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Unchanged

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“There is nothing like returning to a place that remains unchanged.” -Nelson Mandela

 

Three Months After Paris

 

Andy couldn’t believe she was back at Runway. And willingly, at that. All it took was an excited phone call from Emily at 3 AM.

 

“You won’t believe what just happened,” the woman on the other end of the phone announced gleefully. Andy, who had just woken up, was taken aback. “What?” She couldn’t contain her yawn and glanced at a clock on the wall. There was an exasperated huff on the other end, which she guessed was accompanied by an eyeroll as well. “That pathetic, snivelling girl that took your position has just been fired. Could you be any slower on the uptake?” Andy frowned confusedly. “That’s... good?”

 

“Of course it is! You know what this means? Miranda will be needing a second assistant again.”

 

Andy sat up straight in her bed, realisation dawning on her. Her heart skipped a beat.

 

“You’re saying I should come back to Runway.” That wasn’t a question. She ran a hand through her chestnut brown hair, her eyes widening. “I-I don’t know what to say,” she remarked, only speaking the truth.

 

While she enjoyed her comfortable new job at the New York Mirror, it had been dull, to say the least. She was unaccustomed to sitting at her computer for hours writing, and getting home before midnight. The routine of early morning dashes for Miranda’s coffee and late nights spent driving to her townhouse had become so regular.

 

As much as it pained her to admit it, life without Runway was dull.

 

“Would Miranda let me come back, though?” She asked slowly. Even if she wanted to return, Andy wasn’t sure whether or not the formidable editor remembered who the hell she was.

 

“Bloody hell, she’s constantly talking about you. Miranda’s called me Andrea more times than I care to count, and fired the new girl because she whined she was sick of constantly being compared to you.”

 

Andy couldn’t help but blush a bit at these words.

 

“Without you here, she has been absolutely insufferable. If you feel compelled to decline the offer, that’s fine. Just know that I’ll delete your number from my contacts and have no choice but to gouge my own eyes out.” Emily laughed dryly.

 

Andy pondered this, drumming her fingers on her thigh. “I need time to think about it,” she said petulantly.

 

“No. I expect to see you in the Elias-Clarke building tomorrow,” she said with finality. “Now goodbye.” Emily promptly hung up on her, leaving Andy with an incredulous look on her face as she stared blankly at a wall.

 

Back to Runway, the Book, coffee runs.

 

Back to her. Miranda.



Andy showed up at the Elias-Clark building on time, which meant she was there fifteen minutes before her appointment with Emily. It had been nearly a year since she walked in, onion bagel and atrocious briefcase in hand. Certainly felt longer than that.

 

Up the elevator she went, walking down the hall, opening the glass doors. Andy found solace in its familiarity.

 

“Andrea!” Andy was greeted by Emily, who ran at the speed of light towards her in stiletto heels. The brunette woman instinctively took a step back.

 

“Bloody hell, I’m glad you actually came. We need to get your to Miranda’s office immediately.” She said that last part matter-of-factly, like Andy was some important folder or Polaroid from a photoshoot.

 

“Nice to see you too, Emily.” Andy couldn’t help but grin. The auburn-haired woman grabbed her by the arm and practically dragged her to Miranda’s office, her hold firm and a bit painful.

 

But Andy was too busy processing the fact that Emily was happy to see her. Almost a year ago she had gone to Paris with Miranda, leaving her with a broken leg. Guess she wasn’t the kind to hold grudges.

 

Or maybe she just couldn’t put up with Miranda’s bullshit anymore and was willing to form a temporary alliance.

 

Either way, Andy enjoyed it.

 

Whatever bubbly feelings she had earlier pretty much disappeared when she entered the Devil’s Den.

 

It hadn’t changed at all, and neither had the woman sitting at the desk apparently.

 

She was on the phone, clearly in the middle of some kind of verbal assault on a poor employee.

 

“Jocelyn, how many times must I repeat myself? No, the Manhattan shoot is no longer happening. Seems as though you would benefit greatly from learning to listen, or perhaps you could grow a few brain cells. You didn’t hear me when I said I didn’t want florals for spring, and you were evidently not listening when I-”

 

Miranda’s breath hitched when she looked up from the spread in front of her. Andy’s blood chilled. The snow-haired woman didn’t looked particularly pleased to see her ex-employee.

 

“That’s all,” she said hastily into the phone, hanging up. The pair had Miranda’s undivided attention now. Andy noticed Emily swallow nervously.

 

“Why, hello Andrea.” Miranda rested her face in her hands, blue eyes calculating. “What a lovely surprise.” The coldness of her voice spoke otherwise.

 

There was a moment of silence.

 

“Right, well I have to get back to the phones, Demarchelier should be calling now,” Emily said quickly, nearly running back to her desk.

 

Andy gave her a pleading look before the auburn-haired assistant took her leave, but was ignored.

 

“I must say, I was quite disappointed when you walked out on me,” her voice level now, and Andy couldn’t help but shiver as Miranda’s eyes trailed up and down her.

 

No one walked out on Miranda. Well, except her three ex-husbands, she thought. But Andy held her tongue.

 

“But I’m even more disappointed that you’re back. Whatever happened to living your wide-eyed fantasy of becoming a journalist?”

 

“Maybe later,” Andy said decisively. “It wasn’t as interesting as I had hoped it would be.”

 

The editor’s eyes shone with genuine amusement. “How intriguing,” she said wryly.

 

“Uh, so am I hired?” Andy asked awkwardly, not wanting to sound like she was begging. She shifted from one foot to the other, not quite knowing what to do with herself.

 

Miranda let out an almost defeated sigh, rolling her eyes. “Get me coffee. Make sure it’s scalding. That’s all.” She redirected her focus and deadly gaze to the mess of papers in front of her.

 

Andy couldn’t help but grin like an idiot as she raced out of the building. It was nice to be back.