There was an article on page eight of the Tribune. Thirty per cent of new graduates could not find jobs. Glenda felt very lucky to be employed in one of Chicago's biggest accounting firms. It was only a clerk's position, but it was better than nothing. She was sure her 5.0 GPA helped a lot, the interviewer seem impressed with that, and that she took accounting classes in high school.
The train was slowing for Union Station. Glenda folded up the newspaper and crammed it between the seat and the side of the car like she always did. When the train stopped at the platform she stood up with her purse and lunch bag in hand, got in line with the rest of the people in the aisle to disembark. It was a pleasant autumn day, only a bit on the chilly side, so she didn't mind the seven minute walk to the company's offices. If it warmed up like the forecast promised she decided she would eat lunch in the plaza in front of the building. Maybe she could talk Sally into joining her.
She sat in her cubicle, at her desk, in front of her computer, and signed in. Glenda flipped the pages of her desk calendar to Monday, October 1. It was an anniversary of sorts, she had been with the company for three months. Her boss passed by her cubicle and she said, "Good morning." he mumbled something, and she knew that was the most she could expect. He was not the friendliest of bosses. She put the first set of accounting sheets in front of her and started entering the data from them into the computer. It was a boring job, but there was a pay check once every two weeks and for that she was thankful. At ten-thirty she went to the break room and sat with a bunch of girls about the same age and pay scale as her. Like most companies, there was a hierarchy to be observed. At twelve noon Sally and Glenda went down to the plaza, ate lunch, talked small talk about this and that, including their dread of the coming Chicago winter. Glenda threw half her cupcake to the pigeons. It wasn't that good anyway. Then it was back to the salt mines, as they called it.
It was late afternoon when one of the executives visited her. She saw Mr. Monroe every now and then in the aisles. She knew he had something to do with customer relations. She guessed him to be in his late twenties or early thirties. A polished kind of handsome, dressed in a conservative dark suit with a white shirt and tie like all the executives.
"I understand that your birthday is this week, If you are not doing anything Saturday I would like to take you out for supper to celebrate."
She was flabbergasted. She almost said, "Me?" as if he might be talking to someone else in her cubicle, instead answered, "That would be nice."
"I'll pick you up at eight."
"Let me give you my address."
"I got it from personnel. 1009 Rugers Ave, Glenview. Right?"
"Good, don't forget, Saturday at eight."
She was still trying to catch her breath as he left. Okay, she thought, he got the info from personnel, maybe it is some kind of company perk to take employees out on their birthday.
Her graduation dress was the nicest outfit she had, so she wore it Saturday night. He took her to The Top of the Rock Restaurant. one of the classiest in Chicago. Everything she ate was excellent from the soup to the dessert. Afterward, at the front door of her mother's house he gave her a kiss on the cheek. "Here," he said, "happy birthday." and handed her a little, gift wrapped box. As soon as she was inside she tore off the wrapping. The box was marked, Tiffany & Co., one of the best jewelers in Chicago. Inside the box was a pair of gold earrings. She knew Tiffany's was not cheap, so who paid, the company or Mr. Monroe?
Back at work she could swear he was avoiding her. She hoped he would come visit her cubicle, or for even a chance meeting. It was disappointing that he didn't, but she knew she was probably hoping for too much. Why would a man of his caliber want with her anyway.
They had what she thought was a chance meeting the next week in the elevator. Before she could say anything he said, "I have been going out of my way to avoid you. I swear this place is one big rumor mill and I didn't want to give them any fodder for their dirty little minds. It is bad enough everyone would say I am robbing the cradle. I ambushed you in the elevator to ask if you would like to go to the theater this Saturday, there is a revival of the play Phantom of the Opera at the Boswell Center, and I was lucky to get two tickets."
"I would love to."
The elevator stopped at his floor and he just had enough time to say, "See you at seven," before the doors started closing. Immediately her mind went into a whirl. He wants to date me again! Why me? Why would the cool cat want to date the meek mouse? I need a new dress by Saturday. Can I afford it? To hell with can, I will somehow.
