From the moment I met Louise Arlington, I knew the girl was trouble. "Sir?", she said. My god, that was me. "I'm here to liquidate your assets", she added, with a look that made the phrase's sexual innuendo unclear in just the right way.
The whole rest of the day, I couldn't stop thinking about her: would Louise wear her hair up or down when selling my life's work to a Japanese brokerage firm? Would she find it dull or adorkable that I had single-handedly caused the US subprime mortgage crisis? I felt bad for all my rival firms who would never get to ask those questions.
It wasn't long before everyone at the office was egging me on: "just go talk to her", Donna from Accounting told me while I hid under my desk, behind the makeshift barricade I'd created out of greeting cards, staples and the various woodwind instruments I kept in my briefcase at all times. But Louise made the first move, teasing that this place was dust whether I came out or not, at which point I laughed, really laughed, aha-ha, even though it wasn't that good of a joke but I guess that's just what you do when you're around your crush.
I stayed cradled there in a fetal position for days, until eventually Louise leaned over and kissed me in the little comic strip I drew of us on the greeting cards. How could I have been so stupid, I thought as the barricade crumbled. My entire office was gone, but more importantly, so was Louise. And so, on that day, I did something I'd never done before, not even at a bank debt of $613 billion: I walked out on my lifelong dream of making love to a woman like Louise in a financial building that I owned. Simultaneously, security escorted me out.
A week later, the Lehman Brothers HQ had been replaced by a McDonald's, and I wasn't about to ask a girl like Louise out to some place I couldn't afford.