Wednesday Elaine met Don at the bar after work. She ordered club soda. Don raised his eyebrow. Don ordered Scotch on the rocks.
“No wine, tonight?” he asked.
“Not tonight.” Should she tell him now or wait until he finished his drink? She was watching him closely, sipping his Scotch, wondering how he would react.
“I’m pregnant,” she said, drawing him back into the moment. He stared at her.
“You’re kidding, right?”
“No. I wanted to be sure. I’m definitely pregnant.”
“Have you told anyone?”
“I don’t know what to say. You knew from the beginning that I am committed to my marriage.”
“I’m still digesting it myself,” she said.
That night, Don couldn’t sleep. He was the Director of Human Resources. My God, he thought. What was I thinking? The scenarios kept playing out in his head. Would she expose the affair? Call his wife? Sue him for sexual harassment? Extort him for a payoff or child support? How well did he really know her? She was the same age as his wife, but she wore makeup and long hair, worked out and strutted around in high heels. How did she walk in those things?
There were no illusions about love between them. Elaine had been dating George, the Manager of the Sales Department, too. George was single.
Don went downstairs to his office. He sat at his desk and looked at the clock. It was just before two. He called George.
“George? This is Don,” he said. “Sorry to wake you but we need to talk.”
George sat up in bed. This must be serious, he thought.
“I know you and Elaine have been dating,” Don said. “I don’t know how to tell you this but I’ve been seeing her on the side. You get the picture. I mean, you’re dating other women, too, right?”
“But Don, you and Cathy, I thought you were happy,” George said. He was trying to picture Elaine in bed with Don. The image didn’t please him.
“There’s a situation,” Don said, cryptically. “Maybe we can help each other out.”
“What are you talking about?” George walked to the kitchen.
“Elaine’s pregnant. She told me tonight. I’m in a really bad position here. I could lose everything,” Don said. He sounded hoarse. “If my wife finds out I don’t know what she’ll do. Besides, I could lose my job. I mean, I’m the Director of HR!”
“Why are you telling me this, Don?”
“Well, I’ve been lying in bed trying to figure out what to do. I had an idea. There’s that Director of Marketing position open. I know you were hoping to be on the short list.”
George listened in disbelief. Other managers were in line who had been with the company longer. He was the youngest of the bunch and didn’t expect to be considered.
“I can make it happen, George. I make the ultimate decision in these things. How bad do you want the job? I could bump the salary up quite a bit.”
“It’s the middle of the night for God’s sake. What are you saying?”
“I want you to propose to Elaine,” Don said hesitantly.
“You what?” George gasped. “But I don’t love her and I’m not ready to get married.”
“I need you to do this,” Don said with hysteria in his voice. “If you propose and tell her you’re in line for a promotion, she’ll marry you. She’s been stalking all the executives, looking for a potential husband that could give her the life she wants. Obviously, I can’t do that.”
“You want me to marry her?” George said, stunned. “How pregnant is she?”
“A couple of months. If you propose to her right away I know she’d elope because of the pregnancy. I’d have you promoted within three months and you could buy that house you’ve been looking at.”
“Don, are you thinking clearly? Do you understand what you’re saying here?”
“This could work out best for everybody. You’d get your promotion plus a great piece of tail and I’d be able to keep my job, my family, my house. Help me out here, George. Please. I’m begging you.”
“Let me think this through tonight. Let’s have lunch tomorrow,” George said.
Six months later Randy was born. George thought he had Don’s eyes but nobody noticed. Elaine loved the house and status of being married to a Director. George loved his new home and his job which required a lot of travel.
The Devil had acquired three new souls in the transaction. George, Elaine and Don never considered that. They went to church on Sundays and life was good.