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The Assistant: Meet Angie
By James C Taylor
Thursday, August 17, 2006
Not rated by the Author.
A chance meeting in an elevator turns the author's world upside down.
When she kissed me on the elevator, I knew I was really in trouble.
I already knew I was in some trouble; I heard the elevator as it started. The elevator is one of those things you generally only hear when you’re alone and scared or when it doesn’t sound right. The elevator sounded as wrong as “two plus two equals Rhode Island”.
But even though I heard the elevator, I wasn’t giving it full mind, because she was on the elevator. She was Angie Walcott. She worked in the cube over there and across the way from mine, but I still couldn’t help but notice her.
She smelled of lilac and cherries and seemed almost always to be smiling, or at least grinning, as if she had a wonderful secret she was just waiting to share. Her brown hair was long and straight, usually adorned with clips to pull the hair from her face, as it was that day.
She was wearing a yellow knit, scoop-necked ribbed blouse, tan skirt, and black leather elf boots, all of which looked great against her rosy skin. I caught her out of the corner of my eye while desperately not looking at her as elevator etiquette proscribes. Of course, it wasn’t hard to see her in my peripheral vision, as there was so much of her.
I am notoriously bad at guessing weight, so let me just say that she looked as if hadn’t missed any meals but had missed when to stop a time or two. Now for some folks that’s a reason to not look, but for me, I always had to fight gaping like a schoolboy whenever I was in her orbit. Nature didn’t help matters by putting a lot more of her in her top and bottom than most girls her size.
I often worked late since my assistant quit, but Angie never did, so I was surprised to be sharing this small, now suddenly intimate, space with her. I was also surprised she wasn’t smiling. I inhaled slowly and thought of what to say.
Even though I saw her almost every day, I never found a reason or opportunity to say a word to the bountiful sprite that passed my door. I decided that “My soul cries out for you” was a bit forward and settled on shifting my feet and saying “Hi.”
“Hi,” she said. “You’re in web services, right?” She smiled bravely for a moment.
“Yes. That’s right. You walk by us sometimes on the way to the copier.” Women always bring out the scintillating conversationalist in me.
She considered something for a second, her thorax rising and falling like waves upon the shore. “Do you have any openings in web services?”
“I think so. Are you looking to move?”
“I’m looking for a job. My assignment is over.”
“Oh. You were placed by the temp service.” She nodded silently.
The elevator jolted to a stop.
She and I looked at the panel, then each other.
“It’s late, but not that late. Someone might still be here. Would you open the phone box, Angie?”
She pulled the door open to reveal a wire dangling from the top of the nook. She closed it gently. “Do you have a cell phone?”
“Yes. But it doesn’t get a signal in the elevator. You?”
“I don’t get a signal in the elevator either.” She was smiling again.
I rolled my eyes. “I meant, do you have a cell phone.”
“No. I don’t.” She leaned back against the wall of the elevator. “So now what do we do?”
“Wait till someone misses us, I guess. Or until morning, when someone tries to call the elevator.” I breathed in deeply the scent of lilacs and cherries. The idea came and I rejected it. I leaned back against the wall and the idea returned. I looked at her smiling again. The idea pounded against my consciousness. My lips formed the words and spoke them.
“Would you be interested in being my assistant?”
“Yes” flew from her lips and stabbed me in the heart. My trouble increased tremendously.
“Well, come in tomorrow for an interview, and assuming you can do the job, I’ll hire you on.” She stood up off the wall and leaned in. “Really?”
“Yes.” I felt the need to review the company’s policy on relationships in the workplace.
“You don’t know what this means to me!” She stepped closer. “Thank you.”
And then she kissed me.
On the cheek.
And I lost my mind.
And the elevator started.
And I knew I was really in trouble.
And did I forget to mention that I was married and nearly twenty years older than Angie? Yes. I was in trouble. Big time.
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