Tiffany can’t understand why Blake can’t take her home with him in his car. Why does she have to catch the tram to his place on her own, while he drives home in his BMW?
They work in the same office; they’ve been having an intimate relationship for the past three months. After all their co-workers have gone home, he’d lock his office door and take her into his arms.
This is the first time that he’s invited her to his home. How exciting it is, she’ll finally see what kind of place he lives in, a place one day hopefully she’ll call home.
It’s about time for him to show her where he lives. She believes that Blake is trying to let her know he is serious about her. He should, after all he never takes her anywhere. There is no candle lit dinners, no walks under the moonlight. Not yet anyway!
She was fortunate to have landed this good job as a fresh graduate. She’s tried her best to work hard to prove to the company that she intends to make a career for herself with the company. She has always loved numbers so she feels like a fish in water in her job.
Six months ago, Blake joined the company. Instantly she felt the chemistry between them. He didn’t talk much, but his eyes were often focused on her. That was before she melted in his arms. After their intimacy, he would shy away in front of others.
He would say “Watch the office gossip, we have to be professional.”
Indeed, Blake would walk past her desk in the morning like she wasn’t there. If she greeted him with the warmest “Good morning”, she would get the coldest one back. Often he would pass her like she did not exist. Occasionally he would say something funny or light hearted to the other secretary, but never to her.
Long ago, seems like a lifetime ago or more like a few centuries ago, they would exchange smiles in the morning and say “Good morning” and “Goodbye” when leaving the office in the evening.
Blake called her into his office a week ago and suggested that she apply for a job in the western suburb branch of the company.
She didn’t want to: “I like it here, it’s near home and you.”
He explained: “The purpose is not to change your location, it’s to let the company know you are willing to help out wherever the company needs you.”
What a brilliant mind, she learns so much from him. Oh Blake, you are the best!
His mannerism and rapport deeply captured her imagination; all other men seem so unattractive after comparison with Blake.
She doesn’t like the way other men talk, nor what they wear. The man is too tall if he’s taller than Blake, too short if he’s shorter than Blake. Blake is perfect; in her heart he has no faults. Blake represents the ideal man, he’s excellent in every way.
She locked herself in her little world, created luxurious dreams in that private circle. Those dreams accompany her during the weekends and lonely nights.
At 5 o’clock she tidies her desk up. Not wasting any time, she shoots into the lift and descends from the fifteenth floor. She can’t help feeling frustrated, can’t it go any faster?
Walking out of the office building, the situation doesn’t improve at all. People after people come out from the different buildings, walk towards the train stations, tram stops or car parks. She is surrounded by people, moving slowly at their pace, not able to walk as fast as she wishes.
It’s rush hour, the busiest time of the day. Cars, vans, buses, trams, motorcycles, bicycles, one after the other, line after line, all moving slowly.
She hears someone call her name in the crowd, she recognises the voice as belonging to Dina. Staff in the office call her “the Radio” behind her back. She has no way to avoid her so turns towards her, smiling nicely.
“Where you going?”
“Flinders St Station.”
“We all are, which direction are you going?”
“Train or tram?
“Tram, and you?”
“Train is faster for me, but I’ll take the tram to accompany you.”
Oh no, she tries to think of how to get herself out of this situation?
“Where do you get off?”
“On Power Street.”
“Why didn’t you ask Blake to give you a lift? He lives around there.”
Tiffany’s heart is pounding so fast; it almost jumps out of her mouth.
“I didn’t know that.”
“Where are you going? Are you sure you want to get off on Power Street? That’s a residential area, unless you want to go to the church.”
“No, I’m visiting a friend.”
“Which street are you going to?”
“Don’t worry, I know where to go.”
“Do you have Blake’s phone number with you? You can call him if you get lost, I’m sure he’ll gladly help you.”
“I’m fine really.”
The tram ride is distressing. Dina is such a busybody; she keeps trying to dig deeper to find information. Tiffany has her guard up, a careless word would cause unbelievable hardship later in the office. She doesn’t want to become Dina’s next gossip target.
Dina is always in a talking mood. Tiffany doesn’t pay much attention to her; she anxiously keeps her eyes on every single stop. The tram moves painfully slowly.
Finally getting off the tram, Tiffany rushes towards Blake’s home. There’s no wind, it’s the hurry that blows the tips of her hair.
It’s not 6 o’clock yet. She leans on the door and tries to catch her breath. The house has blue patterned red bricks, the front door has stained glass and the garden is neat and colourful. She likes it very much.
The door flings open. “Come in, don’t just stand there.”
Blake pulls her into his arms and pushes the door closed behind her.
His arms are strong and muscular, his embrace is tender and intense. She’s totally satisfied in her lover’s arms.
“I am sorry to have let you come here by public transport, you understand, don’t you? I can’t afford a scandal; you know how people talk!”
“At some stage people have to know, don’t they?”
“No! Why do they have to know? This is between you and me; we both know this is passion, our passion. It’s like we are two people travelling in the same direction, we met and connected for a while, everything is the way it should be; two willing parties sharing a common need.”
