A few days later, I told the story to the editor of the magazine, Peter Beinart. The mortification of the moment wasn’t just from the kiss, I explained. It was the intimacy of the touch and the dialogue that accompanied it. There was a clear invitation to continue an assignation elsewhere. Other women, he had intimated, had apparently accepted similar such offers. When I fled, I thought I heard him laugh.
In disclosing this incident to my superiors, the outcome was, in many ways, far worse than the act itself. It’s not exactly that I was disbelieved; it’s that in the end, I was dismissed. Over one wrenching week I learned why women, typically, don’t divulge such stories. Me — I regretted it immediately.