Here it is: Ladies room. Finally. I shouldn’t have had the extra-large latte. Now I’m really going to be late.
Come on, come on, come on. What time is it? Oh, no. 8:25.
What floor am I supposed to go to? Where is that folder? I can never find anything in this worthless bag. Here it is. Room 1055, 10th floor.
I better take one more look in the mirror. Oh no! A run in my tights. How did that happen? Well, can’t do anything about it now. Gotta find the elevator.
What time is it? 8:28. Oh, no.
Here’s the elevator. Should make it now.
Why the hell are we stopping on the second floor?
Good morning. Yes, nice day.
Here we go. 3, 4, 5. Come on, elevator – you can do it. 8! 9!
Oh no – why are we stopping? It’s just one more floor.
Good morning. Fine, thanks.
Okay, here we go. 10!
Now, where’s 1055?
Why, yes, you can help me. I’m looking for 1055. This way? Thanks.
Nice guy. I wonder if he’s married.
Here it is: 1055.
Nice to meet you, too. Melissa Edwards.
Firm handshake. Dad would be impressed. He always says you can tell by the way they shake hands. Blue eyes. Isn’t that the same aftershave Bill uses? Nice suit, too. I like the pinstripes.
No, thanks. I’ve had plenty of coffee already.
I sound like an idiot. I should have accepted the coffee.
Nice office. Wow, leather couch. Is that mahogany? Wow. Look at that view! Wow.
I gotta stop saying ‘wow’. Even I wouldn’t hire me.
What? Yes, I saw your ad online and it seemed like I might be able to make a contribution here.
Good grief: ‘make a contribution’. What a dork.
What? I went to GW. Yes, right here in DC.
Why did he flinch when I said ‘GW’? Is that bad? Oh, no. Maybe Dad was right.
Finance, yes. I majored in finance.
Why is he staring at that folder? Is that my application? Why is he frowning?
Yes, I asked my referees to send letters.
Are my letters in there? I can’t see a thing in that folder.
That clock sure is ticking loudly. Should I ask something? Maybe he’s reading my letters. Better just sit here. Don’t cross your legs, you idiot. Just the ankles. Cross the ankles.
Wow. I never saw the city from this high up. Oh, look! A plane! I wouldn’t mind being on that plane right about now. It sure would be better than being here.
Why isn’t he asking me anything? Is that my transcript? Why is he frowning?
Oh, why thank you.
‘Your grades look decent.’ Is that good? ‘Decent’ must mean they’re terrible. I didn’t think they were that terrible. Dad was right.
Yes, that job was an internship. At the zoo.
Well, that got a reaction.
Their bookkeeper needed help, so I applied. I’ve always been fond of animals.
Is that a smirk? Oh, god. ‘Fond of animals’?
Now he’s laughing! What’s so funny?
This was a horrible mistake. Why did I ever think I could get this job?
Oh geez. He’s closing the folder.
That’s it. I’m toast. I never should have asked Professor Somers to write a letter for me. My project in his class was only a little bit late. I knew I couldn’t trust him.
Well, live and learn, I guess. Better luck next time. I should have listened to Dad.
Wait. I can’t possibly have heard that right.
Are you offering me the job?
Oh my god. I can’t believe this.
Yes, I can start Monday.
Oh my god, oh my god, oh my…
Yes, I think I can find my way out. Thank you so much.
Okay, now I’m lost. Is this the way out?
Yes, I did find room 1055.
I should introduce myself.
Melissa Edwards. And you are?
Daniel. He looks like a Daniel. Perhaps we’ll be working together. I hope so.
I wonder where my office will be? Is this the way to the elevator?
Hello. Yes, it is a nice day.
I’m gonna love it here. I can’t wait to tell Dad.
Before moving to Washington DC, Raima Larter was a chemistry professor who secretly wrote fiction and tucked it away in drawers. Her work has appeared in Cleaver, BULL, Another Chicago Magazine and others. She’s published two novels and has a nonfiction book due out this year. More at raimalarter.com.
Twitter: @raimalarter Facebook: RaimaLarter