Note***None of these characters belong to me.
After kicking Dave's ass in Monopoly, I went to the restroom and then it was back to the old grindstone, I hated looking over these numbers. I had half a notion just to go through New York and burn down our opposing radio stations. I looked around the office, no one was working, I think that the small story that Dave had given Matthew to do was a trip down to the coffee shop in the lobby. It was all right though, I didnít mind staring at ratings charts. It was what happened next that surprised the hell out of me.
Jimmy came in the office with a stack of what looked like magazines.
"All right, kids, come and get your future."
"Excuse me, sir?" Dave asked.
"Well, we have the first of several monthly ratings comparing the stations and I wanted Ms. Lane to be the first to see what she has done to my station." Mr. James replied.
Oh Lord, I was hesitant to even stand up, I looked over at Dave who had a big smile on his face, this was it, Judgement Day had come for me. This first chart from the New York Radio Commission was going to either make or break me, Mr. James handed me a copy and I started to go through it.
The first thing I saw were the numbers, we came in a close third during the past three weeks, and WNYX was declared the Most Improved Station. I let out a huge sigh of relief.
"Well?" Dave asked.
"We are doing good," I smiled, "to this date two months ago we were in a miserable last place finish for the month, and right now we are in third for this past month."
I saw everyone's eyes light up like Christmas lights.
"You did it," Bill said to me.
"No, I didn't do it." I replied. Everyone just stared at me. "We all did it, it can't take one person to save a station, it took all of us working together to bring us to where we are today."
"Well, kiddies, I think that this definitely calls for us to celebrate." Mr. James announced.
"Yeah," Joe said, "let's go get loaded."
After work that night we went to a bar near the station, it was strange because I had never gone out with these people before as a group, and it seemed as though they did it all the time.
I sat at a small table in the corner, it was so smoky in the bar, and I tried to stay away from the smell of the cigarettes because I knew that with me drinking I would crave a smoke. It was a Friday and I had no plans, so I sat at my smoky table and looked through some more paperwork that I needed to do.
Dave came out of the restroom and noticed me sitting at the table all by myself.
"Now what are you doing sitting way over here?"
I looked up at him, "Oh, just some work."
He sat next to me and proceeded to pack all of my papers back into my briefcase.
"Today is supposed to be a great day for you. You shouldnít be doing any work." he said.
"Why is today a great day?"
"Because you single-handedly brought our station to the highest ratings it's ever seen."
"I didn't do it by myself,"
"No, but you were the one who threw out all those great ideas and had everyone working together." Dave said. He just stared at me. I took a drink of my beer and sat it back down on the napkin. We shared a moment of uncomfortable silence while he just stared at me. I looked over and saw the rest of the staff sitting at the bar, laughing and carrying on, then I glanced back at Dave who just sat next to me in the booth. "Hey, I have an idea."
"What's that?" I leaned back in the booth.
"Let's get out of here." He grabbed my hand, threw some money down on the table, and dragged me out of the bar. I didn't even have time to put on my coat, it was still chilly.
We started walking, around the city, in the park. We talked and laughed. It was very nice to have someone like Dave to talk to. His voice was always so pleasant and there was just something about him that could make me tell him my deepest secrets.
We sat on a bench in the Park, it was about 10:30 and the Park curfew was at 11. We sat there for what seemed like forever, just talking-but then we got started on our past relationships.
"I had an ex-boyfriend that I was so obsessed by, I did everything for him, and he always thought that I was cheating on him-which I never did. But right before we broke up, I found out that he was the one that was cheating. He was the one that broke my trust, but he blamed the whole thing on me-saying that I never showed him enough attention." I went on.
"But that was years ago, gosh, I'm almost thirty. I was a teenager when that happened. Since college I have barely even went on a date."
"You're 32." Dave smirked. I gave him an awkward look, "I saw it on your resume."
"Oh," I said, "doing a little background check I see." I smiled at him.
We both paused and then Dave started, "Lisa and I went out for about four years." he paused again, "you know Lisa, don't you?" I nodded. "Well, when I first came here from Wisconsin, she made me feel so welcome. I really thought that she and I were meant for each other. You know, like soulmates. I guess that she couldn't let go of her past like I could mine, that literally lead to our demise."
"I'm really sorry to hear that." I said, "I bet you two made a great couple."
"Well, when I think about it now-no, we didn't make a good couple. All we did was fight, we barely had anything in common. It seemed like the only thing that we liked to do together was have sex. That was good, though."
I laughed at him, "How long ago did you split up?"
"Oh, it was about two months before you came here, so, about three months ago." Dave replied. "But enough about me, let me hear about Audrey Lane, the great journalist. No,no, no, I already know all about that. Let me hear about Audrey Lane, the woman behind the mask of a journalist."
I looked at him, "There isnít much to tell,"
"Well, just try."
"Let's see, I was born and raised in Indiana. Went to college at Ball State University, worked for a CBS affiliate in Indianapolis for about seven years as a weekend news anchor, then I got a job in Toronto and I worked for the CBC. But a year and a half later I got my job at WOAK in Oakdale, Illinois. I have been their nightly news anchor for two years, and which I also do field reporting for Dateline, 20/20, and 48 Hours."
"Now you are here in New York working for the great Jimmy James at WNYX, a low-rated AM station craving high-ratings."
"I guess so," I said. We stood up and started walking again, it was late, and I was tired. Before I knew it we were in front of my
"This is me," I said, pointing to the entrance.
Dave looked up, "Wow, your boss set you up pretty nice."
I smiled at him, "Do you want to come up for coffee or something?"
"Oh," he laughed, "I think we drink enough of that together at work." He paused again, I started to walk up the stoop, "But would you like to have dinner with me tomorrow night?"
I turned around and smiled at him, "Yes, I think that would be nice." He ran up the first couple of stairs and gave me a small kiss on the cheek.
"How about 7:30, I'll pick you up here and then we'll go out."
"That sounds great," I said. He gave me a huge smile and another kiss on the cheek. We said our good-byes and I went up to my penthouse and threw down my briefcase and my coat.
'What am I doing?' I thought to myself. I went into the bathroom and started to run some water for a shower. I told myself before I came to New York that I wasn't going to get too close to anybody, and now it was too late.