I have been working with students at the university for five years now. Although I am twenty-eight, I am the closest in age to most of the students we employ out of all the full-time staff here. As such, the students seem to gravitate towards me and we often form friendships outside of work.
I know what they are going through. I was a student not more than six years ago, at the very same institution. So I know the class schedule, the hectic nature of college life, and occasionally I know some of the professors of classes they are taking.
I also have an active social life—I like to go to movies, concerts and plays. Every so often, there are student workers I meet who have the same interests. Mostly women, I find. I don't know why, but that's just the way it happens. Don't get me wrong: I befriend both girls and guys. I often watch the basketball and football games with the guys. But for some reason I've always been most at home with women, and it's with them that I find I spend most of my free time.
I don't date every woman I become good friends with. But I'd be lying if I said I wasn't attracted to most of them at one point in time. Let's be honest, how many of us go out of the way to meet someone we consider unattractive?
If there's one thing I've learned though, it's not to fish out of the company pool. That could lead to trouble. Luckily, being a university, all of these girls I meet are over eighteen years old, so at least they are 'of age'. Actually, we tend to get the third and fourth year students because we pay a little more at the office than the average university job.
Over my five years here, we've had more than our fair share of attractive female employees. I've always managed to avoid any messy…entanglements. Mostly its because they aren't interested. I don't have what people would consider Hollywood looks, but I'm not unattractive either. What I've found over the years is that women tend to become attracted to me after we get to know each other. My looks aren't what win them over. It's my personality, and the good times we have, that do the trick.
So I've learned to rely on my personality, and the fact that I'm really easy to talk to, and that I have an innate understanding of women and their feelings. I don't use cheesy pick up lines, they wouldn't work for me anyway.
Katie Clifton started working for us last year. She was a senior, on her way out into the real world, but she had a good working knowledge of computers and we had a position as a laptop support operator open. It paid almost $15 an hour and she needed money quickly to finance her trip to England.
We became friends almost immediately, since my office was right next door to the Technical Services room that she worked in. I thought she was a knockout from the moment I saw her. She stood about five-nine, which was actually about an inch taller than me, and had womanly curves in all the right places, and none where there weren't supposed to be any. She obviously worked out as her arms and legs were toned. The first day I saw her she was wearing a shirt that showed a little bit of her belly, and I swear I could have put my eye out if I bounced a quarter off of her stomach. Her long chestnut hair was tied back in a ponytail, to keep it out of the laptops she worked on, no doubt. She had a classic beauty, high cheekbones and a beautifully angelic face. She had soft brown eyes that rivaled the depth of any blue I'd ever seen.
I think it's safe to say that I wanted her from the moment I saw her.
I went out of my way to introduce myself to her. I waited for the manager of the department to step out on his ten o'clock break (I didn't want him seeing that I had ulterior motives) and then I went into the Tech room.
"Hi," I said, "You must be the new student worker we just hired."
"Yes, I'm Katie," she said. Her voice was a siren song that wouldn't stop ringing in my ears long after she had spoken.
"Hi, I'm Carl, I work next door in accounts payable."
"Nice to meet you, Carl."
"Say, if you're not doing anything, would you care to do lunch? We have a nice cafeteria downstairs and I could give you the Insider's Tour of the place."
"I can't today, I brought my food," she said. "Maybe some other day."
"That's cool," I said, trying to shrug off the rejection. "I have to get back to work, but I just wanted to say hello and introduce myself." She smiled as if to say thanks, and I backed out of the room and headed back to my office.
And that was my first encounter with her. I went back to work and had visions of Katie for the rest of the day. The rejection didn't sting, she had said it in a nice manner and didn't give me the impression that it was an unwanted advance that I had attempted.
Around noon the next day, Katie poked her head into my office.
"Hi Katie! What can I do for you?" I asked.
"I was wondering if you're offer for lunch was still good," she said. "I didn't bring my lunch today…"
"It sure is," I blurted, trying not to sound to eager and failing horribly.
