Take a comedic journey through love, ambition, and business in the classic novel, The Apartment.
Bud Baxter was a content bachelor living in a modest apartment in New York City. He worked as a clerk at an insurance company and spent his free time watching television and playing cards with his neighbors. He was content with his life, but he longed for something more, something that would make him stand out from the crowd.
One day, while at work, Bud stumbled upon a quick way to climb the corporate ladder. He discovered that his superiors were always looking for a place to take their mistresses without being caught by their wives. Bud saw an opportunity and decided to lend them his apartment in exchange for a promotion. It was a win-win situation. The executives could have their affairs in peace, and Bud could move up in the company.
But little did Bud know that his actions would lead him down a path of unexpected romance, drama, and comedy.
Chapter 1: The Setup
Bud Baxter was a man on a mission. He wanted to be more than just a minor clerk in a huge insurance company. He wanted to make a name for himself, to be somebody. But he knew that he couldn’t achieve that by just working hard and keeping his head down. He needed to do something different, something bold.
One evening, as he was leaving the office, Bud overheard his boss, Jeff Sheldrake, talking about needing a place to take his mistress for the night. Jeff was a high-ranking executive in the company, and Bud knew that if he could help him out, it would be a huge opportunity for him to move up in the ranks.
Bud approached Jeff and offered to lend him his apartment for the night. Jeff was hesitant at first, but Bud knew how to sweeten the deal. He offered to do all the paperwork for Jeff’s upcoming project, which would save him a lot of time and effort. Jeff agreed, and Bud handed over the keys to his apartment.
The next day, when Bud arrived at work, Jeff called him into his office. Bud was nervous. He didn’t know what to expect. But when Jeff offered him a promotion, he knew that his plan had worked.
From that day on, Bud’s apartment became the go-to place for the executives to take their mistresses. He would loan it out in exchange for promotions, bonuses, and other perks. And everything was going smoothly until one night, Bud was left with a major problem to solve.
It was a cold winter night, and Bud was curled up in his bed, trying to sleep. Suddenly, there was a loud banging on his door. Bud groggily stumbled out of bed and opened the door to find an executive, Joe Dobisch, standing outside with a woman he didn’t recognize.
Joe was frantic. He told Bud that he needed to use his apartment for a few hours, but there was a problem. The woman he was with had too much to drink, and he couldn’t take her back to his hotel room without being seen. Bud didn’t know what to do. He couldn’t send them away, but he also didn’t know how to take care of a drunk woman.
In the end, Bud agreed to let Joe and the woman use his apartment. He left them some blankets and went to sleep on a park bench. The next morning, Bud returned to his apartment to find the woman still there, unconscious. He panicked and rushed her to the hospital, where he stayed with her until she woke up.
As he sat by her bedside, Bud realized that he had made a huge mistake. He had been so focused on climbing the corporate ladder that he had lost sight of his values. He knew that he had to make things right, but he didn’t know how.
And that’s when he saw her. The woman he had saved was beautiful, with long brown hair and big brown eyes. She looked up at him and smiled, and in that moment, Bud knew that his life was about to change forever.
Bud Baxter has discovered a quick way to climb the corporate ladder at the huge New York insurance company where he works. He lends out his apartment to executives as a place to take their mistresses. Bud, a minor clerk who is struggling to make his way up the corporate ladder, believes that this is the only way to get ahead. However, he soon realizes that things may be more complicated than he originally thought.
In chapter 2, Bud’s boss, Jeff, requests the use of his apartment for a romantic rendezvous with his mistress. In return, Jeff promises to help Bud get a promotion. Bud agrees, but soon realizes that he’s in over his head.
The chapter starts with Bud nervously waiting for Jeff to arrive at his apartment. He’s already set up the space to make it look like someone lives there, with clothes strewn across the couch and dishes in the sink. Jeff arrives with his mistress, a beautiful blonde named Sylvia. Bud is immediately struck by how different she looks from the other women who have visited his apartment. She’s sophisticated and elegant, and Bud can’t help but feel drawn to her.
Bud offers to make them drinks and leaves them alone, but he can’t shake off the feeling of unease. He’s concerned about what might happen if Jeff’s wife finds out about his affair, not to mention the fact that he could lose his apartment if anyone in the building finds out that he’s been using it for extramarital affairs.
As the night progresses, Bud becomes increasingly nervous. He can hear the sounds of Jeff and Sylvia’s lovemaking through the thin walls of his apartment. He’s relieved when they finally leave, but knows that he’ll have to deal with the aftermath of their visit.
The next day, Bud arrives at work to find that Jeff has pulled some strings and secured him a promotion. Bud is thrilled, but he knows that this promotion comes with more responsibilities and stress. He’s also aware of the fact that he has to keep loaning out his apartment to Jeff and other executives if he wants to keep climbing the corporate ladder.
Bud’s colleagues start to notice the change in him. He’s more confident and assertive, but also more distant. He’s so focused on his new position that he doesn’t have time for anything else. One of his colleagues, a woman named Mildred, takes notice of this and starts to develop a crush on him. Mildred is a plain and unassuming woman, but she’s always had feelings for Bud. She sees this as an opportunity to get closer to him and starts to make advances.
Bud is oblivious to Mildred’s feelings and is too preoccupied with his new job. He starts to feel like he’s lost a part of himself in the process of climbing the corporate ladder. He’s no longer the kind and caring person he used to be. He’s become a person who’s willing to compromise his values in order to get ahead.
As much as Bud wants to stop loaning out his apartment, he can’t resist the temptation of the promotion that comes with it. He starts to justify his actions to himself, telling himself that he’s not hurting anyone and that everyone is doing it. However, Bud soon realizes that he’s wrong.
