Author is a retired attorney having practiced for 35 years in Illinois who now lives in Texas and started writing stories about a year and a half ago.
The Persistent Pursuer
“Well when will he be back?” Marcia inquired of the attorney’s secretary Luann.
“The hearing was set for ten and scheduled for half an hour but you never know how long they are going to run. He might not be back before noon,” the secretary informed her.
“I’ll just wait.”
Marcia had been pursuing this attorney for a couple of months now trying to get him to pick up on her signals. The first time she had been in his office she was instantly attracted to him and she had believed that he was attracted likewise but things weren’t moving fast enough for her. She needed more information.
“What’s Attorney Lawson’s wife like?” she asked. Marcia didn’t care if he was married. She had her own agenda and she needed to know what she was up against.
Luann had sensed from Marcia’s first office visit that this woman had a crush on her boss. It seemed silly to her, a sixty year old woman having a crush on a fifty eight year old man, so she gave a silly answer. “Like? Oh she likes her husband.” Somewhat embarrassed she quickly added, “Oh she’s nice, a housewife and they have two grown children.” Then hoping to draw her away from the subject of her boss, because Luann knew that she couldn’t control herself and could be somewhat chatty at times and give out way too much information, she inquired of Marcia “What art school would you recommend for my son next year.” Marcia had previously mentioned that she was a retired art teacher and Luann’s boy had some talent along that line. Luann got her sidetracked somewhat on art for a while until a quarter to twelve when Mr. Lawson returned. Immediately upon seeing Marcia he politely said hello and went straight to his office.
Luann followed him in and shut the door. She raised her eyebrows and jerked her head back toward the reception room.
“How long she been here? asked Greg Lawson attorney at law.
“Since ten o’clock.”
“Send her in. I’ve got a one o’clock closing and still have to do lunch. Don’t worry I’ll be polite and nice to her, but firm, and after a while have her leave.”
Marcia had previously come in with a property line problem. He looked at all her land title paperwork that she had brought with her and determined that her original lot had a ten by twenty foot chunk taken off which was now her neighbor’s property. It didn’t matter that she thought the line ran straight, that she had put her flower bed there, this chunk of land belonged to the neighbor. Her flower bed had to go when the neighbor decided to use the extra footage to put up a new garage. She begged and pleaded with him to get a court order against her neighbor restraining him from building his garage as he was being mean to her and taking advantage of a poor little old divorcee lady who had no one to protect her. But there was nothing he could do and he told her so in the most gentlest way possible. It was his property and he had title and all the necessary building permits. Nevertheless she continued to plead and whine trying to draw sympathy and attention to herself. Politely and respectfully he listened. But after a while he noticed that she was more interested in him than her legal problem. All this whining and crying poor little old lady routine was overdone and underneath it all he saw that she was now trying to flirt with him while coquettishly batting those big baby blue eyes of hers. Finally but firmly, he diplomatically ended the conversation. When he escorted her to the door he told her there would be no charge. She thanked him. He said oh it was nothing.
The second time that she was in she was complaining that a police officer pulled her over for no reason other than to talk to her about her sports car. She claimed that he really was hitting on her. She wanted to know if that was against the law, police harassment. Since her conversation was totally inane and a waste of time, and a come on, he again knew the real reason for the visit. Once again he waited her out and In a gentlemanly manner he got her to leave.
The third time she stopped again unannounced and demanded to see Mr.Lawson. Her problem was that her sister was being mean to her. She wanted to know what he could do about it. Totally pointless and inane, he again listened, not having the heart to interrupt her or be rude to her.
The last time, again without an appointment, she had no legal problem, all she really wanted to do was talk. He had never charged her for all these times though because he felt sorry for this woman, hopelessly frazzled by life’s experiences. Furthermore he felt that he really never did perform any legal services for her and therefore couldn’t bring himself to charge her. He just sat there for the half hour while his mind wandered and she went on and on. When she asked him a question every now and then he felt guilty having to have her repeat it as he hadn’t been paying attention.
Today she was spiffily attired, as usual, in the latest expensive trendy fashion wearing tight fitting jeans. In all honesty he had to admit that she was a somewhat attractive shapely woman for a woman of her age. And he had to admit that he knew the true purposes of her visit but could do nothing stop her.
“I’m going to open an antique store,” she said as she sat down and straightened herself out.
Attorney Greg Lawson interrupted her. “Look Marcia before we go any further I’m sorry but I’m going to have to charge you from now on. Okay?” Maybe this would discourage her he hoped.
“Well okay,” she replied somewhat miffed and handed him a lease. “But you’ve been so kind to me I thought you would look over this lease for me for free. Aren’t you lawyers suppose to do pro bono work or something?”
“You don’t fall under the pro bono category Marcia,” he replied. She handed him the lease anyway.
He took it and gave it a cursory glance. “Well I guess I can’t charge you after all.”
A small smirk came over Marcia’s face as she felt that she was back in control again.
“Your landlord Mitchell Granados is my client. I drew up this form lease for him. All he has to do is fill in the legal name of the lessee and have everyone sign it. I can’t represent both sides. You’re going to have to find someone else to represent you,” he said relieved.
Her eyes started to well up and she pouted, “But I don’t have money for an attorney. You’ve been so kind to me. I thought you liked me. Couldn’t you make an exception?”
“No I can’t, not even for you Marcia. It’s not allowed under the code of ethics.” By invoking the code of professional ethics he alleviated any guilt he felt for not helping her. “You do understand ethics don’t you?”
