A roller-coaster day


8:30am Monday

Ken was already at his desk when I arrived, the door to his office was open and he summoned me in immediately - I hadn't even taken off my coat.

He said: Tina, you're late.

I said: I'm not, it's 8:30 now.

He said: Come along, take off your coat, I need to dictate a memo to Bruce. Put his full name, Bruce Hillard.

I took off my coat as I was leaving the room and I laid it across my desk. I picked up my shorthand book, a pencil and returned to his office. He pointed to the lounge chairs and sofa by the coffee table.

He said: We'll sit over there.

From that moment, at 8:32, I knew we were going to have one of those days, a roller-coaster day. I sat with my legs towards him, and very slightly apart. I saw him looking at me.

He said: Tina, you are looking exceedingly attractive today. He has a way of saying some words - like 'exceedingly' which gets up my nose.

I said: Thank you, Ken. Did you have a nice weekend?

He said: Awful.

I said: Oh, I am sorry.

He said: Are you really sorry, because you could help me forget it.

I laughed. He snatched a quick glance at my legs and I crossed them as he was watching. I heard him sigh.

He said: You are mean sometimes.

I said: I don't mean to be.

He moved closer to me and tried to put an arm around me.

He said: Can't we just have a little, you know, before we start the day.

I said: Ken, no. No.

He said: Well, just give me a peck on the cheek.

I leant over and kissed him quickly. He cheered up instantly. The peck on the cheek was a signal that, later on, he might persuade me to have sex. Without the peck on the cheek there was no chance. I had worked for Kenneth R Sherriden for over four years, and we had our routines.


Full story - 20 pages


Paul K. Lyons

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