The entirety of my summer revolved around surprise visits from Brandon, a much older manager and co-worker of mine, at the office. And then there were the nerve-wracking drives towards his office. Flirty compliments were given, mainly on his part.
One day, I was pretending to not notice Brandon as he watched me make copies and stack them back where they belonged. I felt his eyes on me, which made me more self-conscious than usual. Why was I letting him get to me? This was just a flirty game between us but he won every time.
“Good morning. How’s my favorite person this morning?”
I wasn’t fooled; this was his famous line with all the women in the office including Melinda. I followed it with a playful roll of my eyes and a smile. “Hi Brandon. Aren’t you just happy this morning?” It was true, he was always happy; never did I ever catch him on a bad day, because they just never existed for him.
“Oh, well of course! How can I not be happy? He blesses us every day,” he said as he pointed up.
Brandon was a Christian, which made me even more confused about what to make of him. He had the look of your typical playboy/bad boy, but then he was a man of God? The three just didn’t come together and if they did, well then Brandon was the first to pull it off in an attractive way.
There were times that I didn’t believe that he was really a Christian man, I figured it was just a way to attract the women and it looked like it was working in his favor. But then there were times that he would put aside his usual flirty persona and profoundly delve into the truths he found the night before while reading the Bible. As an Anthropology major, I would usually just smile politely and feign interest, but I was still so fascinated with the man declaring his passion for the scriptures he recited per verbatim to me. I didn’t believe in the Bible, let alone in the fact that there was even a God.
My ideals weren’t exactly Atheist, but I did believe in freedom of religion and there didn’t exist a right or wrong. But I didn’t look too deep into our incompatibility. Brandon was a good man from what I could tell and I had a very open mind. Besides, what I was looking for in Brandon wasn’t a long-term relationship that led to marriage. I wanted a good time and he was the perfect one to show it to me. Regardless of his self-proclaimed faith, I was going to break down his defenses and get him to pursue me as much as I was pursuing him.
“Yeah, that’s true, we’re lucky to have another day.” I smiled back, taking a quote from my mom’s book. Whether or not I felt it, he didn’t have to know. It seemed that I said the right thing though, because he grinned back. My plan was working perfectly.
“Exactly, that’s what I like to hear! So, how have you been? How’s school going?” he always seemed genuinely interested, but I did notice that he would ask me the same question, as if he didn’t remember that we spoke about the same exact thing a day ago. I took it as him just not being as interested about me as I was of him, which was no problem—I was going to change that soon. Just how, I wasn’t sure yet.
Becoming more and more aware of our age difference, I started to act differently around Brandon. After having my age pointed out by Becky—Brandon’s employee who I figured had a soft spot for him—I tried harder to act older than what I really was. Where my face betrayed my purpose, my body certainly didn’t. I had a curvy pear-shaped body and was always getting compliments on my lower back from men and women alike. So, I knew I had some arsenal, and sure enough, it soon worked in my favor.