One night, Bud arrives at his apartment to find Sylvia waiting for him. She’s distraught and tells him that Jeff has been cheating on her with other women as well. She confides in Bud and tells him that she’s planning to leave Jeff. Bud offers to help her in any way he can, but he’s also conflicted. He knows that he’s been complicit in Jeff’s affair and feels guilty about it.
As the chapter comes to a close, Bud is left with a major dilemma. He’s gained a promotion, but at what cost? He’s not sure if he can continue loaning out his apartment to executives, knowing that it’s hurting innocent people. He’s also not sure what to do about his feelings for Sylvia, who he’s grown to care about deeply.
Chapter 2 sets up the central conflict of the novel. Bud’s decision to loan out his apartment has consequences that he never could have imagined. He’s forced to confront the immorality of his actions and decide whether the promotion is worth compromising his values. The chapter ends on a cliffhanger, leaving the reader wondering what Bud will do next.
Chapter 3: The Mistress
Bud had never met Jeff’s mistress before, but he had heard of her. Fran Kubelik: a beautiful and charismatic woman who worked in the elevator department of the same company as him. When Jeff asked to borrow Bud’s apartment for the night, Bud agreed without hesitation, excited at the prospect of finally meeting Fran.
As he waited for Jeff to leave his apartment, Bud paced nervously back and forth. What would he say to her? Would she even want to talk to him? He took a deep breath and tried to calm his racing thoughts. He reminded himself that he was doing this to get ahead in his career, but the truth was that he was more interested in Fran than anything else.
When Fran finally arrived, Bud was taken aback by her beauty. She was tall and statuesque with long, flowing hair and bright blue eyes. She was dressed in a slinky black dress that hugged her curves and showed off her legs. Bud felt himself getting nervous, but he tried to play it cool.
“Hi, I’m Bud,” he said, extending his hand. “Nice to finally meet you.”
“Fran,” she replied, shaking his hand. “Jeff’s talked about you before. He says you’re a great guy.”
Bud felt a pang of guilt in his chest. He knew he wasn’t a great guy. He was allowing his boss to cheat on his wife in exchange for a promotion. But he pushed those thoughts aside and tried to focus on the beautiful woman in front of him.
They chatted for a while, sharing small talk and sips from a bottle of whiskey that Bud had brought out. Fran was easy to talk to and had a great sense of humor. Bud found himself laughing more than he had in months.
As the night wore on, Jeff and Fran retreated to the bedroom. Bud tried to put them out of his mind and focus on other things, but the sounds of their lovemaking were impossible to ignore. He cringed at the thought of what he had gotten himself into.
The next morning, Fran emerged from the bedroom, looking disheveled and ashamed. Bud could tell that she was trying to put on a brave face, but he could tell that she was upset.
“I shouldn’t be here,” she said, tears welling up in her eyes. “I shouldn’t have let this happen.”
Bud felt a protective urge rise up in him. He didn’t want to see Fran hurting like this. He put a hand on her shoulder and tried to comfort her.
“It’s not your fault,” he said. “You didn’t do anything wrong.”
Fran looked at him, her eyes searching his face. “You’re a good guy, Bud,” she said, her voice shaking. “I wish there were more men like you in the world.”
Bud felt a surge of emotion in his chest. Coming from Fran, those words meant everything to him. He wanted to tell her how he felt, to confess his growing feelings for her, but he knew it was too soon. He didn’t want to scare her off.
Instead, he walked her to the door and watched as she left. As he closed the door, he couldn’t help but wonder what the future held for him and Fran. He had never felt this way about anyone before, and he knew that he couldn’t keep pretending that this was all just a game.
The following weeks were a blur of work for Bud. He threw himself into his job, trying to forget about Fran and the guilt that was eating away at him. But no matter how hard he tried, he couldn’t get her out of his head.
One evening, he ran into her in the elevator at work. She was carrying a box of file folders and looked frazzled.
“Hey,” he said, smiling at her. “Need a hand?”
Fran looked relieved. “Thanks, Bud,” she said, handing him the box. “I swear, these files get heavier every day.”
As they rode up to their floor together, Bud couldn’t help but notice how beautiful Fran looked, even in her work clothes. He felt a sudden urge to reach out and touch her, to tell her how he felt, but he held back.
They parted ways at the office, but Bud couldn’t shake the feeling that he’d missed an opportunity to tell Fran how he felt. He knew that he needed to find a way to talk to her alone, to explain everything that had been going on in his head.
That opportunity came a few days later when he ran into Fran in the break room. She was pouring herself a cup of coffee, and he couldn’t resist joining her.
“Hey, Fran,” he said, leaning against the counter. “How’s it going?”
Fran looked up, smiling. “Hey, Bud. It’s going okay…just busy, you know?”
Bud nodded. “Yeah, I hear you. I’ve been swamped too. These promotions come with extra responsibilities, it seems.”
Fran laughed. “You’re telling me. I don’t know how you handle it all.”
Bud shrugged. “It’s all part of the job, I guess. But enough about that…I wanted to talk to you about something else.”
Fran cocked her head, looking intrigued. “Okay…what is it?”
Bud took a deep breath. This was it. He was finally going to tell her.
“I know this is going to sound crazy,” he said, his voice shaking slightly. “But I think I’m in love with you.”
Fran’s eyes widened in surprise. “What?”
“I know, I know,” Bud said, feeling his cheeks flush. “It’s probably not what you want to hear. But ever since that night at my apartment, I can’t stop thinking about you. And I know that what we’re doing is wrong, but I can’t help the way I feel.”
