A geeky girl with a crush on her co-worker is so deep in the woods that she can’t see the trees…
“Lord of the Files”
“We haven’t taken a break together in forever. Care to join me for a quick walk?”
Bruno appeared out of nowhere at my desk.
Yeah, I could take a break but I don’t want to take it with you…
I’d been avoiding him for weeks but now that he had put me on the spot, I had no choice.
“Uh, yeah. Sure.”
Bruno shoved his hands into his pockets and waited for me to grab my purse and my coffee. I followed him outside and as we passed a group of colleagues, they laughed and yelled out, “Lord!” which always made me think of how they yelled “Norm” in those reruns of “Cheers”.
“That’s your fault you know,” Bruno waved at them and smiled, shaking his head at me.
“I know. Sorry.”
“Lord of the Files” was what everyone had started calling Bruno since he had joined the company as the new caseload manager and I had made the mistake of calling him that in a meeting. Unfortunately, the nickname had stuck but when Bruno had found out, all he had done was laugh it off and thank me for not calling him something much worse. Then he had invited me to the break room for a coffee.
To be honest, Bruno was more like “master“ of the files because not only did he have the gift of assigning just the right amount to keep us busy without feeling stressed out, but he was also the nice guy that everyone adored. Always smiling, goodnatured and witty, everyone had taken a liking to him, especially the ladies. Married or single, they were all over Bruno like white on rice and flies on shit.
Oh, did I forget to tell you that besides all that other tasty stuff, Bruno was also cute?
Actually, that was a lie because Bruno was more than cute. Let me explain…
You know the kind of guy you think is “cute” until you discover that he likes all the same little things that you do and then he suddenly goes from being “cute” to “hot”?
Yeah, you know the kind of “hot” that makes him “smokin’ hot” because he has no clue just how cute he really is and always turns beet red at a compliment?
Yeah, Bruno was that guy.
The girls at the office had laughed at me for saying that I wanted to see the new Wonder Woman movie but when Bruno said the same thing a few hours later and BAZINGA! Suddenly their panties were in a twist and they all wanted to see it too. Funny how their attitudes changed in a heartbeat, right?
No one thought that Bruno was geeky because of his love for all things science fiction and that’s basically how we first started hanging out together on break. Talking about all things Comicon and debating DC versus Marvel while everyone looked at us as if we were speaking Klingon – which we probably could have if we had really tried.
I mean, in the beginning, I didn’t have a problem with talking with him but then I started getting those crazy butterflies in my stomach whenever I was around him…The kind of butterflies that made my face feel so hot and my hands all sweaty.
And that’s when I knew that I had to kill my silly crush and start keeping my distance from Bruno.
I didn’t have much of a choice. It was just a matter of time before he’d end up going out with one of of the pretty girls from the office. Believe me, there were tons of them just waiting for him to ask. And when it happened, I didn’t want to be totally crushed. If it had been a competition, I wouldn’t even have passed the prerequisites for a guy like him.
The story of my shitty geeky life.
“What are you thinking about so hard?”
I suddenly realized that I was deep into my own thoughts and not been listening to him.
“Sorry, I’m a little distracted, that’s all.”
Bruno stopped and faced me. I immediately felt awkward as he stared down at me.
“Are you mad at me or something?”
“No. Not at all,” I lied.
Yeah, I’m a little mad that you’re so perfect.
“I feel like you’ve been avoiding me. I kind of miss taking breaks together.”
Bruno’s words surprised me and the more I stared at his dimples, the worse my butterflies got.
“Do you mind if I ask you a question?”
I nodded and waited.
“Well, there’s this girl that I’m thinking about asking out…”
My heart dropped into my stomach, killing every last butterfly that I had. I knew that it was only a matter of time and I was instantly jealous.
“Oh? Who is it?” I was dying of curiosity and was doing an awful job of hiding it.
Bruno shook his head. “That doesn’t matter right now. I just want your opinion on how to approach her.”
“Why are you asking me?”
“Well, you are always the one pointing out girls that are supposedly interested in me so why not ask you?”
Bruno had a valid point.
When he first arrived at the company and in an attempt to find out what his “type” was, I would nonchalantly point out some of our female co-workers and ask him if he thought they were cute, just to see what he would say. Instead, Bruno would simply agree that whoever she was was pretty and then change the topic. Which made me think that he wasn’t into the ladies. It wasn’t until I starting pointing out men to him that he let me know that he was straight.
“I’m asking you because I’m not sure if she would say yes. To be honest, I’m a bit terrified that she may turn me down. If she did, then it would be totally embarrassing to see her every day at the office after that.”
Fuck, the girl was in our division. And why the hell would he be terrified?
I made an attempt to start walking again but when his feet didn’t move, I stayed put on the sidewalk trying to look him in the eye.
“You shouldn’t be worried. If she were to turn you down, it would be her loss. You’re a great catch Bruno,” I said, immediately wishing that I hadn’t said that last part. I could feel my face turning ten shades of red. “Unless, she already has a boyfriend.”
Please, please, please God, let this chick have a boyfriend.
“No, she doesn’t,” Bruno confirmed, shoving his hands deep into his pockets again.
“Oh? How do you know that?”
If Bruno already knew, it meant that he had already been talking to this chick about more than work.
I hate this girl already.
“She told me so not too long ago.”
My stomach flipped a little more.
He’s been talking to her and he never said anything…
In that moment, I hated him too…well, just a little.
“What makes you think that she would turn you down?”
“I was going to ask her out to a movie but the timing hasn’t been right.” This time it was Bruno’s turn to look embarrassed.
I shrugged my shoulders. “Come on Bruno, it’s not that hard. Just take her aside and ask her straight up. Make the timing right.”
I turned on my heels as a way to signal that we needed to head back to the office.
“Wait, I’ve got one more question,” Bruno said, holding me back my arm.
Fuck. One had been more than enough.
“What is it? We’re going to be late,” I said, sounding a lot more annoyed than I should have.
“I already did the first part of what you said…I mean, the taking her aside part. Now, I just have to ask her if she’d like to go see Wonder Woman with me this weekend.”
Wonder Woman? Was Bruno kidding?
“Uh…that’s a pretty horrible movie choice Bruno. None of the girls in our division would really want to see that. Hell, I’m about the only one who would.”
Bruno kept his hold on my arm and I saw him take a deep breath.
“I know you would. That’s why I’m asking you. Would you like to go to the movie with me this weekend?”
It wasn’t until I saw a sheepish smile spread across his face did I really understand that he was asking me.
Fuck. I hadn’t seen that coming…
All Rights Reserved ©2017 Marquessa Matthews.