Hypnotized and Humiliated
By Karen Singer
Chapter 10 Part 1 of 2
Marian’s colorful shoes made a big splash with the ladies the next morning. In fact, several of the younger women in the office gushed over them. Courtney even wanted to know where she had found them so she could look for a pair too. Marian gladly told her. What she didn’t mention to any of them though, since Vivian was in the room, was that she had worn flats into work that morning and had only changed into the super high heels just before any of them had shown up to work. Her flats were now safely hidden in her bag. She felt happy because she had been smart enough to remember the flats.
The women all noted that Phillip was wearing lipstick again – and this time a darker shade of red that didn’t stand out quite so much… although it was still very noticeable.
As usual, Vivian was among the first to reach the break room when the first break period started. She poured herself a cup of coffee, feeling like everything wonderful in the world was finally heading in her direction. Soon! Very soon she would have it all! As the other women were pouring their coffee, she sat at the table and stared out through the window at the desks beyond. Marian and Phillip were both hard at work – as they better be! They had a lot of work to do now that they were handling her workload too.
“I wonder why Marian doesn’t join us for breaks anymore.” Ashley noted as she sat down with her coffee. “It’s like she’s avoiding us. She doesn’t even go to lunch with us anymore either.”
“She’s got too much work to do,” Vivian told her.
“I noticed how hard she’s been working lately,” Brittany added. “Phillip too. They’re both hard at work by the time we get here, and they’re both working just as hard when we leave for the day. Both of them! It’s like there’s something wrong!”
Red flags started waving in Vivian’s head.
“I agree,” Lisa said. “And Marian’s whole disposition has changed. She used to be friendly and open, but now she hardly says a word to anyone… except Phillip… I think. But even there she’s not saying hardly anything to him during the day.”
“She’s got to be hypnotizing him at night or early in the morning every day,” Felecia said. “Did you see Phillip’s lips this morning? He was wearing lipstick again, but a different shade.”
“I wonder how long Marian is going to make him wear it.” Ashley wondered. “It’s starting to get to be a bit much now. I mean, she’s making the poor guy wear it all day long, and he’s refreshing it several times during the day.”
“I know,” Lisa agreed. “It does seem a bit much. Has Marian mentioned anything to anyone about how long she intends to keep making him do it?”
“I like it!” Vivian declared.
“Me too,” Felicia added. “But I wish she’d go back to the thumb sucking thing. I think that was just adorable along with the doll.”
“Well I think it’s not right!” Ashley declared. “Marian should have stopped it by now!”
“Yeah,” Lisa agreed. “It is getting a bit ridiculous!”
Vivian’s head was suddenly working overtime. The women were all starting to not like what was going on! Well one of them still liked it. Felicia was still firmly in her court. But that left all the others suddenly against what was happening. And not only that, they were now questioning why Marian and Phillip were working so much. She had to fix things… and she had to fix them fast!
“If you’ll excuse me ladies,” Vivian said as she got up with her coffee, “I’ve got some work that has to get done too.” She went straight back to her desk. She knew she still had a few minutes before Marian would be getting up to make more coffee. She went straight to work typing Marian a quick email.
Marian had noticed Vivian coming back early from break and was somewhat surprised by it. She was just about to get up to make another pot of coffee when she got an email from Vivian. When she read it, she wasn’t totally sure what to make of the situation. Shaking her head, she got up and headed to the break room to make the second pot of coffee.
“Marian!” Ashley exclaimed as soon as she entered the break room. “What’s got you so busy lately? You don’t take breaks… and you and Phillip are already working by the time we get here in the morning and you’re both still at it after we leave at night. What’s going on?”
Marian did her best to smile as she emptied what was left of the first pot of coffee. “I’m taking a break now,” she told them. “I’m going cross-eyed staring at that computer for so long.”
“So how come you’re working so much?” Lisa asked. “Phillip too.”
Marian searched for a good excuse. “Um… I had a big project dumped on me. And, well, I asked Phillip to help me with it. No offense ladies, but he’s a darn hard worker.”
“No offense taken,” Brittany replied. “He’s worked hard since he got moved into our department.”
“But you still hate him,” Marian noted.
“Well… It’s not that we hate him,” Ashley started.
“I don’t like him!” Felicia said in no uncertain terms. “He’s responsible for Maria and the others getting fired! I don’t care how hard he works. He shouldn’t be here!”
“And that’s another thing we’re wondering,” Ashley said, “How much longer are you going to make him wear the lipstick? I mean, it’s getting a bit much now.”
“No it’s not!” Felicia disagreed.
“I think it was too much before it started!” Lisa added.