Fran looked at him, her face unreadable. Bud felt like he was about to throw up. He had just bared his heart to this woman, and he had no idea what she was going to say.
“I don’t know what to say,” she said finally, her voice soft. “I never thought…I mean, we barely know each other.”
“I know,” Bud said. “I shouldn’t have said anything. I just had to get it off my chest.”
Fran put a hand on his arm. “No, Bud, it’s okay. I’m flattered, really. I just…I don’t know what I want right now. I just ended things with Jeff, and I need some time to figure things out.”
Bud nodded, feeling a sense of relief wash over him. He hadn’t been rejected outright, but he also hadn’t scared her off completely. He could live with that.
“I understand,” he said. “I just wanted you to know how I feel. Take all the time you need.”
Fran gave him a small smile. “Thanks, Bud. You’re a good guy. I’m lucky to have met you.”
Bud felt a sense of warmth in his chest. He may not have won Fran’s heart just yet, but he knew that he was on the right track.
As the days turned into weeks, Bud and Fran started to spend more time together. They went out to lunch, took walks around the city, and talked about everything from their favorite movies to their hopes and dreams.
Bud tried to keep his feelings in check, but it was becoming increasingly difficult. He loved spending time with Fran, and he couldn’t help but imagine a future where they were together.
One evening, Jeff caught Bud and Fran leaving the office building together. Bud could tell that Jeff was angry, but he tried to remain calm.
“Hey, Jeff,” he said, doing his best to keep his voice steady. “What’s up?”
Jeff didn’t answer. Instead, he walked up to Fran and grabbed her arm.
“What are you doing with him?” he spat, his face red with anger. “You’re supposed to be with me!”
Fran shook off Jeff’s grip. “I’m not your property, Jeff. I can talk to whoever I want.”
Jeff looked like he was about to hit her. Bud stepped in between them, trying to diffuse the situation.
“Hey, hey, take it easy,” he said. “There’s no need to get violent.”
Jeff shoved Bud, causing him to stumble backwards. “Stay out of this, Baxter,” he growled. “This is between me and Fran.”
Bud felt a surge of anger rise up in him. He wasn’t going to let Jeff bully him or Fran around any longer.
“No, Jeff,” he said, standing up straight. “This is between you and me. You can’t treat people like this. You can’t cheat on your wife and treat Fran like a possession. It’s not right.”
Jeff looked like he was about to explode. “You don’t know anything, Baxter,” he said, his fists clenched. “You don’t know what it’s like to be in charge, to have power. You’re just a lowly clerk.”
Bud felt his blood boil. He was tired of being talked down to and belittled. He was tired of being used.
“No, Jeff,” he said, his voice rising. “I know more than you think. I know what it’s like to do the right thing. And I won’t stand by and let you hurt Fran or anyone else.”
Jeff lunged at Bud, but Bud was ready. He ducked and punched Jeff in the stomach, causing him to double over in pain. Fran looked on in shock, but Bud didn’t care. He felt like he was finally standing up for himself and everything he believed in.
When Jeff finally left, Fran turned to Bud, tears in her eyes. “Thank you,” she said. “For standing up for me.”
Bud put a hand on her shoulder. “Of course,” he said. “I just wish I had done it sooner.”
Fran smiled at him, and Bud felt like he was on top of the world. He knew that he still had a lot of work to do to win her heart, but he was up for the challenge.
As they walked out of the building together, Bud couldn’t help but feel like things were finally starting to look up. Maybe, just maybe, he could make things right with Fran and start a new chapter in his life.
Chapter 4: The Promotion
Bud sat at his new desk, surrounded by paperwork and stress. His promotion had come with a lot more responsibilities than he had anticipated. While he was grateful for the raise in pay, he couldn’t help but wonder if it was all worth it. He had to work long hours, deal with demanding clients, and was constantly under pressure to meet deadlines.
As he sat there, he couldn’t help but think about Fran. He missed her, and he couldn’t shake off the guilt of his involvement in her affair with Jeff. He knew he had to move on, but it was easier said than done. His feelings for her were still strong, despite her rejection.
Suddenly, his phone rang, interrupting his thoughts. It was Jeff, his boss. “Hey Bud, I need you to come to my office. We have a problem,” Jeff said in a serious tone.
Bud quickly got up and made his way to Jeff’s office. He couldn’t help but feel nervous, wondering what the problem could be. When he arrived, he saw Jeff and another executive, Mr. Sheldrake, sitting at the conference table.
“Bud, have a seat,” Jeff said, gesturing towards a chair.
“What’s going on?” Bud asked, feeling uneasy.
Mr. Sheldrake spoke up. “Bud, I understand that you’re in charge of loaning out your apartment to executives for their affairs.”
Bud’s heart raced. He didn’t think anyone knew about his arrangement with Jeff.
“Yes, I’ve loaned it out a few times,” Bud said, trying to sound casual.
“Well, I need to use it tonight. My wife is out of town, and I need a place to meet my mistress,” Mr. Sheldrake said, not even bothering to hide his infidelity.
Bud’s stomach twisted in disgust. He didn’t want to be a part of this anymore. But he also didn’t want to risk losing his job.
“I don’t know if that’s possible. I have a lot of work to do tonight,” Bud said, trying to come up with an excuse.
Jeff spoke up. “Bud, Mr. Sheldrake is a valuable client. We need to keep him happy. You need to make this happen.”
Bud felt trapped. He knew he didn’t have a choice. “Okay, I’ll make sure the apartment is available tonight,” he said, defeated.
As he left the office, Bud couldn’t help but feel anger towards Jeff and Mr. Sheldrake. They didn’t care about the consequences of their actions. They were willing to use him and his apartment for their own selfish desires.
