Bulls Island (Continued)
Why was he always following me? He made my skin crawl. I slipped into an empty elevator, his arm caught the closing door, and I was trapped.
"You look great today. New dress?" he said, exuding enough testosterone to impregnate every female in the five boroughs of New York City.
"Thank you." I avoided eye contact and his question.
He leaned against the opposite wall, put his hands in his pockets, and struggled to look adorable. "So, let me ask you something, McGee."
"Why aren't you committed to someone who could, you know, see about all your needs? Too risky to get involved?"
"It's not about money, Dennis," I said, looking directly at him without a shred of warmth. "It's about my survival. And since when is my life your business?"
Disbelieving, Dennis Baker's obnoxious eyes surveyed me as though he could not imagine what I struggled to overcome. In his opinion I had no problems because money was the great cure-all. As if I was rolling in it. Would that it were so.
"I've been watching you. And . . . just curious, I guess." Next, with what I'm sure he deemed considerable insight, he said, "Well then, it must be about power. Why you work so hard and why you're such a loner? A relationship might distract your focus and therefore dilute your power. Am I right?"
"Nooooo," I said, assuring him that I had no interest in chatting with him for the minute it took us to rise from the thirty-eighth-floor lobby to the seventieth floor. Any and all conversation with him was exasperating. I stood rooted to my side of the elevator and stared up at the rapidly changing red digital trailer of weather and news.
I said to myself, no, it wasn't about power. It actually was all about survival. Was it easy for a woman to make it in this business? No.
You had to be twice as right, twice as qualified, and twice as anything else the assignment required.