Your Father Isn’t… Alex

25 Nov

One of the many prospects in my life this year isn’t from OkCupid at all. Alex came crashing into my life by taking a temp job in the desk next to mine, which he got because of his family’s friendship with my organization’s president.

As so many who use personal connections to get positions they aren’t quite qualified for do, Alex burst into our office oozing undeserved confidence and hair product. To say he has struggled with the work would be a gross understatement, but like a rubber ducky in a flash food nothing seems to dash his spirits. And for some reason, out of all the women in my office, he is focused on me.

Alex’s initial advances are treading that fine line between creepy and illegal. One morning, out of the blue, he asks my middle name. Not one to give out personal information without at least an inkling of how it might be used, I ask why he wants to know. Instead of doing something boring and say, rational, Alex opts not to answer. Instead, he proceeds to Google me for the next hour then he slips into the extra chair in my cubicle to ask why I started an astronomy club my sophomore year at Ramapo high school. Totally normal.

Gradually, though, he’s gotten less creepy. As he’s started to tone his personality down, I’ve started to notice how tall he is… how nice his cologne smells… how intoxicatingly blue his eyes are. I assume that he’s just a flirt by nature and opt for uncomfortably comfortable banter with him as we work. There’s no way he’s into me, or at the very least he wouldn’t be if we didn’t work so closely all day.

So when Alex invites me to grab lunch with him one day, I ask if two other colleagues would like to join us. When he suggests drinks after work, I bring friends. When he sends me an email he admits took the better part of an hour, inviting me to lunch at Smith & Wollensky’s via creative subtitles on Harry Potter movie scenes, I laugh and eat at my desk.

I’m happily putting down roots in a town called Denial when Alex finally asks me to grab a drink, just us two. It’s a Friday afternoon and after so many subtle and not-so-subtle rejections, I agree. What I don’t know is that his boss has found a permanent hire for his position. That isn’t Alex. And they plan to tell him that afternoon.

I’m making unauthorized use of my supervisor’s office to stuff meeting folders with my intern when Alex gets out of his meeting. Without a word, he goes to his desk, grabs his book and walks out, but my intern and I call out to ask how it went. I’m fairly certain it didn’t go well, but Alex can be hard to read.

Standing in the doorway of my boss’ office, with my pale, freckled young intern looking on, Alex tilts his head toward me. We’re inches apart but all he says is that he’s got to go and can we do drinks another day?

~~~~

Sadly, we never got that drink, although truth be told I was probably blinded by his looks and the fact that the cute boy had chosen me. Looking back, I probably could have told you that your father wouldn’t have been fired from a temporary executive assistant position, at least not as the way we met.

Kids, after weeks of build up, of question marks and raised eyebrows, of misinterpretations and misunderstanding, I can confidently say, Alex is not your father.

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