That night, Bud made his way to a nearby bar, unable to face the thought of going home and dealing with the aftermath of Mr. Sheldrake’s visit. He ordered a drink and tried to clear his mind.
As he sat there, he saw Fran walk in. His heart raced as she made her way towards him.
“Bud, hi,” she said, smiling.
“Fran, what are you doing here?” Bud asked, surprised to see her.
“I needed to get out of my apartment. Jeff is driving me crazy,” she said, rolling her eyes.
Bud felt a pang of jealousy towards Jeff. He wanted to be the one making Fran happy, not Jeff.
They began to talk, and Bud found himself opening up to her about his struggles with his new job and his involvement with Jeff’s affairs. Fran listened patiently, offering him support and encouragement.
In that moment, Bud realized that he wanted to be with Fran. He wanted to make her happy and be a part of her life. He knew he had to tell her the truth about his involvement in loaning out his apartment.
“Fran, I need to tell you something,” Bud said, taking a deep breath.
“What is it?” she asked, sensing his seriousness.
“I’ve been loaning out my apartment to executives for their affairs. Jeff included,” he confessed, feeling ashamed.
Fran’s expression changed from surprise to sympathy. “Bud, I had no idea. I’m so sorry. You don’t have to do that for anyone,” she said, placing her hand on his.
Bud felt relieved and grateful for her understanding. He knew that he needed to make a change, both in his job and his personal life. He wanted to be with Fran, but he also knew that he couldn’t continue to compromise his integrity for a promotion.
The next day, Bud walked into Jeff’s office and handed in his resignation. Jeff was stunned, but couldn’t argue with Bud’s determination.
Bud left the office feeling a sense of freedom and relief. He had made the decision to follow his passions, both in his career and his love life. He knew it wouldn’t be easy, but he was ready for the challenge.
As he made his way home, he couldn’t help but think about Fran. He knew he had to tell her how he felt and ask her if she wanted to be with him.
He took a deep breath and knocked on her door, hoping that she would answer.
Chapter 5: The Rejection
Bud couldn’t help it. He had grown to love Fran, despite her being Jeff’s mistress. He knew it was wrong, but he couldn’t shake off the feeling of wanting to be closer to her. He had tried to keep things professional and friendly with her, but his feelings kept getting in the way.
One day, after work, Bud gathered up the courage to ask Fran out for dinner. He stammered through his invitation, trying to make it seem like a casual hangout, but Fran could sense something more was behind his invitation.
“I’m sorry, Bud. I can’t go out with you like that,” Fran said, gently turning him down. “I care about you as a friend, but I need some space to figure things out.”
Bud was crushed. He had hoped that Fran would feel the same way he did, but the reality of the situation hit him like a ton of bricks. He knew he had made a mistake by getting involved with Jeff’s affairs, but he couldn’t help his feelings. He was stuck in a love triangle that had no happy ending.
Over the next few days, Bud tried to keep busy, throwing himself into his work and trying to forget about Fran. But the more he tried to push her out of his mind, the more he found himself thinking about her. He knew he had to talk to her again, to try and see if there was any chance for them to be together.
He met Fran by chance in the elevator at the office. She looked tired and worn out, with dark circles under her eyes. Bud knew that Jeff was still seeing her, and he hated the thought of her being used like that. But he didn’t want to push her too hard, he knew that he needed to respect her decision.
“I just wanted to check on you,” Bud said, trying to sound casual.
Fran sighed. “I’m okay, thanks for asking. It’s been a difficult week, but I’m trying to move on.”
Bud could see the pain in her eyes, and he knew that she was hurting. He wanted to take away her pain, to make everything right for her, but he knew he couldn’t do anything unless she wanted him to.
“Look, Fran, I understand that you need space. But I just want you to know that I’m here for you, no matter what. You can talk to me about anything, anytime,” Bud said, his voice sounding more emotional than he had intended.
Fran looked at him, her eyes softening. “Thank you, Bud. That means a lot to me.”
They stood there in silence for a few moments, before the elevator dinged and the doors opened. They parted ways, with Bud feeling a mix of emotions. He still loved Fran, but he knew that he had to respect her wishes.
Over the next few weeks, Bud tried to move on. He went on a few dates with other women, but none of them could compare to Fran. He felt like he was stuck, unable to move past his feelings for her. He knew he had to tell her how he felt, but he didn’t want to ruin their friendship.
One day, Fran called him out of the blue. Bud’s heart raced as he answered the phone, wondering what she could possibly want.
“Hey, Bud. I was wondering if we could meet up for coffee later. I need to talk to you about something,” Fran said, her voice sounding serious.
Bud agreed, feeling a mix of excitement and anxiety. He didn’t know what Fran wanted to talk about, but he hoped that it was a good sign.
They met up at a small café near the office, sitting at a quiet table in the back. Fran looked nervous, her hands fidgeting in her lap.
“I wanted to apologize for pushing you away, Bud. I’ve been going through a lot lately, and I haven’t been fair to you,” Fran said, her eyes looking sad.
Bud nodded, feeling grateful that she was talking to him.
“At the same time, I need to be honest with you. I don’t think it’s a good idea for us to pursue a romantic relationship. I want to start fresh, without any complications from the past.”
Bud felt his heart sink. He had hoped that Fran would feel the same way he did, but he knew that this was a possibility. He didn’t want to push her too hard, but he couldn’t help but feel disappointed.
“I understand, Fran. I just want you to know that I care about you, and I want to be there for you, no matter what,” Bud said, his voice sounding strained.
