My phone called about an hour after Hollie had left. I sorted the bed and started on some lunch. What Hollie had in mind precisely was actually a mystery for me, but whatever it was I could bet it would be earth-shattering. From the licking of her lips and her beaming just before she left, I could bet I would not be disappointed. Twenty minutes later, her first text came (Missing me already? My pussy is missing your big boy already.) There was a pic as well of her fingers spreading that perfectly-shaven pussy just for my enjoyment. The plan was to send each other at least 3 such messages between now and when she would return to mine later. I want you to impale that pussy on my throbbing cock. Is it wet already?
It was just a few minutes after that that the call came through. It was not from work – thankfully – but from Katie. I picked up. “Katie? I’ve not heard from you for weeks!”
“Hey, how ya doin’?” she chirped happily into the phone. “Are you working today?” She went on without giving me a chance to respond. “I am at a café close to yours. Café Heaven. Wanna meet?”
I had to admit it would be good to meet an old friend to spend some time with before the evening arrived. Café Heaven was literally around the corner. “I am not working today,” I said without going into any details. “I can be there in 10?”
* * *
Katie was an old friend from school. One of those people that stick by you whatever but nothing ever actually has a chance of developing. We went to the same college as students; she was there on my wedding day ten years ago helping with the prep; and there when the whole thing collapsed (that is, I got divorced) five years later, one of the few people who actually gave me some sensible advice.
Two people couldn’t be more different. I wore suits and ties; she wore torn-up jeans and hippie-style everything. I was a university professor, she ran a cupcake shop (yep, I know, a hippie running a cupcake shop; don’t get me started!); I drove a car, she would walk anywhere and was a committed eryamanda yeni escortlar hiker disappearing in the hills for weeks. I would fall for women, easily infatuated, men simply did not interest her in that way. And yet, we were great friends and I could count on her almost always.
She was sitting in the café near the window, easy to spot from the front door. There was a cup of coffee already waiting for me. “Got you cappuccino – your fave.” She got up for a warm hug. She was a tall woman, about 40 years old, brunette with her hair cut rather short, much like I imagine Joan of Arc must’ve been – although that’s likely a bad comparison. Not sure Joan of Arc spent a lot of time baking cupcakes!
“Hey Kates, long time no see,” I said. “What are you here? Having seen you for at least a month!”
“Busy cupcakin’. Business going well, but very little time for anything else. How are you doing?”
Okay, so I decided to tell her, without beating around the bush. First she got pale, then red with rage and when I finished the story, punctuated with her “What?!!” shouted out at irregular intervals, her eyes were like two saucers, wide with shock, and she said, “Fuck, man!” This was the only time, ever, I have heard her swear.
“Kate! Language!” I laughed, which served to calm her down somewhat.
“Language, language – give me break – what are you going to do?”
“Well, I am kind of expecting they just want to give me a sack. The meeting is likely going to be a formality.” There was a surrender in my voice, I knew, but I wasn’t going to lie to her.
“That’s defeatist,” she said in an accusatory voice, wagging her finger at me. “What can you do?”
“Now? Nothing. We’ll see tomorrow.” I hesitated, encountering her eyes, begging me to do something. “I don’t even know what it is – I mean what kind of accusation precisely they have. I probably had it coming anyhow – I am too unorthodox.”
“It’s just so bloody unfair. You’re a good lecturer and your research is of first class.” To be fair, I held the same, perhaps immodest but sincan escort bayan so, opinion about myself. But the sentiment coming earlier in the day from John was clear in my mind – they seemed to have made a decision already.
“I am in a good financial position at the moment, Kate. I am not going to starve if that is going to happen.” I tried to sound certain of myself and to assure her I wasn’t devastated (which I really was). Perhaps coming here was a mistake, occurred to me. Hollie said I was to not think about that.
“You sound so resigned somehow.”
“I am not, actually. There’s just nothing to do before tomorrow.”
“Can you have any representation there?”
“According to the policy around this type of case, no.” I looked at her with one of my I know this is appalling expressions. “Unbelievable.”
“Okay, then.” She drummed the table with her fingers, thinking, clearly trying to come with something.
“Kate, you don’t know my context. What—”
“I’ve got it!” she yelled. Heads turned towards us. “It’s alright!” she said loudly to relax them. “I get excited.” Laughs could be heard around us. I hated that kind of attention – her excitable nature was not one of the things that we shared.
“What? What have you got?”
“Stuart,” she addressed me. “I might not know your context or your students and your co-workers. But you can do one thing in a situ like this. I am good, aren’t I?” she congratulated herself.
“Yes, but what is it?” I was now getting exasperated.
She shifted in the chair, straightening herself up and put down her cup on her saucer as if she was about to say something profound. She cleared her throat.
“Record the meeting,” she said slowly – very slowly, particularly for her, uttering one word at a time. “Record. The. Meeting.”
I leaned back in my chair. “What?”
“Secretly, of course.”
“You can’t do that!”
“No, I can’t but you can.” She chuckled.
“You know what I meant.”
“They pull something, you’ve got evidence you can use against them.” ankara escort She gave me a particularly long look. “Protect yourself. Use your phone and just record the audio of the whole thing.”
I frowned. I had some serious reservations about such covert activities. After all, I didn’t know what they would say or do – perhaps these accusations were genuine after all? “I don’t know,” I said.
“Do it,” she insisted. Her voice was practically commanding. “Or at least promise me that before tomorrow, you will consider this?”
She took a good few seconds examining my expression. “Yeah, you will. I can see it.” I didn’t deny this time I was considering it. This idea was getting me calmer. It felt wrong to be even considering recording an internal work conversation. But if nothing awry happens in there, nobody will know. But if it does, I could at least think of using it – how, in what way, I couldn’t think, but at least it was something.
Kate was noticing these little mood changes reflected in my face over these few seconds and was clearly content at what she was orchestrating there.
“Thanks, Kates. I think I will. I just need to think about it.” I smiled a genuinely contented smile.
“Is that what you do at team meetings at Cupcakes at Lacy’s?”
“No. We smear each other’s faces with cream if someone’s missed their deadline.” Our hands met for a high five. “That’s all I needed to know,” she said, clearly satisfied. “I hope it goes well. Don’t kill them all, leave some for me, will ya?”
* * *
Walking back home about an hour later, I thought how natural that conversation with Katie was, and how genuine her sympathy was. We had talked about other things later – her family, common friends, politics and cupcakes, of course, which was her world. She was a kind and life-satisfied soul. She was genuine, too, and easy to talk to for this reason. An open book really – an astonishing contrast to the likes of John and whoever the person who made the complaint at the university was.
The more I thought about Kate’s idea of recording the meeting, the better I felt about it. Having closed the door behind me, I checked the audio recorder app on my Android: it would be an easy thing to do tomorrow.
Then I noticed another text from Hollie on my phone and forgot everything else.