Adam shakes his head, not at all surprised. It may be Monday morning, but that doesn’t slow Brian down.
“Come on man,” Brian’s elbow sends a sharp pain through Adam’s side, “don’t play all shy.”
Adam raises an eyebrow to which Brian chuckles.
“Ok,” Brian stands straight and tall, “seeing how you aren’t talking, yet, I’ll go first.”
Adam just stares at Brian, taking his first sip of coffee.
This time, both of Adam’s eyebrows shoot up. He tries hard not to choke on his coffee.
“What? Did you look at her? She’s hot,” Brian lowers his voice, “and, insatiable.”
“You’re talking about my girlfriend’s little sister.”
“Girlfriend?” It’s Brian’s turn to raise his eyebrows. “Well, that was quick wasn’t it?”
“Was it?” Adam turns away from Brian to go back to his desk.
Adam stops as Brian’s hand grasps his shoulder. “You asked her to be your girlfriend?”
Adam takes a deep breath.
“You didn’t? Did you?”
“Well,” Adam’s mind goes back to the weekend. They were always so close. He even spent the night at her house. And they didn’t have sex. He wasn’t going to pursue another woman. And he was pretty sure Sarah wasn’t seeing any other guys. “We didn’t talk about it, but it’s pretty obvious that we’re dating.”
“Earth to Adam,” Brian knocks him on the head, “dating doesn’t equal boyfriend girlfriend.”
“Maybe not, but we can assume that we are dating exclusively.”
“In other words, you are going to focus on Sarah and not play the field?”
“Why is it always like that for you?” Adam frowns.
Brian laughs. “Used to be that way for you too man.” With a slap on the back, Brian decides that now is not the time to pursue this conversation and he walks over to his desk.
A few stocks bought and sold later, Brian looks over at Adam and asks, with all seriousness, “not even once?”
Slowly Adam turns to look at Brian and says nothing.
Brian shakes his head, “damn.”
Sarah hugs a mug of hot tea. She feels colder than she normally does, which isn’t normal at all. She sips the tea slowly in hopes that it will warm her at least a little. Her mind spins as she thinks about her weekend with Adam. Adam, the first man she has ever given a chance to a second date. The first man to ever share her bed. Her head feels heavy.
‘Because you’re thinking too much about him.’
“Great,” Sarah mumbles, “the mother hen is up bright and early this fine Monday morning.”
‘Just get him out of your head and move on. We have a career to focus on, no time for heart ache.’
‘Don’t listen to her. Let yourself fall in love,’ the dreamy voice fills her head.
Sarah closes her eyes and tries to ignore the voices.
‘Love schmove,’ the mother hen is too loud to be ignored, ‘Love hurts missy.’
‘How would you know? You have never given love a chance.’
‘I don’t need to. I have a career.’
‘Money can’t buy you love.’
“Shut up you two,” Sarah gently puts her tea on her desk and holds her head in her hands.
‘See what you did,’ both voices in her head say together.
“I really need to see a doctor about you two.” Sarah shakes her head in disbelief of herself, “God, they’re getting worse.”
There’s a soft knock on her office door. “Good morning Sarah,” her boss greets her as he comes into her office.
Sarah lifts her head and smiles, “Good morning sir.”
“Oh,” the boss sighs, “Sarah, you don’t look so good. Why don’t you go home and call it a sick day.”
“I’m fine sir,” a fierce sneeze throws her head forward and betrays her lie.
“I disagree.” He shakes his head. “Go home and sleep. If you aren’t better in the morning, shoot me an email.”
He holds up his hand to interrupt her, “You are my best employee Sarah and I won’t have you here sick instead of getting better. You are of no use to me sick.”
“But sir, I have a cli,”
“No,” he says sternly, “I will handle your client personally.”
Sarah puts her head down as a child scolded.
“Sarah,” he says softly, “please, go home. Get better. Then come back and do the outstanding job you always do.”
Sarah nods, “Okay sir.”
Slowly Sarah pushes herself away form her desk and stands. Her boss escorts her to the door as he calls her a cab. Sarah’s shoulders slump as she walks with him to the door. The cab is there waiting for her, her boss opens the door for her.
“I will send an email letting your colleagues know that you have gone home sick and that I will be covering your portfolio,” his smile is genuine as he softly pats Sarah on the shoulder, “Rest Sarah.”
Her boss leans in the front passenger window and gives the driver money for her fare.
“See you soon Sarah,” he yells as the car pulls away.
“Miss Sarah,” Walter greets her at the door of her building, “you look horrible.”
“Thanks Mister Walter,” Sarah whines. Her voice is nasally. Her chest feels heavy, congested. With every step she takes, she gasps for air. “I’m just going to go to bed. Sleep it off.”
Like a zombie, she drags her feet as she slowly makes her way to the elevator. She hears Walter say something but can’t make out what it is. Too tired she doesn’t turn around to ask. Instead she lifts a hand to wave and keeps trudging along. Her eyelids keeping falling and she struggles to stay awake in the elevator. Her energy is draining quickly. All she can think about is the comfort of her bed. When she gets into her apartment and locks the door, she drops her stuff on the floor and makes her way to her room. She flops down on her bed. Her eyes close as soon as her head hits the pillow
“Why you all dressed up?”
“I’m taking Amy out to dinner right after work.”
“So, things are going good then?”
Brian grins, “Oh yeah. Saw her last night too.” Brian winks.
“You two really hit it off.” Adam forces a smile, “I’m happy for you.”
“What’s up man?”
“How are things with you and Sarah?”
“I’m going to stop by her place tonight.”
“Well, that’s good.” Brian studies Adam for a moment, “but then, why do you look so,” he hesitates, searching for the right word, “down?”
“No, it’s fine,” Adam stands straight and looks at Brian with confidence, “I’m fine.”
“Not buying it,” Brian slaps Adam on the back.
Adam sighs. “She didn’t answer any of my calls or texts yesterday.”
“That’s only one day man. Maybe she’s just busy.”
Adam frowns, “Or the day before.”
“So, you think she isn’t interested in you?” Brian isn’t used to this Adam. The Adam he knows doesn’t look for relationships.
“Something just doesn’t seem right.”
Brian wants to remind him that there are many other fish in the sea, but his gut tells him if he dares to say that he risks a punch in the face.
“So, I’m going tonight to check on her.”
Brian nods, “Well, you can call me if you need someone to talk to over drinks later.”
(c) Rachel Rennie