This has been such a strange year. In March, when California issued its first “stay at home” order, I had my hours significantly cut back at work. I wasn’t sure just how I would survive until Helen, who is a CPA and friend of Christie and I, put me on her payroll for two days a week.
For the past five years or so , I would work for Helen on weekends, helping her get caught up during her busy tax season. Helen and Christie thought it was fun to have me go to work in women’s office attire. I worked for free, with nobody but Helen ever around, and I grew comfortable enough with her that wearing a dress while doing office work for her seemed pretty normal. I only occasionally had to interact with her clients in person, and that was just to bring Helen copies of paperwork or carry in refreshments or something.
This past year was different. She actually put me on payroll, and had me come to work for her during the week. At first, since it was tax season, I went to her office two days a week. Health safety rules meant that there really weren’t a lot of people around. Helen’s colleagues worked mostly from home and took turns coming into the office. I got a bunch of new clothes out of it, and once again became pretty comfortable going in to work. It felt to me, since I wasn’t around a lot of other people, that this was an extended version of what we’d been doing all along, mixing work with a little fun and excitement from Christie and Helen’s challenge. Having a source of income was nice, too, since my “real” job has been 100% work from home, and not much work at that.
This tax season, which started for Helen about a month ago, has been really busy. There had been a lot of changes, so Helen, as a CPA, was more focused on that, while I had a lot more of the routine things to do. Most of Helen’s colleagues still work from home, but they had begun leaving things for me to do as well – mostly copying, filing, mailing, and calling clients to set up appointments. I gradually began working more hours, and now I’m working four days a week.
It seems strange to me, how normal it feels. In the past, it was exciting to dress up, put on makeup and go out to a bar with Christie or Lauren, feeling anxious at being in public, with only one or two people knowing my “secret,” and eventually forgetting the anxiety an getting comfortable. Now, I get up, shower, put on makeup and dress, and go to work in an office. There’s always the anxiety at first, with only Helen knowing our “secret.” Eventually, I get comfortable and focus on work, with occasional slightly scary moments when I have to interact with people.
Friday started like most days. I got up and showered, carefully shaving my legs, arms and chest, and washing my hair. It’s been too long since I’ve had my hair colored, so I started using a color-depositing conditioner that leaves my hair a nice red tone. I did my makeup, choosing some eyeshadow that I thought worked well with my hazel eyes, brown eyeliner, and a coppery lipstick. My nails looked good, so I left them the way they were – “Wine with Everything” is the color. It’s been a little cool in the office, so I put on some pantyhose, and a black padded bra with my silicone breast enhancers. I chose a black skirt, and a sleeveless black-and-off-white zebra-striped top that Christie gave me. I put on a black blazer jacket and headed to Helen’s office.
I parked and let myself in, turned on my computer and made coffee. When Helen came in at 8:30, she was with one of the partners she works for. She introduced me, saying “Jerry, this is Gee. She’s been with me almost a year, now.”
Jerry reached out to shake hands, thought better of it, and clasped his hands over his chest, bowing slightly. “Nice to meet you, Gee. Helen tells me you’re doing a great job.” I smiled behind my mask, nodded slightly, and said “thank you, sir.” Helen and Jerry went into her office. I was nervous that the boss was there, but I knew Helen would want coffee. I put a cup on a tray. I poured a cup for Jerry, along with a bottle of water, in case he didn’t want the coffee, and took it in to Helen’s office. Jerry took the coffee cup, saying to Helen “wow, she really is a mind-reader. ” I smiled and handed Helen her cup. I went back to my desk and went to work, preparing some returns for signatures.
After a while, Jerry left. He stopped by my desk. I had about two dozen returns laid out on a table, with little “sign here” stickers at the appropriate places. He saw that I was busy and thanked me for the coffee. “Very nice to meet you, ” he added.
Helen came to my desk and smiled. “You like very nice today, Gee.” I thanked her. “I’d been telling Jerry what a great help you’ve been, and how much more you’re doing for the other accountants. So he authorized me to give you a raise!” She smiled. We were standing pretty close to each other, and I instinctively hugged her.
“Helen, I have no words…” I began to say. I was so happy. Helen suggested we finish as early as we could, then take a late lunch to celebrate. By about 1:30, we had everything put away. We got in our cars and went to a restaurant nearby that had a large outdoor patio. The hostess greeted us and led us to a table at the edge of the patio. There weren’t many other tables occupied, as lunch hour had pretty much ended. We ordered drinks.
“I can’t remember the last time we did this,” I said. “Thank you so much.”
“It’s all you, sweetie,” Helen replied. “You really do a great job, and your covering what was four different assistants” jobs.” It was pretty warm beneath the patio heaters, so I took my jacket off. “You look really pretty, today, Gee,” she said with a smile. We ordered some light appetizers, enjoyed some drinks and talked. About an hour later, we paid our bill, hugged, and went our separate ways home.
I couldn’t wait to tell Christie, so I called her as soon as I got home. She has been working from home since this all began (she actually gave me most of her work clothes, which, with some alteration, fit pretty well). We decided she would come over that evening, spend the night, and then we would go hiking the next day. Hiking has turned out to be our new favorite outdoor activity, and there are a lot of really nice trails nearby.
Christie arrived about 7 that evening, and we ate pizza and drank wine while we talked. We ended up having a really intense discussion, followed by equally intense sex.
The next morning, we got ready for our hike. It was breezy and cool, and promised to be even cooler near the ocean, where we were heading, so both wore leggings, sports bras and tank tops, and carried light jackets. I wore a light blue tank top that fit slightly loose, so my pink sports bra was visible under my arms. I brought a small day pack with water. Christie had bought us both wide-brimmed cloth hats to keep the sun out of our eyes and off of our ears and neck; both of them were a soft pink.
It took us about thirty minutes to reach the trailhead at the Laguna Coast Wilderness Park. We had picked a loop of about four miles that ran up a ridge to some great ocean views, past a waterfall (no water this time of year, though) and through some coastal oak woodlands with amazing flowers. There were plenty of others on the trail, so we pretty much kept our masks on, but the trail wasn’t crowded. It was a really beautiful and fun morning. We returned to the parking area and were heading to a picnic table in the shade to drink some water and cool down, when a county parks employee greeted us.
“Good morning, ladies,” he said. “How did you like the hike?” Christie answered that we really enjoyed it. The ranger asked us about which trails we took, and then asked us if we had noticed some of the noteworthy things along the way. We ended up talking for about twenty minutes about the various rock formations, earthquake fault lines and groves of trees along the trail. We said goodbye and headed home, where we cooked ourselves brunch and planned our next outing.