18 comments

Fiction Drama

This story contains sensitive content

Note: Sexual themes and coarse language


I passed Macey, the new girl on the floor. Her head down, smiling and batting her eyelashes at me as I passed her. I did not break sight. Sometimes, I swear I’d even hear her giggle. She couldn’t make it any clearer, she wanted me. Good news for her, I was through with my last 'blowbuddy' and my ‘Thursday’ recently engaged so my schedule was ready for new prospects.


It wasn’t hard to seduce women, really. My Baltimore apartment had a spectacular view over the inner harbor. Enormous sliding doors that, when opened, would let the breeze roll straight in. The glass was triple glazed, perfect for keeping the harbor noise out and the sound of women moaning in. The apartment had a modern, open plan kitchen with stone tops, a one-of-a-kind off-white chesterfield bed frame covered with 1200 thread count Egyptian cotton sheets.


Macey on the other hand, had an apartment on the other side of the floor. A mediocre apartment overlooking the street, half the purchase price of the ones port side and often reserved for renters. This was going to be a cake walk.


Scrolling through available jobs in the area, I twisted the top off my Royal Doulton decanter and poured myself a glass of 1974 Darroze Grand Vas Armagnac. My lifestyle was beginning to shadow my weekly paycheck, so things had to change. I sipped my drink whilst sitting on my massage chair, until I was taken away by a cloud.

The following night, I stepped onto the elevator. Friday night had finally arrived. A silhouette reaching over the tiles towards the door was making its way to the elevator.

Shut

Shut

Shut

Tapping vigorously on the close door button.

           “Hold the door?” A familiar voice called.

I wedged my hand in the door.

           “Hi, thank you so much.” Macey said

Her short tights just long enough to be modest but fitting in all the right places to dig into my imagination.

           “Hey, no problem.”

           “Just finished work?”

           “Yeah.”

           “What do you do?”

           “I work for a tech startup. I’m in charge of logistics. How about you?”

           “I run a Pilates studio downtown.”

           “Cool.”

Hot

           …

“I feel I’ve been rude. You’ve not long moved in, and I haven’t really welcomed you to the building.”

“What did you have in mind?” Macey replied

“Care to join me at my apartment tonight? I’ve got an amazing view over the harbor, it’s the best way to experience it, really.”

“Sounds great.”


Ding. The elevator doors opened.


“Say, 6:30pm? Apartment 419”

“Awesome. I’ll see you then.”


Hook, line and sinker. I stepped off the elevator and turned left, Macey swung a right. I reached my apartment, the glistening gold 419 greeting me as I opened my apartment and fired up the stove. Gnocchi with herbs, garlic sauce and black truffle and a bottle of Chateau Canon, my ticket through the gate tonight.


The door knocked promptly at 6:25.

           “Eager.”

I dimmed the lights, and double checked the door into the master was open. I approached the door and greeted Macey.

           “Wow. Lovely apartment.”

           “Thank you.”

           “How long have you lived here?”

           “Going on 3 years now.”

           “Nice.”

           “How about yourself? Did you buy your apartment?”

“No, only renting at the moment. It’s just temporary until I can find something better, I’m currently on a 3-month lease. I’m hoping something will pop-up in the interim.”

“Good luck. Apartments like this are pretty sought after in the current market.”


The timer went off, and I strained the gnocchi from the boiling water. Sauteing the shallots, I watched Macey as she strolled around the apartment in awe, soaking in the harbor views.

           “Impressive, isn’t it?”

           “It’s amazing.” She replied


Dinner was served, two glasses of Grand Cru Classes B poured. I walked over to Macey and paused, our faces inches apart, eyes locked on one another’s and handed her the glass.


The night was going perfectly, Macey was giggling at all my jokes. Her hand flirtatiously stroking my arm as we sat on my Italian leather couch, her eyes yearning for me to make a move. I reached over and placed my hand on her thigh, my fingertips slowly testing the waters as they ran up her thigh under her dress. I leaned in.

           “May I use your bathroom?” She requested

           “Sure. Just at the end of the hall there.”

I sat there, pent up and rubbing my brow. She wasn’t going to make this as easy as I assumed. I skulled my wine.

           “Another bottle should do the trick.”

I stood up to retrieve another bottle, my footsteps misplaced. Trying to recount the number I’d had and whether I got ahead of Macey. Perhaps I had, I couldn’t really know. Between her laughing, and trying to get a peak up her dress, I’d lost count with her pouring the drinks. I reached into the wine rack and grabbed a second bottle. Poured two new glasses and seeped into the couch awaiting her return.


