Episode 2 – Steve’s Place
So, the next day, Tuesday, I report for my first day at work…make sure to arrive fifteen minutes early. Have to wait for Steve to let me in. He’s obviously pleased…we get along fine from the start. He doesn’t act like I’m a slave. In fact, seems really interested in me…asks a million questions…spaces them out, so it’s not so obvious. I’m not exactly sure if he’s coming on to me or just friendly
Like, an hour into it, he asks: “You have any brothers or sisters?”
“Nope. I’m an only child.”
After that, nothing for a while, then: “What’s your father do?”
“Never knew him.”
A look of surprise. “Oh.”
After a few deliveries: “Do you have a girlfriend?” Definitely a probe for personal info.
I laugh. “One or two.” It’s true. I have no problem hooking up. Girls drool over me…lost my virginity at, like, twelve. All I have to do is make a few calls to get my itch is satisfied.
For the rest of the day, between deliveries, Steve briefs me on the flower business: how long flowers last, percentage of walk-ins versus regulars, who the major customers are, what to say on the phone…stuff I need to know. I’m fucking ecstatic to have a job, and totally committed to giving it a hundred percent….turn on the charm every chance I get. Not that I really have to, because he clearly enjoys watching me…but want to become totally indispensable. Whatever it takes, and pretty quickly, positive reports start coming in.
A week into it, Steve sits me down. “Tamar,” he says. “I have to tell you, you’re already the best employee I’ve ever had. People are actually requesting you. What’s your secret?”
“Well, Mr. Holt,” I reply. “I follow your instructions to the letter…never take a break on client time, and plan my route so the deliveries are fast as possible. Plus, I check to make sure every arrangement looks great. If anything looks damaged or out of place, I fix it…and I like people, so I try to read them. If an assistance looks me over, I play along…also, if they’re grumpy, or whatever, I try to brighten their day.”
“Perfect!” He says with a smile. “Your formula’s definitely working, because orders have picked up. Call me Steve.”
“Awesome!” I exclaim. “I like working here a lot.”
Three weeks later, Steve shares some of his personal stuff. Explains his first love is fashion photography…puts in a full day at the shop, then goes home and does shoots. Magazines use him for their smaller projects, and business is growing…so, he wants me to see that operation too, maybe help out there. After work, he invites me over to see his studio, and I’m not sure whether to do it…I mean, what are his intentions, right? I sort of get the feeling his interest isn’t entirely platonic…especially after three weeks of lecherous glances, but as long as he keeps his hands to himself, I don’t really care, but the invitation is definitely an escalation, right? He could be a pedophile, although I could crush him like a bug…so I’m not that worried, maybe sort of curious. But…I don’t want to seem too eager and give him the wrong idea…tell him: “Maybe, but not tonight. Mom wants me home.” Leave it at that, and he seems cool about it, but a few nights later he asks again: “You got a few minutes? I’m right down the block,” so, I agree and he seems pretty psyched…which I guess is good…right? I wonder if his “photography studio” is serious, or ego shit…or even porn???
To be continued… Read next episode!