She didn’t dare turn around. When she heard his voice, her heart jumped and she reddened. I can’t help it, she thought, resentfully. You don’ t pick who you fall for. Not really.
The phone rang and she answered it to give herself something to do. It was a wrong number, of all things. “No, this isn’t Francisco’s. Their number is 6890, not 6899. Yes. You’re welcome.”
This time she really jumped.
“Hey, take it easy. Didn’t mean to startle you.” He sat on the corner of her desk. “I need your help with a project, if you have time.”
“I -. Well, let me look at my calendar.” Her fingers, usually agile and knowledgeable on the keyboard, fumbled and brought up the wrong program. Flushing red, she finally opened her calendar in Outlook. “Yes, I have time this morning.”
“Great!” He left for his office, waving and calling to the others in nearby cubicles.
She watched him leave, and thought Oh, I wish you’d notice me. I wish you’d see that I’m more than just part of your staff.
* * *
In the kitchen, she poured a cup of coffee and stirred it aimlessly.
“You’re an idiot, you know?”
The words so neatly paralleled her thoughts that for a moment, she wondered if she had spoken aloud. Then she realized there was someone else in the room with her.
“Did you say something, Justin?”
“You heard me.”
“Why am I an idiot?”
“Because he doesn’t think about you twice unless he has work for you. Because you turn into a moron whenever he gets near you. Don’t you realize that he never sees you at your best?”
Primly, she threw away the sweetener packets in her hand. “I have no idea who or what you’re talking about.”
“No. Of course not. Of course you don’t.”
Justin watched her walk out of the kitchen, and sighed.
If you only knew how much I wish you’d forget about Mr. Perfect and notice me …