**


Sunlight streamed in through my eyelids. Attempting to open my eyes, my headache warned me otherwise. I pulled myself from the couch, squinting as I maneuvered my way to the coffee machine. Eyes finally cooperating, I searched the apartment – No Macey.

           “Fuck me.”

I chugged an espresso and a multivitamin and slumped on the bed.


**


A fortnight had passed and not a single encounter with Macey. I did spot her at times, at the door to the apartment building or briefly as she rounded the corner up the hall, her olive complexion, petite breast and tight waist – there was no denying she was a Pilates instructor. I was ready to take my second swing and her shy avoidance of me, if that’s what it was, made me insatiable.


That evening, routinely, I grabbed my decanter and poured myself a glass. Dug my laptop out of my work bag and started scanning for career advancements. I opened my emails to find:


“Dear Mr. Jones,


We saw your profile on LinkedIn, and we’re on the search for a talented individual such as yourself. We’re currently looking for someone to fill the role as Senior Manager of our logistics department.


We understand that you are currently located some hours from our main office, but along with our generous salary and benefits, we’d also like to cover any necessary costs for your relocation.


The attached document outlines your employment contract.


If you wish to accept the role. Please sign and return the document at your earliest convenience. For any further enquiries, please do not hesitate to call.


Regards,

Ruth Winter

Human Resources & Recruiting

Forward Technologies, Pty Ltd.

Contact Details:…”



60-year-old Armagnac nearly went all over the screen. A staggering salary of 220k, with all the benefits and garnishes one’s heart could desire, a considerable rise from my 130k a year. A quick search of Ruth Winters on LinkenIn proved accurate.

Ruth Winters, Human Resourcing & Recruiting

The profile with content dating back 15 years, posts, comments, a variety of associates and employees scattered on her page.

Another for Forward Technologies: Industry leaders in advanced medical technologies. Positive comments, a workforce vast in comparison to the one I was currently engaged. A prestigious looking main office, everything looked high class. The catch, however, uprooting my life and moving hours aways. To say goodbye to the apartment.


The morning had come, cappuccino in hand and ready to go. I made my way to the elevator and stuck my hand in the door in time to prevent closure. The doors reopened and low and behold there was Macey.

        “Good morning.”

        “Good morning.” She replied

There was an uninterested tone in her voice.

        “I haven’t seen you lately?”

        “Yeah, I’ve been pretty busy.”

Her arms crossed in a fashion that made her breast bulge.

“Did you want to come over tonight? Perhaps we could finish what we started the other night.”

“You’re funny.” She said, in a mocking manner.

“Funny?”

“What part of that didn’t you understand?” She smirked

“I’m failing to see where it’s funny. I treated you to dinner and fine wine, but you were to prude to reciprocate. If anything, I find it funny you missed out.”

“You’re just a little boy. Who works at a ‘tech start-up’…

Raising her hands to make air quotations.

who invites gullible women around to his apartment, pretending to be a baller. Expecting women to put-out just because you showed them a view of the harbor. Other women may not see it, but I do. You’re a nobody.”

Ding.


Not a moment to spare Macey swished her hair and walked out of the elevator and through the lobby. My fist begun to whiten as I tightened my grip on my work bag. My ears felt violently hot. I loosened my tie and proceeded to follow her out. 

           “Who does she think she is?”


**


Arriving home that night I kicked my apartment door open, the familiar comfort of glistening gold and the ocean breeze was wasted.

My mind ticked all day.

        “She’s just a Pilate’s instructor.” I assured myself.

Unconvinced, I pried open my laptop. Glanced through the email from the previous night once more and dialed the recruiter.

       “Forward Technologies, Ruth speaking.”

“Hi Ruth, it’s Mr. Jones here. I’m calling in regard to the letter of offer you sent me last night.”

“Of course, I’m glad to be hearing from you. I assume you’ve had some time to think about the proposal?”

“Yes, I have, and I’d like to inform you that I will be accepting the job offer.”

“Fantastic, we’re so pleased to have you.”

“A question regarding the relocation costs, how do you intend to reimburse me?”

“Just keep any and all invoices related to moving and any costs associated with setting up your utilities in your new apartment and we’ll reimburse you in your first pay slip.”

“Great.”


Formalities and start dates discussed, I closed out the phone call. One month to find myself a new place. I emailed my co-workers to inform them of the ‘family emergency’ that would occupy my time for the next month, after all, Forward Technologies could one day be a competitor to my current employee should either company change fields. It’s just business.


I phoned the real-estate agency, one mention of Baltimore apartment and harbor views and suddenly he poked holes all through his schedule. Within the week I had a buyer lined up for my apartment. My apartment now felt rustic in comparison to the one I was moving into. Suddenly, with this new wage, I was catapulted into a lifestyle I only dared to dream of. I would finally be the envy of everyone I met.


