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Continued from The Office:

She strode onto this stage with passion and confidence. Danger—that ultimate forbidden passion—and rebellion boiled just beneath the surface. Here, at last, was a man who loved her unconditionally. In his arms, she was all woman. The impulsive child was replaced by a wise and capable adult. No longer did she worry about where she was headed in life. She was in love! He became her everything. She showered him with attention, understanding, and sexual gratification. Her love would pierce his sore heart and heal the wounds in it. She would rebuild his lost faith and restore everything that was fine and noble about him. The whole world would be a better place for their divine love.

Looking into his glass ball, Hermann, was increasingly concerned about his impetuous and vulnerable daughter. He wasn’t completely aware of her liaisons with Heinrich, but he was growing impatient about her lack of direction. She spent more and more time away from home and that time was unaccounted for. Her work at the office was passable but her attitude was aloof and disinterested. And there were no fine eligible young men in sight. Hermann and Yry danced around each other. Arguments about her future erupted with the least provocation. In a fit of frustration she moved out of the house and rented a room on 70th street, conveniently close to Heinrich’s place. Herman exploded— and disinherited her.

Fine, she thought, I don’t need or want his damned money anyway!  She earned rent money by caring for a wealthy, elderly woman to whom Heinrich had introduced her. She shopped, cooked, and cleaned for this woman and walked her dog.

She and Heinrich slipped into a routine: He bought the fixings for dinner and she cooked at his flat. At first it seemed new and wonderful and grown up. But cracks emerged in utopia. She considered herself Heinrich’s equal; but he merely humored her long enough to get his meals cooked and his back rubbed. His cauterized heart was not softening.

One evening she brought her transistor radio to his place so she could listen to her favorite radio program as she prepared the meal. He stalked into the kitchen and promptly switched the station to the evening news without consulting her. Her jaws clamped around adrenaline. She served dinner with hands trembling.

He ignored her attempts to create a romantic atmosphere for their evening meals. He spurned her romantic advances. Sex had to be on his terms only. If she approached him, he turned his back and accused her of being a slut. So much for being a grown-up woman in control of her sexuality. She had disobeyed her father and struck out on her own, yet she was being patronized and treated like a child, or worse—a servant, by the man who supposedly loved her.

This was not going as she had envisioned, but she reminded herself that life needed its downs along with its ups and she was determined to ride out the difficulties. Then one day the sky fell in. Heinrich waltzed into the kitchen and characteristically tuned her radio to world news. She stomped over to the radio and tuned it back to her Sherlock Homes mystery. “That is my radio and I want to hear this program! Why don’t you just go back to the living room and read your old newspaper?”

“Vell, little lady, you may az vell find yahself some udder damnt place to lizen to yah trash. Yah’ve vorn out yah velcome heeah!” The argument spun out of control until Heinrich slipped the news that he was engaged to be married and the wedding date was fast approaching.

Continued