The Mayor looks up from his letter-reading to smile paternally at his secretary as she hands him his coffee and heads back to her own desk with her tea.
"Ah, Shelley. Are you feeling better today? You have a bandage, I see."
"Yes," she confirms seriously. "So I will be okay now. I just slipped, but today is fine."
"Excellent, excellent," he says vaguely. "Very good, bandages. Oh, there's your letters on your desk. That Jeremy from down the hall has some papers I believe you wanted."
Shelley freezes. "Really? He has them?"
So soon? she almost asks, but represses the question along with the sudden, wild stab of hope. About a week ago, she must have asked him, hardly expecting it to work...
How do you make somebody exist? She had been asking herself. It had been hard enough finding a place for herself to live when she was officially dead, but at least she still had her passport and health insurance papers, and a place to live where they didn't bother to check much beyond looking at those. But Copper Edge won't let her anywhere near it, now. Rumour has it that all redheads have to undergo a cavity search and DNA test before they enter the zone at all.
So a 'friend,' without any official existance at all, even evidence of illegal travel into the country that could at least have provided something to work from... impossible, she had thought, sunk into despair, but had tried anyway, handing over the birth certificate Tim had sent her...
She swallows, scanning the note that accompanies a small folder.
We'll need a photograph if he wants a passport, but the birth certificate you sent over seems to be in order, and since you vouch for him, I think we can say it is okay! One of the flats in Blackwood Heights is free now, so perhaps we can sort your friend out in time to move to there. Give me a ring when he can come for an interview.
It seems, maybe, that it sort of worked.
And now all she has to do is tell him.