**


Two weeks had passed, the day to say farewell to apartment 419. The removalist more concerned with drink breaks then finishing off the apartment. I handed a spare key for the new apartment to one of the laborers and started my journey.


Prior to reaching the apartment, I stopped via the main office. It’s exquisite entrance, grand stone ceilings, trims of gold and silver from entry to elevator. I approached the front desk, ready to be greeted by the eager Ruth.

           “Hello, how may we help you?” the receptionist asked with vigor.

        “Yes, I am here to undertake the position as Senior Manager of the logistics division. Ruth is expecting me.”

        “Yes of course. Allow me to get her for you.”

She dialed the phone.

“Yes, Ruth? There’s a gentleman here to see you at the front desk… About the logistics position.”

A moment passed, and an older woman approached the desk.

“Hi, Ruth.” Extending her hand.

“Hi, it’s nice to put a face to the name.”

“Firstly, allow me to apologize. Everything’s been so chaotic here lately, I’m afraid I don’t know who I’m speaking with.”

“We’ve spoken on the phone over the last couple of weeks. Mr. Jones is my name, I’m here about the Senior Manager logistics positions.”

“I’m sorry, you must have me confused. We aren’t currently looking for anyone to fill that role.”

“Surely. You sent me a letter of offer.”

I pulled out my phone and presented her the email.

        “I’m sorry darling, but that’s not my email, nor is that my contact number.”


Beside myself, I walked out of the building. My skin crawling. Nauseous and legs becoming weak I sat down on a bench outside.

           “What the hell am I going to do?”

I made the only move I had left. I dialed the removalist and told them to turn around.

Frantic, I phoned the real-estate agent and explained what happened. A politely delivered ‘too bad’ sent a shock through my bones. The sale of my harbor view apartment was final, as was my new luxury apartment. The call nearing an end.

“An apartment for rent has just become available in your old building. It’s not as grand as your previous one but…”

“I’ll take it. When can I move in?” I interrupted

“The apartment’s available now, you can move in this afternoon. Apartment number 407.”


**


Unpacked into room 407, I slumped into my couch. My head spinning as traffic blared through the single glazed windows. The weather was cool, but droplets of sweat formed in my hair and on my neck. The coffee table pressed against my shins. I could feel my heart thumping. I tried to refresh myself with a glass of unfiltered water from the noticeably DIY kitchen. I clenched the contact paper covered countertop and squirmed as I swallowed every mouthful.

           “This is a nightmare.”

After searching through my unopened boxes for my decanter, I drank. Sipping away, my nerves finally settled, as shadow grew over my eyes. 


**


Head slumped and my untucked shirt leaning against the sticky, fingerprinted, elevator wall. I clawed away at the itchiness of my scruff on my neck as I stood there in the elevator, awaiting its closure. I closed my eyes, synchronously with the door.

Ding.

The doors reopened; Macey’s slender fingers had caught it just in time.


           “Hi.”

           “Hi Macey.”

           …

        “You don’t look too good, is everything okay?”

        “Family emergency. Nothing I can’t handle.”

I didn’t once bother to make eye contact with her.

Ding.

We both stepped out of the elevator.

“Listen, I know things didn’t end well last time we spoke. But if you need someone to sit down with and hear you. I’m always available.” Macey said, with her arm on my shoulder.

“Thanks. I appreciate that.”

I proceeded to walk right, anticipating closely followed footsteps. However, I found myself only listening to one pair of feet shuffling up the hallway.

I turned.

There was Macey, walking in the opposite direction.

        “What room shall I find you in, should I need it?” I called

“Apartment 419. You’re familiar with it aren’t you? My friend Ruth helped me set it up…  

She turned the key with a smile, swung the door open and glanced back at me with her hazel brown eyes

           … Thank you for that.” 

December 07, 2022 22:39

You must sign up or log in to submit a comment.

18 comments

14:53 Dec 12, 2022

Brilliant opening btw, your prose is really vivid and alive. One of the best openings i've read in a while. I do think the ending could be more nuanced. Looking forward to see what you write next. Was wondering when i saw the word "bogan" and now I see your australian. I spent six months in sydney this year, and saw a whole talk show on ABC about bogan culture, those guys are awesome.

Reply

Phineas Andrews
19:09 Dec 12, 2022

Thanks that‘s very encouraging and I will take the feedback on board. Haha bogan’s are indeed an interesting part of our culture. I’m sure one will make their may into a story sooner or later.

