There he is, my secret crush. He's dark blonde, tall, and all sorts of delicious. He's like a salted caramel sundae that slides coolly down your throat causing a sensation that can only be described as heavenly. As I watch him, like any slightly insane millennial with a crush, I doodle our initials on a nearby post it note (standard female 'crush' behavior).
Michael, (name of an angel; obviously) works in the same building as me, and hasn't noticed me for precisely three months and five days, not that I'm bothered or anything. He touched my arm once in the corridor. I'm not obsessing about it but I did remember that it was on the eleventh of November when the encounter took place. All those '1s' surely mean we are meant to be together; it's written in the stars. Actually I read it in a Russel Grant horoscope, but same difference. He was damned accurate when he pointed right at four-year-old me through the TV screen and told me to stop picking my nose!
Michael has that stoic manner thing going on where you're not sure if they want to f**k you or kill you. I'd take my chances. He has these eyes- I mean obviously he has eyes, but there's something hidden in them that makes me go all melty like a Caramac in the sun. When I say it is obvious he has eyes, I am not being judgmental to people without eyes, maybe it isn't obvious for someone to have eyes. We once had a one-eyed workman that came to fix a leak, much to the interest of my five year old son who repeatedly asked me in a stage whisper if workman was actually a cyclops. Upon repeatedly shushing him and explaining that workman was not a cyclops and perhaps didn't want to be asked about his missing eye, five year old (with about as much discretion as a brass band) piped up 'but where did his eye go!' at many decibels above a stage whisper. But I digress, what I am saying is that it wouldn't matter if Michael had one eye, but as it stands he has two eyes. The whole enquiring child episode was highly embarrassing, but not as embarrassing as what I am about to share with you (and it is on the condition, that it is just between you and me).
It's not that Michael is out of my league, or that I have no self-confidence or anything. I've got a banging body, my face ain't bad, my hair is somewhere in between Fraggle Rock and Bob Marley, but that's why God invented hats, right?...I'm just not sure that his type is a gin drinking single mum who binge watches ice road truckers, talks to plants and switches the TV on for the cats when she goes out. F**k it, that could be his type. God loves a trier.
As if some invisible force has taken over my body, I walk over to Michael, who is currently in my office talking to my boss: Joanna Groat. For the four years I have worked here, I have not been able to approach her without 'Give me groats Joanna, give me groats Joanna 'fore the morning come' versing through my head to the tune of Eddy Grant's 'Gimme Hope Jo'anna'. It's like a f**king affliction that I need medication for.
So, here I am hovering towards Michael like some sort of possessed doll who has lost control of her movements, singing 'Give me groats Joanna' over and over in my head. I can't seem to stop myself from moving towards him, and suddenly it's too late. I am standing a foot away from him; he looks up at me, as does Joanna. They are waiting for me to say something. 'Say something' I tell my brain; the part which is in control of speech seems to have gone fishing. Michael clears his throat and continues to stare at me, Lord he is beautiful and he smells like Christmas. 'Say something' I implore any remaining braincells that have not bailed out on me yet. I am grinning, I am grinning like a kid in a sweetshop, I am f**king grinning and I AM NOT SPEAKING. Then I hear the best sound I have ever heard in my life, the sound of Joanna's phone ringing. As she answers and becomes distracted from me standing motionless at her desk like an empty lighthouse. I try to resume some semblance of normality and smooth down my blouse, clear my throat and I can finally hear words leaving my mouth, thank Christ.
"You have eyes." I blurt out, and immediately wish I'd have stuck with silence. There is a ghost of a smile on Michael's lips, and a slight look of confusion. Before he can say a word (but, how the hell do you reply to a f**king statement like 'you have eyes' anyway?) the sneeze I thought I had dissolved by holding it in twenty minutes ago decides to make an appearance, as does the longest, most elasticated string of snot you've ever seen. I cannot save the situation, and right now I wish I was back at home with my child asking the workman why he has only got one eye. I am standing before this divine being (who was definitely my future husband up until this point) with snot bouncing in and out of my nostril like a f**king yoyo every time I try to breath. Michael coolly hands me a tissue that he plucks from the box sitting on Joanna's desk. He almost says something, but now it is him who is left speechless-for all the wrong reasons. I remedy the snot situation and turn to go back to my desk where I am safe from exposing anyone else to 'me', but before I do, I feel Michael peel something off my backside, and turn to see him holding the pink post it note with our names scribbled inside a rather wonky looking heart.
Original story by Gemma Malak copyright 2020