I was always being teased by my work colleagues that my boss had a soft spot for me, but I never imagined that he would one day profess his undying love.
I was 26 and fairly attractive. Even if I say so myself, when I'm at my best I do turn heads - not that I ever attempted to do that at work, though, as I was always committed to my job in Compliance (upright and professional and all that).
My boss wasn't the usual Compliance Head type (you know, middle-aged, glasses, receeding hair line, etc); he was handsome, witty and very charming. But he was also very married.
We'd worked together (and has gone out in groups after work) for around 18 months, but he'd never made a move on me - until after he learned that my long-term boyfriend and I split, and he saw his chance.
Don't get me wrong, I wasn't moping around the office looking for attention. And it wasn't me who told the boss that I was now single.
Anyway, I was working late in the office one evening (killing time actually, as I didn't have many reasons to go home). Neal (I'll call him that) was in his office working - with the door closed, and it was only as he came out to go home that he realised I was still there.
'Oh', he said, 'You still working ?'.
I just nodded.
'Fancy a quick drink ?', he asked a little nervously.
It all seemed so innocent, though. Or was I just being gullible ?
The pub wasn't too crowded (it was a Tuesday evening), and we soon settled down for a chat, which started off on the subject of work. After two (or was it three ?) drinks, Neal suddenly leaned up close to me and whispered: 'So, you must be lonely now. How are you finding it ?'.
'I'm OK', I said, still thinking nothing of it.
Then he came out with it. 'You know I've always fancied you', he continued, moving closer in.
I smiled meekly, not really taking in the magnitude of what he'd said.
'I know you like me too', he said, 'Maybe this is our chance'.
'Sorry', I said, shifting uncomfortably in my seat.
'You and me', he said, 'I've fallen for you. I think I love you. I want you. I want us to be together'.
I was taken aback. Where was this coming from ?
'And how would your wife and children feel about this ?', I asked, finally recovering my composure.
'My wife and I have an understanding', he said, 'We do our own thing'.
'So basically you want me to be your 'thing' ?
He nodded, winked and raised his glass..
I looked at him long and hard. He wasn't bad looking, and was certainly a bit of a catch (even if he was married). But what should I do ? I only had seconds to make up my mind.
Should I turn him down and risk him making life difficult for me at work ? Or should I go for it, enjoy the moment and let the cards fall where they may ?
Find out next week, as the saga continues.....
image: © Jeffrey Beall