As fast as I could, I grabbed a pair of socks and put them on fast. The guy kept ringing and ringing, as if it was possible I hadn’t heard the doorbell the last one hundred times or that I had just fallen asleep after speaking with the doorman about letting him in. Some people were just very rude and I had no idea this guy could be this rude. Finally, I went to the door and opened.
He barely looked at me as he entered my place, sat on the sofa in front of the TV and, for no apparent reason, grabbed the remote and turned it on. Confused for a few seconds, I decided to stand in front of him and ask what he was doing here. It was then that I noticed he had brought a backpack with him, which he had dropped on the floor.
The man, whose name was Alex, told me our boss had asked him to fix the work we had done back at the office. As the work had been done by the both of us, and only I had some of the information, he decided it was a better idea to come all the way to my home and finish the work together. In any case, he didn’t seem that interested to have any work done as he kept changing channels and moved on the sofa to find the best spot possible. As the natural nice person that I am, I decided to offer him what little I had in the kitchen (orange juice and wafers).
But I put the plate on my dining table, a small round surface from which he could watch TV but also pay attention to whatever it was that I had to do. After great insistence and with food as my ally, Alex finally got up from the sofa only to sit down heavily on one of the dining table’s chairs. He grabbed his backpack, took out his laptop from there and asked me the password of my Wi-Fi network.
To be honest I was going to tell him we could do it all from my computer, as I thought the internet might prove to be another distraction but then he told me he needed to send me the email with all the details about the information we had to change and some other things that we had to add. Finally I gave up and gave him the password. To my surprise, he was fast to send me the email and in fifteen minutes we were already in full work mode.
The work we had to do was long and it would take time to get all the information necessary to finish it thoroughly. As we advanced, I realized I seemed more distracted than he was at the start of the session. I mean, I was entering all the wrong numbers; even my grammar seemed to be getting worse by the minute. And the truth is that I was distracted. After all, it was Saturday evening and I had planned to stay at home, order takeout and watch at least three movies on a row. Working with that guy wasn’t on my mind.
Alex and I had never really bonded at the office. To be honest, we had only spoken to each other about work related subjects and for an hour straight, at most. Now he was in my house, eating all my wafers, not speaking to me and it had been more than an hour from his arrival. If he was going to stay any more time, I needed to be able to be myself in my house. After all, he had not called prior to his arrival or warned me in any possible way. What if I had been out with my friends or something?
Well that wasn’t really possible as all of them were busy with their own stuff but, hey, it was a possibility, however remote it may seem. So I decided to try and chat with him but that seemed pointless. I asked him if he lived far but he only said he had taken the bus. No idea what that was supposed to mean. Then I asked him about people in the office and he answered me by asking a nine-digit number that I had in my laptop. No, he seemed inclined to get the job done fast.
I hadn’t thought of it but Alex might have had plans or something and now he was stuck in my place working. So it was logical that he would prefer the job done than answering my silly questions every few seconds. So I decided to shut up and just offer him some more juice. No more wafers. Now that I realized, it was almost eight o’clock and my belly had begun to complain. What if I ordered a pizza, as I had planned? True, I hadn’t planned on sharing it with anyone but at least that way I could have part of the night I had envisioned earlier.
- - Hey, would you like some pizza?
Those were like magic words as he turned, raised his arms to stretch his body and smiled. It was the first time, in almost two years of watching him in the office, that I thought he was rather good-looking. I mean, some of my friends at work had told me he was “hot” or had “a nice piece of ass or even that he looked like, at least, three celebrities. But I had not realized about any of that until that night in my place.
- - Sure. I’m starving. What would you like on it?
I’m sure I looked like an idiot right then because it took me a long time to understand what he had just said. Seconds felt like hours and when I spoke, it didn’t make any sense at all. I tried again, and this time I had perfectly said:
- - What about veggies and meat lovers? That’s my regular…
- - Awesome. Love it. Nice choice.
He only said that but I blushed as if he had just told me something much more intimate. I shook off the feeling as I grabbed the phone and made the order to the pizza place I usually called on weekends. Not that I ever dated but it had been quite a long time since that and when I got out with friends it was frequently on Fridays. For some reason, I didn’t like to go out on a Saturday, unless the day called for it, so only for very good reasons.
I sat down in front of my laptop and started entering some more data, numbers, statistics and so on. I didn’t even try to talk for the next half an hour or so. I only stared at my screen and answered Alex’s questions as fast as I could, without even looking at him. I felt him staring from time to time but I suddenly felt very self-conscious and I really didn’t want to talk to anyone.
That thought was soon interrupted, when the delivery guy made his appearance. Apparently there had been some kind of malfunction in a machine at the pizza place, so they were handing out these bread sticks made out of pizza dough before they went bad. I paid for my pizza, took the food and thanked the nice man. As I turned, I realized Alex had taken my computed and his and put them, with everything else that had been on the table, on the kitchen counter.
I put down the two boxes on the table and he eagerly began to talk, as he opened both boxes and grabbed a napkin. Suddenly, for whatever reason, I smiled and decided to go along. After all, we had been working for hours and we needed some time to relax. I asked him about what he had planned to do today before knowing we had to work. Alex, who appeared to enjoy pizza very much, told me he might have gone out with some friends and drink beer or maybe just watch a movie at home.
I told him that had been my plan: pizza and movies. Then he smiled and said something I thought I had heard wrong:
- - Cool. We could do that after we’re done.
I didn’t answer right away but apparently he was too busy dipping the “pizza sticks” on a special sauce so no problem there. Again, he smiled and looked so much more noticeable to me than ever before.
- - Why hadn’t we ever really talked?
To my surprise, it was him that had made the question, even if I had been thinking about it for that few minutes. Weirdly enough, I didn’t have the answer or at least not one that made any sense at all. I had no idea why I had never tried to bond with him, even if I had in fact done it with virtually anyone else on our office. It wasn’t like I was friends with everyone but I had tried to be nice to everyone and let them know they could count on me for all work-related stuff. So why did I never approached him?
- - Do you hate or something?
- - No. – I said with confidence. – It’s not that.
- - Then what?
He has stopped eating and was staring at me, almost without blinking. I didn’t have the answer to his question but, deep down, I knew why I hadn’t spoke to him at all. Maybe it was just because I liked him and I had shut down that possibility from day one. So I told him that out loud and asked him if he wanted more orange juice. He nodded so I went to the kitchen for more.
We finished work two hours later and, at last moment, I asked him if we would stay for a movie. He said yes.