If you were to disappear, well, if you were to go away is probably a more appropriate term, would anyone miss you, would anyone care? What would happen if you decided to give up your life, to walk away from everything that you know, everyone you know and love, and become someone else, something else. In the case of Bob Gibson, that is exactly what he had to ask himself. He had six weeks to decide, to put his affairs in order so to speak, making sure that he could make the transition to his new life with little or no suspicions being aroused by anyone. The story he told his coworkers was that he inherited a rather sizeable piece of land and some money from a distant relative in Germany and he was going to retire and move there to get away from the rat race. In reality, he was going to be moving less than 10 miles away and he, well, let's just say that he was not going to be living a life of luxury.
Everything in his life turned upside down when he was sitting at work like any other day and a woman entered his bank branch and asked to speak to someone about investing a large sum of money. As he stood to greet her and shake her hand and escort her to his desk, little did he know that he was about to change the course of his life drastically and forever.
"Yes, Ms. Maxwell, how can I help you today?"
Elaine Maxwell was a Black woman who looked like she could have been in her late 40s. Her form-fitting red suit hugged every curve of her mature, sexy body. Her black, silk stockings caressed her beautiful legs and her tasteful and sophisticated pumps framed her sexy feet to perfection. Her hair was straight and hung just below her shoulders and her face was stern but pretty. She wasn't drop-dead gorgeous or anything, she had aged well but she wasn't going to stop traffic by any means. What she did possess in spades, while possibly lacking the looks of a runway model, was an air of confidence that couldn't be denied. It oozed from every pore of her body, she reeked of being in control and even a casual observer could see that she was a ball-buster of the highest order.
"I've just come into a large amount of money and I need to set up several different accounts."
"Well, Ms. Maxwell, I'm sure we can help you with that. Exactly how much money are we talking about and what sort of accounts would you like to set up? We have several products that might be able to help you."
She said casually, "I have a total of $1,250,000 and I'm looking to set up an interest bearing checking account, a savings and business checking account, a money market deposit account, and I need a couple of CDs. Oh, and a personal checking account as well.
The look of astonishment could barely be hidden on Bob's face. In an average month, he wouldn't get one person with anywhere near that amount of money to invest. Sure, there were lots of people with those sorts of balances he had worked with before but they were the result of interest and investments and smaller, incremental deposits, not one large sum of money. He laughed nervously. "Wow, did you win the lottery," trying to think of a way to hide his clear shock and awe? Regretting his choice of words immediately, he shuffled papers on his desk and he felt about an inch tall. He knew it wasn't appropriate or professional to ask and he wished he could eat his words but his mind was searching, scrambling, wondering how she could have come into that much money at one time. There was a part of his brain that couldn't process a Black woman could have that sort of money without thinking there was some sort of criminal enterprise involved: drugs, prostitution, or perhaps larceny. He recovered quickly, saying, "I'm sure we can help you with those things. Have you consulted with anyone about some higher risk investments that might yield you greater returns? I would love to show you some investment options that would..."
Bob felt his words being stifled by her intense stare. He stopped mid-sentence, his words dying off, culminating in a nadir of insecurity and intimidation. Elaine didn't respond to either question, rather she simply gave a sly smile and a look that clearly said, "Just do what the fuck I told you to do and don't ask any dumb questions." She didn't have to say the words rather she communicated them clearly with some sort of telepathic, mind-bending sorcery. Bob was always uncomfortable around women socially and this woman seemed to be staring a hole into his very being, peering into the deepest, darkest recesses of his soul. And Bob had some filthy secrets to hide in those dark, veiled places.
She opened her purse and pulled out a cashier's check made out to her in the amount of $1.25 million exactly. Bob swallowed hard. He felt a pang of jealousy for anyone with that amount of money and his own massive debts made him feel inferior but he pulled himself together called his supervisor and went about the business of fulfilling her requests.
The process of setting up all those accounts with that amount of money takes days not hours and there are tons of terms of agreement forms to be signed, tax forms and tax identification numbers to be filed, signature cards on top of virtual signature cards, approvals, overrides, overnighted packages, PINs programmed, free gifts, and credit and debit cards to be issued. When all was said and done, Elaine and Bob had spent a significant amount of time together. Their conversations were sparse, strictly limited to business, and after each encounter, when he would go home and unwind from his day, Bob would fill in the blanks with his own fantasies of not only how she came into that sort of money but the things she would do to him. Oh, the things she would do.
Bob intentionally tried to make their interactions longer than were necessary. He would say he needed to speak to someone at corporate and then call his personal cell phone from his office phone and pretend to be on hold or mumbling a variety of affirmative responses pretending to talk to someone, filling in the empty space with casual banter. A few times, his computer seemed to freeze up and he had to call the IT department and reboot his terminal, all the while trying to make small talk and lavish her with very subtle compliments. In his mind, the more time he spent with her, making small talk, he could get answers to his questions. He very much wanted to ask her very personal questions.
She didn't wear a wedding ring so one of the many scenarios he created in his head involved her being a divorcee and the money was part of her divorce settlement. In addition to being a drug cartel "queenpin" the lottery scenario played itself out a few times in his head as well. Mostly, he fantasized that she extorted the money from some rich guy whom she was sexually involved with who had secrets to hide and this was her payoff money. Maybe he died and left her the money in his will because he was so devoted to her, angering his conservative family who knew nothing about his sexual proclivities while he was living. That particular fantasy was the most arousing for him as he could have her fit his fantasies of being a cruel dominatrix who inflicted unrelenting pain.
Every day, Elaine would come attired in a severe but sexy suit, makeup and hair done to perfection, and heels. It was her shoes that always held his attention. Bob was captivated by them. They were expensive, he could tell, and they looked like torture devices with pointy stilettos and pointy toes and platforms that looked like only the most experienced acrobat could walk on.
As the last of the red tape had been navigated and it was clear that they had no more need to interact on a daily basis, Bob thought for a moment that he would work up the nerve to ask her for coffee. He rearranged papers and opened and closed drawers and stood at the copy machine and changed the ink cartridge that wasn't nearly empty trying to work up his nerve before he told her that she was cleared for take-off as it were. It wasn't professional and he knew he could get in trouble if he did but just the thought of asking her out to find out her real story was enough to keep him running the scenario over in his head. He fidgeted until he couldn't fidget any more. He did everything but ask her out. Instead he simply said, "Ms. Maxwell, it's been a pleasure working with you and if you need anything further, please feel free to call me. Here's my card." That was the best he could do. He was even too scared to write his own personal cell phone number on the card.
Elaine smiled and placed the card in her billfold and turned to leave without so much as a thank you or goodbye. He slumped in his chair as she walked away and he stared at her ass in that form-fitting suit and with nasty thoughts of what he would do to her, well, what she would do to him more accurately. Just as the door to the bank closed, he looked at his desk and her very expensive Mont Blanc lay there. He grabbed it and sprinted for the parking lot.
"Ms. Maxwell," he shouted, as he saw her opening the door to her big, black truck, "You forgot your pen!"
.... There is more of this story ...