“Don’t be ridiculous!” Felicia argued back.
“So how much longer are you going to do this to him?” Ashley asked again.
“Um… I don’t know,” Marian replied. “Let’s just say that I have my reasons for keeping him doing it right now. Okay? And I’m not sure how much longer it may go on. Possibly, a while.”
“A while?” Lisa asked.
“What kind of reasons?” Brittany asked at almost the same time.
“Um… reasons you don’t need to know about,” Marian replied. “Can we just leave it at that?”
“It’s not right!” Ashley mumbled.
Marian nodded. “I know. And I agree. So if you can, try to just be nice to him and not make matters any worse.”
“Be nice to him? That little shit?” Felicia exclaimed. “Not likely!”
But Marian noted the looks the others were casting between themselves. It was almost as if she suddenly had allies in the room. But none of them could help her… and she knew she couldn’t tell any of them what was really going on. She had to keep them in the dark – for her own safety… and especially for Phillip’s.
A few minutes later all the women filed out and Marian sat down at the table for her first real break in days, and shortly after that, Courtney, Beverly, and Heather filed in.
“Marian!” Heather exclaimed, seeing Marian sitting at the table with a cup of coffee. “You’re finally joining us!”
“We’ve missed you,” Courtney added.
“I’ve missed you too,” Marian replied.
The questions from all three women were similar to the ones Marian had just faced. And the few non-answers Marian gave them were pretty much what she had told the first group. The big difference this time though, was that neither Vivian nor Felicia was there so that all the women were firmly in agreement that Phillip’s humiliation should stop!
Marian felt somewhat good about the way the break had gone. The part she didn’t feel good about however was telling them that Phillip’s humiliation would continue for a while more. After she had cleaned the break room, Marian went back to her desk… to find another detailed email from Vivian. She quickly realized that Vivian was going way out of her way to cover her tracks! Marian didn’t know if that was a good thing or not. Now Vivian wanted both her and Phillip to leave at lunchtime and at the end of the day with everyone else – as if they were going home. But each time they were to go downstairs with everyone else, then turn around and go right back upstairs again once they could separate from everyone else.
As far as Marian could see, all the sympathy she had just gotten from the other women for having to work so long and so hard was about to disappear. Nobody would know that she and Phillip were continuing to work so much overtime. She sighed. She had to find a way out of this mess for both Phillip and herself.
And now Vivian was making her get hypnotized so that Vivian could control her better? That was a very troublesome thought. But the more she considered it, the more she realized that it might be the only way to save both herself and Phillip… and take care of Vivian as well – for good. It would be difficult. Very difficult! No doubt it would take a while. But it was the only possible solution she could see. And the whole success of her plan depended on just a few things – what she knew about herself, what she knew about hypnotism, and what she suspected about Phillip! That last one was the big question mark!
Late in the day, Marian got called up to another Supervisor’s meeting. It was a long, painful walk in the colorful heels she was wearing. She had been in agony from them all day, and once again the long walk was only making things worse.
Loretta had been the Section Manager for three years now. She couldn’t help but notice Marian’s new colorful heels the moment she entered the conference room. The shoes surprised her a lot. Not only did they not go that well with the rest of what Marian was wearing, but from everything she had seen before, Marian had never worn anything but comfortable sensible shoes in the past. What was she trying to do now, catch the attention of some of the men in the company? As she looked around a bit, she did see several of the men checking out Marian’s shoes. Well, it figured that the guys would all like something like that. But she figured that whatever was going on with Marian’s wardrobe choices were Marian’s business. She turned her thinking back to the reasons for the meeting in the first place.
Marian sat at the table and looked through the papers that had been handed out while she listened to Loretta verbally going over what was happening. It was all stuff that happened a lot… price changes, regulation changes, and procedure changes. All stuff she had to let her workers know about so they could do their jobs properly. It was what most of these meeting were about.
By the time Marian got back downstairs, everyone was watching the clock and was ready to go… except for Phillip who was still busy fixing his lips. She decided she would pass out the information changes to them tomorrow. She headed for her desk to pretend to get ready to leave herself. When she got back to her desk, she found an email from Vivian reminding her about tomorrow night – when she would have to get hypnotized. The little reminder had included a reminder about the two hundred dollars in cash she would need as well.
Marian didn’t need that little reminder. The whole thing had been at the forefront of her thinking for most of the day. Getting hypnotized was going to be worrisome. Very worrisome! But if everything went the way she hoped, it would also lead to the only good solution she could see to this whole problem. She had to do it… like it or not. For not only herself, but for Phillip as well. She was sure that Phillip didn’t deserve any of the animosity that the women always showed him. She was more than sure of that!