By Ed Baranosky
The first time I met Natalie Rowland was at a board meeting in our corporate offices in New York. My name is Frank Barnes I’m an executive producer of ads for a major television network. Ms. Rowland is the advertising VP of a national cosmetic company. At our meetings in New York I found her to be intelligent, articulate and a stunningly beautiful black woman.
A strategy meeting was set up at their Durham, North Carolina office to go over the details of a seven-figure contract for a TV commercial to kick-off the spring introduction of a new cosmetic product created specifically for women of color.
I flew into Raleigh picked up my rental car and drove to the Ramada Hotel where I was going to stay.
I checked in, went to my room, unpacked my suit and draped it on a hanger. I hadn’t eaten since I left New York and it was already 6 p.m. I decided to go to the hotel dining room for dinner.
I was sliding my keycard into the door-lock when I heard the phone ringing in my room. It was Ms. Rowland asking if I could come to her condominium. She had a few details she would like to go over before our meeting tomorrow. I said “yes.” She then gave me directions to her residence.
The condominium was not far from the hotel where I was staying. I drove to the address, picked up my briefcase and rang the bell. When the door opened she greeted me with a pleasant smile.”
She was wearing red silk pajamas with pants that flared out at the bottom. As she led me into the living room. I could not help but notice how the silk followed every movement of her body. In the living room she said “I’m going to have a glass of Sangria before we get down to business. Would you like something,” I said “perhaps I’ll have one after we’re through, thank you.”
She poured her drink, took a sip put the glass on a table and came to where I was standing and said “I’ve been waiting to do this since I first met you.” She put her arms around my neck pressed her body against mine and kissed me. I could taste the Sangria on her slightly- parted lips.
I was taken completely by surprise. It took a several moments for my brain to process the feelings that were going through my body.
I put my hands high up on her waist and pushed her away. The softness of her breasts on the back of my hands did not make it any easier. As we parted I stammered “I’m sorry I can’t do this. I love my wife and children.”
I picked up my briefcase and said “I’ll see you in the morning at your office.” As I was leaving I could hear her crying softly.