He couldn’t think straight all day. Thoughts of Sarah kept interrupting his work.
“So,” Brian says, “Who is she?”
Adam looks around the office. “Who’s who?” He smirks knowing full well who Brian is referring to.
“The girl that’s making us lose thousands in the market today.”
Adam shrugs his shoulders. “Just some girl I met on the train.”
“Just some girl? With you, man, it can’t simply be ‘just some girl’. Those types of girls don’t hold such power.”
Adam dismisses Brian with a wave of his hand. He turns his attention to the boards. He can’t miss the next drop. He has investors depending on him to catch it. On a day like today, he is thankful that he doesn’t work at the big stock exchange markets like in New York. He only shares an office with five other guys and Brian is his partner.
“You got her number?”
Adam nods his head as he types into his computer. This was just a small drop, but he caught it.
“When are you going to call her?”
“Who says I will?”
“Why are you trying to pretend you’re not interested in this girl? It’s written all over you.”
“I’m not.” He briefly looks up at Brian who is now leaning on his desk.
“Liar.” Brian takes a sip of his coffee, not taking his eyes off him, “Spill it man. What is it about her that has you in la la land?”
“Just leave it alone man.”
Brian’s head rolls back in a hearty laugh. “Forget it.”
Adam stands up and pushes past Brian. He needs more caffeine. Brian decides to follow him to the coffee machine.
“You know I won’t stop until you tell me.”
“I know,” Adam sighs. He would never get Sarah out of his mind if Brian keeps questioning him.
“And you’re stuck with me all day,” Brian reminds him.
“Oh, I know.” Adam knew he was going to call Sarah and take her out for dinner. He had never been nervous about asking a girl out before. When they went for coffee yesterday he felt confident. He wasn’t even nervous when he asked her for her number. Why was he nervous now?
“Adam,” Adam jumps, spilling his coffee, “drop on two,” Brian yells.
Adam quickly puts his coffee down and plops into his chair. He stares at the screen, typing madly hoping he doesn’t miss this one. Brian does the same. The phones start ringing. This was the biggest drop they’d seen all week.
“By the way,” Brian’s fingers hit the keyboard loudly, “you have two options.”
“Either you call the mystery woman during lunch,” he pauses, concentrating on what is happening on the screens.
“Or, you tell me all about her over lunch. And you’re buying,” Brian turns and winks at Adam.
“One or the other because we need you one hundred percent today.”
He nods, fully understanding what Brian is saying. There is no room for Sarah here.
“Sarah?” She looks up from her salad to see her boss standing in the doorway of her office, her fork half way to her mouth.
“The others are in the boardroom for John’s birthday lunch.”
“Yes sir, I know.”
“Why not join them?”
“Oh, I.” She blushes. She never participated in any social activities at work. She tries to keep her distance unless it’s for business.
“Come on Sarah. Take a break.” Sarah doesn’t move. “You deserve a break just like anyone.”
Sarah sighs. “Okay sir.” She closes her salad and grabs her purse before following her boss out the door.
“There she is,” John greets her with his arms open wide, “she’s decided to join my birthday after all.”
“Happy birthday John,” she smiles at him and nods to her colleagues.
“And she comes with bells on!” John laughs at Jessie’s wit.
Sarah looks at her, confused.
“Your purse honey,” Sarah tries not to roll her eyes. Jessie calls everyone honey. “I think your phone is ringing.”
“Oh,” she grabs her pure, “sorry, excuse me a moment.” She backs out of the boardroom just as quickly as she came in.
“Hello,” she answers on the third ring.
She pulls the phone away from her ear to look at the display. She doesn’t recognize the number or the deep voice on the other end.
“Um, yes.” She tries to clear her throat quietly. “How may I help you?”
“Hi, it’s Adam.”
Adam? The hairs stand up at the back of her neck as his face flashes through her mind; a picture of him reaching out to touch her frozen lips.
“Sarah?” He interrupts her thoughts.
She swallows. “Sorry, I, um,” she looks around to make sure she’s alone; “I just left a meeting.”
He can hear her high heels tapping on the floor as she walks quickly back to her office. He hears the click of her office door.
“Sorry for interrupting. Would you like me to call you back?”
“No, no,” she’s relieved to be back in her office, “The meeting was done, I was just leaving.”
He smiles knowing that he has her alone. Too bad it’s over the phone. That’s okay. He knows he has her full attention.
“So,” they both say.
Sarah waits quietly for him to continue. Adam coughs to break the silence. His nerves threaten to interfere with his objective.
“How’s your morning?” He slaps his forehead.
“Oh, um, steady. You?”
“Busy,” he sighs.
“Oh,” she’s not sure what to say next. She’s never been good at small talk.
“I was wondering,” his face feels warm, “do you have plans for dinner?”
“For tonight?” ‘So soon?’ she wonders to herself. What will she wear?
“Or tomorrow if tonight doesn’t work,” he tries to save her. He doesn’t want her to feel pressured.
“Oh. No.” She waves her hand in the air.
“I mean,” an embarrassed laugh escapes her throat, “I mean no. I don’t have any plans for dinner.”
“Oh. Okay. Great.” He smiles, relieved. “What time should I pick you up?”
“Is six okay?” ‘Or is that too late?’ she thinks.
“Six sounds great.”
“I’ll have Walter page you at six tonight.”
“Okay.” She fans her face with her hand. She’s not hot but she feels sweaty.
“Have a good afternoon at work Sarah.”
“Thank you, you too Adam.”
She hangs up her phone without saying good bye and sits down. She puts her purse in her drawer and the salad on her desk.
There’s a light knock at her door.
“Come in,” she says quietly, absent-mindedly.
“Are you okay?” a look of concern on her boss’ face.
“Oh, yes sir I’m fine,” she gulps.
“You don’t look okay,” he raises an eyebrow at her, looking for the truth.
“Sorry sir,” she says, “I was just asked out for dinner. But don’t worry. It won’t affect my work this afternoon,” she says quickly.
“You were just asked out to dinner?” The corner of his mouth twitches as he tries not to laugh. She looks more like someone just told her a loved one was seriously injured.
“Yes sir.” She sits up straight in her chair and brushes down her skirt before turning her computer back on.
“Well,” he smiles at her, “congratulations Sarah.” He puts a piece of pizza on her desk. “I brought you some pizza in case you wouldn’t make it back to the party.”
“Oh, thank you sir,” she smiles at him.
“You’re welcome. I’ll tell everyone that you’re tied up with a client.”
“Thank you sir.”
Sarah slouches back in her chair when he leaves her office. She’s grateful that he didn’t try to convince her to go back to the party.
How is she going to get any work done now? Her fingers are numb from nerves, she can’t type.
(c) Rachel Rennie