It was my 30th birthday and I didn't want to make a fuss. I came home from work and my buddy Scott was parked outside my apartment in his Acura.
"Hop in, we've got a wild night ahead of us."
Although I was tired from a long afternoon of catering a luncheon for old, rich assholes, I made no protest. I was a yes man through and through. I got in the car.
"Where are we going?"
"It's a surprise," he smirked.
I buckled my belt and felt uneasy. We drove for a while until we hit downtown Flagstaff. He made a few turns and then pulled up to the curb. We were outside the Wells Fargo building where he worked.
"What are we doing?"
"You're 30 years old now, Chase, don't you think it's time you got a real job?"
We walked through the glass vestibule past the young, blonde receptionist whom Scott winked at. She turned pink. We rode the elevator to the top floor. The doors opened to a suite of marble.
"Hello Samantha!" he barked to an even younger, even blonder receptionist.
"I have a 4 o'clock with the man himself."
"You certainly do," she said. She got up from her leather armchair and led us down a hallway with an ass that wouldn't quit. We were standing before two large mahogany doors. She knocked thrice with a dainty fist.
"Yes?" a deep voice bellowed.
She opened one of the doors and poked her narrow head in.
"Your 4 o'clock is here, Mr. Redgate."
She opened the door completely and said, "Come in gentlemen."
She closed the door behind us and marched that immaculate ass back to her post. The office was large and impressive and bright with picture windows that seemed to look over the entire world. I felt tiny and weak.
"Scott!" he exclaimed.
The two shook hands and patted shoulders. Their large, gold watches glistened in the afternoon sun.
"This is the boy I've been telling you about, Chase Peterson."
I extended my hand apprehensively which he met with vice-grip.
"HeyHowAreYaGladToMeetYa," he said while breaking my hand with teeth that were whiter than white.
"Please take a seat," he said as he motioned to even more leather armchairs. We obliged.
"So Mr. Redgate, this is the one, the caterer." They both laughed.
"Well, that's about to change."
Again, I gulped.
"Say son, what if I offered you the position of Senior Financial Analyst?"
"Sir," I stammered, "I don't have the experience..."
"Nonsense," he said, "None of us do! It's all about who you know, right Scott?"
"Yessir," Scott smiled.
The two bumped fists and chanted, "UPenn, UPenn, UPenn!"
I thought I might get sick right there on his office floor.
"Samantha will provide you all the paperwork -- now get out of my office, there's a Tinder woman I've got to meet!"
"Solid," Scott murmured. We left the office.
Samantha sat me down with the paperworks. W-4's, state and federal. She advised me of my new bracket. I-9's, confidentiality agreements, etc. I got up when I was done.
"Wait," she said. She plopped down a thousand page binder before me.
"You haven't selected your benefits yet."
My head was reeling.
I scanned through the documents.
"Holy shit," I exhaled.
It took me nearly six hours to complete the paperwork. I had healthcare for the first time since I got kicked off my parents' plan. Comprehensive dental and vision. I had suddenly accrued a life insurance policy of ten million dollars. When it came time to name a benefactor I was stumped.
Scott jumped from another leather armchair.
"Wait!" he exclaimed as he pulled up a website on his company iPhone.
"Here!" as he scrolled through pictures of a 20 year old Japanese woman. She had eyes soft and subservient and dark. Her long black hair was as straight as a bamboo chute.
"Mrs. Sua Peterson," he grinned. He pressed a button that said "order" and now I had a Japanese wife. She would show up in a shipping container within the next business week. I was married now, she stood to inherit the life insurance.
I turned in the paperworks to Samantha.
"All and well, Mr. Peterson."
I turned to leave.
"Wait!" she whimpered.
"Here are the keys to your company car. Take the elevator down to the garage. I hope it is to your liking, Mr. Peterson."
She handed me the keys. It was a Porsche. We took the elevator down to the parking garage. There was my new Boxter, waiting for me. Scott and I got in and I started her up. She purred under my control. Scott reached into the glove compartment, pulled out a bottle of Johnny Walker Black.
"Take a hit, birthday boy." I did.
"I'm rather tired Scott, I'd like to go home."
"Oh, it's not over yet!" he yelled.
He directed me left, then right, then straight, then left. We were outside the Raveis Realtor building.
"It's time you find yourself some real estate kid!"
"Scott, it's nearly midnight," I yawned.
"Sue-Ellen is in," he beamed. We entered the agency and sure enough a blonde in her late forties was there to greet us.
"Mr. Peterson!" she chimed, "So glad to meet you!" and from there she took us away in her BMW to tour her listings. I saw every gated community in Flagstaff. You wouldn't believe how many golf courses or chandeliers or infinity pools I saw that evening.
By 2AM I was exhausted. I said, "Let me see the paperwork," on the manor-house in which I was standing. I signed in blood.
"Excellent choice, Mr. Peterson," Sue-Ellen beamed. I turned to leave the west wing and go to the master suite when Scott yelled, "Not yet!"
He drove me in the Porsche back downtown. We arrived at the law office of J.P. Perkins and associates.
"I'm tired Scott, what the fuck?"
He produced a small vile of Peruvian cocaine. "Not tonight!" I took a bump off the Porsche key.
And we met with J.P. Perkins, attorney at law, and we drafted my will, and it all went to Sua Peterson, the Japanese bride I hadn't even met yet.
And I signed, and I signed, and I signed.
It was now 5AM and I was 30 years old. The sun came up. The rest of my life was set in writing and I was already exhausted.