“Kind of,” she squeamishly replied. Not giving up hope she changed the subject. “Well the least you can do is stop in my store when you get a chance. Maybe you can buy something for your wife? I understand she likes antiques.”
How in the world did she know that he wondered. She must have been pumping Luann for information again.
“Okay sometime,” he conceded believing that to be fair solution to end all this.
“How about I buy you lunch then as a way of thanking you for all your previous kind considerations. It’s noon now. We could go to that cute little new restaurant up the street that just opened, The Cozy Corner Cafe.
“No,” he blurted out almost losing it. Then regretting the outburst and feeling somewhat embarrassed he said, “I have a business meeting across town. I’ve just got time for a fast food drive through. Sorry but that’s the truth.”
Marcia lowered her head and finally took no for an answer and left despondent. Nevertheless she still continued to stop by Attorney Lawson’s office every so often. She went on with her fiddle-de-dee routine as though nothing had happened as she chatted away with Luann. The times she stopped when he was there, he would sit and politely listen to her and agree with whatever she said but he there was nothing he could do about her neighbor, sister or any cop that pulled her over to allegedly hit on her, or any of her new found alleged wrongs perpetrated on her. He knew that she was there to see him for her own designed purposes and nothing else. But he didn’t have it in him to tell her off so things continued as usual with her demands on him and his time.
Finally It got to the point where he would check in with his office before returning to make sure that she was not there. If she was, he would tell Luann to tell Marcia it would be at least an hour before he was back and then he’d wait for Luann to call and tell him that Marcia had left before he would return. He felt that he compromised himself somewhat by doing this but he knew of no other solution.
But the day came, when through no choice of his own, he had to confront her because of his wife. He had to get his wife a birthday present for her birthday tomorrow and he was running out of time as usual. He thought that he would stop at Marcia’s antique store on the way home and kill two birds with one stone. Stop in as promised and get that over with and get his wife a present. Besides Marcia probably knew what his wife wanted as well as he did after coaxing all that information out of Luan so the stop shouldn't really take that long at all.
Marcia jumped right up the minute he entered and straightened out her blouse and skirt and patted her coiffured hair do. No one else was in the shop but the two of them.
“I need to get my wife a birthday present for her birthday tomorrow.” Then he added. “For my wife of thirty plus years. She likes” but before he could continue Marcia completed the sentence for him, “Love dove figurines. I know Luann told me.”
“I don’t have any on display but I might have some in the back room. You want to come back and help me look?” she said coyly while bending over to pick up her glasses that she just happened to drop. He couldn’t help butt notice those tight fitting jeans again. She made sure of that alright.
Attorney Lawson looked through the open door to the room in the back. There was a cot.
From the back of the room Marcia noticed his concern and said, “Oh I lie down and take a nap every so often when I get tired. I’m not suppose to stay on my feet for long periods of time,” said the spider to the fly. He remained stationary.
“How are things working out with Mitchell?” he inquired hoping to change the subject.
“Well I’m a little behind on my rent actually. But I’ve been trying to work something out with Patty. You know who I mean. That woman in a wheelchair.”
“Oh yes Patty. She’s come in the office with Mitchell. She’s his property manager but I don’t know her last name though.”
“Oh she’s more than that. They’re intimate you know. How they can be intimate with her in a wheelchair I don’t know but I’d sure like to find out,” giggled Marcia. “And her last name is Cakes, Patty Cakes. Not really he just calls her Patty Cakes. She actually told me that woman to woman. I think that it’s cute when people have pet names for each other like that. Don’t you? “Come on back,” she beckoned. “I think I have something here you might like.”
This is way too much for Attorney Lawson. She had crossed the line. “It’s getting late. I really need to go Marcia. Good by.”
As he headed for the door Marcia suddenly found the pair of doves. “Wait Mr. Lawson I’ve found the perfect pair of love doves for you. Hold on!”
She ran to him just as he was about to open the door and leave her little shop of horrors. She handed him two white doves their heads and necks intertwined and billing each other and with little pink roses all around the base of the figurine. It was not an antique but a cheap piece of Chinese junk porcelain. “Here please take this for your wife’s birthday. No charge”
“Oh that’s not really necessary Marcia.”
“Thank you,” he relented and opened the door to leave, finally relieved that this was the end of it.
But oh no it was not.
“It’s the least I can do for all of your time that I have taken up,” she replied. “Perhaps
I can do something else for you later,” she said batting her eyelashes coyly and nodding toward the backroom.
That was the last obnoxious straw. That did it. Attorney Lawson couldn’t take it any more and cracked.
“No!” he suddenly and uncontrollably shouted out. “Look Marcia we’re all even now. I think it best that you would find yourself another attorney. Don’t stop in my office anymore. I don’t want you as a client. In fact I don’t want to see you ever again. You understand that?” he growled out not feeling guilty but glad that he had got this out of his system and told her off. His face and body language left no doubt that he was totally disgusted with her.
“Oh dear,” she gasped putting her hand to her mouth. She almost started to cry but then quickly regained her composure.
“Oh well. Can you possibly recommend an attorney for me? Preferably an older gentleman, a widower perhaps,” she asked. Her mind raced and her eyes twinkled as she spoke.
Attorney lawson actually knew of a couple and he hated both of them with a passion. But he wouldn’t wish her on his worst enemy and both of them were his worst enemies.
“No,” is all he said.