I originally adapted this piece for Queensland Writer’s Centre’s monthly competition Right, Left, Write. I didn’t pass, but like this piece. Hope you do to. Let me know on Twitter @KarlettaA or Facebook An Aspie’s Brain.
Monthly Theme: Once upon a time; Category: Contemporary Romance
Once upon a time, he was mine.
I’d walked into work and sat, glaring at my two inboxes. I glanced at him, as always when he did the rounds at our office. He raised a hand and beckoned me over. Thank god. I sighed with relief. He wants me around. Smiling, I looked at the floor on the way over. I saw those he was with watching me. I hear him saying “It’s mutual, believe me”. Was that about me? Surely not. The world does not revolve around me.
I reached up for a cup, put a teabag in it, and turned to the hot water system. He was in the way.
He looked great. Neat and dressed in a pale patterned dress shirt. He was freshly shaven and wore cologne. It was nice to see him like this. “I like your shirt” I said, pointing. “I thought you would” he said, smiling down at me. I looked in his eyes, surprised. He’d thought of me? I pictured the scene, but surely it was just a compliment. He was upper management. Off limits.
No. He must know by now that I like to dress nicely.
I went to kiss his cheek, and I think he kissed my lips. Even now, I cannot believe it. I have a faint memory, or fantasy of looking down excited, disbelieving. Was it my fault? Did I not move my head enough to reach his cheek? “I’m sorry”, I said, embarrassed.
I looked at the others for confirmation of what happened. My boss was glaring at me. The Admin manager looked interested, her head to one side. I sensed no judgement there. Just someone studying our interaction.
He asked someone to take a photo of us. I moved to his side and put my arm around his waist. I let it relax, to meld into his waist. God, I wanted more of that. I did not want to let him go. After the photo, moving to an appropriate distance, he held onto one of my hands. I went to pull away, but he held on, smiling down at me. With relief I smiled back. I glanced at the others. My boss was glaring at me again. I could see him firing me. Too risky. Reluctantly, I made sure to let go.
As the four of us talked, those eyes kept gazing at me. After a while, I ignored my boss, and bit by bit, allowed Michael in. It felt like we were speaking in full sentences, but with back story unsaid. He knew my work. “He knows me well”. That was comforting. His eyes held – dare I say it – his eyes showed fondness and respect. I did not want to deny it any longer. I gave in to my hopes.
He likes me! I knew it!
I knew that he had to fly out this afternoon. But for now – in this conversation – Michael was mine.