It started innocently – for me anyway—as such things often do. At a poetry reading. He hadn’t been attending, but saw me through the coffee bar window and came in specifically to meet me. A powerful man; so attentive. I was flattered and quickly gave him my heart. Seemingly alarmed that I, in his words, ‘slaved away’ as a barista while I put myself through graduate school, he offered me an interview for the position of his administrative assistant. Its salary was far more than I could earn as a new teacher.
After some thought and a visit to his offices, I cast aside my dream of inspiring students. To my detriment, I went for the money. Surviving a tough interview with senior members of the administrative staff, I got the job on my own merits. Thrilled that we would be together, I showed him my gratitude. Then I learned the truth. Not only was he married, but had two sons of whom he was inordinately proud.
I should have broken off our relationship and left. But the gift of a six-figure bank account convinced me to stay. Then the car; the forty-ninth floor condo. The acceptance of each gift added another wall of bars to my prison. Then he added the last. Now if I leave, I lose everything—and I’ll have a six year hole in my resume.
For now I go on, well paid for all that I do. He demands; I acquiesce. I loved him once, but now I merely endure, saving for the day he’ll find me too old and release me. I welcome that day; I’ll be free to once again go after my dream.