The Trophy Case

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Chapter Two

Monday, Didi got a surprise. Her boss told her to report to HR. Now, this could mean only one of two things. Either she was fired or she was going to be moving up the ladder. From HR, she was sent to the office of the Chief Operating Officer. She waited a while before Craig came out and saw her.

“With you in a couple Dee,” he said. “Hang around, you don’t have time for the cafeteria.”

It was about fifteen minutes before Craig’s secretary told her to go in.

“Okay, Dee.” Said Craig, “you were set up Friday, and approved, so we’ve got an offer for you.

“Terry had to go home. Family trouble. We asked him to recommend a replacement, that would be you.”

What hit her first was that Terry was gone, without a word, and now she was falling in love with him. Well, maybe that was for the best, he really wasn’t Mr. Moneybags. He never asked to go Dutch, but there were a few times she felt it was close.

“You are Alexandra’s right hand. You arrange, suck up to donors, and get them to give you bushels and bushels of money for the causes we support. That work for you?”

“I think it’s what I would be best at.”

“I’ll reserve judgment on that. You need some wardrobe help and probably a bout with a hairdresser before a sixty-something dowager will buy you, but you now know the folks who can help there. Alexandra’s waiting, tell her it’s my fault that you’re late.”

She rushed to Alexandra’s office.

“Craig said to tell you…”

“That’s his fault you’re late,” Alexandra finished for her. “I’m married to him, and I know we were pretty low on the priority scale this morning. He explain the job?”

“Said I’m your assistant, right hand was actually what he said.”

“Okay, basically we screw rich people out of their tax deductable contributions to charity, which, when you consider it, is basically screwing everyone who isn’t rich. To start, do you know who George Fredrickson is?”

“AMS, American Micro Systems, Founder CEO.”

“You have a dinner meeting with him tonight. He is expecting Terry so don’t insult him by coming on to him. She reached inside her desk drawer and threw a business card across the table. It was an appointment in a little more than an hour at a salon.

“What is your natural hair color?”

“Probably some sort of brown, I say auburn when I’m pressed’” she said.

Alexandra pressed a button and both Katie and Arlette came into the room.

“You heard?”

“A dark auburn, with some hot highlights,” said Arlette.

Katie sat her down. “They’re dancer’s legs child. Long legs, men go inarticulate looking at them. We don’t.

“Here,” she said putting her hand less than an inch above her knee. When you’re standing, that’s where your dress ends. Sitting, here.” She moved almost two inches higher. “I’ve had over a decade longer than you to study the effects. Trust me. Micros work for dancers, we do barely mini, then try to move like dancers, so they have to get us into bed to see if they are that long, or not.”

“Your hair is over the top. I’ll go with you and fix that,” said Arlette.

“I don’t understand,” she said.

“We’re giving you what you want Bambino,” said Alexandra.

“We were trophy wives,” said Arlette, “It only worked out for Alexandra and then with a lot of help. We know the guy who loves you. You’re giving you Silicon Valley, the richest, the top, cream of the crop. Take our advice and you’ll get proposals, if you come off a little more restrained they will come.”

“Trophy didn’t work for either Arlette or me,” said Katie. “We needed love, we found it. Trophy almost worked for Al. But it sort of blocked the fact that she wasn’t just a trophy, she was loved. Took a while, but she caught on, thanks to her husband’s ex, when she found her love.”

“Listen Bambino, you are us. We’re getting a kick out of it. Right down to your plastic tits,” said Alexandra. “A lovely man loves you. So long as your hair is wildly wrong, you don’t dress well and you make up with a towel you’ll never get it. And if you don’t lose the silicone you’ll never get it. We’ll teach you.”

“We’ll make you the best potential trophy wife on the market,” said Arlette. “And we will actually like you and accept you as the trophy of any man you choose to be the trophy of. We only know a guy who loves you unconditionally, and, well, we think that that’s better. At least it’s what we settle for.”

Arlette grabbed her first and she ended up auburn with a few striking highlights which nonetheless, looked perfectly natural. Then she spent three hours learning her new look cosmetically.

After the mess she started with that morning was creamed away, her look was built on widening her eyes, raising her cheekbones and subduing her aforecaked eyelids. The only concession to vivid color was a deep red lipstick. Arlette made her do it three times to be sure she could do it perfectly before meeting the crew for clothes.

The four of them played with Didi, Sherilyn had joined the committee, all afternoon. Six business ensembles, four casual and two kicky was considered basic. Didi looked at the price tags as she tried on the different clothes. She thought to herself that, if it got too hot, she just go naked and wear the price tags.

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