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.
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?”
“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.”
“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.”
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.
I dimmed the lights, and double checked the door into the master was open. I approached the door and greeted Macey.
“Wow. Lovely apartment.”
“How long have you lived here?”
“Going on 3 years now.”
“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.
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.
Human Resources & Recruiting
Forward Technologies, Pty Ltd.
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.” 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.
“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.”
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.”
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.
The doors reopened; Macey’s slender fingers had caught it just in time.
“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.
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.
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.”