The prospect of spending a whole
Saturday in the office instead of just the morning
proved to be the great incentive that Mr. Davis
had said it would be. Never had Peter seen some
of his fellow workers do their jobs with such
animation. By eleven twenty-five, the practice
audit was done and people were already making
for the doors.
“Excuse me,” Kathy said, loud enough for
everyone still around her to clearly hear. “I could
use a little help in putting all of these ledgers
Dozens of eyes looked at the scattered
piles of heavy accounting ledgers that had been
left scattered across a dozen desks. Normally
kept in a large storage room down on the
twenty-first floor, they had been moved upstairs
for the audit.
With half the work force already gone,
none of those left wanted to get stuck any longer
than they had to.
One by one, they came up with some
excuse as to why they couldn’t stay. Without the
authority of the office manager behind her, and he
had been the first to leave, Kathy really couldn’t
force anyone to stay.
“Come on, Pete,” Joe said as he started
for the door. “If we can catch the train, we can be
home in an hour.”
Peter thought about it a few moments,
then said. “You go ahead, I’m going to stay and
“Whatever the hell for,” Joe said. “No
one else is.”
“Because it’s the right thing to do,” Peter
answered. “If you want to go, you go ahead.”
“Suit yourself,” Joe said, shaking his head
at his friend’s attitude. “But just remember Pete,”
he said in a lower tone that only the other teen
could hear. “It’s not like she’s going to be so full
of deep appreciation that she’s going to drop
down to her knees to thank you.”
“Sometimes, Joe,” Peter said as he
watched his friend walk away, “you really are an
By the time Peter walked back into the
office, Kathy was the only one still there. She was
loading a few of the ledgers into a shopping cart
that they used to move them between floors.
Picking up two of the books from a nearby desk,
Peter dropped them into the cart.
“Oh Peter,” Kathy said as she jumped
slightly at the sound of the books landing on her
own pile. “I didn’t realize that anyone was still
“I thought I’d stay and lend a hand, Mrs.
Chakiris,” the younger man said.
“That’s very nice of you,” Kathy replied,
her smile exhibiting a genuine warmth that he had
never seen before. “But if you are going to stay,
I’m going to insist on one condition.”
“You stop all this Mrs. Chakiris
nonsense,” Kathy laughed. “Like I’ve been telling
you to do all summer. You make it sound like I’m
old enough to be your mother.”
“All right, … Kathy.” Peter smiled as he
piled another few ledgers into the cart.
Even with the two of them, it took another
hour and four elevator trips to the twenty-first
floor to put away all the ledgers.
“I read an article the other day,” Peter
said as pushed the now empty cart down the
equally empty hall. “that said that someday they’ll
be able to make computers that will keep all these
records on a disk the size of a pack of cigarettes.”
“Are you sure that wasn’t one of those
science fiction magazines,” Kathy laughed.
“Sounds like something out of the Outer Limits.”
“No, it was Scientific American,” Peter
said, then realized that she was joking with him.
“Oh, I get it.”
The elevator door opened once more on
their floor. As they stepped back into the office,
Kathy checked her watch.
“Quarter after one,” she said out loud. “I
was afraid that I wouldn’t get out of here until
“Oh no,” Peter exclaimed as he heard the
time. “I forgot to call my brother about the Mets
He quickly dialed his brother’s house on
the closest desk phone. His sister in law told him
that Mark had already left for the game. She also
told him that when Peter hadn’t called him one
way or another, Mark had simply asked one of the
neighbors if they wanted to go.
“You were supposed to be going to the
baseball game?” Kathy asked Peter, not being
able to ignore the telephone conversation.
“My Dad won a pair of tickets, he gave
them to my brother and me,” Peter explained.
“Now I feel guilty about having you stay
and help,” Kathy said.
“You don’t have to feel that way,” Peter
replied. “I wanted to stay, I really did. More than
I wanted to go see the game.”
“I think you’re lying,” Kathy smiled. “but
thank you for saying that. I really do appreciate
Peter wasn`t sure what he was going to
say next, but whatever it was, it flew right out of
his head as Kathy leaned over and gave him a
thank you kiss on his cheek. It was the sort of
kiss you would get from a friend, but as
unexpected as it was, he couldn’t have been more
surprised if she had kissed him on the lips and
stuck her tongue down his throat.
“You really are a dear,” she said with a
smile after the kiss.
“I guess I’d better get going,” Peter
finally replied, still at a loss for words.
