“Cassandra—” Robert paused. I could tell that he was trying to form the words in his head carefully. The air was stiff; I could tell this was not going to end well. He knew more than he was letting on and my stomach was starting to knot up. “Can I be honest with you?” he asked.
“Always,” I said with fear.
“The woman is a pretentious b*tch. She doesn’t ever get to know anyone. She had no acquaintances, especially not women. She is much too self involved. So, how do you know her?” He pushed the subject and I immediately felt the knot move from my stomach to my throat. I could not speak. “Cassandra?”
I inhaled deeply. “I – I – I used to work for her husband, Mr. Friedman.”
Robert’s eye twitched and he tilted his head from one side to another. “I used to work for Mr. Friedman too, Cassandra. His wife never knew my name, not in the five years I worked for him. I’m pretty sure she never cared to know anyone’s name except a few special women. So, how did she get to know yours?”
I could feel my head getting heavy and the blood rushing through my body. I was getting weaker and weaker. If he had worked for Derrick for five years, then surely he must have known about Derrick’s philandering ways. When I worked at Derrick’s office, there was always gossip and rumors, some of them about me, but mostly about all of the other women he had dated. No one really believed that I was his mistress, although few knew for a fact that I was. “I was his secretary. I had a lot of contact with her on the phone and when she would visit him at his office.” It was all a lie. She only came to his office once, and that was to see me.
“I see,” said Robert. Again, he paused. “Then how come he didn’t say hello at the restaurant when she did?”
“I don’t know, Robert. I guess you would have to ask him. Why didn’t you say hello if you had worked for him?” I tried to take the focus of the conversation off of me.
“He looked upset, Cassandra, and his wife looked like she was on a mission. It’s been years since I have worked for him, so I doubt if he would even remember me. I was one of thousands who worked for him.” He paused again and looked at me square in the eye. “So, you were his secretary, eh?”
“What’s with all of the questions, Robert? Is there something you want to ask me?” I snapped, upset and irritated with the conversation.
“Yes, actually I do.”
“Okay, then ask!” I exclaimed lividly.
“Were you one of his mistresses?” He raised his eyebrow and looked me straight in the eyes as he waited for my answer.