David Searles was in his thirties. A voracious man, he was hardly ever at a loss for words or knowledge. To some, it could get a little annoying; obnoxious, even. To others, it was great skillset based leadership. David was half-and-half in this office; half liked and half disliked. Noelle and I were part of the half that liked him. I had based my decision to like him on all my research of him. He was the youngest person to be promoted to editor. He was hands-on with every aspect of publishing a book. And, most of all, he absolutely believed, with all his heart, in the books that he got to the end of the production line. To the finished copy. I had dreamed of working for someone so dedicated like that. And I had dreamed for someone like that to read my own written work, and believe in it. I know it’s only been the first couple of days, but it was unnerving; it was exciting; it was fulfilling. I mean, how often can someone say that they jackpotted on their dream job the first time?
It was on our lunch break that I really got to know some people. Noelle in particular. Well, it wasn’t really me getting to know her, any more than it was me getting to know what happened between her and Johnny.
“So are guys, like, a thing?” Noelle asked.
I smiled, happy that she was actually courteous enough to ask beforehand. “No, we’re just friends, I guess.”
“You guess?” she chuckled.
I shrugged. “Well I don’t know. He’s really good-looking, got a hot Irish accent, what’s not to love?”
“Oh ladies,” Leo said, taking a seat next to us, “no need to talk in hush tones. I’m right here.”
Noelle and I laughed. Leonard, Leo for short, was one of our co-workers. He was the cute guy that passed me when I was deflated last time; after getting a sideways verbal lashing from Donna. Who I now have heard some people call her “Donna the Tart”; an odd homage to Donna Tartt. It’s starting to border the lines of sad and unfortunate at just how much people don’t like her here. I guess you can’t make friends everywhere.
Anyway, back to Leo. He had caramel brownish-blondish hair, light skin that he says easily tans, and dark green eyes. For a guy that says he barely works out, he’s also got a toned body. A lot of the girls swoon over him, he is the hottest one in the office after all. He’s so outgoing and makes friends with everyone AND good-looking, that I can see why everyone loves him. Although I don’t think he never works out; anyone can have a high metabolic rate, that I believe, but when it comes to toning and strengthening, I think he’s telling a teeny-tiny fib. Though, I’ll never know why.
“We’re not talking about you, Leo,” Noelle said. “Although,” she stared at his hair, pointing, “is your hairline receding?”
Leo grinned. “Noelle, baby, nothing on me recedes. I’m too loveable.”
Noelle narrowed her eyes, confused and in thought. “What are you even talking about right now?”
“It sounded like a good joke in my head,” he said. “Moving on. Who is this guy?”
“Speaking of,” Noelle said, “did that guy call you?”
“Christopher Wallace?” I asked. Noelle nodded.
“Who’s Christopher Wallace?” Leo asked.
I explained to him the basics of what happened. “He was supposed to ask me again.”
“Playing hard to get. I like it,” Leo said. “Did he?”
“Did he?” Noelle repeated.
I bit my lip and nodded. The day barely started, and at 6AM the next day, I got a text from him asking me out on a date. Telling me how sorry it was that he chose to text at such an early hour, but that he had a busy day ahead of him and wanted to get started on the first thing on his list for the day.
Leo snorted. “Sounds like a chump to me.”
Noelle scoffed. “More like a hunk. You will never understand.”
“Why? Because I have a penis?”
“No, because you’re a guy,” Noelle said.
“What? Same difference, Noelle.”
She rolled her eyes. I shook my head, letting her know to drop it because he’ll fight her over the meaning of what she just said. I know it’s hard to tell, but she didn’t mean it anatomically.
“So,” Noelle started again as we were walking back to our offices, “you don’t mind if I ask him out, right?”
“Ask who out? Chris?”
“Oh,” I shrugged, “yeah, I mean, no prior claim. All good.”
“Great,” she beamed. “You’re going out with Chris right?”
“Chris?” Adam asked as we ate dinner. “Who the hell is Chris?”
“Oh, I forgot to tell you.” Why did I feel the need to even tell him? “He’s just some random I met at 230.”
Adam smiled, avoiding my gaze. I was trying to read him but couldn’t. “Does this random look good to you?”
I chuckled nervously. “Adam…”
Adam shrugged. “What? We’re friends right? We can discuss shit about guys you like right?”
“I mean, I never said I liked him.”
“So you don’t like him?”
“I never said that either.”
“Mmm,” he offered, taking his finished plate to the sink.
“You made a good meal,” I said, trying to divert the conversation. He froze at the sink. I stood, walking towards him. “I feel so guilty, I haven’t cooked anything since I came here.”
Adam sighed. “That’s fine.”
“Adam, I…” I can’t help but sense that you’re angry at me? That sounds so weird.
He turned around. “Yeah?”
He seemed amused. Not at me but, at the situation. “Do you reckon I should go out with him?” Adam just shrugged. “Well, we’re friends right? I want to ask your opinion on this. See if it’s a good idea. It’s barely a date, it’s more like a—”
“Did you already accept?” I was unable to answer, knowing that ‘yes’ wasn’t what he wanted to hear but knew already. “Well,” he continued, “then it’s done anyway. Why would you ask for my opinion?”
He moved away, out of the conversation. It felt unfinished for me so I followed him into his bedroom. “Adam I—”
“You know,” Adam started, “I’m thinking of calling up JLa. You know? I know she likes me and she’s a great girl. She’s sexy,” he threw his pillow on the bed and trudged towards me, pushing my back onto the wall, “she’s smart, she’s barely annoying, she’s amazing. What do you think? You think I should ask her out?”
I thought about the time I had a dream about him in the hotel. Our bodies together, grinding, heaving, him inside of me, hard and filling me up. I remembered that time as he backed me up against the wall of his bedroom. His breaths coming in onto my lips at tiny waves as he inhaled and exhaled in short little puffs.
I shrugged. “If you’re okay with the whole dynamics of your relationship with her changing.”
“It can be a good change.”
“Or it can be bad. What if it ends badly?”
“Then at least I would know we gave it a shot.” Who was he really talking about now? Adam brushed my lips, smiling. “You know, every time I hear you utter another guy’s name, I always wish it was mine.”
“I keep thinking that I need to give you some time for you to just be you. That you need to go through some things on your own; that I need to give you some space. Or maybe I should just get all Christian Grey on your ass and force you to love me,” he laughed.
“I’m sorry I used JLa to make you jealous. I hope it worked though,” he grinned, moving away.
I nodded. “It kind of did.”
He smiled. “Good.”
I waited for him to take a quick shower, and then I took one of my own. We both said goodnight at the same time, and went our separate ways at the same time. He went into his bedroom and I slept on the couch.
But I couldn’t go to sleep. I was feeling restless; unsatisfied; stupid. Why is it that when things are going great in my work life, my personal life isn’t all up to gear; and vice versa. The dream with Adam in the hotel room came back full force in my mind. I could think of nothing else. What was worse was that I had to get up for work in a few hours, I was so tired, but I couldn’t sleep. My mind was refusing to let me go.
The more I thought about Adam, the more I wriggled, and the heavy I breathed. The more I felt hot; the more I got wet. I lifted my head to search for signs of Adam. There was none. Then I moved my legs wide open in a much more comfortable position. I slid my hand down my shorts, closed my eyes and thought of no one else but Adam.