"Great," she said, "But I don't want to eat downstairs. I've heard terrible things about the cafeteria. Would you like to eat somewhere off-campus?"
"Sure! Do you like Greek food?"
"I've never had it, but I'm willing to give it a try if you say it's good."
"Oh it's great," I said, "if you don't like it, the next lunch is on me, and you get to choose the place."
"You got it," she said. I wondered if she noticed that I snuck in an invite for a second lunch even though we hadn't even gone on the first one yet.
I took her to Delphi, the local Greek restaurant that really was a step up from normal campus-adjoining restaurants. It is a nice sit-down place at night, and it has a very intimate atmosphere. We were seated by the window, which overlooked the street.
"This is a really nice restaurant, you didn't have to take me out to someplace like this, you know. I'd be happy with an In-N-Out burger."
Ah a lady after my own heart, I thought. She wasn't one of those Girls Who Only Have The Salad. That was definitely a mark in her favor.
"Well, I just wanted to show you that working with us has its privileges," I said. "Now it's my duty to ask you the standard questions."
"What's your major? What year are you? Where do you come from? Why are you working for us? That kind of thing."
"Do you want to do this business-like? Okay, here goes: I'm an Econ major, fourth year and about to graduate, and I grew up in Los Angeles. I'm working because I need money to finance a trip to England."
"England, that sounds great," I said. "What's over there? Are you going to work there after graduation?"
"No, my boyfriend lives there."
Ah, there it was. I tried to hold my body still and not show any emotion, but inside I felt like a tire that had just been punctured by a nail. The air was being let out of me at a tremendous pace, but I didn't want to show my disappointment.
"Oh, a long distance relationship," I said, "that must be tough."
"You have no idea," she said. "The worst is that we were only together for about three months! We met late last year when he was here for the Study Abroad program. Just as soon as we started getting close, he had to go back."
"And this has worked out for you, though? You're cool with this?"
"Yeah, I guess," she said. "I'm the kind of girl who needs space. I'm a TriDelt and he never liked that. He wanted me to de-pledge because he thought that sorority girls were all ditzy and slutty. He thought that it was all beneath me. But to be honest, I've made contacts from people in the sorority that I never would have if I weren't in one. And some of the girls are really nice."
"Well you certainly aren't the prototypical 'sorority type.'"
"What do you mean?"
"Well, you're easy to talk to, and you don't walk around like you know you're the hottest girl on the block."
"That's because I'm not!" she protested.
"Well, maybe not, but you're close," I said, trying to wedge that compliment in there without being too obvious. She smiled at me, so I know she got the message.
"Look," I continued, "I know that all sorority girls aren't like that, it's just a stereotype. But you certainly don't fit any of the trappings of a sorority girl, that's all."
"I'll take it as a compliment, since that's how you mean it," she said.
We talked for a bit until the food arrived. She was very impressed with the dishes.
"I haven't had Greek food before but this is delicious! I'm going to have to come back here more often," she said.
"Hey, feel free to take me along anytime," I told her. "I love this place."
We talked a little more about her relationship. She seemed to want to get it out in the open. It was as if she hadn't had anyone who wanted to listen to the story of her and Brian (the English chap) and was happy to have an outlet. I was so bewitched by her beauty that I was willing to listen, as torturous as it was to hear of her and another man.
In the end, it wasn't all that bad to hear. They hadn't been together very long, and the relationship was nowhere near what I would consider to be serious. She was charmed by his accent and mannerism, it was all very foreign to her, and she found him much better when compared to the fraternity boys who would routinely hit on her. One thing led to another, and the rest is history. She wrapped up her story right as we finished our meal.
"Thanks for lunch," she said as we walked back to our offices.
"Any time," I said.
We got to my door and stood there looking at each other. I wasn't sure what she wanted. We had had a good lunch, but I didn't think that anything had happened that would indicate a romantic leaning on her part. The silence grew uncomfortable, and we just looked at each other. Finally I broke down and said the first thing I could think of.
"Want to catch a movie some time?"
