The Day The Letters Landed

Friday was a bad day. That morning I had another row with Cedric. Late in the afternoon when the office was almost empty, the letters landed. I sensed instinctively what they were yet, even as I opened my envelope, a tiny part of me refused to believe it. Across the room, others were reading, too. Their faces showed they were similar letters.

Outside, early evening shadows slanted across the jagged line of rooftops. The setting sun seemed symbolic. A lurching feeling rose in my chest and, against my better judgement, I rang Cedric. “That’s too bad,” he said. A thoughtless reflex answer.

“I’ll be home late,” I said, just for the sake of saying it. I had nothing planned.

I put the phone down, cursing weakness. From across the room, Jason spoke quietly but audibly: “The slimy bastards.” He had joined the same day as me.

By the time I got home, it was growing dark. I let myself in quietly, not wanting to alert Cedric. I was in no mood to face his moralising, his airs.

At the top of the stairs, I was met by the tinkling sound of a girl giggling followed by the muffled tones of Cedric’s voice. I walked toward the room and stopped outside the door. More giggling, then Cedric barked something gruff, inaudible. The giggling stopped. There was a long silence before the girl said something short and sharp and then gasped. I waited until the gasping turned rhythmic. These days, Cedric did not even try to be discreet.

I went to the bathroom and looked at my face in the mirror. I didn’t feel 40 years old. My skin was still smooth—not beautiful perhaps, but, as a boyfriend once remarked, it was the spirited face of a prima ballerina. I stripped off and surveyed my body in the cheval glass. I’m in great condition, I reassured myself. My hair was still black, breasts round and firm, belly flat, thighs smooth, the triangle of hair bushy. I turned and appraised my smooth buttocks.

Over the next days, I wandered in haze of changing moods; from despair to hope to despondency, and back again. Experienced people were always needed, I told myself. Maybe waitressing would do until something better came along.

Sometimes as I sat alone in the living room, I felt I was hallucinating: the grainy pattern in the chest of drawers appeared sharper; the facets of the crystal decanter glinted more brightly than ever; the curtains seemed a deeper shade of blue. I hadn’t noticed before the sharp smell of the the polished wood.

But I found some solace, not with Cedric, not any more. Meredith gave me a number. I called up Alexander, a strutting, baby faced body builder, aged just 19 years old but already experienced with women like me. Meredith had recommended him. I knew she had visited him occasionally. “He will do you good, dear.”

As I entered his room, I was hit by a oily odor of perfumes. It was a shadowy chamber lit only by dimmed electric candles illuminating a depiction of a small male figure with a huge phallus against a background of the painted columns of a Roman brothel. We watched each other undress in the mellow half light.

I began to sweat at the familiar burst of need.

He grew erect and moved towards me. His hand moved across my buttocks. I turned my head and kissed a huge bicep and he manoeuvred me to the bed, where we lay, side by side.

He fondled my breasts, belly and then pussy, a young Grecian maestro, stretching me up and up and up. I rolled back from him, he spread my legs and I watched his tawny, bulging arms, smooth and oiled, his glinting, expressionless dark eyes staring into mine like a laser.

He held back, held escort bursa back, teasing me, knowing I was dripping, and then slid inside me.

Days later, Meredith and I met at the shopping mall cafe, amid the aroma of coffee and the clatter of cutlery and the hustle of shopping housewives.

Meredith always looked on the bright side. Life was an adventure, she told me the very day we met, both of us alone and lonely, all those years ago in the ground-floor common shower room of a shabby hotel on a tropical island resort. Her nipples were already stiff. Water dripped from her soap-covered body. The window was open. She knew that young men of the village, strapping, minimally clad and looking for foreign women, stood outside and watched her. For ten sun-filled, erotic days Meredith and I obliged both them and each other.

Now, at 55 she seemed not one ounce heavier than a dozen years ago on the island; her hair, now grey, was pulled back into a pony tail; painted eyebrows rising like arches over her dark, probing eyes; flame red lips, lines forming along cheeks and jaw; floral dress cleavage plunging deep between her breasts, showing the dappled skin of a woman who has spent too much time in the sun.

