We were friends, we were co-workers, we never crossed the lines that divided those truths. I had no desire to see you asleep beside another woman. I had no interest in any name that could escape your lips in your sleep, save one. Mine.
Unfortunately, I Had one major flaw where you were concerned. I never could say no to you. “ok, but if the sheets come off I’m done.”
“Afraid you might like what you see?” The sarcasm in your question was meant to lighten the situation. It only worsened my tension. I wasn’t afraid I’d like it. I knew I would. It had been over a year since I had come to the realization we would never be more than co-workers and friends. More than a year since I put my true feelings for you aside and became resigned to accept my place.
“Let me check on everyone and I’ll be back.” I said looking for any excuse to delay the event.
The office door shut behind me and the awkwardness deepened. Spending the amount of time in your office had strengthened the scuttlebutt. The whispers stopped, everyone turned to see if I was leaving, staying, crying. Then one whisper broke the silence, “Well she must not be fired.”
It’s amazing how fast the smell of bullshit spreads in a tiny space. I was in the office to get written up, fired, give you head, get someone else fired, tell you off, get told off, get promoted, fire you and take your job, tell you I was gay, and tell you I love you.
After making the rounds to hear the gossip floating around, and make sure no one was in desperate need of help I returned to your office. Letting the door shut before I spoke I offer the suggestion that we wait until after close to view your video.
” Why?” You ask oblivious to anything other than the plight in front of you.
“The harpies are already screeching, the knitting circle is already weaving tales, we don’t need to give them anything else to speculate on.” I said trying to make my point without saying outright that we are the talk of the office.
“Tell Dumbass to take over. We can go outside. ” you remarked as if I had merely said the children need supervision.
“You don’t mind the gossip at all do you?”
“Not one bit, walk with me I’ll prove it.” You smiled as you rose to your feet. Taking my hand like a high school boy walking his new girlfriend down the crowded hall way, you pushed your door open and began dragging me outside.
As we passed the manager you endearingly call Dumbass, you said “Dude, your on point for a few I have something to take care of.” Still dragging me like a teenager in a hurry to get your girl to the back seat of your parents Honda, we exited into the parking lot.
Turning the corner, out of the view of the security cameras, you jerked me to a stop.
“Ready to watch? You asked, in a heavy breath fueled by anxiety.
“Here? Right now? You want to watch this standing in the parking lot at work?” All that came to mind was a teenaged boy who had seen his first porn hub video, and couldn’t wait to show his best friend.
“Would you rather sit in the car? That would probably be more comfortable. Let’s go to the car.”
Watching you ramble, jabbering on nervously was both adorable and disturbing.
“Make up my mind,” I said half rolling my eyes. “This is your rodeo I just tend to the bull.”
“Can I use that?” You joke as you grabbed my hand again and pulled me to the managers parking lot.
Your 2017 Accord was equipped to the Max. Seat warmers = Love.
“Okay, here it is .” You said as you situated your phone between us.
As the small circle stopped rotating, the screen lit up. As it came to life I saw the Angelic face I’d seen at your side no less than a million times. Her voice was soft and hushed as to not wake her subject from his slumber. It was also full of sarcasm and discord. You could sence her pent-up frustration as it oozed out of her every spoken word.
“No one will believe me, not without proof.” She whispered. ” I plan to run this video for three nights just to prove this is not a random event. Here goes nothing.”
The camera angle turned and was refocused on to a queen sized bed over run by your barely covered and sprawled out body. The blanket barely covered the parts of your body I’d only imagined as you tested the elasticity of your limbs trying to reach every corner of the bed at the same time. Then in a flash you balled up, and rolled over until you lay spooning a pillow.
Your mumbles were at first incoherent, then as the digital record played on your speech became clearer and clearer.
Apologetically you begged for your unnamed dream subject, “Please come, I need you.”
A few twists and turns of the bed sheets, the pillow in your arms along for the ride. Moments of silence broken by a clear as day “Thank you.” and a “What would I do without you. ”
As the dream dance continued your mutterings fell in line with a normal work day, talking to invisible clients, and to be honest I began to lose interest. Then a sleep phone call, “Hold on I have to get this.” dream you said out loud. “What do you want I’m working? I’ll be there when I get there.” As your tired arm fell from your face back to the pillow.
“Why .” You asked out loud. “Why did I choose her?” Pulling the pillow in close to your body, “It should have been you.” Then a name, my name, escaped your lips. “All these waisted years,” You said before you planted a sleepy kiss against the pillow case. ” It was always, and should have always been you.”
Unable to watch any more, I opened the car door and excused myself into the freeing afternoon air.
I wish I had been that pillow. Clasped tightly against your all but naked body, rolling playfully about the soft mattress.
But I was the work wife. The one who cleaned your office, not your kitchen. The woman making your appointments not turning down your sheets. I had a part of you, the work you, the hyper, stressed, ready to explode at stupidity you. The relaxed, playful, loving you was a man I didn’t know. He belonged to her.
The most physical contact we had ever shared was not but twenty minutes ago, as you held my hand dragging me down to view that damn video.