Wednesday, May 4, 2016

If He Stops Texting You

"I still feel like Martin and Erica's testimony has the most pop."

I tapped my pen against the desk. "It's well written," I agreed before peering from the computer screen up to Pete who was bouncing a soft, toy basketball against the wall. "But I don't know how relatable they are."

"Well, it's going to make guys want to join; that's for sure."

I laughed. Of course, this particular testimony would make men want to join. Martin was roughly 40 years old and Erica, with her long blonde highlights and huge cans, was 28. The age difference was fine, but the picture just screamed 'gold digger' to me. "Don't you think it kind of sends the wrong message?"

Now it was Pete's turn to laugh. "Darling," he began and I cursed the feeling that gave my stomach. "The picture alone? Yes, it sends the wrong message. But the testimony is great. It shows they really care about each other."

I sighed. He was right. It was the best testimony we'd received in 2 months, when Pete asked me to help him with this project.

"Okay, fine," I replied. "But I'm taking it over to graphics to see if they can reduce the orange in her skin and make him look less like her sugar daddy."

"That's why you're number one," Pete replied as he resumed throwing the ball against the wall. "You're always thinking."

As I stood up from the chair, my phone dinged in my pocket. I nearly jumped before quickly grabbing for it. I sighed when I saw it was just my mom asking me if she could move some boxes in my room.

"I know that look," Pete replied and when I looked over at him, he was staring at me with that smug grin.

"What?" I asked.

"That look of disappointment," Pete elaborated. "You're expecting a text from someone else, aren't you?"

I let out a deep breathe. Over the past few weeks, Pete and I had grown more and more comfortable with each other. While I still found him intimidating, and hot as sin, we worked together so often that he didn't make me that nervous anymore. I still avoided discussions about my personal life when I could, though. That's something that I generally don't like to talk about at work except with a few select people and I find it odd when people are so open to all their coworkers about every detail of their lives. I'm not alone here, right?

But he was right (again). I was waiting for a text from Mark, who had quickly became the most confusing man I had ever started seeing.

"Well, kind of." Pete peered at me and waited for elaboration. I let out another deep breathe before spilling the details. "I mean, I went out with this guy twice and things went really well. He was texting me every day, but wasn't asking for a third date. Then he stopped texting me as much, so I kind of gave up. I would text him once and a while, too, because I thought maybe he was waiting for me to text him." Once I started telling Pete, I found myself unable to stop.

Pete cut me off there, though. "That's not a thing."

I rolled my eyes. "What do you mean 'that's not a thing?'"

"If a guy likes you, he'll continue texting you. He's not going to test the situation and see if you text him. If he stops texting you, well..." Pete didn't finish his sentence and seemed to soften up a bit. It was clear he didn't want to be the one to break the news to me.

"Okay, yes," I frantically began as I moved from around the desk to the front of it and sat against it. "But here's where it gets confusing. We wouldn't talk for a few days and then he'd text me, super interested again."

Pete shrugged.

"Things were fine again for a few days and he even asked me to hang out again. So we went for a walk at the beach and got ice cream."

"You're right. He's going to propose." If Pete hadn't smiled when he said that, I would've been so annoyed. Why was it impossible for me to get mad at him?

"I'm not saying that," I replied. "It's just, I don't know. I know it's early and I should just move on, but every time I tell myself I'm completely done with the games, he texts me and is super sweet and normal. So, he said he wanted to do something this weekend and that he would text me, but it's Wednesday and so far, nothing."

Pete walked past me and behind his desk. "It sounds like you're pretty self aware," he began. "As long as you stay focused on the facts of the situation, I'm sure you'll be okay." He opened his bottom drawer and grabbed a few dollars from his wallet. "I'm going for coffee. You want anything?"

I shook my head no and told him I would catch him later, once the graphic's department did something with the picture.

As I sat back at my own desk, I pondered Pete's thoughts. He was telling me everything I already knew, but why couldn't I shake this desire to continue seeing Mark? Was it because I needed validation after my break up and I liked the chase?

So I swore that the next day, I would go back on WebMatch and find another date. I never deleted the profile, but I had stopped regularly checking it.

While I was picking up a sushi dinner for one to reward myself after a hard day of work, I got a text. The text. This time, I had thought it was my mom, or an alert about my data usage.

"Hey, sorry, it's been a crazy few days." Three dots appeared under that. "Would you like to be my date to a wedding this Saturday?"