"Sure, when?" She responded a bit quickly, as if she were waiting for me to ask her out again and had the answer at the ready. It was then that I decided to say what was on my mind.
"I don't know, but as soon as possible. I would like to see you outside of work, the sooner the better." I pondered what I had just said for a split second, and then put it out of my mind. She could read into that whatever she wanted to and probably be right.
"Are you busy tonight?" she asked.
"Tonight? No, not at all." I was a little shocked that she was so forward, but I was going to be damned if I was going to turn her down.
"Let's go out, then. What do you want to see?"
"I don't know what's playing but if you want, come inside and we can check the online listings and see what's playing."
We logged on to Moviefone.com (thankfully the website doesn't feature that guy's annoying voice) and browsed around. It was a terrible time for movie watching, there just wasn't anything we wanted to see. But I couldn't let this opportunity slip.
"Well, I've got some movies on DVD if you'd be interested in watching one."
"Haven't you already seen all of those movies," she asked.
"Yes, but I don't buy movies unless I really enjoy them, so I wouldn't mind watching one of those over again. It'll be way better than anything we can catch in the theaters right now. I've got quite a collection. You could check them out and pick what you want. If I don't have any you want to see, I live really close to a Blockbuster. We can always rent something."
"Sounds like fun," she said. "Can you pick me up from my place? I'll give you my number."
I handed her a pen and a Post-It note and she wrote down those magical seven digits that make men's stomachs flutter. Thank God she was writing it, because I'm sure my hand would have been shaking too badly to do it myself. Here I was feeling like a giddy, twenty-eight year old schoolboy about to go on his first date.
"Give me a call around seven," she said, and waved goodbye to me as she walked out of my office.
Normally I stay a little past five just to get some things done around the office. That day I rushed out right at the closing bell (figuratively speaking, of course, we don't actually have a bell in the office). Katie had already left for the day, so I knew that she wouldn't see me running down the hall as if my hair was on fire. I had to get home in order to shower, change, and most of all, clean up the place. I wasn't about to let her see my bachelor pad in its natural state.
As soon as I got home, I hit the shower. I made sure to be thorough because, well, I guess I was hoping that some time that night I would be in the position of having to care. Wishful thinking for sure, but there it was in my head, and I couldn't deny it.
My place wasn't as dirty as I feared. While dressing myself I stumbled around the bedroom, putting all of my dirty clothes in the hamper, and tidying up the odds and ends. Wishful thinking again, praying that she would have a need to come into this room. After I was dressed and ready to call her, I gave my living room a cursory check. Everything was in order. I usually entertain people in that part of the apartment so it normally isn't in too much disarray.
I called Katie a little before seven (I was never a believer in the "fashionably late" method) and got her roommate. She told me that Katie was in the shower but that she should be out soon. I said that I was on my way, it would take me about twenty minutes to get there since I had an errand to run, and asked for the specific directions to their place.
Driving the speed limit was a challenge. I wanted to zoom over there as fast as I could, though I knew that wouldn't do much good, as she might not be ready in twenty minutes. I parked across the street from her building and looked at my watch. Ten minutes was all it had taken for me to get to her place. I had told her roommate twenty and I didn't want to catch her unprepared, although the thought of her coming out of the shower in a wet towel really appealed me to me.
I decided to wait in the car until she was ready. She was in unit number one, so I could see the lights of her living room through the window (although the drapes were drawn), as well as her front door, from the street. After five minutes, I saw a girl open the door and walk out of the apartment. She was attractive as all get-out! She looked Middle Eastern, maybe Jewish, and was drop dead gorgeous. Before she closed the door to the apartment she stuck her head back inside and said something to someone. Then she turned right and walked down the street, away from my car.
I made a mental note to myself: if things with Katie don't work out, try to find out who that girl was. Oh man, if they were roommates…
I wouldn't allow myself to think that far ahead. Katie was the present: the here and now. If all went well with her, then that other girl could be chopped liver for all I cared. Of course if they were roommates, I knew where I was going to be spending most of my time.
