scalp, giving it a strange and severe kind of look.
“Are you all right?”
Zach gawked at him. He wasn’t sure what to say, so he blurted out what came to mind:
He instantly realized he had said the wrong thing, but it was too late to take it back now. Johnson was eying him firmly, churning out the words,
“I’d like to have a word with you… I sent that note.”
Zach decided not to fight this one, and simply nodded slowly as he rose to his feet. He followed Johnson to his office, which hadn’t changed much since Nilla had occupied it. He slammed the door behind him, at which Johnson jumped and quietly snapped at him, “Don’t slam the door.”
“Sorry,” Zach murmured, although a part of him wasn’t. He liked slamming doors; it made him feel less angry. His gaze shifted around the room, taking in an empty goldfish bowl on top of blue file cabinet and a law degree in a gleaming silver frame.
Slowly, Zach’s eyes drifted down to the steel-framed photo on the desk, idly guessing that the madly grinning woman was probably the guy’s wife, mainly because that kid next to her was definitely Gentry. Even though she was smiling, it looked very grotesque since her eyes were glaring out from beyond the frame. Her paste-colored arms were rigidly clasped around this ugly gremlin of a kid, who squinted at the camera with his weird old-man face. Those amber eyes hadn’t changed, not one bit. Staring out from under a gray hunting cap, peering over the coarse green scarf; murky then as they were now. It felt weird to think how this fantastically ugly gremlin was the same boy he had currently— well, fucked.
In fact… it was downright weird to think about it that way.