My alarm went off and I laid there pretending to be deaf. I'd already called out three times in a row and I was sure my supervisor would fire me if I called out again. The good news is that I'd had two weekend days after the three days I'd called out. I guess I needed to face the music.
Maybe it was a little dramatic to dodge my coworkers after an awkward outburst, but I was sure they all knew I thought Calvin and I would be alone. That was laughable on a base level. The office hermit that thinks she's found love-- sounds like a corny romance novel. I put in extra effort as I got dressed. I didn't need to look pathetic on my first day back. I even lined my eyes and styled my hair into a high bun. I wanted to face my embarrassment head on looking semi-cute.
The drive was a little better than I expected, but that was probably because I hadn't done it in seven days. I was rehearsing what I would say to Calvin so that I didn't create any awkward situations. Corey, surprisingly wasn't home to coach me before I left. His method was to keep telling me Calvin didn't exist. He'd probably given up on making me go back to work.
I rounded the last corner and turned into the parking lot of my office building. My heart dropped and I started taking deep breaths to calm my nerves. I was probably the only one still thinking about it. They'd probably had drinks a few more times without me and forgotten about the fiasco. As I scanned the parking lot for a spot I started to wonder which car was Calvin's. It didn't matter, but I was curious.
I parked and walked into the building with as much confidence as possible. I breezed past the front desk speaking quietly-- so as not to invite conversation. I took the most untraveled route to my desk and began to take in all the familiar sounds of the office. I had only been working an hour when Demi quietly approached me with sympathetic eyes.
"How are you feeling?"
I thought carefully before answering. "Fine", I said confidently.
Demi tried again. "I was worried about you after a while." She smiled and gave a nervous laugh.
I joined the nervous laughter. "It was just a stomach bug."
She looked genuinely confused and muttered in agreement while walking away. I meant to ask her about Calvin. I hadn't heard or seen him since I'd walked in and I wanted to face the embarrassment head on. Actually I found no trace of him in the office. It was weird. I threw myself back into my work and my production seemed to skyrocket. I almost missed my lunch being so focused. I finally found a stopping point and whipped out the sandwich I'd packed. It looked a little pathetic and I was tempted to go get a decent lunch at Chili's or Applebee's, but I thought better of it. Just as the thought exited my brain, Tera approached my desk.
I should have gone to get food.
Tera hunched over my cubicle and whispered, "Hey".
"Hey," I replied. She almost looked comical. She smiled and continued.
"The office was kinda quiet without you... but then again it's quiet with you too. Nothing new happened while you were out. It's always the same ol' same ol'. Mr. Todd got new shoes and a confidence boost and..."
I stopped her. She was rambling.
"Where's Calvin hiding today?"
I tried to be as nonchalant as possible, but she shot me a confused look. I guess she didn't think I would ever be that forward. In the spirit of being forward, Brittany strolled up to my desk wearing the tightest bodycon dress ever. I could see the seams of her body shaper underneath the dress. She caught onto the awkward confusion and broke the silence.
"What did I just walk into?" She laughed.
I responded. "I was just asking about Calvin."
Brittany laughed again. "Who's Calvin?" She looked at Tera and then me again.
Tera looked utterly confused and I laughed. Then she asked again for both of them.
"No, seriously, who's Calvin?"