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
Tommy Goround
13:16 Dec 12, 2022

Put an email on bio for feedback. 1) there's about 3 to 400 stories every week and I read this one to the end. Reason? The voice is good. The opener had a certain a****** quality about it that I was really in the mood for. 2) it seemed odd that he would just change his life so fast without even an interview. This part was believable because of the tech industry. 3) I like that he passed out during the wine-attempt, that he had mentally already completed his hunt. He failed to follow through and this was excellent confusion. *I figured the...

Reply

Phineas Andrews
18:57 Dec 12, 2022

Thanks for taking the time to provide quality feedback. No hijacking at all, I appreciate seeing the alternative paths I could’ve taken. I will update my bio with an email asap!

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
Tommy Goround
13:00 Dec 12, 2022

"skulled the wine," is that an easy coast expression? Seems like the second time I've seen it in 2 weeks. Clapping

Reply

Phineas Andrews
19:33 Dec 12, 2022

Thanks for the comment Tommy. Perhaps it an easy coast expression, I’ll keep that in mind.

Reply

Tommy Goround
19:59 Dec 12, 2022

It's kind of funny.

Reply

Show 0 replies
Tommy Goround
19:59 Dec 12, 2022

It's kind of funny.

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 2 replies
Show 1 reply
Helen A Smith
08:38 Dec 12, 2022

Hi Phineas I enjoyed your story. My only question is why would Macey decide to swindle the main character to that level? Is it because he thinks he can have her easily and that makes her want to seek revenge? I think there may need to be a bit more of a backstory to Macey. A little more than you’ve given, but not so much as to make it obvious how things will develop. No easy feat! Alternatively, does Macey want him, but not all cocky like he is, so she decides to set him up, thereby rendering him more vulnerable?

Reply

Phineas Andrews
08:59 Dec 12, 2022

Thanks for the comment. I am still a novice when it comes to writing and short stories really. Firstly, and not so important but a contributing factor, nonetheless, Macey was in need of an apartment, so partially it was an act of desperation. Secondly, it was partly revengeful. Who better to swindle then the sleaze bag that invites to his apartment with such clearly devious intentions. You are right though, perhaps the story would be more compelling if Macey had a previous encounter with a similar sleaze bag.

Reply

Helen A Smith
10:05 Dec 12, 2022

Yes, I guess she was in need of an apartment. It seems a harsh act though. Keep going with the writing. You’re doing a good job. I think it takes years to perfect the craft. I’ve been writing a lot over the past few years and am amazed at the amount of editing needed to get even close to what I want. Other people reading and commenting is helpful because as writers we get so close to our work, we cannot really see it. I’m amazed by other people’s take on a story I’ve written. It’s fascinating.

Reply

Phineas Andrews
12:41 Dec 12, 2022

Absolutely. I really haven’t done much writing. I’ve kind always been too apprehensive to give it a decent go so I was concerned with putting it here on Reedsy. I also don’t have anyone I can bounce stories to, so for me it’s people such as yourself I’ll be listening to for guidance.

Reply

Helen A Smith
13:54 Dec 12, 2022

It does feel risky putting your writing out there, but there seems to be constructive criticism on Reedsy. It’s good to have feedback.

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
Show 1 reply
Show 1 reply
Show 1 reply
Michał Przywara
07:47 Dec 12, 2022

Heh, this was a fun read :) I was wondering if this was how it was going to end - though there was some horror potential when he passed out drunk on his couch, with a savvy stranger in his room. The narrator's a little sleazy, but not evil. In a way he's naïve, given his great superficiality. There's a passage that seemed to sum him up for me: "Suddenly, with this new wage, I was catapulted into a lifestyle I only dared to dream of. I would finally be the envy of everyone I met." That, and all the constant circling around drinks. This is ...

Reply

Phineas Andrews
12:44 Dec 12, 2022

Thanks very much for you comment. It makes me incredibly happy to see someone get some enjoyment from it. And indeed it was. A much needed serve of humble pie for the MC.

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
Hatt Genette
21:55 Dec 11, 2022

Hiya, I'm here to leave a little comment and a few pinches of constructive criticism on this lovely little story of yours :D First off, the premise of the narrative and the overall structure for setting up the twist are quite good and ensured that I kept reading to find out what happened. The only main issue I feel you might want to check back on is pacing. Handling pacing well is a difficult side of writing, tying in with tension; overall, each contributes to emphasising your story's twist (which was nice). Unfortunately, there were a few ...

Reply

Phineas Andrews
01:12 Dec 12, 2022

No perfectly understandable, I appreciate the feedback and will definitely take it on board.

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
Phineas Andrews
22:45 Dec 07, 2022

Hello all, thanks for taking the time to read the story. This is my first time submitting any work. Looking forward to receiving feedback.

Reply

Show 0 replies