Fran smiled weakly. “I know, Bud. You’re a good friend, and I don’t want to lose that. Thank you for understanding.”
They finished their coffee in silence, with Bud feeling a mix of emotions. He was happy that Fran wanted to remain friends, but he couldn’t help but feel like he had missed his chance. He knew he had to respect Fran’s decision, but he also couldn’t help his feelings.
As they parted ways outside the café, Bud felt like a weight had been lifted off his shoulder. He knew that he had to move on, to focus on his work and his life. He had made a mistake by getting involved with Jeff’s affairs, but he could make things right by being a better person.
With a renewed sense of purpose, Bud walked back to his apartment, feeling hopeful for the future. He knew that he had a long way to go, but he also knew that he had the strength to make it through.
Chapter 6: The Crisis
Bud had never been more frightened in his life than the moment he walked into his apartment and found Fran lying motionless on his couch. Panic set in as he realized that she had taken a large amount of sleeping pills in a suicidal attempt.
Without wasting any time, Bud rushed her to the nearest hospital, his heart racing with fear and anxiety. His mind was in a jumbled state as he paced the waiting room, waiting for any news about Fran’s condition. His thoughts were consumed with guilt and regret, and he couldn’t shake off the feeling that he was responsible for Fran’s condition.
As the hours flew by, Bud tried to distract himself with mindless TV shows and magazines, but he couldn’t help but worry about Fran. He was relieved when the doctor finally emerged from the operating room, looking grave and serious.
“Is she okay?” Bud asked, his voice shaking.
The doctor sighed, “She’s stable now, but it was a close call. She made it in time, but we need to keep her under observation for the next few days.”
Bud let out a breath he didn’t realize he was holding and thanked the doctor profusely. He was finally allowed to see Fran after some time, and he rushed to her bedside.
Fran looked frail and weak, but she smiled weakly when she saw Bud. He took her hand and squeezed it tightly, trying to convey a silent message of comfort and support.
Fran’s eyes were red and puffy, and Bud knew she had been crying a lot. He didn’t want to ask her any questions just yet, not wanting to add to the emotional burden she was carrying.
Despite the trauma of the situation, Bud was grateful for the opportunity to take care of Fran. He spent every moment he could at her side, making sure she was comfortable and had whatever she needed.
As the days passed, Fran slowly recovered from the overdose. Bud realized that he had developed strong feelings for her, feelings that went beyond just physical attraction. He couldn’t help but admire her bravery and resilience, and the way she handled herself even in the darkest of moments.
Bud also started to question his own actions and morals. He realized that he had been a part of a toxic cycle, where he had used his apartment as a tool to climb the corporate ladder. He felt ashamed of himself and knew he needed to make amends.
One day, as Fran was slowly recovering, Bud mustered up the courage to talk to her about his involvement in loaning out his apartment. He was prepared for the worst, expecting Fran to lash out at him and never speak to him again.
Instead, Fran surprised him with her understanding and empathy. She acknowledged that the situation was not entirely his fault and that they were both caught up in a web of circumstances.
“Let’s just forget about the past and focus on the future,” Fran said, smiling.
Bud felt his heart swell with gratitude and affection, knowing that he had found someone who accepted him for who he was, flaws and all.
As the days turned into weeks, Fran made a full recovery, and Bud knew it was time to face the consequences of his actions. He decided to quit his job, knowing he could no longer stomach the toxic behavior of the executives.
Fran was his anchor through it all, supporting him every step of the way. They grew closer and closer, and Bud knew that he had found the person he wanted to spend the rest of his life with.
In the end, the crisis had brought them together, and they emerged stronger and more in love than ever before. Bud knew he had found true happiness, and he was grateful for the journey that had led him there.
Chapter 7: The Confrontation
Bud’s heart races as he hears a knock on his door. He knows that it’s Jeff, and he’s not ready to face the music just yet. Bud opens the door to find Jeff, who is red-faced and angry. “Get inside,” Jeff hisses.
Bud follows Jeff into the apartment, his heart pounding as he waits for Jeff to speak. “I know what you’ve been doing with Fran,” Jeff finally spits out.
Bud’s mind races as he tries to come up with a response. He could deny everything and hope that Jeff doesn’t have any concrete evidence. Or he could stand up to Jeff, tell him that he’s done with the whole scheme and risk ruining his career.
But as Bud looks at Jeff’s face, twisted in anger and contempt, he realizes that he’s had enough. Enough of the lies, the deception, and the fear. Enough of living a life that doesn’t align with his values.
“I’m not going to deny it,” Bud says, his voice steady. “I’ve been seeing Fran, and I lent her my apartment a few times. But I’m done with it now.”
Jeff’s face turns crimson with rage. “You’re done with it?” he thunders. “You can’t be done with it. You owe me. You wouldn’t even have this job if it wasn’t for me.”
Bud feels a wave of fear wash over him. He knows that Jeff has the power to ruin his career, to make sure that he never works in this industry again. But he also knows that he can’t keep living a life that’s not true to himself.
“I’m sorry, Jeff,” Bud says, his voice shaking. “I can’t keep doing this. It’s not right.”
Jeff’s eyes narrow as he steps closer to Bud. “You’re going to regret this,” he says quietly. “I’ll make sure that you never work in this town again.”
Bud feels a cold sweat break out on his forehead as Jeff storms out of the apartment. He knows that he’s taken a huge risk, that he’s potentially ruined his career. But for the first time in a long time, he feels a sense of peace.
The next few days are a blur for Bud. He tries to focus on his work, but he can’t stop thinking about Jeff’s threats. He wonders if he’s done the right thing, if he’s just thrown away his future for a fleeting moment of courage.
