Update from the last blog. Well, I declined his invitation. I refused to put myself in that predicament.
However, leading up to the last day at home, that Friday, July 3. We had one more virtual cam meeting. In this meeting, we’d discuss some of the steps to be taken before opening the doors, a quick recap. As usual, my boss cam came on last. He looked the same, but his goatee had grown somewhat full, and he was wearing another T-shirt and looked very tense, and as always greeted everyone with his famous 100watt smile. A smile, I must say, is very captivating, just beautiful. I looked quickly away.
We were 20mins into the meeting when the conversation shifted to us talking about our plans for the 4th. Of course, a few of us had no plans (including the boss) because of the COVID crap. And the conversation was about typical stuff; food, decorations, family, etc., until someone directed a question at me. Now, keep in mind, I’m the only black person in these meetings. Yes, I may be mixed with many things, but I consider myself only black, and up until this point, I was only listening to their stories, and maybe a chuckle, or a “wow, that’s nice, or really, or that sounds delicious” occasionally. My boss had just told one of his 4th of July stories. Until someone had asked me what my plans were, and as I started to talk about how my husband does all the cooking. As soon as I said “husband,” my boss, clapped his hands and abruptly ended the meeting by saying, “well, it’s been great, but I have another meeting to go too (he lied, I have his schedules). So, have a wonderful holiday, everyone, and then he looked sternly into the camera and said, “see you on Monday (my name).”
He didn’t wait for rebuttals, he quickly signed off. I was left feeling insulted nervous as hell on what I may be getting into on Monday.
It’s been a week since I’ve been back to the office, and it’s been a whirlwind of emotions. Aside from the fact of taking our temperatures and having all of us wear masks and gloves upon leaving our desks. It’s like a weird horror movie playing out, ridiculous. But this time, I had to comply, have bills, and to consider YouTube isn’t paying me hardly anything.
Meanwhile, I manage to skip all the lunch invitations with my boss and ate at my desk. Meetings that he’d schedule for us, I purposely add two trainees, who had started before the COVID crap. I knew they could use some more training. I did this, so I wouldn’t have to be alone with him. I knew he hated it because one of the trainees asks a lot of questions (love her). And even though my boss is very professional and is used to being asked a lot of questions and very good at hiding his irritation to everyone. I know when he’s getting irritated. He has a habit of pressing his lips together while raising his eyebrows and cupping his hands together while bowing and turning slowly to the person irritating him and direct him or her by saying “Mr./Mrs./Ms. (first or last name) sure, I can answer.” Then he turns around while rolling his eyes. I picked that up while having to sit in many meetings with him. I even made fun of him a few times on the drive or walk back to the office or our desks. I chuckle when I saw him doing this, brought back many memories.
A few days of avoiding him and bringing my own lunch has been rough. Because I usually have what he likes to call it “power lunches” with him. But these last two days, I was up all-night typing scripts, editing videos, answering messages, etc., I was too tired, whereas I forgot to pack a lunch and make myself a coffee. So, I had to settle with our lunchroom coffee, and the vending machine junk food ugh.
However, the second day I ran into the gossip queen Melee. Who knows all the tea, and always ate in the lunchroom at this time, yelled at me to come over. I did, and we did the usual greets, brief summaries on what we’ve been up too. When suddenly she said while I was griping about my lousy coffee.
She said, “this is the second day I saw bossman walk past this lunchroom, I normally don’t see him near the lunchroom during lunchtime.”
I quickly looked up, and there he was briskly walking by.
I then responded, “really, I wonder why?”. (of-course knowing why)
She said while eating her pasta salad, “who knows, maybe this COVID, got his brain fried. It’s either that or his dragon wife, and he finally divorced.”
That quickly got my attention, and I pried, “really, what’s the story behind that?”
Not expecting to be told anything. Because of who I was and how the “bossman” and I work so close. But being isolated leaves you longing to speak to another human aside for your loved ones. With that said, she started talking, and boy, she did talk. I was sitting there enamored and shocked by all she was saying, and somewhat feeling bad for him, and why I never thought to ask him about his marriage. I always thought it wasn’t professional. But I think we’re somewhat passed that.
She tells me that he only married her because she got pregnant, and his parents made him because of afraid of ruining their reputation. I quickly said, “but they have two kids, two sons.” I knew that from his office pictures and his constant gushing about his grown sons.
She said, “that was another ‘oops baby’ and her desperate ploy to keep him. Because mysteriously, she got pregnant around the time of the rumor of them divorcing.
I then said,” but his youngest son just celebrated his 18th b-day. It’s been 18th years-I mean.”
She said, “I know, many people think he was forced to stay because of his father, and her father, who are golf buddies, and who knows what they’re into. I’ve heard many things.”
“Wow.” I’d said. She then continued to say that they’ve been living separately since their youngest started preschool at 3yrs old. And that he has a condo and have had a couple of mistresses/girlfriends since then. She also said that they only get together for parties, events, etc. I asked her how she knows this; she said her sister is his wife’s best friend. I then ask, who all knew this. She said, just a small circle. of people, and that I was the first person she told this too, outside the circle. I asked her why she told me, she said, she feels that I needed to know since I work so closely with him. That’s when I’d asked her what she thinks and say about me. She told me, “nothing much, the bossman keeps me so guarded and closed tabbed to learn anything.” Upon her saying that I was blown away, and remained speechless for the remainder of our lunch break.
