“He. Is. Such. An. Asshole.”
I do not think she knew there was anyone with her. She glared up at the decreasing floor numbers on the elevator panel. I noticed her before. And I mean noticed. Nothing remarkable and nothing particularly attractive. She wore a nice suit with nice hair, which labeled her as one of the firm’s well-paid executives, but otherwise you could not pick her out of a line-up.
“He thinks because he’s the chairman he can do whatever he wants. Treat people however he wants. Asshole.”
Her cadence was more natural. I was leaving early and hoped no one would be on the elevator as I headed out. She was fuming, and I thought she did not know I was there.
Still staring at the numbers, she said, “Have you ever met him?”
She turned, “Yes, you. No one else is here.”
Her eyes softened as she saw my reaction. She stepped closer and extended her hand.
“I’m sorry. Just a shitty meeting with Chairman Asshole.”
It was a dangerous thing to say to a stranger. A sure firing offense if anyone heard.
“No. I don’t think I’ve seen him except in one of those conferences.”
“Ah. The pep rallies he’s so fond of.”
“At least they’re a break from my daily drudgery.”
“Ah. So you’re a slave on the 53rd Floor?”
“Apparently all my MFA in English prepared me for.”
I was, in fact a “slave on the 53rd Floor,” one of the over-educated minions who reviewed the minutiae of press releases and financial statements before they were sent to the next level of proof readers before public dissemination.
“Do you not tire of all the praise the reports lavish on our fearless leader?”
“I need this job so I won’t comment about that.”
Her hand touched my wrist.
She stepped back to look at me.
“I’ve seen you on the elevator a few times, haven’t I?”
“I don’t know if you’ve seen me….But I do know I’ve seen you.”
She smiled. “I like you. And why are you playing hooky?”
“Sounds like fun.” She put her arm through mine. “Mind if I join you?”
Before I could recover my breath and tell her that it suddenly was the most important thing in my world, the doors opened and my Nike’s smirsh and her Louboutin clicks echoed through the lobby.
“Let’s take a cab. My treat.”