But then, something unexpected happens. Jeff is fired from the company, exposed for embezzlement and fraud. The entire company is in a frenzy, scrambling to make sense of what’s happened. But for Bud, it’s a moment of clarity.
He realizes that he doesn’t want to be a part of a company that’s built on lies and deception. He doesn’t want to climb the corporate ladder at the expense of his morals and values. He wants to pursue a career that aligns with his passions, that’s built on honesty and integrity.
Bud hands in his resignation the next day, feeling a sense of freedom that he’s never experienced before. He meets with Fran, and they talk about their future together. They both know that it won’t be easy, but they’re ready to face whatever comes their way.
As they walk out of the building, hand in hand, Bud can’t help but smile. He knows that he’s made the right choice, that he’s finally living a life that’s true to himself. He looks up at the sky, feeling a sense of hope and possibility.
For the first time in a long time, Bud Baxter feels truly alive.
Chapter 8: The Confession
Bud sat across the table from Fran, his heart pounding in his chest as he prepared to confess everything. He had put this off for far too long, but he couldn’t let their relationship continue without her knowing the truth. He took a deep breath and began.
“Fran, there’s something I need to tell you. It’s about why I loaned my apartment out to Jeff in the first place.”
Fran looked at Bud, confusion etched on her features. “What do you mean?”
Bud hesitated for a moment before answering. “I did it to get a promotion. Jeff promised me that if I let him use my place, he would help me climb the corporate ladder. And he did, but at a cost.”
Fran’s face softened as she realized what Bud was saying. “You did all of that for a promotion?”
Bud nodded, ashamed. “I know it was wrong. I should have never put myself in that position. But I was desperate and I thought it was the only way.”
Fran reached across the table and took Bud’s hand. “I understand, Bud. I really do. We all make mistakes, and you were just trying to do what you thought was best for yourself.”
Bud looked at Fran, grateful for her understanding. But he knew he couldn’t stop there.
“There’s more, Fran. Jeff wasn’t the only one who used my apartment. Other executives did too, and I helped cover it up. I was involved in their affairs, and I feel terrible about it.”
Fran’s eyes widened as she took in Bud’s confession. “You were part of all of that? Bud, how could you?”
Bud could feel the weight of his guilt bearing down on him. “I know, Fran. I know I messed up. I just couldn’t keep lying to you anymore.”
Fran sat back in her chair, taking in all that Bud had revealed. She was hurt and angry, but also relieved that he had finally come clean. She took a deep breath before speaking.
“Bud, I don’t know what to say. I can’t believe all of this. But I also can’t imagine what it must have been like for you to carry this burden for so long. I appreciate your honesty, and I’m willing to work through this with you.”
Bud looked at Fran, his heart swelling with love for her. He knew he had hurt her, but he was overjoyed that she was willing to give him a chance.
“Thank you, Fran. I know I messed up, but I promise to make it up to you. I care about you more than anything, and I want to be with you.”
Fran smiled at Bud, her eyes softening. “I care about you too, Bud. But we have a lot of work to do if we’re going to move past this. I need time to process everything, and I need you to promise me that you’ll never do anything like this again.”
Bud nodded, understanding the gravity of his actions. “I promise, Fran. I’ll do whatever it takes to make this right.”
Fran smiled at Bud, the first glimmer of hope shining in her eyes. “I know you will, Bud. And I’m willing to give you a chance, if you’re willing to work for it.”
Bud felt a sense of relief wash over him as Fran spoke. He knew it wouldn’t be easy, but he was ready to do whatever it takes to make amends for his past mistakes.
Together, Bud and Fran worked through the aftermath of Bud’s confession. It wasn’t easy, but they were committed to making their relationship work. And with each passing day, they grew closer and stronger, ready to take on whatever life had in store for them.
Chapter 9: The Resolution
After everything they’ve been through, Bud and Fran are finally together. They spend their first few weeks exploring the city, visiting museums, and trying new restaurants. It’s like they’re both seeing the world with fresh eyes, and everything feels exciting and new.
But as the weeks pass, Bud starts to feel restless. He’s been working at the insurance company for nearly a decade, and he’s ready for a change. He’s always been interested in writing, and he starts to wonder if it’s time to pursue that passion.
Fran is supportive of his decision, but she’s also a little bit worried. She knows how hard it is to make it as a writer, and she doesn’t want Bud to give up stability for something that might not work out.
But Bud is determined. He starts taking writing classes at night and spends his weekends working on his craft. He also starts networking, meeting other writers and publishers, and submitting his work to literary magazines.
It’s not easy, but Bud is finally doing something that feels right. And with Fran by his side, he feels like he can do anything.
Months go by, and Bud starts to get some recognition. His stories are published in several literary magazines, and he even wins a few awards. He’s still working at the insurance company during the day, but he knows that his writing career is taking off.
One night, Fran surprises him with tickets to a reading featuring some of his favorite authors. Bud is thrilled, and as they sit in the audience, watching the authors read their work, he feels like he’s finally found his calling.
After the reading, they walk around the city, talking about the authors they saw and their own writing. Fran tells him that she’s never been happier, and Bud knows that he feels the same way.
As they walk, they pass by Bud’s old office building. He tells Fran about how he used to lend out his apartment to the executives, and Fran is shocked.
“I can’t believe you did that,” she says, shaking her head.
Bud nods, feeling a little embarrassed. “Yeah, it wasn’t my proudest moment.”
“But you learned from it,” Fran says, taking his hand. “And it led you here. To this moment. To us.”
Bud smiles, feeling grateful for everything that’s happened. “You’re right,” he says. “I wouldn’t change a thing.”