I then realized while sitting at my desk going through emails, on how true that was. Especially after taking another sip of the terrible lunchroom coffee. Whereas I suddenly got a replay of all our lunches together. I then realized he and I have been eating lunch together shortly after I got promoted to his dept., almost a year now. We spent so much time together whereas we know each other likes and dislikes. We go to the same restaurant, and he knows I hate sitting in the middle of the room and much rather sit quietly somewhere in the back. Now, realizing how conveniently that booth is always available at our lunchtime. I also realized that at first, he used to let me order for myself. But during recent times of us going to lunch, he ordered for me. He memorized my likes and dislikes and when and what days to order them. For example, he knows when I had a long night, at lunch, I would order a; “tomato, lettuce, cucumber, red onions, provolone cheese, a dash of pepper, lots of mustard on wheat bread, with two bags of sour cream and onion chips and a strong cup of coffee with two packets of equal.” One bag I ate there, and the other one I ate later. He also knows when I did sleep well, I would order; a caesar salad with a medium cup of Chai Latte. And always with two bags of my favorite chips. Despite that, he also got into that habit of ordering more fries, because he knows when I’m done eating my chips, I begin to eat his fries.
At that moment, I begun to hyperventilate and quickly walked to the restroom. I went into the handicap bathroom (as always, it’s roomier), and I began to pace and ask myself while remembering all of our conversations that had nothing to do with work. We spent it talking about politics, movies, history, philosophy, celebs, etc., realizing that he and I had a lot in common. Oh, his laughs that make my heart skips a beat, and that smile, he was happy, I was happy, heck sometimes we laugh to tears. In reality, almost in tears, I quietly said to myself, have the boss and me been courting this entire time, and I haven’t noticed because I was having so much fun. I cried a little out of guilt and composed and fixed myself up and left out of the bathroom.
To suddenly run into his eldest 22yr old son and my boss. He stops me, and of course, introduced us. I quickly felt better, especially with his son, who’s looks and acts a lot like his father. Who’d mention that his dad told him that I used to be a senior advisor for Apple? He and I gabble about that for a minute until bossman interrupted and said that he had to get back to work. But upon him walking and his son walking ahead of him. He carefully stops me by grabbing my arm and asked was I okay, and that I looked disheveled and that I was crying. He seemed very concerned; by this time, he held my hand, while shuffling my fingers, hence trying to keep them steady because they were shaking badly. At that moment, I wanted to crash into him for one of his big hugs and cry into his shoulder. Yes, he hugged me plenty of times, but he does this to everyone after a successful meeting. I told him, with watery eyes, “I’m fine.” He said, “okay, and if you need to talk, i’m here.” I said, “okay,” and quickly walked back to my desk and forced myself to concentrate on work.
I was zoning until a younger version of my boss came walking up to my desk with the same 100watt smile. He’d ask me if we can exchange numbers and invited me to one day, of-course after the C0VID BS is over-to attend one of Apple’s big presentations with him. I said, sure, thinking (that he and my daughter would definitely hit it off. She’s a bigger Apple head than me these days.) Five or ten minutes pass, and I suddenly got a ping from my boss wanting to urgently speak with me. I nervously go to his office, and I knock, he orders me in and asks me to shut the door behind me. He then asked me to have a seat, I did. He then asked me why I gave his son my phone number, and why is his son excited to take me to one of Apple’s presentations. I begin to answer, he quickly interrupts by saying, “So, that’s what it is, you like younger dudes now?!” I begin to answer again, and thinking (younger dudes, heck, my boss is only 45yrs old, he’s young, my husband is older than he is.) He interrupts me again while pacing, and this time he looks even more livid, frustrated, with such anger in his eyes, and held back tears it seems.
I patiently sat quiet and let him get it all out. Then as he finally stops pacing and finally set back at his desk. I finally said, “are you finish?” He sighs and says, “Yes, I am.” I then explained to him that I only took his son’s number with the plan to hook him up with my daughter. They’re around the same age. He exhales and chuckles while leaning back with his hands on his face, muffling, saying, “Oh my God, I am so sorry, and I should’ve known that. You weren’t interested in my son, please. What was I thinking? Damnit. Yes, that’s a good idea, of course.” I chuckled with him, and we went over some details laughed a bit, it felt like old times. Out of habit, we hugged upon me, leaving (victory).
However, this hug felt differently. It was more passionate. The smell of his cologne, and the touch of his hard body next to mine, made it hard for me to release, the love I felt, and apparently, he felt the same. During this passionate hug I felt his lips brush against my neck, I could’ve sworn I felt something growing on my stomach. I was starting to like it and found myself wanting more. Until I realize, I was married. And I quickly pulled away, and hastily walked back to my desk.
I collapsed into my chair and put my head down for a sec. What a roller-coaster day I’d thought. I then decided to walk to the vending machine to get a Twix candy bar (love them) thinking (I much rather have coffee, but the lunchroom coffee sucks.) I stayed in the lunch for the remainder of my 15 min break, maybe longer (lost track) while I ate the Twix and read an old magazine in the lunchroom.
Upon returning to my desk, that’s when I saw in the middle of my desk. A tomato, lettuce, cucumber, red onions, provolone cheese, dash of pepper, lots of mustard on wheat bread sandwich, with two bags of sour cream and onion chips, with a large steaming cup of Starbucks coffee, and written on the side “I’m sorry,” I smiled, with tears in my eyes. Thinking (what the heck am I going to do? shit).
My marriage has been great, he knows that I will never cheat on him. I had a weak moment, and except for my usual fantasies about Morris Chestnut, Micheal Ealy, Will Smith, Henry Cavill, Theo James, Omari Hardwick, Tank, Ryan Reynolds etc., you know the typical hunks. I’ve never cheated. And for being this loyal for almost 20 years is a plus. Besides, there are things he’s done that (never mind too much information)