I waited another five minutes, and then a few more just to be safe. Although, as I said, I didn't believe in fashionable lateness, I didn't want to be so eager as to not give her enough time to get ready.
I walked across the street on wobbly legs. This was getting ridiculous. I hadn't been this nervous since my first date. I should have been old hat at this by now! I guess it just goes to show that a beautiful woman can have that effect on any normal man.
She answered her door just before I stepped up to her landing. She must have been looking out of the window and had happened to see me crossing the street. God must have been inside my head and listening, because she was wrapped in two towels, one around her body, and one around her head.
"Quick, come in," she said.
"Why?" I asked, grinning slyly, "Don't want to give your neighbors a free peep?"
She grabbed my arm and pulled me in just as I finished my comment. There was a tantalizing moment when I thought the movement of her arm pulling me might cause the towel to fall, but it wasn't to be. God wasn't that generous, it seems, but I wasn't about to complain.
"I've got neighbors whom I catch…peeping from time to time," she explained. "Not enough to call the police, but it does make me a little uncomfortable."
"Oh," was all I could think of saying.
"Have a seat," she said, motioning to the couch, "I'll be ready in just a minute. My roommate left a little while ago, you just missed her. I think you both would get along, and she wanted to meet you, but she had to go to the House for a meeting."
Damn, I thought, both of them were TriDelts! I must have died and gone to heaven. I should have bought a lotto ticket—I couldn't get much luckier!
Katie went back into the bathroom, and it turned out that God indeed was on my side that day. She pushed the door behind her, but it didn't close all of the way. I could clearly see into the bathroom. I could see her backside, and the mirror was positioned in such a way that I could see most of her reflection from the side, yet she would not be able to see me unless she fully turned in my direction. She took one hand and unclasped the towel around her body. It dropped to the ground and my breath was taken away. I don't know how this girl isn't a swimsuit model, but she had the loveliest profile of what had to be C-cup size breasts. They weren't overly large and sagging, but they were more than a handful, and they were pert and perky. I knew that gravity would treat her kind as long as she kept herself in shape over the years.
She then removed the towel from her hair and bent over to give it a final wipe down. I almost choked on my own saliva. Her breasts jounced back and forth while she vigorously went about the task of drying her hair. God, I could have taken her from behind right there, but I was getting ahead of myself. Hell, I wasn't even supposed to be seeing this, I remembered, and felt a little ashamed.
She put on a pair of lacy white panties, and then a matching white bra. As she clasped it in the back, I thought I saw her glance at me through the mirror, but I couldn't be sure because I immediately averted my eyes and pretended to take notice of the first thing I could find: the TV Guide. I picked it up and started thumbing through it. It might as well have been printed in Latin because I couldn't make out any of the words, nor did I care too. My mind was replaying the scene I had just witnessed, like a VCR stuck in a loop.
She came out of the bathroom humming a tune, and that's when I noticed that I had one of the hardest erections of my life! I reached over and grabbed a cushion from the end of the couch and put it on my lap. I picked up the TV Guide, determined to find something interesting on TV so that I could talk about it and pretend like I had been looking at it the whole time.
"Why are you so interested in that," she asked, "I thought we were going to watch a movie at your place tonight?"
"Oh, yeah, um, we are. I just wanted to see, um, when the next basketball game was on. I, um, I need to set my VCR to make sure that I don't miss it since I, um, have to work late, um and run a few errands in the next…"
"Save it," she said with a wink and a smile. She reached over and took the TV Guide from my hand and put it back on the coffee table. I had been too busy thinking of an excuse that I didn't notice that she hadn't put anything else on before coming out of the bathroom. She was still in her bra and panties. She took the pillow from my lap and moved it aside.
"Well now, what have we here?" she asked.
Speechless. For the first time in recent memory: speechless.
"Look, I'm not going to lie to you," she said. "I like Brian a lot. But this long distance thing isn't really working out for me. I've been thinking a lot about things recently, and I don't want to limit my options here because I'm trying to hold on to something which, quite honestly, I'm not even sure is The Real Thing."