Thursday, 9 August 2012
Chapter 1 part 2
I was to interview Christian Gray. He was a 28 year old millionaire who, after a short but very successful time as a stock broker bought a failing publishing house and managed to turn it around in less than a year. He went to WSU Vancouver on a scholarship and made large annual donations to his alma mater as a sign of gratitude. Katie had planned an article about him with an exclusive interview. She was full of admiration for this self-made man. She had prepared a number of questions about his background, his time at WSU, his business, any advice he could give to graduates? It all sounded quite boring but apparently Gray’s secretary had called ahead saying any personal questions or indeed any interesting topics were strictly forbidden.
Katie also included a photograph in her care package. It showed a well groomed man with dark wavy hair and blue eyes in a suit that looked extremely expensive. A man too well groomed for my personal taste although Katie had mentioned something about “voted Washington State’s most handsome bachelor in 2011”. I snorted. Being a casual dresser myself Katie lent me a cream blazer and paired with a grey tank top, black jeans and black suede ankle boots I looked semi presentable for a visit at the Gray Publishing headquarters and pretty damn good for someone who got 5 hours sleep the previous night and was suffering from a serious hangover
It was almost 2pm so I finished my coffee, threw some change and a generous tip on the table and entered the intimidating skyscraper across the street that housed Gray’s office. It was all steel and glass and phallic symbolism, as I had expected. At the door I was greeted by a security guard with a stern face and a taser at his hip. He obviously doubted my honourable intentions and insisted on calling Gray’s office to confirm the appointment and ask about the switch of interviewers. They didn’t know about the switch yet so the guard called “Ms. Montgomery” (Katie to her friends) to confirm I wasn’t an impostor who hid her body in the trunk to gain access to the building and assassinate his employer. I was afraid of a pat down but apparently that wasn’t company policy – yet.
Finally I was permitted to step onto the elevator and go up to the 12th floor. As the doors opened I was greeted by an elegant blonde whose stiletto heels clicked on the marble tiles as she led me to a waiting area. It was outfitted with soft chocolate leather couches and a beige carpet you could lose a small dog in.
I expected Mr. Gray to be a very busy man who probably secretly enjoyed letting humble journalists from student papers wait so I grabbed one of the glossy magazines from a nearby table and settled in. After ten minutes I was approached by a blonde again. At first I thought it was the same one as before but it turned out it was just someone who looked extremely similar. Maybe Gray had a secret laboratory somewhere in the woods where he created these Barbie clones to serve as his personal assistants. She asked me if I was offered something to drink and after I said no, hurried to recite a long list of beverages she could provide me with. I decided to indulge myself and asked for a cappuccino and a glass of sparkling water with a wedge of lime – no ice. If I was going to wait here like a lackey in the anteroom of Louis XIV. I was going to make the most of it.