In the middle of dinner, Brandon asked me a question that totally caught me off guard. He looked me straight in the eye and asked, “So Lena, do you ever want to have kids?”
It was the kind of question that every nosey old lady would ask upon finding out my age. I was always anti-kid. I was never going to saddle myself with a parasitic human being for 18 (or even more) years of my life. Sure, kids were cute, but only when they were someone else’s problem, and definitely before they reached their attitude-filled teenage years. I wasn’t an only child by any means; I had three younger siblings. And it was through the responsibility that my mom gave to me with my youngest sister that I knew exactly what I would go through if I were to ever have a child. So when Brandon, the man who was peering at me with a quizzical look on his face, asked me the dreaded questionabout whether I ever wanted to have kids, I had to wonder: was he looking for a sparkly new baby machine or someone who was in their right mind to not want any?
“At this point in my life, I can honestly say no. I’m not really a kid person,” I said. And with that being said, it seemed that Brandon was a little relieved. So he wasn’t looking for any more kids—thank god! He already did have a son, and I’m sure that was all he really wanted. To my surprise, Brandon then mentioned that he had a younger daughter who was still in elementary school. I already had to think about the fact that he had a son, and now he also had a younger daughter still needing his devoted attention. But Brandon put me at ease when he revealed that he only saw her two days out of the week. I wasn’t as perturbed by the idea of being with a man with two kids, but then again, I did not see a reason for our fling to become anything else.
The rest of the dinner consisted of questions and answers from both Brandon and I. We were finding things out about one another. Brandon wasn’t as secretive and mysterious as I thought he would be. He was an upper-level manager and so his choice to keep his life private was understandable, but I didn’t need to pry answers out of him. Then it got me thinking, I was really here sitting down with the manager of a high-end office. Brandon wasn’t necessarily my direct manager, but he was a manager for the same company that owned the office I was a part-time secretary for. He was, in other terms, my indirect manager and the office romance scandal was something I wanted to keep brushing off. What would the rumors and gossip say about me? “There goes the skank trying to climb the corporate ladder, one middle-aged man at a time.”
I shook my head, trying not to dwell on it too much. For all I knew, Brandon was just looking for a good time deal and that was that. But seeing how he listened to every single thing about me and how he looked at me like I was the only woman in the room, I had my doubts.
The rest of the night went perfectly. Once we were done with our dinner and dessert, we made our way over to one of the fire pits near the duck pond. The fire only slightly warmed up my bare arms. Brandon noticed and offered to put his arms around me. I was instantly nice and cozy and that was when Brandon leaned in and asked if he could kiss me. It was, without a doubt, the perfect first date with an older man.