As they continue to walk, they pass by a bookstore. Fran stops and points at the window display.
“Hey, look,” she says. “Your book is in the window!”
Bud does a double-take, and sure enough, there’s a copy of his debut collection of short stories displayed prominently in the window.
He can’t believe it. This is everything he’s ever wanted.
Fran squeezes his hand. “You did it,” she says.
Bud looks at her and knows that he wouldn’t be here without her. She’s been his constant support through everything, and he loves her more than anything.
He stops and turns to her. “Fran,” he says, taking both of her hands. “I have to tell you something.”
Fran looks at him, her eyes wide.
“I love you,” he says, feeling the words tumble out of his mouth almost too quickly. “I love you so much.”
Fran’s face lights up, and she throws her arms around him. “I love you too,” she says, smiling through tears.
They stand there, holding each other, as people walk by on the street. Bud feels like he’s finally found his place in the world, and he knows that everything that’s happened has led him to this moment.
As they continue to walk, hand in hand, into the future, Bud knows that he’s exactly where he’s supposed to be. With Fran by his side, anything is possible.
Some scenes from the movie The Apartment written by A.I.
Opening shot: A bustling New York City street, with people rushing to and fro.
INT. BUD BAXTER’S OFFICE – DAY
BUD BAXTER, a nervous and hardworking clerk, sits at his desk, typing away on his computer. A sign behind him reads, “Consolidated Life of New York Insurance Company.”
My name is Bud Baxter. Just your average Joe, trying to make his way up the corporate ladder. But in this city, that’s easier said than done.
The phone on Bud’s desk rings.
Bud Baxter speaking.
INT. JEFF’S OFFICE – DAY
JEFF D. SHACKLEFORD, Bud’s boss, sits at his desk, talking on the phone.
Bud, I need your apartment tonight. It’s an emergency.
CUT BACK TO:
INT. BUD’S OFFICE – DAY
BUD looks surprised but quickly regains his composure.
Sure, Jeff. No problem.
INT. BUD’S APARTMENT – NIGHT
Bud’s shabby little apartment is filled with expensive-looking furniture and decorations. Jeff and his mistress, FRAN KUBLIK, a beautiful but troubled woman, are sitting on the sofa.
This is Bud’s apartment. He’s been kind enough to loan it to us for the night.
So are you.
They start kissing passionately.
INT. BUD’S OFFICE – DAY
BUD is working late, typing away on his computer. He looks at a picture of Fran on his desk.
I know what you’re thinking. How did I get into this mess? It all started with a simple loan of my apartment.
INT. BUD’S APARTMENT – NIGHT
Jeff and Fran are getting dressed, with Bud looking on nervously.
Can I get you anything to drink?
No thanks, Bud. We’ve already had our fill.
Fran looks at Bud with sympathy.
Thank you for letting us borrow your apartment, Bud.
No problem. Anytime.
As Jeff and Fran exit the apartment, Bud looks out the window at the bustling New York City street below.
Little did I know, that one loan of my apartment would change everything.
EXT. NEW YORK CITY – DAY
We see Bud Baxter walking down the busy streets of New York City, making his way to work. He looks tired but determined.
INT. INSURANCE OFFICE – DAY
Bud enters the office and walks towards his desk. He sits down and starts working on the pile of papers on his desk. His boss, Jeff Sheldrake, walks in and approaches Bud’s desk.
Bud, I need to talk to you.
Sure, Mr. Sheldrake.
I have a proposition for you. As you know, I have a bit of a situation on my hands. My wife is a bit… difficult, and I need a place to take my mistress without her finding out. I was hoping you could lend me your apartment for our rendezvous.
Yes, I’ll make it worth your while. You know how these things work. You scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours.
Bud looks conflicted but ultimately agrees. Jeff hands him a key and leaves the office.
INT. BUD’S APARTMENT – NIGHT
Bud is sitting alone in his apartment, looking around nervously. He hears a knock on the door and opens it to reveal Jeff and a beautiful woman, Fran.
Bud, this is Fran. Fran, this is Bud. Bud here is doing us a big favor.
Thank you, Bud.
No problem at all.
Jeff hands Bud an envelope full of money and ushers Fran into the apartment.
We’ll be back in a few hours. Thanks, Bud.
Bud watches them leave and closes the door. He looks conflicted and uneasy.
INT. BUD’S APARTMENT – LATER THAT NIGHT
Bud is sitting on the couch, waiting for Jeff and Fran to return. Suddenly, he hears a loud noise coming from the bedroom. He cautiously walks towards the bedroom door and opens it to reveal a mess. The bed is broken, the lamp is smashed, and the room is in disarray. He hears footsteps and quickly hides in the closet.
Jeff and Fran walk in, laughing and talking loudly. They head straight to the bedroom, not noticing the mess. Bud watches from the closet, looking horrified and frustrated.
INT. INSURANCE OFFICE – DAY
Jeff approaches Bud’s desk with a new proposition.
I need to use your apartment again tonight. Fran really enjoyed it and wants to come back. Plus, it’ll help your chances of getting that big promotion.
I don’t know, Mr. Sheldrake. Last time they made a huge mess and I had to clean it up.
Don’t worry, Bud. I’ll make it worth your while. Trust me, this is the kind of opportunity that can change your life.
Bud looks conflicted but ultimately agrees.
INT. BUD’S APARTMENT – NIGHT
Bud is sitting on the couch, looking at the clock nervously. He hears a knock on the door and gets up to answer it. This time it’s a different woman, Sylvia. She’s drunk and flirty. Bud looks uncomfortable but ultimately lets her in.
