Beartown by Fredrik Backman

Beartown by Fredrik Backman

Author:Fredrik Backman
Language: eng
Format: epub
Publisher: Atria Books


27

The lump in Kira’s stomach refuses to give up its grasp. She keeps telling herself that there’s nothing wrong with Maya, that she’s just a normal teenager, that it’s just a phase. She keeps telling herself to be the cool mom. It’s not working.

So when her colleague blunders in through the door, Kira feels grateful rather than annoyed. Even though she’s got an ocean of work to drown herself in, she’s relieved to see her standing there shouting that she needs “help crushing these bastards!”

“Didn’t this client agree to a settlement?” Kira asks as she scans the document her colleague tosses onto her desk.

“That’s the problem. They want me to back down. Like some sort of coward. And do you know what the Badger says?”

“Do as the client sa . . . ,” Kira suggests.

“DO AS THE CLIENT SAYS! THAT’S WHAT HE SAYS! Can you believe that he’s in charge? IN CHARGE! What is it with men? Have they got a different density from women, or what? How come anyone with a dick always rises to the top of every single organization?”

“Okay . . . but if your client accepts the terms, then . . .”

“Then that’s my job? Go to hell! Isn’t it my job to look after my client’s best interests?”

Kira’s colleague is bouncing up and down with anger, her heels leaving little marks in the floor of the office. Kira rubs her forehead.

“Well, yes, but maybe not if the client doesn’t actually want you to . . .”

“My clients have no idea what they want!”

Kira looks at the document, sees the name of the firm representing the other party. And starts to laugh. Her colleague applied for a job there once, and didn’t get it.

“Okay, but the fact that you want to win this particular case . . . that wouldn’t be because you just happen to hate this particular firm . . . ?” Kira mutters.

Her colleague grabs her over the desk, her eyes flashing:

“No, I don’t just want to win, Kira. I want to crush them! I want to give them an existential crisis. I want them to walk out of the negotiation room and think that they might like to move to the coast and renovate an old school and open a bed-and-breakfast. I want to hurt those bastards so badly that they start meditating and trying to FIND THEMSELVES! They’ll turn vegetarian and be wearing socks with sandals by the time I’m finished with them!”

Kira sighs and laughs.

“Okay, okay, okay . . . give me the rest of the file and let’s take a look . . .”

“Socks with SANDALS, Kira! I want them to start growing their own tomatoes! I want to ruin their self-confidence until they stop being lawyers and try to be HAPPY and shit like that instead! Okay?”

Kira promises. They close the door. They’re going to win. They always do.

* * *

Peter closes the door behind him. Sits down at his desk. Stares at the resignation papers that are waiting for Sune’s signature.



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