Mister McIntyre’s Secret
April 19th, 1964
Half asleep, rolling around in my worn white sheets. The clock says I have a half an hour before I have to get up. My heart is already starting because of a half remembered dream.
In the dream there is a large lavish hotel room. Rich crimson and gold wallpaper, a huge bed, gilded chairs and lavish mirrors. Mister McIntyre is standing in front of the largest mirror straightening his tie. He is in his black suit, the one he wears to big meetings. His shirt is harsh white and he is wearing his cornflower blue tie. He is freshly shaven, his hair is parted neatly and slick. You can count the comb lines.
Marcy Peterson, his mistress, is walking out of the washroom. A slinky low cut black dress. Her black hair long and silk soft falling over her shoulders.
He towers over her. He stand almost six foot five and she, like me, is just over five feet tall. He leans in and they kiss, at first tenderly and then his hand is in her hair, pulling her back so he can kiss her neck hungrily. Her eyes are glazed with pleasure.
He picks her up and carries her to the bed. Standing over her he takes off his jacket and folds it neatly on the night stand. He then methodically rolls up his sleeves exposing his muscular hairy arms. He loosens and removes his tie, she sits up on the bed eagerly wanting more of his lips but he pushes her down.
Picking up the phone he presses one button and I answer.
“Abigail I’m going to need some rope.”
“Yes, sir. Right away.”
There I was at the door, dressed in my mousy brown skirt and my beige top with my hair in a ponytail and my glasses falling off my nose. Two thick coils of rope in my hands.
That’s what I had written in my diary that morning on the train into work. That’s what I had went to finish at lunch when Mister McIntyre came in. I left my sandwich on my desk and slipped my diary back into my drawer. Mister McIntyre called me in to take a letter. When we were finished he sat back in his hair and made a little steeple with his fingers the way he did and he rocked there and looked at me.
“I’d really prefer if business acquaintances didn’t call the office.”
I swallowed hard. Stupid heart revving up again. I wished he didn’t look at me like that. That examining look that makes it so I can’t move, but I can’t stay still. Deer in headlights doesn’t even start to explain it.
“You handled it well, though I’d prefer if you didn’t use anyone name on the phone. You never who is walking by.”
“I’m so sorry, sir. I will never happen again.” I wanted to crawl away. I wanted to cry. I wanted to get on my knees… on over his knees.
He cleared his throat. “You did fine, I’m just explaining the protocol for the future. You always exceed my expectations Abby.” and with that he turned around and looked out his window, the sign that I was dismissed.
I turned, scampered out, but just before I closed the door his voice pulled me back.
“What was that you were writing?”
Fear, icy and numbing my fingers on the doorknob.
“You were writing something as I came in, what was it?”
Lie. Make up anything. But I knew I couldn’t. I can’t lie to Mister McIntyre. I wouldn’t. He’d probably see through it anyhow.
“Nothing, sir. Just my diary. I… write in-” he cut off my mumbling.
“Speak up, Abby.”
“My diary, sir. I write in it at lunch sometimes.”
He considered this.
“What were you writing today?”
The panic was in my throat and I couldn’t speak. I felt like I was alone in an alley with a gang of thieves. No where to run.
“Just… a stupid thing. A dream. It was nothing-”
He cut me off again.
“Dreams can be very interesting, Abby. Haven’t you heard of the work of Jung?”
I didn’t know what to say. I just begged that this was the end of the conversation.
“Bring it in here. Leave it on my desk. I want to see what kind of dreams you are having.”
He didn’t say anything. There was silence. There was more silence. I looked up and his eyes were on mine. I almost never look him in the eyes and the power of that icy blue made me let go of the door knob.
“Bring it into my office and leave it on my desk.” he said, standing up and picking up his hat.
“I’ll read it when I get back from lunch.”
He walked towards me. His body suddenly close. He slipped past me, his chest brushing against me, the smell of him, the hugeness of him. Then he was gone. My legs were shaking so much I almost couldn’t sit down. The blood was draining from my body. I was starting to hyperventilate.
I wanted to go home, but I knew I wouldn’t. I couldn’t. There was only one thing to do, it wasn’t even a choice. I would put my little pink and purple striped diary on his desk. I would put it there and it would sit there on his big dark wood desk next to his fancy pens and his big black telephone and all of his newspapers and business things. My heart and my dirty thoughts just waiting.
And so I held my book to my chest and marched in feeling naked. I put it down and my eyes stung. I walked out and closed the door and sat back at my desk.
And then I waited.