Above and beyond


Do you remember the first time we met? A somewhat odd way to meet someone, don’t you think? Looking back, I think it may have been engineered like that, to keep me around when I probably already had one foot out the door. If that was the plan, it should’ve worked, and I wish it had.

Even at that young age, you were so beautiful. For reasons I’ll get to later, I tried really hard to keep things professional between us. But more and more, I found myself waking up looking forward to getting to see you. I relished the time we spent together; even if it was some mundane bs like showing you our filing system, I’d try to find something, maybe a phrase in your native language, just to make you smile.

Well, we know that didn’t last for very long. You have to understand, I came from some small, insignificant nothing town, and where we were, its not what I left all that behind for. I wanted it all, the bright lights and the fortune and the stature. Besides that, like I said before, I wasn’t really happy there before you came. They offered me everything to stay, like a crazy package. But still I left not long after. And where I went offered me nothing that I expected, and made me even more miserable than I had been before. If I could go back five years or so, I’d tell myself to stay. Not for the money, or the car, or the promotion. But for you.

Now, when I met you, there were 3 reasons why I was a little tepid about you. And I want to briefly explain. 1) You had a boyfriend, of which you quickly made everyone aware. 2) I was nervous about us being co-workers, like I was inadvertently subjecting you to some workplace harassment you were compelled to go along with. A couple years later, a term came out for that: ‘abuse of power’, so maybe there was some sense to my behavior after all. 3) You were young; I think you had just turned 19 when we met. Where I was in my life then, finished school and starting a career, the next step, in my mind was to start a family. At least then I thought I was ready. But I didn’t think you would be at the same place at that age. I mean, when I was 19 I was in a bar from happy hour to close most days, so, although it had absolutely nothing to do with you or our interactions, my perception was that there would be a disparity of maturity between us. And turns out, I was right, but not how I thought.

Some time passed after I left, but then we started talking again. I wanted to know what happened to that pretty young girl I used to work with. Wow, you were above and beyond my wildest imaginations. No longer a girl, you had developed into a gorgeous young woman. You were single, I think, and working hard towards what would become a very promising career. And I’m so proud of you for that. I was already so into you at that point. But we talked some more and I got to know you a little better, and it just made me want you even more. You were cultured and sophisticated in a way I never had realized before. You were honest and open about liking me, no games, just truth. You pushed me to be better. You were genuinely appreciative of the nice things I did for you, you wished me happy birthdays, and offered me condolences when my mother died. That really meant a lot to me. Maybe above all else, your maturity really blew me away. Like I said before, there was a maturity disparity; you are far more mature than I am. And you probably were when we met too, I just didn’t understand that yet. You are amazing in so many ways. We had some awkward chats, but that was my fault. Please know there is absolutely nothing about you that turns me off, I was just trying to get to know you better and did not express myself very well.

The last few times we’ve talked it always comes back to one question from you. And it kills me a little inside when I have to give you an answer that I know neither of us wish was the truth. You waited as long as you could and I accept that. It wasn’t fair for me to expect more from you under present circumstances. And you look genuinely happy now. But I want you to know that someday, hopefully soon, things ARE going to be different for me. There’s nothing left for me but to move forward with my life. And if I am so lucky to get another chance with you, I won’t throw away my shot this time, because, baby, I’m not tepid anymore. You’ve got me red hot.


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