The Married Woman

I was introduced to her and thought it was a windup. There was no way she was a management accountant. She was in her mid 30s and had porcelain skin. I half expected her to take off her horn-rimmed glasses, sweep her long hair out of the tidy bun and straddle me.

If I’m honest, she looked like a stripper.

She offered her hand and said she was pleased to meet me. She spoke confidently, even articulately. I felt the sharp diamond of her engagement ring on the palm of my hand and saw that she also wore a thin golden wedding band. She held my gaze for a little too long and I went back to my work as she was moved on to meet the next person in the office.

She appeared again at Friday drinks with a couple of other girls in the company. She drank bottled beer and laughed like a drain. She had a catalogue of dirty jokes and winked at me whenever she had delivered the punchlines. She moved on to martinis and was slowly playing with the straw, rolling it between her expertly manicured fingers, then unashamedly licking it and staring at me. It was like a scene from Naked Gun.

As you would expect, there was not much life about an accounting department, so she started to spend more and more time in the main office, hot-desking. She would often interrupt my work, shoving the back of my chair, or kneeing me in the leg to join her for frequent coffee and smoke breaks.

I was sent on a site visit and told to take her with me for the experience. I met her in the car park at the crack of dawn on a Friday morning. She was dressed in a smart business suit, hair neatly pinned up and a thick shawl. She got out of her little two-seater sports car and tapped my window. She wanted me to drive as she was really hungover. She leant forward getting into the passenger seat, letting the shawl drop and her blouse fall open.

I managed to keep my eyes straight ahead. She brushed her hand against mine as she struggled with the seat belt and leant in close, asking if I wanted a coffee on the way. She reeked of perfume and mints, but when she spoke the alcohol on her breath gave her away.

We drove in silence for a while as she tapped away on her BlackBerry, and then asked how my love life was going.

I said I had none to speak of.

“A stud like you, I thought…” she said, with surprise as she tailed off and began humming.

She was professional during the meeting and slept on the way back to the office, putting the seat back, undoing some buttons. She kicked off her black stilettos and rubbed her legs.

She was beautiful.

Her BlackBerry woke her up. She answered the call and spoke sharply in shotgun staccato. She killed the call.

“My fucking husband,” she said under her breath.

“The prick!” she sighed, before apologising while watching the traffic.

I was late to Friday night drinks that evening.

She had kept a seat for me next to her, moving her coat and bag, and patting the stool.

“Let me get you a beer, love,” she said, grabbing my thigh.

I had a few then nipped to the toilets to change out of my suit into jeans and a t-shirt. I opened the door to return to my colleagues when the adjoining door opened. It was her.

She paused for a moment, silhouetted in the fluorescent light.

“Oh,” she said, smoothing my tracksuit top and stroking my chest.

“Look at Mr Adidas. Are you feeling sporty?”

I have no idea what that even meant, but it sounded flirty.

“I like your tight jeans. I bet you’ve got a nice surprise in there.”

I was just about to protest that my jeans weren’t tight when she grabbed a hold of me.

“If I wasn’t married…” she whispered.

She leant in and kissed my ear, she half-moaned and breathed deeply into it, catching herself, she pushed me away and continued to the bathroom.

I stood for a moment, took a gulp of air and rejoined my colleagues.

The door flew open from the toilets.

“Husband’s here!” she shouted, “Gotta go.”

She grabbed her phone and handbag, not breaking stride and ran out the door. I heard a car horn beeping repeatedly.

On Monday morning, she didn’t show, or the days after. We got an “All Staff” email the following week saying, she had accepted a position with an architecture practice in the city and wished us all well.

I never heard from her again but will never forget what might have been.

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