Sitting at my desk before he gets to the office I cross my legs and watch helplessly as they bounce nervously.
Every Monday it’s the same. I don’t know why. I get in early, sort the mail, clean things up, change my typewriter ribbon. When it hits 8:45 I start shaking a little. I have to concentrate on not biting my lower lip or I’ll mess up my lipstick.
I keep a little check list under my typewriter on a little board so I can slide it out and look at it. Make sure his glasses are clean, make sure his desk is organized. Garbage can empty. Check the bulbs in his lamps. Dust his globe and book shelf. I get the special coffee he likes and keep it in a thermos. If he isn’t in by 10 I go get some more so it will be hot and fresh for him. I have to guard the milk I keep in the refrigerator, Mister McIntyre doesn’t like cream. The Wall Street Journal and the Financial Times on his desk. He reads the New York Times on the train.
By 8:55 my heart is racing. I have to dab my forehead. My legs are bouncing so much I’m going to wear a hole in my stockings.
When he comes in, he is charging down the hall. I can hear him. No one else walks that fast in here. I see his silhouette outside the frosted glass door and then he’s walking towards me. I don’t know where to look. I straighten paper. I fix my pencils. If I look up at those blue eyes I’ll explode or, even worse, blush.
“Abby,” he says in that deep voice. I see his chin, I see his lips.
“Good morning, sir,” I hate my voice. I hate my voice. I sound like a little girl.
He is wearing his charcoal gray suit with a white shirt and a navy tie.
“Eleven o’clock with the Richardson people. Lunch at one with the Morgan Stanley people. Nothing else until the four o’clock review with Mister Donaldson, sir.”
He is looking through the mail as I tell him this from memory. He throws away half the mail. I can smell his aftershave and lingering cigarette smoke. He has a little red nick on his chin from shaving. I want to lick it.
Why am I like this? I’m getting wet just from him standing over me. I’ve been here for four months and I’m still like this. It’s actually getting worse. Do other girls think about there bosses like this? I’m 22 and he’s 38. He’s married to the most beautiful women I’ve ever seen; plus- well- Mister McIntyre has secrets. I would never tell. I can keep secrets. It’s important that Mister McIntyre knows that. I’m his secretary and I would never divulge any of his information to anyone. Except my diary.
He is hovering closer. He takes a step nearer and looks around.
“Abby,” he clears his throat. He was using his conspiratorial whisper. “See if you can move the Morgan thing to two and the Richardson thing to 10. Matt Richardson is staying at the Roosevelt, tell him I can swing by and we can do it in the restaurant there.”
He leaned in even closer, his mouth inches from my ear. I was trying to breath. Just kiss me. Kiss my neck. I’ll do anything you want, Mister McIntyre. Please, sir. Please.
“Call up… the Pierre. Get me that room I get. You know. Tell them it is for Mister Jefferson, they will know what you mean. I’ll be there from 11 to 12:30.”
Then he was gone. His door closed. I would wait 10 minutes and then bring him his coffee.
I only saw her once. The girl he takes to the Pierre. He pays cash at the desk for the room. She’s my age, dark hair. She has a stupid face, but those lips. So full and always perfectly painted red. She looks mean, bitter and bratty. Maybe that’s what he likes. I wonder what they do in there. I mean, I know what they do- I just wonder how it goes. Does he get there first or does she? Does he just pull up her dress? Is he rough or gentle?
My legs are closed so tight under my desk. My fists clenched. I have to stop thinking about this.
He’s rough. I bet Mister McIntyre is rough. I bet he pushes her down on the bed or maybe against the wall. I bet he slaps her around if her bratty mouth goes off. I bet he rips her panties off; if she wears any that little slut.
Is it big? Oh god, I have to stop thinking about this. Is it thick and hard? Does she suck it? Does it hurt her when he-
“Abby? Is there a problem with the coffee?” he says through the intercom.
“One moment, sir.”
I’m out of my seat like a shot. I’m dizzy as I get the milk from the break room. Find a mug for him. Get the thermos. Just a splash of milk. My eyes sting. I’m so stupid. I was daydreaming and I forgot.
I fan my eyes. Stop it. Don’t cry. Put on a happy face and bring it in to him.
Composed. Deep breath. I open the door. I bring in the coffee. He doesn’t look up at me, he just picks it up and sips it.
I make the calls. I have to fight to change the times but it all works out.
“Sir? Your schedule is all set for the day. Just the way you wanted it.”
Silence. My heart racing again.
“Thank you, Abby.”
I try not to smile. I feel like I am blushing again. Oh, Mister McIntyre.