“Before you go, Peter,” Kathy said as she
sat on the edge of her desk and crossed her legs.
The black slacks she wore seemed to accent,
rather than hide her long legs, “can I ask you
“Sure, anything,” he quickly replied.
“Do you ever hear the men in the office
talking about me?”
“I’m not sure what you mean?” came his
“Oh I’m sure you do,” Kathy said. “It’s
no secret to me that a good many of the men in
this office look at me as some sort of easy lay,
even though I’ve never so much as gone out with
any of them for a drink after work.”
Peter was shocked to hear the phrase
“easy lay” come out of Kathy’s mouth. It wasn’t
the sort of thing he’d ever heard any woman say.
“Well I try to ignore office gossip,” he
“But you have heard it?” she asked again.
“Yes,” he finally admitted.
“Do you think that it’s true?”
“Well I guess it doesn’t have to be true to
be gossip,” Peter said after a few moments
“Well just to set the record straight, I’m
not an easy lay, despite what anyone says. Most
men these days see a woman who is both
attractive and divorced and automatically assume
that if she shows the slightest interest in them, all
she wants to do is go to bed with them. As if she
was nothing better than some common
With his eyes fixed on the contours of her
body, the first thing that came to Peter’s mind was
that there was nothing common about Kathy.
Then his common sense took hold and he said
nothing. Yet he wondered why she was telling
him all of this.
“One of the reasons why I don’t date
anyone from the office,” she went on, “is the fact
that because of that view, any invitation I did
accept would be taken as an invitation to
something far more than dinner. Even if that
expectation went unfulfilled, there are many of
those who would assume that it had been
Peter was now totally confused and still
confused by the candor of her statements. It was
almost like talking to one of the guys. After all,
girls didn’t talk about getting laid, did they?
Finally the thought occurred to him that she was
telling him all of this because somehow she had
heard what he and the guys had been saying about
her in their lunchtime bull sessions.
“I guess I’m sort of guilty too,” he
admitted with a deep blush as he explained how
she had come up in their noontime discussions. He
left out, however, the fact that she was a frequent
visitor in his own masturbation fantasies. That
would be too forthcoming.
Kathy laughed at his admission. It took
him a few seconds to realize that she wasn’t
laughing at him, just his admission.
“Sweetheart, it doesn’t bother me that you
and your buddies talk about me,” she laughed.
“That’s just part of being eighteen and perpetually
horny. In fact, I’d be more offended if you
weren’t checking me out. Women have egos too
you know. I wouldn`t even be shocked to know
that one or two of you might think of me late at
This was way too much, Peter thought to
himself. He couldn’t imagine any woman saying
the things that Kathy had just said.
“I guess by now I have you totally
confused, don’t I?” Kathy finally said.
“Sort of …” Peter answered.
“Well the reason I guess I told you all of
that was because I want to make it up to you for
missing the baseball game and spending your time
helping me. I just wanted you to understand that
what I was offering was exactly that, with nothing
“Okay,” Peter replied, still not really
“I was going to the World’s Fair out in
Flushing Meadow tomorrow with my roommate,”
Kathy finally explained. “But she had to go home
to New Jersey last night because her Mother is ill.
Since the tickets to the Fair are already paid for
and everything, I was wondering if you’d like to
go with me? Just as friends.”
Peter’s eyes lit up. Despite living not all
that far from the Fair, he had yet to go there. It
was one of those things that you kept saying, next
weekend. Without evening thinking about it, he
was saying he’d love to go.
“That would be great,” Kathy said on
hearing his reply. Would you rather meet me at
the entranceway, or do you want to come over my
apartment and pick me up. I live up on Belle
“I guess it would be easier to meet at your
apartment,” Peter said, not having realized that
Kathy also lived in Queens. “The way the crowds
are at the Fair, we might never find each other.”
“You’re probably right,” Kathy agreed as
she wrote down her address on an index card for
him. “We should get an early start, would eight
be too early?”
Peter said that eight would be fine as he
took the card from her. Kathy said that she had
some errand to run in the city and that she would
lock up everything in the office.
As he rode the elevator down to the lobby
of the midtown office building, Peter only now
realized what had just happened.
“Wait until I tell the guys that I’m going to
the World’s Fair with Kathy,” he told himself
Then he considered what Kathy had said
about how the men in the office viewed her, a
view shared by his friends, and decided that
perhaps this was something that he should keep to
himself after all.