I had just come to the realization that my older crush, Brandon, and my sleazy ex-boyfriend, Jared, were unfortunately very similar. Both Brandon and Jared shared many qualities, like their over-the-top confidence and the same cocky grin. They both prided themselves in maintaining their figure, even though Brandon clearly had the better body. But in retrospect, there were no real differences, other than their obvious ages.
But I have to admit that as much as I liked to think I knew Brandon, I really didn’t know him as well as I had hoped. There was the workplace gossip and not even that was enough for me to learn that Brandon had been a well-off manager alone with his only son—that I learned from my best friend, Melinda, who worked for the same company I did. And besides the one girlfriend he had left behind in Alaska, were there more in the past? And what really happened in Alaska?
Melinda and I constantly speculated, but we never quite got close to the actual truth. It didn’t really matter though; the fact of the matter was that it was nigh time to say goodbye to my short infatuation and look to greener horizons. And so I was prepared to do just that until one Saturday afternoon.
Having to work every weekend was starting to take its toll on me. I had to be at the office every day, including Saturdays and Sundays, from nine to five. The only perk was seeing Brandon, since he usually took the time to come in and visit my manager on those days. I had liked to entertain the idea that it was really because of me, but now I had highly doubted it, especially because he didn’t come around quite as often.
Since I had started to ignore Brandon, I was trying really hard not to eavesdrop on the conversations my manager had with him over the phone. The less I heard of him, the better off I was. But that day, I distinctly heard my boss call Brandon’s office. “Hey! What? No visit today? Just ’cause it’s your birthday, it doesn’t mean you don’t have work to do for the new project?” he joked. Since both Brandon and my boss were lead managers for the company, they were often given the task of working on projects together, which led to Brandon constantly being at my office more than he was at his own.
Melinda and I constantly talked about how old Brandon really was. Since we never had the audacity to ask any of the other co-workers, we guessed that was somewhere between 35 and 37 years old. I knew he was older than me, but I figured a 16 or 17-year age difference wouldn’t be that bad. It still seemed manageable, and since I wasn’t really after anything long-term with Brandon anyways, his age wasn’t that big of a deal.
“So, how old are you now? I feel like I should know,” I overheard my boss say as he started laughing into the phone.
“No way! Are you serious? You’ve just turned 46? Man, you look good for your age, you know that? What’s your secret?”
My heart dropped as my boss continued on with his conversation with Brandon, the man who I had fallen hard and fast for. This was more than a crush, but at 26 years my senior, Brandon was more than twice my age. And that wasn’t even the worst part…