Answering the Ad
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I am standing outside of the tall white brick building that is very well known downtown. Lined up in front of me and behind are women hoping to get the top sixty numbers so that we can go into the building for this interview. Pulling my grandmother’s wore out shawl tighter against me to help fight off the chilly brisk breeze that continues to blow down the sidewalk making me shiver. Very polished ladies line the walkway in single file standing between the white bricks, and a red rope stretched out from one black pole to the next while its metal latches into a slot holding it up, showing the boundary that can not be crossed from the door back. Counting for the dozenth time, I can see where my place is secured around the mid-thirties this morning. I was here yesterday trying to get this interview but fell short of three people. Coming back early this morning, it was already half full as women flowed out of the parking lot, filing into the single line for their chance. My eyes watched as the sun rose over the city, chasing away the shadows that enveloped us this morning around six.
The door to the building is heard clicking to open finally at eight o’clock as a woman steps out looking frustrated that she has to do this again.
Her tone is flat and full of disgust as she speaks” Ladies in line, you will be given a number from one through sixty. If you fall into that category, we will give you your next instructions.”
Another woman walks down the line handing out little squares of laminated paper that holds each person’s number on it. I am handed number thirty-five as a small smile creeps over my face. I made it this time into the top sixty. When the last number is given out, you hear women pleading with others trying to buy their numbers while others storm away with strings of cuss words flowing out of their mouths.
The main lady speaks again “For those of you who have made the cut, if you are number one thru ten, go stand at the front desk now.” She opens the door as the first ten ladies flow into the building. “If you are eleven thru sixty, find you a set down here in the lobby. We are taking ten up at a time only since Mr. Tucker’s waiting room can not handle all you ladies at once.”
The rest of us enter the warm building as I find a quiet corner under a clock mounted on the wall. Sitting down in the plush cloth, I settle into it since I know that it will be a few hours before I am called up. Looking around at all the women that are now pulling out their laptops, Ipads or phones tapping on them with their perfectly manicured nails, my eyes scan the area seeing that the first ten ladies are huddled around the front desk still waiting to be escorted to the elevator with hopeful eyes. Zeroing in on the huge front desk with six ladies sitting behind it, my eyes travel the wooden planks that start at the top then slowly work their way down to the bright white polished floors that are so clean that I can see my reflection in them. Engraved in the middle of the desk with silver paint is the name of this place, Tucker Enterprises. Finally, the flat tone lady clicks her heels against the floor, leading the first ten ladies to the elevator as they talk amongst each other in chipper voices.
Every one of these ladies is here for the add that the CEO himself put in the paper last week. He is looking for basically a surrogate wife to have his heir for the future. They will be married to each other for a max of two years, allowing the first year for the woman to get pregnant with his child then the second to have it. After she has conceived the child, the so-called wife will be moved to a penthouse to live in while she finishes her pregnancy. After the baby is born healthy, she will be paid ten million dollars to start her new life.
Danny Tucker owned the biggest empire and was the very definition of rich, if not even royalty. Every woman wanted to be his; there was nothing he couldn’t buy. He owned tons of houses across the world, and there was a rumor that he was even looking into buying up multiple islands in financial debt.
Seeing the amount of money this man was willing to pay for a child was the only reason I was sitting downstairs in his lobby, waiting my turn to see if I was worthy enough to be tied to him for the two-year period. My butt has starting cramping from sitting in the chair for such a long period of time. I have gotten up to walk around trying to stretch my legs but just sat back down, laying my head against the wall, closing my eyes, listening to the tick, tick, tick of the clock above my head.
When I saw the amount of money that he was offering, I knew it would be enough to pay for the treatments my sister needed and her surgery for a small tumor growing on one of her ovaries. I don’t have any family because my parents were killed five years ago, and we lived with my grandparents. They died two years ago, and now we live in the small mill house that they left to us. I am hopeful that he might pick me as his bride, but I am not getting my hopes up to have them come crashing down on me when I am rejected.
I must have fallen asleep during the time I wake up by the dinging of the doors to my right. Cracking an eye open, I see the first ten females flowing out of the elevator. Some have mascara running down their faces; others have red or very pissed-off features written all over their faces. Closing my eye back since I have at least another hour or so before I am allowed upstairs, I hear a lady sitting down somewhere around me sniffing. The next ten numbers are called as they all file into the elevator for their turn at being hopeful brides.
“What did he say to you up there?” one lady sitting across from me asks.
“You only have five minutes with him; he looks at your resume and then will ask you a few questions also. He even asked me if I was a virgin. Can you believe that?” she sniffs quietly.
“Who in the world would want a virgin, and even if he requires that, there is no way that anyone will meet with that standard. Every woman here has probably had sex before; I know there is no way I am” the other lady who has on a light purple dress says.
“I don’t know if any of us will be picked. He just told everyone up there that he will talk it over later with his brothers and dad; if we are picked, he will call us” wiping a tear off her face.
“What did you tell him?” she lowers her voice to a whisper, but I can still hear them.
“That I would love to carry his child, and that I love their brother, that I just couldn’t wait to marry him and give him this child that he wants” she burst out crying even harder.
“What about the other women? Did they say that also?” she looks around the room as my eye is barely cracked watching this conversation.
“According to all the women that I talked to up there, we all just about said the same thing. Each of us would marry him, love him because he is basically a celebrity and how each of us would love to have his child for him. It is hard, you know, he is all over the news, in magazines and also in the paper about every day roughly. Any one of us would be in the spotlight for almost two years, then a ton after the divorce. The press would be wanting to know all the details of if you get to see the child, how big have they gotten, does Danny try to rekindle the relationship you once had” she sighs then stands up, pulling her expensive fur coat around her body.
“I am in the next group, so you will get a call when I am done up there with him. Hopefully, I can land him because I will use his money as much as I can before we divorce” she giggles, throwing her hand to her mouth. Closing my eye back before they catch me, I drift back off to sleep before the next set comes back down.