Friday January 5th 2001
Tiffany knocked on the door to Clark's townhouse and noticed that her hands were trembling and it wasn't from the freezing cold weather but nervousness. She could feel her heart racing with excitement over the possibility that she might get her job back at his party planning business. She hadn't worked in a month and since her little sister had come to stay with her she really needed the money. After finding out about her secret lover Amir's comatose wife back in his country, she didn't like depending on him for financial assistance.
"Come in", Clark said opening the door and smiling at his former pretty blonde assistant.
"Happy New Year Clark," she said walking in the entrance hallway of his townhouse on MacDougal Alley in Greenwich Village.
"Happy New Year to you too. Let me take your coat", he said as she took off her long wool coat and handed it to him.
She walked into the living room and took a seat on the sofa.
"I know you're probably wondering why I asked you to come by," Clark said taking a seat in the chair across from the sofa.
"I hope you're going to offer me my job back," she said smiling.
"I thought we'd talk it over. Would you like some coffee?" he asked glancing towards the silver coffee service on the table in front of her.
"No thanks", she said.
"Tiffany, I did ask you here to talk over the possibility of you coming back to work for me," he said.
"Oh that's great!"
"Did you find another job?"
"I have several things on the horizon," she lied.
"Well I have a lot of business that I think is coming my way. I don't know for sure yet, but I'm fairly sure I'll be getting this business."
"That's great. Anything I know about?"
"Well, this and that", he hesitated. "Stanley Morgan has a lot coming up, but I can't be sure I'll get those parties. If I do though, I'll be really busy", he said hopefully. Stanley had stopped by yesterday and showed him a long list of upcoming parties. Stanley had asked about Tiffany and said that if Clark rehired her then he might consider throwing his business to Manhattan Party Planning. He knew he wouldn't have a chance at getting Stanley's business if he didn't do exactly what the older wealthy man wanted him to do, even if it meant rehiring Tiffany after recently firing her.
"Oh," she said wondering if Jan knew that Clark was considering reinstating her to handle her Father Stanley's parties. Stanley had promised to help her get her job back after cornering her and making unwanted advances. Until today, she had thought maybe Stanley wasn't going to keep his promise since she had refused to go home with him to his Upper East Side mansion.
"I think I'd like to have you come back and work with me," Clark said getting up and pouring himself a cup of coffee from the silver coffeepot on the coffee table.
"I'd like to."
"Of course, I don't know if we've resolved the issues that caused the problems before."
"You mean Jan?" she asked careful to hide her resentment. She knew in her heart Jan had gotten her fired. Her secret lover Amir had told her repeatedly that his assistant Jan would never do such a thing, but she never was convinced. She also suspected Jan was seeing her estranged husband Skeeter too, but she couldn't prove it, yet.
"Yes. Do you feel that you can work with Jan?" he said remembering Stanley's words that he'd take care of the predicted angry reaction his daughter would have over Tiffany working at Manhattan Party Planning again.
"Of course. I mean if Jan treats me respectfully. I'm professional Clark."
He took a sip of his coffee and placed the cup on the table. "Are you sure you wouldn't like something to drink?" he asked.
"I guess I'll have some coffee," she said reaching for the coffeepot and pouring herself a cup.
"Where are you living now Tiffany," he asked watching her closely. He had suspected his client Amir was taking care of her when she told him a few months ago that she was living in an apartment across from Washington Square Park. He knew that apartment probably cost more than his townhouse. He had warned her when she first came to work for him to never become involved with his clients and he knew in his heart she had been lying to him.
"I'm still living across from the park," she said opening a packet of sweetener and pouring it into her cup.
"So a place to live isn't an issue?" he said wondering if Amir was living there with her. He knew she couldn't afford that expensive apartment on the salary he paid and certainly unemployment wouldn't pay that high rent. He could feel his jaw tighten when he realized he had to rehire an employee that lived in a bigger apartment than he did.
"Oh no. That's not an issue. Actually my younger sister Starlene is here visiting from Georgia. She might stay here with me in the apartment," she said pouring cream into her cup.
"I see. Then you really are anxious to get to work. And you and Skeeter?" he asked wondering if her estranged husband would continue to be an annoying problem as he had been in the past.
"We're finished. We'll be getting a divorce soon," she said thinking how she had agreed to meet Skeeter across the street after her appointment to discuss getting a divorce. She could feel her face redden slightly in anger when she thought that perhaps he said he wanted a divorce because he was involved with Jan. She brushed the thoughts aside and picked up a spoon and stirred her coffee.
"I see," he said noticing the new sparkling large diamond and sapphire ring on her finger that Amir had given her for Christmas as she drank from the china cup.
CONTINUED MONDAY. MORE PHOTOS BELOW.