I had set my eyes on his graying hair, met his wandering eyes, been the recipient of his smile a long time back. Little did I know that I would run into him a year later. A promotion in the department had been announced and the incumbent was an outsider. To be precise, I would be reporting to the new person.
I walked in and saw “him” occupying “my” desk and by extension my computer too. My first thought was “Screw it, can’t they find someone else to deprive?”. I ignored him. And 2 hours later, he was introduced to me as my new supervisor.
I was on my guard. Disappointments can be prevented by feigning detachment. That’s exactly what I did. Tried to be cold while he was around. Answered him in monosyllables. But he warmed up to me. And then I thawed. In the next 2 months, he and I went on to be labelled better halves of each other. Unnecessary provocation by nosy individuals. He was a het and had been committed for the last 3 years.
In the ensuing months, he unwittingly and unknowingly became the object of my affections. And I wished him well in whatever he did. Out of love, out of respect, out of blind adoration.
He even introduced me to his girlfriend. Pretty pretty girl. Fortunate to have him.
As time progressed, the bond that I had created in my mind grew stronger. So much so that in those days I forgot all the ill will that I had harboured for my not-so-great-place-to-work. I went to work only so that I could see him. He was my motivation. The drudgery was a cakewalk. The night shift was a welcome pleasure. I went through the daily grind just to see those twinkling eyes and the wide toothy grin with the infectious smile. I could see why girls fell for him.
And with time, the desire to possess him intensified, much to my chagrin. He would be right next to me but I could feel the chasm between us. He was unattainable.
I had allowed myself to get carried away. I would ask myself why Providence was putting me through this vexation. I would be petulant and surly. He would ask me what the matter was and I would want to retort, “You”. You caused me all this trouble. But for you, I would have continued to be a mundane worker bee buzzing around the flowerbed, near enough to fly from bloom to bloom without getting enticed by the scent of one.
What would I have given to get carnal with this man. He consumed my idle thoughts, my daydreams, my nights too. Not out at that time, I was afraid I would mumble his name in my sleep.
Many a times, he would come close and make me uncomfortable. For him, it was nothing more than his skin touching mine. For me, it was a gulf being bridged, unrequited desire being met ever so subtly. He didn’t know the power he held over me and yet when I e-mailed him after he had left, he wrote back “Are you missing me?”.
Once he assigned me a particularly uninteresting task along with a wad of sheets and said in a tone reminiscent of a vintage 90s’ Cadbury’s commercial “It’s a gift for someone you love”. I imagined giving that stack back to him saying “Here you go”.
P.S. – I got over him (no, not literally). And I recently wished him a happy 30th