INT. BUD’S APARTMENT – LATER THAT NIGHT
Bud is trying to sleep on the couch, but the sounds coming from the bedroom are keeping him up. He hears a knock on the door and gets up to answer it. He opens the door to reveal Fran, looking upset and angry.
What the hell is going on here, Bud?
Fran? What are you doing here?
I came to surprise Jeff, but he’s not here. And neither is Sylvia. Who is she, anyway?
I’m sorry, Fran. I didn’t know what I was doing. I just wanted to get ahead at work.
That’s not an excuse, Bud. You’re better than this. You’re worth more than an apartment and a promotion. I thought you were different.
Bud looks ashamed and defeated as Fran walks out of the apartment, leaving him alone in silence.
INT. OFFICE BUILDING – DAY
We see BUD BAXTER, a minor clerk, sitting at his desk. He seems nervous and distracted.
INT. ELEVATOR – DAY
Bud is riding in the elevator with JEFF, his boss.
Thanks for lending me your apartment last night, Bud. Fran had a fantastic time.
(fumbling over his words)
Oh, yeah. It’s no problem, Jeff. Happy to help.
You know, Bud, I’ve been thinking about promoting you. You’re a real asset to the company.
Bud tries to contain his excitement.
T-thank you, Jeff. That means a lot.
The elevator doors open and Jeff exits, leaving Bud feeling both elated and guilty.
INT. BAR – NIGHT
Bud is sitting alone at a bar, nursing a drink. He looks over at the door when FRAN enters. She’s a stunning woman in her mid-twenties.
Bud’s heart skips a beat as Fran approaches him.
Hi, Bud. Mind if I join you?
N-not at all.
They start chatting and soon discover that they have a lot in common. As the night goes on, Bud realizes that he’s developing feelings for Fran.
INT. BUD’S APARTMENT – NIGHT
Bud and Fran are lying on the couch, cuddling. Suddenly, Fran sits up.
Bud, we need to talk.
I can’t keep seeing Jeff. It’s not right. And I can’t keep using your apartment for our trysts.
Bud’s heart sinks. He had been hoping that Fran’s feelings for him were mutual.
I understand, Fran. I just don’t want to lose you.
You won’t lose me, Bud. I care about you too.
Bud feels relieved and grateful. He pulls Fran into a warm embrace.
INT. JEFF’S OFFICE – DAY
Jeff is on the phone, looking furious.
You’re telling me that Bud Baxter is seeing Fran now? Damn it. I can’t let this ruin my reputation.
Jeff slams down the phone, a devious plan hatching in his mind.
EXT. NEW YORK CITY – DAY
BUD BAXTER (30s), a minor clerk in a large New York insurance company, rushes through the bustling city streets. He checks his watch and breaks into a sprint.
INT. INSURANCE COMPANY – DAY
Bud barges into his boss JEFF D. SHELDRAKE’s (50s) office, out of breath.
Jeff, I have some ideas for the next quarter’s projections.
Jeff looks up from his desk, intrigued.
Alright, let’s hear them.
I was thinking we could increase our sales by implementing a referral system, and-
Jeff interrupts him with a smile.
Great work, Bud. You’re a real asset to this company.
Bud tries to hide his elation and maintain his composure.
INT. BUD’S APARTMENT – NIGHT
Bud unlocks his apartment door and steps inside. The same apartment that he loans out to his bosses for their extramarital affairs. He looks around, uncomfortable with the thought of what goes on in his home when he’s not there.
What have I gotten myself into?
INT. INSURANCE COMPANY – DAY
Bud is sitting at his desk, overwhelmed with work. His promotion has brought on more responsibilities than he ever imagined. He takes a deep breath and tries to focus on his tasks.
INT. JEFF’S OFFICE – DAY
Jeff enters his office with a smile on his face.
Bud, I have some great news. We’re promoting you to a higher position.
Bud’s eyes widen with shock.
Th-that’s great news, Jeff. Thank you.
Jeff pats Bud on the back and leaves the office.
INT. BUD’S APARTMENT – NIGHT
Bud lies in his bed, staring at the ceiling. He tries to shake off the stress of his new job, but it’s taking a toll on him.
INT. INSURANCE COMPANY – DAY
Bud is sitting in his new office, surrounded by stacks of papers. He takes a sip of his coffee and starts to work, determined to prove himself.
INT. BUD’S APARTMENT – NIGHT
Bud and Fran sit on the couch, drinking wine.
Fran, I can’t stop thinking about you. I know what we’re doing is wrong, but I can’t help how I feel.
Bud, I care about you too, but we can’t keep doing this. I need to end things with Jeff and start fresh.
End things with Jeff? Why?
I can’t keep living a lie, Bud. I’m tired of being the other woman. I want to find someone who will love me and only me.
Fran, I understand. I’ll support you in whatever decision you make.
Fran smiles at Bud and they clink their wine glasses together.
Thank you, Bud. You’re a good man.
The phone rings, interrupting their moment.
That’s strange. Who could be calling me at this hour?
Bud picks up the phone.
(into the phone)
Bud, have you seen Fran?
No, I haven’t. Why?
She’s gone missing! I’ve been trying to get a hold of her all night and she’s not answering her phone. I thought maybe she was with you.
Bud’s heart races as he realizes the severity of the situation.
Jeff, have you called the police?
No, not yet. But I will if I have to. I need to find her, Bud. She’s everything to me.
Bud looks at Fran, who nods at him reassuringly.
I’ll help you find her, Jeff.
Thank you, Bud. I owe you one.
Bud hangs up the phone and turns to Fran.
We have to find her.
I’ll help in any way I can.
They both grab their jackets and rush out of the apartment.