“So the interviewers are telling me that you seem a little distracted,” James said. “Pretty much everything else went well. Now I need to convince the interviewers that your head is in the game, but I need to know from you first if it really is. What’s going on?”
James had been vouching for me the entire time. He saw something in me, a drive and dedication, which ultimately decides the fate of his belief in me and his actions thereof. I had every intention of going into the interview with a clear mind, thinking of nothing else but the moment at hand. But every time I looked down, or moved my hand, or had one of the interviewers mention the bracelet, I was side-tracked. Of course I was thinking about Daniel, but there was honestly no other worse time than during an important interview.
More so, how do I tell James, my potential boss, that I’m having boyfriend troubles? I’m always talking about Eddie being unprofessional and that there’s such a thing as too much information; so wouldn’t it be hypocritical of me to bring it up with James? The other option is to lie though. Say that everything was fine. I know James would see right through that though, and then I’d be an untrustworthy employee that’s easily side-tracked. I guess there was no way around it besides the truth; at least the truth wouldn’t label me as a liar. I’ll just try as best as I can to not divulge too much. Or cry. Oh God, if I cried in front of my boss, after a somewhat dodgy interview, I may as well say sayonara right now!
“I’m just having a stressful past week,” I said, simply.
James leaned on the desk as I sat before him. His arms crossed over his chest, his eyes burrowing into my very existence, trying to figure out more than what I was telling him.
“Anything I can help with?” he pressed, knowing I was holding back.
I shook my head, smiling at the thought of James becoming my potential boss-slash-counsellor. “No, I don’t think so. It’s boyfriend problems,” I waved my hand trying to make it seem like it wasn’t such a big deal so it didn’t come across that it really was all I was thinking about. “I’m sure it’ll pass.”
“Ah, boyfriend problems,” James said. “I know that all too well, unfortunately.”
I stilled my stare onto James, unable to help myself conceal the slight surprise one might have when a boss indirectly outs themselves.
James noticed my frozen demeanour and then snickered. “I have a daughter,” he explained, shaking his head. “Get your head out of the clouds, girlie.”
I went full blown red, I swear it must have looked like I was bleeding out of my pores. Thankfully, James was easy-going and light-hearted enough not to find my assumption unprofessional.
“A daughter?” I asked, in an effort to divert the situation and also because I was genuinely interested. I looked at his ring finger, finding it absent of a ring. “I didn’t know you had a daughter.”
“I’m divorced about three years now,” he said, probably because he noticed my little detective work on his ring finger. “My daughter is twenty-seven years old and living in New York city.”
I smiled. “So you know.”
James chuckled. “Indeed I do. Every girl has troubles; it’s a natural phenomenon.”
“I’m sorry I’m bringing this up,” I said, suddenly finding it weird that I was talking about my situation with James, of all people!
James shook his head. “Not at all. As long as it doesn’t become a constant topic of discussion between you and I.”
I smiled and nodded. “Got it.”
“All I can really say is, time will tell and tempus fugit.”
“Tempus fugit?” I asked.
“Time flies. Time will tell, but know that time flies. Just make sure you’re taking it in as a learning process. This actually applies to a lot of aspects in your life, not just personal relationships. Time will tell and tempus fugit at work also. You just need to find the understanding of things. Realise what you need for yourself, and above all, act. Don’t just wait around; make things happen. A little sidenote, that also applies to working here as well.”
“I feel like I’m getting two life lessons at once.”
“Well, I guess it’s good that you can multi-task then,” James joked.
I made a bubble mouth and exhaled deeply. “Tempus fugit.”
James nodded and said, with conviction, “Tempus fugit.”
I stood and extended my hand. “Thank you for meeting up with me after the interview. I very much appreciate our one-on-ones. This whole experience has been extremely rewarding and I’m not even hired yet.”
“So your head’s in the game?”
I nodded. “My head’s in the game.”
My head was always in the game, when it needed to be. But it had occurred to me, as I was walking out of the building and driving home that Daniel and I hadn’t set out boundaries on this whole break thing. Surprisingly, you can learn a lot from TV shows; one thing I learned from Ross and Rachel’s break, as weird and childish as it may sound, is that if neither one in the relationship have set boundaries and are clear about what can and can’t happen on a break, then it could all go awry.
I was too frazzled and caught off guard to have a conversation about boundaries right then and there; so in my mind, nothing was going to change. Daniel and I were still going to remain exclusive and it would just be a mutual agreed upon silent treatment for the benefit of the relationship. The moment I started having heart palpitations however, was when I realised that it wasn’t entirely my choice. What if Daniel wanted to see other people? What then? Should I give in? Would I have a choice in the matter then?
It kind of reminded me about the whole idea of polygamous relationships. I always wondered that if the man wanted more than one girlfriend\wife, but the girlfriend\wife didn’t, would he still go through with it? Then it brings the whole debate on where the power lies in the relationship. Is it the man, is it the woman? I had always thought it was both Daniel and I that determined out relationship together. But it wasn’t I who wanted this break, let alone suggested it, and it won’t be me that wants to see other people. So in the end, it was obvious to me that if he did want to see other people, then I couldn’t do anything about it. If it ever were to go that way though, then I just hope he doesn’t end up seeing Samantha or a Sandy-clone. It would just remind me of his old ways, and plant the seed of doubt; the possibility that I’ve been trying to avoid all along, that he may actually miss being a player.
The weirdest part about laying down the rules, was how. As soon as I got home, I was decided upon calling him, but the whole point of the break was to see and hear less from each other. Plus, the phone can be tricky at times. What if a certain detail weren’t clear over the phone? That would just throw things off. So what then, email? A contract to our relationship? Break-ups weren’t respectable or honourable any way else besides face-to-face. So what form was the best way to lay down the rules of just a break so it was crystal clear between the two of us?