She got her frock thanks to a loan from her mother. He picked her up promptly at seven in his red Corvette. "You look lovely tonight, and I am glad to see you found a use for my gift."
Glenda touched the earring. "I have been meaning to thank you ever so much. It was the nicest birthday gift I received."
"My pleasure, I assure you."
They stopped for a drink after the play. The waitress knew Mr. Monroe and never asked Glenda for ID. He ordered scotch on the rocks and white wine for Glenda. After the second glass she was kind of giddy. He took her home and kissed her sweetly on the lips. "Do you want to go dancing next week?" he asked
"I'm not much of a dancer?"
"That's okay, fake it."
Another new outfit. Luckily, she just received her paycheck to pay for it.
They drove out to the Aragon Ballroom. She was afraid to go out for the first dance, wondering why she ever agreed to go dancing when she was so inept at it. On the dance floor he told her twice to just relax and let him lead. Things got much better, after the second glass of wine, plus his dancing made up for her inexperience. The kiss at the end of the night lingered on. She felt herself pushing her body against his. She knew she couldn't be more happy.
"I would like to show you my apartment next week." That broke the spell. She knew that, or something like, was going to rear up.
"I'll be frank with you. You're the first man I ever dated, the first one I ever kissed. I know what you expect, but I don't think I can give it to you."
"I tell you what, I will take it real slow. The instant you are out of your comfort zone say stop and I will. Deal?"
"I don't know."
"Okay, just try it once, if you don't like it, say so, and we won't go there. I won't bite, I promise."
"Let me think about it."
For the next two days that was all she could think about. He is thirty, twelve years my senior. With his looks he probably bedded dozens of girls. Why me, I'm no prize. I wonder what it is like to have a man touch my body, as good as it looks in the movies? Why not go ahead, what have I got to lose, only my virginity? What if I don't like it? He promised to stop, will he really? What if he doesn't, would he rape me? How am I going to find out whether I like it or not if I don't try? I'm a fraidy cat that's why. I have been a fraidy cat all my life, it's time to stop.
He called on Wednesday. "Have you thought about coming to my apartment?"
Only non stop. "I'll go."
"You sound nervous. I promise, I'll be gentle. I won't rush you. I'll stop when you say stop. You will like it, you'll see. I'll come by at eight."
His apartment was on the twenty-eighth floor of a downtown high rise. It was a one bedroom. The living/dining/kitchen was all one room. The outside wall was glass from floor to ceiling, from wall to wall. His furnishing were ultra modern, all black and white, chrome and brass. The only color was a green potted ivy hanging from a chain in front of the window. In one corner was a telescope on a tripod. The lights were set on low. There was soft music playing in the background. A bottle of wine and two glasses were on the cocktail table in front of the couch. She almost laughed, it looked right out of a movie of a bachelor pad.
They sat, they talked, they drank wine. They kissed, sweet chaste kisses. They got up and went to the window. He pointed out the John Hancock building, the Trump Tower, The Willis Tower. She loved the vast expanse of Lake Michigan with a ship way in the distance. His arm was around her waist and he was behind her. He nuzzled her neck. He kissed her ear, and then blew gently into it. His other hand went around her waist then slid slowly up until it cupped her breast through her blouse and bra. He heart started beating hard. Okay, this is it. This is the beginning of the seduction of Glenda, she thought. He led her back to the couch. "Before we sit down, do me the favor of taking off your blouse and bra." she turned beet red. "In the bathroom if you wish." That was better, at least she didn't have to feel like a stripper. She was a nervous wreck. She wanted to do it, for him, he was so kind to her. She wanted to do it, for herself, she told herself it was time to grow up. She was trembling and the bra did not want to come lose. Glenda was on the verge of tears. Do it, damn it, kept running through her head.
When she came back out she said, "I'm sorry."
"For having such small breasts."
"There is nothing for you to be sorry for. They are delightful. Look how nicely they stand out with the dark nipple right at the apex. Come here and sit next to me."
.... There is more of this story ...