I headed to the field, hand in hand with my rich older man, Michael. I felt stronger, determined, and fierce even. I didn’t care what his colleagues thought about our relationship. After giving myself a little pep talk, I felt confident enough to deal with any old hag with a penchant for meddling or playing mind games.
Before heading out, Michael told me that he had left a gift for me on the bed—it was a baseball cap that I still have today. It was pink, with white lettering; the letters of the team he’d just purchased. Of all the gifts Michael had given me during our time together, including the diamonds, the designer clothes, the luxurious trips, and the fancy meals, this one was the best. I felt like it was a sign that he was getting to know the real me. It was a simple baseball cap, and I absolutely loved it. It’s one of the few gifts from him that I’ve kept till today.
We arrived at the field for what was, yet again, another event Michael did not disclose to me. We were the only two there in jeans and baseball hats, while everyone else was dressed up to meet the new owner. I knew that if I had confronted Michael about tricking me into attending another work event, he would have said the same thing he said last time: “Would you have come if I told you the truth?”
To be honest, the answer was yes, because by this time, I was so comfortable in my own skin and with our age difference that it didn’t occur to me to feel awkward. It only occurred to me to be defensive of my own character.
We mixed and mingled with the large group of people. The team was scheduled to come on the field and play while we sat in reserved seating and ate some pretty good food. Michael was ecstatic, so much so that he kind of forgot I was even there. That’s when a tall muscular gentleman approached me and struck up conversation. He was the new General Manager of Michael’s team; he introduced himself simply as Tom.
“So, you and Michael, what’s that about?” he asked inquisitively. I was a little taken back. I was expecting to be having this kind of conversation with another woman, but as it turned out, men also pass the same type of cynical judgment that restrains them from doing what they really want.
I smiled coyly and said to him in a hushed tone, “Wouldn’t you like to know. Too bad it’s none of your business. You were hired to manage the team, not to meddle in Michael’s personal life.”
“Whoa, whoa, whoa—easy killer. I just find it odd that my new boss is this pitiful old man, and he’s here with a beautiful young woman like yourself. Certainly, you could do better. I’m not that much older than you, you know,” said Tom.
“Really? How did you get this job? You obviously aren’t very smart. I can’t believe you are trying to have this conversation with your new boss’—” My voice trailed off. I really didn’t know how to finish that sentence, but Tom cut in before I had a chance to continue. And what he said left me in shock…