It really is true; the moment you stop thinking about him is the moment he will decide to pop back into your life somehow. I expected Scott to reach out to me, but that expectation disappeared after a week of radio silence. Sure, it made sense, but I was really hoping that things magically went back to the way they were after a few days. Maybe he'd tell me that he was abducted by aliens and they did experiments on his brain. To be honest, I would've accepted any excuse if he had just called and said he wanted me back.
I know. You are all allowed to take a fat magic marker and write, 'DESPERATE' across my forehead, but I missed Scott like crazy the first couple weeks. And while I still loved him after going on my first post break up date, I knew I couldn't go back to him. Besides, I really liked California, especially now that my friends at home were bitching about the cold and I was wearing sundresses to work on Casual Fridays. It was time for me to establish myself out here a little and that included dating.
So, yeah, my heart skipped a beat when I saw I had a new text message from him on my phone. A million things went through my mind. What could possibly be his opening line after not reaching out to me for a month? Did he want me back? Did he know I was literally just on a date? You know they get a sense when we're moving on.
It was simple. "Hey." I put my phone away after reading it without even thinking about whether I was going to respond or not. I was going back to work and I'd figure it out later.
I got back to work and sat down at my desk. I actually did have a lot of work to do and planned on staying until 6 or 7 to catch up on some. Shelby and Peggy had different plans.
My butt barely made contact with the seat before I saw both their heads pop into my cubicle. I wanted to be nice, but the last thing I wanted to do was comply to answering their questions.
"He was nice," I said with a half smile before they even had a chance to say anything. "He said he wanted to set something up for next week, so we'll see if that pans out."
"We're you not into him?" Peggy hesitantly asked. They seemed to pick up on my mood and I felt really bad for being so short with them.
I quickly confessed that Scott had texted me after the date and that it kind of just threw my mood off. "I'm sorry, guys. I really just want to get back to work and not think about it. I promise to bring in coffees earlymorning and we can talk then. Sound good?"
They both agreed and didn't seem too bothered by it. I'm trying to be more direct with people about my needs. The old Caroline would've sat there and cheerfully answered all their questions just to please them, while secretly wanting to crawl under my desk and bang my hand on the floor. Maybe if I had been more direct with Scott, I wouldn't be going on uncomfortable first dates.
I put my phone in my bag and swore I wouldn't look at it until I was ready to make my way home.
It was getting late and I was finishing up the last of my work when I heard someone clear his throat behind me. I nearly jumped out of my seat, before turning around and seeing, who else? Pete.
"Hey, number one," Pete said with a smile as he leaned against the wall of my cubicle. Pete had gotten into the habit of calling me, "number one," because my customer ratings and match successes were still currently the highest. I know, I'm a super star. I was just glad he didn't hunt down the employee with the second highest numbers and call him or her, "number two."
"Hi," I replied. "I swear, I'm heading home soon." Pete had been teasing me about staying at work too late the past few weeks. Little did he know that I did it to keep myself from crying in my apartment while eating eating raw cookie dough straight from the giant jug I bought.
"I just don't want you to burn out," he said with a laugh. "I hope you have fun plans this weekend."
I shrugged. "I don't know," I replied before trying to politely turn back to my work. "You?" I asked over my shoulder.
"Eh, might go meet up with some buddies," he casually replied. "You haven't been taking off at all to go to New York. Everything all right?"
I felt the lump in my throat forming. A small part of me hoped that Pete had seen my online dating profile and connected the dots. I mean, it was kind of his job to be on the website. I knew that was unlikely, though. I just really hated having to tell people that Scott dumped me.
"Yeah," I replied, trying to sound as normal as possible. "But Scott and I are 'taking some space,'" I said as I put the last several words in air quotes. I still wasn't ready to admit that we were completely over and even if we were, Pete didn't need to know the full story just yet.
Pete didn't give one of his signature laughs. He was silent for a moment before saying, "Oh, I'm sorry to hear that."
I turned and said, "thanks," and I meant it.
"Okay," Pete said as he shifted his body and stretched out a bit. "Well, in that case, you're coming out with menight."
"Really?" I asked, surprised.
"Yeah, it'll be fun," he replied. "Look sharp and I'll see you."