“Just for a while?”
“Just for the moment.”
“Why just for the moment? Aren’t you happy?”
“I am happy! But I can’t ruin your future. There is a time to have fun, there is a time to move on. You have your destiny, I have mine; I have no right to stand in your way and I don’t want you to stand in mine.”
“You are not standing in my way; why do you say that I am standing in your way?”
“My silly Tiffany, what do you think Anne would say?”
“Dr. Anne David!”
“Oh, the blonde lady you’ve have lunch with a few times.”
“That’s right, the blonde lady who I met at uni, who has been my wife for the past three years.”
Wife? Who’s talking about a wife? Tiffany feels like she just got hit by a tsunami, powerful water suddenly poured all over her. She didn’t expect this. She’s lost her balance, fallen into strong rushing water without warning; she tries to figure out how to survive it and not drown.
“I am going to be his wife, yes, I am going to” Tiffany tells herself.
She loves him; he is her dream come true. He loves her; of course he does, that’s why she’s here in his house. She likes his house; she could live in it. Have a few children with him, hopefully they’ll have his eyes, nose, lips and personality.
If he loved his wife, he wouldn’t hold her as tight as he did, he wouldn’t keep her in his office after all the other staff had gone. She knows if a man truly loves her or not.
The home delivered pizza loses its taste even though Tiffany has loved pizza ever since she was a child. For the first time, her taste buds don’t give her any pleasure. She’s not able to like anything. Her mind is empty and blocked; even Blake’s words are unable to get through.
Blake senses her change of mood, he doesn’t push nor make any demands. Gentlemanly keeping his distance, looking at her the same way as he looks at Anne’s photo sitting on the top of the entertainment unit.
The night does not turn out the way she had wanted it to. Before she came to his place, she had been out of this world with happiness. When she leaves, she is out of this world with unhappiness.
Blake takes her home in his car. It doesn’t make her feel better, it makes her believe that he does love her and he does care.
“I have very good news for you in the office, you’ll be thrilled. Till tomorrow morning then” Blake says to her before kissing her goodbye.
Tiffany has a hard time getting to sleep. She can’t digest the idea of Blake being a married man. She never ever thought of herself being involved with a married man. Yuk, she feels sick.
Dr Anne David, a woman who had come to have lunch with Blake every now and then. Tiffany thought she was a client, and she looked much older than him. Who would have guessed? Why didn’t he introduce his wife to the staff? She had the impression that he was a single man.
Now everything is so clear. That’s why he never takes her out on the weekends, with only occasionally a phone call or two.
Oh how cross she is with herself, why didn’t she ask him earlier? She knew deep in her heart that she would not have a relationship with a married man.
As far as she was concerned, she did not have a relationship with a married man. She fell in love with a single man who she hoped one day she would marry.
The truth is cold and hard, now she knows Blake is a married man; she should walk away as if the love affair had never happened.
Affair? No, not an affair, an affair is too light hearted. She had given her heart and soul to Blake, she loves him deeply, truthfully, honestly; it’s a meaningful relationship.
Tiffany believes that Blake feels the same way as her. Their love will withstand time, as deep as the ocean, as good as a mother’s promise, they should be united, she can’t and won’t abandon him. She’ll keep loving him till the end of time.
Blake told her there’s good news waiting for her in the morning, what can it be?
Is he going to tell her he’ll leave Anne? Or take her to some exotic place for a holiday? Or spend a first weekend with her in a nearby hotel? Oh Blake, you are the best.
It’s a sad and lonely night, remembering the details of their short romance. It was filled with lots of sweet moments. She was fascinated by everything he said, and charmed by the words he had chosen.
He is the target of her love; staying in his love is her purpose of living.
Walking into the office with red eyes the next morning, Tiffany is surprised to see Blake arrive only a few minutes after her. He is charged with energy, his steps are determined, and his appearance is dashing and refined.
Blake unusually greets her with a smile.
He sticks his head out as soon as she takes off her jacket, with a friendly smile that she hasn’t seen in the office during working hours for a long time.
“Good morning Tiffany, I have good news for you. Would you like to step into my office for a tick?”
Tiffany walks into Blake’s office, forgetting about the sleepless night, opening up her heart, ready for anything that Blake is going to tell her.
She sits down in front of his desk with an accepting attitude.
“Congratulations, our Seddon branch would like to have you join them as soon as you can pack up your stuff. I think you can take a week off as a holiday before you start the new job there. They are pleased to have you. I gave you a very good reference, of course. It’s sad to see you go, but I don’t want to stand in your way. Your potential is unlimited. I wish you all the best.”
Tiffany can’t hear Blake very well, she tries to stand up from the chair, but her legs seem missing, she falls onto the floor.
She weakly hears Blake calling someone to help, like she’s unwanted rubbish, not worthy for him to dirty his hands on.
Tiffany helplessly cries inside her heart “Please don’t be so cruel, don’t send me away, I’m begging you, don’t take away my hope, don’t destroy my wish.”
Warm tears from her face drop onto the carpet. It doesn’t make any mark because the carpet is so dark.