“Losing a job, dear,” she said, “is no disaster. It’s an opportunity.” She smiled, teeth showing stains of endless cups of coffee and cigarettes. I felt a tingle when she reached over and caressed my cheek and carelessly let her hand drop so it brushed my breast.

Easy for Meredith to say, I thought, but said nothing. A free-lance artist, able to survive only because she was Harry’s girlfriend. But how long would it be before Harry found a younger girl? Harry had met Meredith through me, and we shared him . . . Meredith, naked, speckled, mouth open, grunting and heaving under Harry’s thrusting embrace.

For a time. Then Meredith was Harry’s alone. My meeting Cedric eased the transfer of affections.

The young waitress took our order impatiently. The place was only half full but she was already under pressure. A sign on the door said, “Waitress wanted part time apply within”. No chance, I thought.

Over the following days, Meredith and I surfed the “jobs” columns. I sent off three online applications.

On the fourth day I tried Craigslist. One entry caught my eye: an executive needed a personal assistant, “part-time but well-paid”. There were “travel possibilities”. In my excitement, I hardly registered the “and other duties from time to time” tacked on the end.

But Craigslist? I was doubtful, but Meredith was adamant.

“Go for it,” she said, caressing my neck and shoulders.

I did answer. An hour later a certain Linda ——- wrote back. I sounded the ideal candidate, in fact just what they were looking for and Mr —— wanted to know if I could come for an interview? And could I send pics? Pics? I hesitated. Meredith did not. “Send him one. You don’t have to accept, but maybe this will swing it,” she said.

We found the firm’s listing on the Internet.

On the day, I dressed in a pants suit, choosing a white blouse with the merest suggestion of frills behind the line of buttons.

It began raining heavily. I took a cab. The address was in a part of town I’d never been to—light-industrial, tatty. We pulled up at a nondescript gray building and I irritated the taxi driver by waiting a minute until the rain eased before getting out. I photographed the nameplate on the door and sent the pic to Meredith. Then I took a deep breath and rang the bell.

The office was up one flight of creaking stairs. At the top, bursa merkez eskort a trim, gray-haired woman smiled through layers of lipstick.

“I’m Linda,” she said. Her accent sounded faux posh. “Oh, such weather, you’re all wet,” she smiled.

The office was dismal, minimally furnished. A collection of photos displayed the hustle of the firm’s employees at work.

A laptop lay open on a desk next to untidy piles of paper. A vague smell of cleaning fluid hung in the air. Heavy rain lashed against a grubby window, through which I could just make out a row of single storey warehouses.

Linda explained half apologetically that the firm would soon be moving closer to town. Interviews with prospective employees were being held over the next three days and applicants would be notified inside a week. The duties would include . . . and on and on until my attention wandered.

“Ricky sees you as a lead candidate,” she said. “He would like to interview you in the next room.”

She pressed a buzzer and said, “Bianca is here.”

A side door opened and a man’s face appeared—close-set eyes and a pasted grin. “Hello. Welcome, Bianca.” The voice was soft, treacly.

When he said, “Please come in,” the words caressed me.

He was about 50, wiry with thinning brushed-back hair a shade too black, and dark green t-shirt and loose jogging trousers gathered in at the crutch.

I stepped inside and gaped. The room was a chamber of mirrors, a kaleidoscope of reflected images multiplying as they receded into the distance.

At one side was a desk and, behind it, a chair. A dark suit coat and trousers hung on the wall. Facing the desk was another chair. Strange, but this chair was not in front of the desk but in the centre of the room.

Ricky grinned at my surprise and said, “you like it?” That soothing tone.

Trying to sound casual, I said, “Should I?”

He ushered me to the chair in the middle of the room.

To one side was a bed covered by a blanket. “I can sleep here if I need to,” he said. “It gets busy at times.”

Ricky sat himself behind his desk and picked up a sheaf of papers—and I saw why I was seated in the middle of the room. In whichever direction I looked, I could see Ricky—and he could watch me.

I felt discomfited but, well, he was testing me. . .

Ricky held up the papers and pulled a face as if to show he was not impressed by most of them.

“You do make a good impression,” he said. His eyes roved.

I nodded, but wondered what I was doing here.

My mobile sounded. It was Cedric. I ignored it.

