“Oh yes. I’m innocently testing the cheesecake when I look up to see her standing at the edge of their table. She has that silly smile she gets on her face; you know which one I mean?”
“I do know the one,” I said.
“Well that wasn’t the bad part. The bad part was that the “date” looked shocked she had no idea she was out with a married man. My boss had probably just picked her up at the hotel bar. The boss was obviously pissed and he was looking right at me.”
“She said something about his wife, obviously.”
“She told his girlfriend that she applauded her and the wife’s ability to get along and not be jealous of one another and she thought the whole world could learn a lesson from their example.”
“Oh my god! Did she use that one when she was in the Miss Universe Pageant… like World Peace?” I was laughing, “What did they say?”
“Nothing, to me. I have no idea what they said to her because as soon as she came back and told me what she said, I got her a cab and I left. I guess I will know on Monday if I still have a job.”
“Wait, before you left, did you pay the bill?”
He laughed, “Of course I did. What kind of cheap swine do you think I am?”
I was laughing again. When he finished his story I gave him a hug and said, “Thank you.”
“Making me laugh. It was the best distraction all week.”
“Better than naked Wednesday?” he said.
“You were naked on Wednesday? I didn’t even notice.” He acted like his feelings were hurt and then we both laughed again. It was a fun end to a miserable week. I loved my friend, and since he was the only one left in the world who knew the real me… that made it even better.
I woke up Monday morning determined to just call my boss and tell him that I had decided one week of vacation was more than enough. Grant had nursed me through the weekend with a half dozen rounds of miniature golf, two chick flicks and the worst two games of bowling that were ever played. I loved him for it, but he had to go back to work today and another day home waiting for the phone to ring was liable to put me over the edge. I sat up in bed and looked at the time; it was about eight-fifteen. I reached for the phone just as it rang. My stomach pulled up in brand new knots when I saw the caller I.D., it said, “Hunter Corp.”
I took a few deep breaths and on the third ring I pushed answer and said, “Hello,” in what I hoped was a very professional voice.
“Hi is this Erin Summers?”
“Yes it is.”
“Hello Erin! This is Harlan Broderick from Hunter Corp.”
“Hi Harlan, how are you?”
“I’m fantastic, and yourself?” I am dying to know why you’re calling man!
“The same Harlan. It’s good to hear from you.”
“Well, I think you’ll be even happier to hear from me when you hear that I am calling you to offer you the position you applied for with our company.”
I was trying not to squeal and in the process, I let out a little squeak. I composed myself as much as I could and then I said, “Thank you so much! I’m so happy about this, Harlan.”
“You’re very welcome; we’re going to be very lucky to have you aboard. I’m going to have you call Brenda in Human Resources and she’ll lead you towards what you need to get done to start.”
“Thank you again, Harlan.”
“You’re welcome. Young Mr. Hunter was very impressed with you, and I’ll tell you that he is not the easiest man in the world to impress.”
I thanked him one more time and allowed myself a squeal when I hung up. I was finally on my way to claiming what was rightfully mine and I couldn’t wait. I didn’t realize it just then, but it was going to be another long week. The first thing I did was give my notice to Mr. Lyons who looked like he might cry when I told him. He tried everything he could think of to cajole me into staying, but when the meeting came to an end at last, he hugged me and told me that as soon as I wrapped up whatever loose ends I may have that I was free to go. He had a daughter that had just graduated NYU and he would train her for my position. I felt better about leaving him knowing that.
Then, I called Brenda. She had me come in the next day and I spent hours going over the paperwork and signing at least a hundred documents. I watched welcome videos and read internet articles about the company. It was all part of the new employee orientation that even executives can’t escape. I lived through it all. On Sunday I noticed Grant scrutinizing me with those deep brown eyes of his.