The young guy was there, just looking through the window, sitting on the edge of the frame. He was looking somewhere beyond the buildings, the streets, the people and their noise. It seemed he was looking at something that wasn't there or he maybe even not really looking, just wondering.
- Sorry. - I said.
I put the papers I had been asked to look for on the desk. The boy immediately turned around and looked directly into my eyes. For lack of a better word, they were mesmerizing: not blue or green or honey colored. They were brown but somehow they were so much more special than any other brown eyes I had ever seen.
He smiled at me and turned his head again, returning to his wondering beyond this place, in which he obviously had no intention to stay. For me, it wasn't clear why he was there but my boss was handling his affairs. He was his attorney and I was the attorney's assistant. Not having come out of law school yet, I was trying to learn what made a lawyer a very good one but as of yet, i had only learned how to make a decent cup of coffee and how to juggle two boxes of donuts and three large lattes.
Then, my boss entered. Ms. Hoffman was a tall, intimidating woman. And to be honest, I was surprised to see her advising such a young guy. He had to be younger than me, I thought. But there he was, all worried. And her, she was in one weird mood. Normally, Ms. Hoffman would be yelling at everyone, asking for things, denying others and then asking for notes and data and so on. But today, she had been in her office all day until he came. And here she was.
- How have you been, Tony?
So, he's name was Tony. He sat down next to year with me on the other side. They chatted amicably for a while, asking the same superficial things one asks a friend or a close acquaintance. This was extremely strange, as Ms. Hoffman had never really shown interest in any person, not employee or client. But there she was, asking him about his health and work.
For what I could take from the conversation, she had helped him emancipate himself from his family. The guy owned a billion dollar company. You know, one of those young brains of the new generation: they make an app and the next day they are giving money to Bill Gates or something.
He was not a friend of words, speaking only if he had to and not bothering to fake a smile, a thing that Ms. Hoffman was doing. It seemed so odd and unnatural. And, when the meeting passed its first thirty minutes, I started wondering what I was doing there. Besides handling papers from time to time, I was not doing much. She hadn't asked for coffee or some difficult number from ten years ago. She had just demanded me to be there.
Then the meeting was over. They were bidding farewell to each other when Ms Hoffman said:
- Oh, I almost forgot. This is the guy I told you about. He's perfect for you.
At first, I was not sure I had heard it correctly. I tried to say something but then he looked at me again and all the words melted quickly. He just nodded and said "He'll do fine". Was I been pimped or something similar? Why hadn't she told me anything?
He came out first and she started walking after him but then I recovered my words and asked her what was going on. She only said that now I worked for him and that I should go after him and ask all the details about the new job. She said I could clear my post on the weekend.
So I stood there, for what it felt like ages. I had been laid off but at the same time I had a new job already. Confusing? Of course, but mysterious even more. I rushed after the guy and realized he had taken the elevator already so I had to go into a crowded one. When I finally arrived to the ground floor, I rushed out only to see the young man smirking, waiting leaning on a black car.
- Get in, guy.
He got in and then I followed. It wasn't a limousine or anything but the car was beautiful inside and out and the chauffeur didn't spoke a word. Apparently, he knew the schedule by heart. He started to drive and then I noticed the young guy was looking at me.
For a second I doubted but then I finally spoke.
- Ellar Ramsay.
- Good. Call me Tony.
I nodded. Then shut up again. I had no idea what to ask or say. As a matter of fact, I didn't even know why I had entered a car without saying something before or asking the destination. I just sat there, looking through the window. If he really was my new boss, he would ask something at some time. Maybe lattes were also his thing.
The car stopped in front of a beautiful building. He asked the chauffeur to park it properly and come back the following day. The man only nodded in response.
When we got, Tony walked in front of me at all times. I just smiled or nodded to people in the building until we were alone in the elevator, taking us up to the thirtieth floor.
- Did Ellen tell you anything about your job with me?
I nodded negatively.
- Are you afraid of me?
That was one tough question. Although short and seeming fairly simple, Tony did have something very intimidating about him. His body language, his expressions, that way of looking at nothing, his eyes, ... He was really strange, even more than Ms. Hoffman. At least she was predicable. From this young fellow, no one knew what had to be expected and I suspected he was aware of this feeling he imprinted in people's mind.
- I see you are. Good but not in your post.
The elevator opened and he stepped out. I followed, but stopped almost immediately: we were obviously at his apartment and it was really nice. It didn't look like one of those rich people's flats; all done by some crazy designer that thinks black is the only color in the world. No, this was a home, full of color and, obviously, feelings.
There were pictures, a lot of them. I saw Tony in some of them. And a man and a woman, probably his parents. I followed him through the living room and then to a corridor. I was sure he was leading me to an office where we would discuss the details of my new post but, once again, I was mistaken. We were in the bedroom.
It was lit by the pale light of sundown and when he switched the lights on, it felt as if the afternoon sun had entered the room. It looked beautiful. So beautiful it was, I had not realized he was taking his clothes off. Again, my words were lost. I saw his shoes, pants, t-shirt and jacket fall to the floor.
- Pick that up for me, please.
He entered another room, probably the closet, and started singing. I couldn't decipher, or care about, which song it was. I took the clothes and folded them and then put them on his bed. What was I doing? Why was I just doing what he wanted instead of demanding answers or simply leaving?
I then realized I was breathing heavily so I decided to get closer to the window and try to slow myself down, to relax, to get my words back from him. As I calmed down, I saw the city unfold before my eyes, all the car lights and building lit up, all ready for the night. I remembered it was Friday night and I was being expected in a bar.
- How do I look?
I turned to him and saw he had put on a tuxedo. He looked very sharp, except for the light blue socks he was wearing and his unshaved appearance. I felt him taking over me again but this time, I closed my eyes and spoke.
- What am I doing in here?
He smiled and got close. For some reason, I shivered. I was scared.
- Don't be scared. I'm not a maniac or anything. I get a bit crazy often but not really mental.
- Do I really work for you?
- Yes, you do.
- As.... what? A prostitute? I don't...
Again, he smiled but this time I didn't felt threatened but relieved.
- I do, actually. But that has nothing to do with it. I asked Ellen for a sharp, intelligent guy to be my assistant. That's you.
What? Assistant? Again?!
- I know you are her assistant. Or used to be, at least. Now, you are mine anyway. And I need you.
And then he did something I didn't saw coming. He took my hands and squeezed them gently.
- I need someone I can trust. Someone that knows all of me and me of him. And no, not a relationship based on love or sex but on partnership. I own a small empire and I need a guy like you to help me make it bigger and better.
So many thoughts were rushing into my head. I could even feel the blood going all over my body. I had to speak now but, again, all inside of me was blocked. My head lay low, at the floor. This time, I wasn't blocked because of him but because of the chance given by him to me. I had always wanted to be a lawyer, a great hero defending people from titans trying to steal their lives from them. But this man was asking me to be his shadow, forever probably. And just like that, without any explanation or details.
I raised my head again and looked at him, straight in the eye. When I saw him, I felt a connection. And I was sure I saw him feeling it too.
- What do you need me for? - I said.
- Grab me some dark socks and help me shave. I swear it gets better down the road.
Again, he smiled at me with that craftiness, that subtle way he had to get what he wanted by just using his eyes.
The only difference this time was that, without hesitation, I smiled back.