Ricky continued, “You must be able to maintain a friendly disposition, you okay with that? I think so. Whether answering phones or face-to-face. I’m sure that you can. You will meet with customers who come into the office, and show apartments to prospective tenants. You need to be nice to them. Always. ” It was a practised speech.

“This position is for afternoons and several weekend days each month,” he said. “Do you think you would be good at all these things I mentioned? Would you like the job?” Smiling, concerned, solicitous.

“Now,” he said. He folded his hands. A long silence fell. “Tell me something about yourself, Bianca.”

I began talking. My nervousness faded. As it did, a strange feeling came over me. I saw my own reflected face and felt that I was not watching myself but someone else. I heard myself telling a fanciful version of my life, and I didn’t care if he knew it.

Ricky occasionally nodded.

Thoughts raced through bursa sınırsız escort my head. Cedric and his string of women. What would he think if he could see me now? The thought suddenly aroused me.

Ricky’s expression changed. “Bianca,” he said. He stood up, and I saw the bulge under the jogging pants. We looked at each other. It was as if he could read my thoughts. “If you want the job, it’s yours. But, please stand up and tell me what are you going to do for me.”

I should have turned and walked out, but I did not. I stood up and watched my hand reach the top button of my blouse and undo it. The hand undid the second button, and the third. I removed my blouse slowly without taking my eyes off Ricky. He ran his tongue over his top lip.

“Slowly,” ordered Ricky. He pulled his shirt over his head.

In the distance came the sound of hammering.

I held his gaze, I slid my trousers down and off. I stopped, still in my panties. “Take them off, ” said Ricky. His voice was commanding, smooth, persuasive. I was powerless.

I lowered my panties and stepped out of them.

“Turn slowly,” he ordered. “Keep turning, you’re doing well.”

I turned to face each mirror, one after the other. Ricky was now naked, his cock erect.

The hammering stopped. Far away, a car accelerated.

His hands slid gently over my shoulders and neck and down my spine. He moved me on to the bed, where I sat facing him.

Then I saw Meredith. Standing behind Ricky. Nude! Meredith! It was her, dappled breasts swaying, thighs straddling thin wisps of graying hair.

A cascade of fiery hormones swept through me. I took Ricky’s testicles in my fingers, and put my tongue to his swollen red knob. Gently I ran my forefinger and thumb along his cock and took it deep into my mouth. I moved on him slowly at first, savouring the sensation. Then I quickened the pace until the first jolting burst shot into my mouth.

Vvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvv

I lay back down on the bed, legs together, as Ricky moved his hands over my bosom and stomach and onto my thighs. At his touch, I opened my thighs. That was when I heard it— a little battery motor whirring into life. The smooth tapered end of the shaft played around the lips of my pussy and I shut my eyes.

Ricky turned the power up and pushed the shaft inside. I heard myself moaning.

x x x x x x

On the ride back, I fell into a pensive mood. I felt none of the drained satisfaction I usually felt after sex. I watched blankly through the cab window as rain-drenched blurred images passed by. I wasn’t so worried about getting the job. I didn’t believe I would get it. Instead, I pondered my fantasy in mistaking Linda’s naked body for Meredith’s, for it was the image of Meredith that had unleashed that burst of sexual energy.

Days passed, a week passed, and still no message from Linda or Ricky. After three weeks I sent a query through Craigslist, but got no response.

I never heard from the firm again, not from Ricky, not from Linda. I checked the Internet but the firm’s web site had vanished. Its Craigslist posting had been removed.

“Don’t worry,” said Meredith. “That wasn’t an opportunity at all. Your opportunity will come.”

A day later, when I arrived at the cafe, Meredith was already there, smiling not jovially but wanly. That was not like her. Something was wrong. Harry, I guessed.

“Losing a man, dear, is like losing a job,” Meredith said. “It’s no disaster. It’s an opportunity.” Her voice was tired. She seemed to have aged.

“Harry?” I ventured.

She nodded. I almost said, “Don’t worry. Your opportunity will come.” But I resisted. It might have sounded mocking.

Meredith looked at me imploringly, as if she were wanting to say something, but she didn’t. We both found conversation difficult.

Then Meredith placed her hand on my own, and whispered, “Let’s go, dear.”

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