Melinda, my best friend, couldn’t understand how my attraction to Brandon turned into something more than just a crush. I had openly discussed with her the idea of making Brandon a potential fling, but she figured I was being “all talk and no action,” like any other time.
What I had initially felt for Brandon was a challenge and the potential to have a good time with someone who was clearly experienced in that department. What I never would have imagined was that him avoiding me would really starting to bother me or that I would take it so personally. This was beyond Brandon feeling uncomfortable around a girl he had assumed was young and innocent. It was as if he was scared of not me personally, but of what I could do to him, or rather, what I could bring out in him.
“Maybe he just feels like he was kind of leading you on and now he knows that you’re not that naïve?” Melinda tried reasoning with me but it was to no avail.
“I think I scared him off, maybe he thinks I’m those typical easy girls?” I responded. “I can’t blame him. I still can’t believe I told him about the dirty book I was reading. It was so—“
“Embarrassing. I know, you told me the story already,” she interjected. “But maybe it wasn’t just that?” Melinda didn’t see it as big deal, but she didn’t understand just how deep my feelings were getting. Brandon was handsome to the point that his own walk emphasized his own self-confidence in his looks.
“Well what do you think it is?” I was getting to the point of giving up. There was no point in pursuing something with someone if they were clearly not interested. And Brandon was definitely not interested.
“He probably just doesn’t want to hurt your feelings? I mean everyone in the company knows him. He’s been working long enough that they think he’s just a flirt, you know? Nice to all the girls, I mean he was nice to me and remember I told you there was a rumor that he went out with that one girl from that other office?” Melinda had a point. Brandon was known to be a flirt (or so we thought at that time) and I wasn’t receiving any special treatment from him, as much as I hated to admit it.
“Yeah that’s true. Oh my god, how embarrassing though. Here I am practically flinging myself at him! I need to move on, how come there aren’t any cute guys at school?” I whined to Melinda. We mulled over the lack of decent guys our age, but my thoughts continued to drift back to Brandon’s grin that first day I had met him. Get over him Lena; he’s just another Jared, just a little older. (Jared was my sleazy ex-boyfriend.) At that point, I didn’t know just how much older the man haunting my thoughts really was, and it wasn’t until towards the end of the month that I would find out.
After coming to terms with the fact that I was in a one-sided game of seduction and flirtation, I started to ignore Brandon. It was better that I stopped trying to be someone else just to attract the attention of a guy who was probably giving the same kind of attention to every other woman. Yes, I was resentful. I had invested time and effort only to realize in the end that I was faced with the fact that Brandon was no different than my Jared. He may have been older, but he wasn’t any better.