Allison had been working in finance for 17 years. She was the consummate professional and well-respected in the top floor suites at Embarcadero office.
And she was still single
Secretly, she kept a flow chart: she analyzed when, and with whom she went out with and what she wore, and where they went. One morning, She woke up 33 years old, and the slow creep of panic took over. She had visions of Mrs. Haverisham-the old maid- bleeding in her brain.
The following week, Raul A., client in good standing (read-wildly successful in Tech) came in the office and they smiled amiably to one another.
As fate would have it, they left the office at the same time and chatted in the elevator and rode 32 floors, alone, (fate?) chatting. He was very polite and cordial. She was professional and a tiny, bit flirty.
As they walked into the lobby, he said he had hour to kill before his ferry – would she be interested in a glass of wine at the Slanted Door?
Bewitched and not bothered or bewildered she agreed. He was tall dark handsome married, zero kids, this would be a professional tête-à-tête.
They both ordered wine – obviously enjoyed one another-she was the first to look at her watch and gracefully leave “the client” with whom she liked. A lot.
The following week, he finished an appointment with a partner and at 4:55. As he walked out of the office he nodded to Allison and gestured very discreetly “meet across the street?” She smiled and nodded, yes.
She gathered her purse, paused a few minutes in the ladies room to touch up her makeup and hair, unbutton the top button of her in her blouse and dab her wrists with perfume.
This time she met him at the door the restaurant – both laughing like school kids with a scheme. Conversation flowed. Allison was careful to limit herself to one glass of wine, and an appetizer appeared. He caught the second ferry that night.
She was smitten. No man had paid her that much attention in years. The next day she had more blonde streaks added, change her nail color to “Jungle Red,” bought some sexy lingerie before she said, ”Slow down, Allison he is married.”
Married, yes and handsome, smart, wealthy, no kids and he texted her once a day which she lived for. There were some slight rumblings, understated, regarding his wife and her idiosyncrasies. Evidently his parents were not very fond of her.
He had a trip to Asia coming up and said would be gone for a week. He asked if she would like to go to a real dinner after the trip.
The week he was gone, she took two yoga classes, bought a new dress, sexy shoes and an expensive bag; she had a mani/pedi at Dolls and Dandy, a massage and facial and had her blonde tresses blown out.
That day, he texted her that he had to cancel the meeting at the office (her heart fell.) However, he wondered if she would meet him at Jardinière the following week at 7 PM She set her timer for 15 minutes, and devised three, nonchalant, noncommittal, calm responses. When her timer chimed, she casually agreed to meet (heart racing.)
Dinner was a date. He met her at the door as she arrived and held her chair for her. The truth began to tumble like a tiny avalanche: his wife was great-well, not really – his parents hated her – she was kind well – actually, very moody, frequently bored, and a triathlete. She was always in training. He had to do all the shopping, house stuff, oversee the cook, hire housekeepers, etc.
Alison was head over heels and he knew it. She knew he felt the same way. And so it began: the once-a-week date with a married man. She had such visions dancing in her head-Romance, love, the future…
Three months later
People in the office noticed she had slimmed down a bit, she had a new hair do, better make up, cuter, better fitting clothes. They teased her her that online dating was really working for her. She laughed.
Dear Reader, we all know how this Greatest Married Man love story 2018 ends: Triathlete wife gets pregnant.
Allison was shocked. How could she be? He told they never had sex. Was Wifey cheating?
Surely it wasn’t an immaculate conception. No, sheepishly he admitted: once, one time, she talked him into “it”.
Now with the Pregger’s wife and the baby on the way, he would have to break it off. He was so sorry. They were at Tadich’s, in a booth in the back, when he broke the news. Tears were streaming down her cheeks, her feet felt like clay; she wanted to run and she couldn’t move. She was in shock. She knew a barrage of words were coming out of his mouth, she couldn’t hear them.
She was wearing her brand-new cocktail dress and new shoes- she had a blowout that morning- the woman at Dior had done her makeup.
Heads turn as she walked out of the restaurant. She looked straight ahead. Stoic.
She climbed into the cab at the curb and went home.
Allison cried for days. She called in sick and binged on Netflix for three days.
Candidly: No lover, if he be of good faith, and sincere, will deny he would prefer to see his mistress dead than unfaithful.