Just One Look (A Letter to my Crush, Part 26)

Where to start?

Ah, yes.

It was a blazing summer day in LA, and I was laboring outdoors in the stifling heat. Considering that I was assigned inland, it made the hot weather even more unbearable, especially in a proper suit. The time was nearing noon, and I hadn’t been having luck with any leads in the area. Most people I’d talked to were either busy or dismissive, some even downright rude. As it goes with that line of work, I could feel hope dwindling little by little.

I wasn’t expecting much, if anything, as I headed to the next building. No one was inside upon entering, and I was about to turn around and head back outside to continue on with my search. The heat and the fact that I hadn’t been consuming enough water in the day made me somewhat lethargic, to the point that I almost ran into you on my way out. Thankfully, I was quick enough to stop before colliding into you. It would’ve been disaster if it had happened, as you were carrying a stack of hefty cardboard boxes.

“Hi,” you said, slightly surprised at the near-collision. As well as the fact that I was a complete stranger.

I returned with a “hello,” and told you that I was stopping by with my company and looking for the person in charge. As soon as the last part of the sentence came out, I immediately regretted it, as you were just standing there still holding the hefty boxes. I quickly followed with, “actually, you look busy, so I can stop by at a later time…”

“…No, no. It’s okay,” you interrupted. “Come in. Let me just drop this stuff off.”

I re-entered the premises behind you. After dropping off the boxes, you then asked me what I was here for. I launched into what I was assigned to say, found out you were the person in charge, and then inquired more information from you.

As we conversed, I noticed subtle aspects about your body language. I consider myself decent at reading people, and I was definitely reading you. One thing to mention first was that you were young (around my age), and not bad-looking at all. Definitely had the girl-next-door look, and I admit that I was purposefully eyeing you as a subtle flirting sign.

I think you caught my eye movement, because you immediately started to stutter, which I found absolutely adorable. And I could swear that your face began to turn a slight pink. I still kept my proper, professional demeanor, but I might have let a slight smirk slip from my mouth, as I realized that my attempt at flirting worked…and I didn’t even have to say anything!

Now, I am going to point out that I actually suck at flirting. Rather, I can’t recall a time before that I’d flirted on purpose, let alone it working. Perhaps it was the heat or boredom with work, but for some reason, I was compelled to be a bit cheeky that day. And you happened to arrive when it happened.

I am actually more like you in that I have no idea how to talk in the presence of an attractive individual: I get really shy and quiet, and I am unable to control my speech. That said, I have no idea how I managed to be that smooth with you– maybe it was you stuttering and blushing that gave me the confidence boost to keep on going.

You had to show me something on the computer, so I stood beside you as you logged in. I continued to exude my flirtation, as I casually propped a hand against the desk, facing your direction and not breaking eye contact at your silhouette. I may or may not have noticed you struggling to type out the log-in information, especially with someone regarding you. Call me an empathetic sadist, but your nervousness at my flirting was making my day.

Eventually, it was concluded that I could return again later in the month when you needed more supplies. After asking for a piece of paper (which you hastily ripped off from a notebook), I wrote down my *personal* number, if you needed to contact me before then. It was evidently positioned as for my job, but it was also an opportunity for non-work ventures, too. *hint hint

With that said, I said goodbye and headed out. I still had work to do in the afternoon, but having met you, it made it less painful. And you continued to come up in my mind even after the day ended, into the next day and the next. Knowing that I had the possibility of returning made it all the more exciting, and I told myself that I would go back, before it was too late.

The rest of the week went by uneventfully; it wasn’t until that Friday that I was at a building next door to yours talking to an employer that you walked in. You caught me by surprised, and you appeared equally so. Along with the other employee (who happened to be your co-worker), we chatted for a solid 15-20 minutes before I scheduled an appointment for the following Monday with your co-worker to discuss my offer. You, along with him, also invited me for an after-work drink that Friday, although I had to politely decline in order to get home at a reasonable hour. The gesture was very kind, and I would’ve otherwise accepted in a heartbeat if I didn’t have other obligations.

Monday rolled around, and I headed to the building for the appointment. It was locked, and I was set to just head home, as it was nearing the end of the work day. But I decided to try to get in, so I headed to your building, and you still happened to be there. You were nice to get the keys to open up the building, where your co-worker still was inside. As I spent 30-40 minutes discussing matters with him, you offered me a bottle of water as a refreshment, which was really generous. You also stood by the doorway, listening and jumping into the conversation at times.

The discussion went off-topic, and out of the blue started talking about astrological signs. You asked for mine (I’m an Aries), and said that such person of that sign are really hard-working people. Don’t know if that was a subtle compliment, but all the same, I felt somewhat flattered. Even when I look back on it today, I can’t help but smile in pleasure.

Alas, something came up in the middle of the conversation, and you had to leave to tend to the issue. I continued to talk a bit more with your co-worker before calling it a day and heading home. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to see you and say goodbye, which would’ve bothered me greatly if it’d been the very last time I would be seeing you.

Fast-forward to that Friday: it was my last day of work before I was quitting my job, and I decided to see you before I couldn’t. It also happened to be your last day of work, too, as you were moving on to “bigger, better” opportunities. I’d wanted to see you, mainly to tell you that I was quitting and not to put me down for future reference at your then-current job.

But it turned out differently than expected, as you happened to be getting more supplies online. Ended up helping you out, and that was about it. Once again, you invited me for your job’s after-work drink, but sadly, I couldn’t make it once more. I really wanted to, but I had obligations after work. It was a second opportunity missed: if the circumstances had been more ideal, I would’ve definitely say “yes.” With that, I wished you the best at your next job and left: that was the last time I saw you in-person.

A week or two passed, and after randomly scrolling through Instagram one day, I came across your profile. My heart skipped a beat. Hesitant as I was, I went ahead and followed you. Within 24 hours, you followed me back! Not only that, but you also started to “Like” nearly all of my photos I’ve posted since then, as well as seeing my Stories within a few hours. Not sure if this means anything more, but it’s definitely gratifying.

I hope you’re enjoying your new job so far. Even if it’s unlikely we’ll ever see each other again, I have daydreamed about it. And we’ve really only seen each other within a brief, two-week span, so it’s not like I actually know you. Nor you really know me. Perhaps some day there will be a time we’ll see one another once more and, whether or not it ends up platonic, I’m happy that I got to met you. As well as learned that I actually did have a flirty side to my personality (thanks for un-awakening it!). Really, all it took was just one look, and the rest was history.


— The Finicky Cynic

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