Alright, I meant to write sooner, but I’ve just been so busy lately. Back to work after the holiday, of course.
Anyway, here’s last week’s recap:
So I finally wrote that love letter and went to school on Monday night after work. He was there, sitting and typing at his usual desk when I walked in. He looked up and smiled at me, his steel blue eyes softening behind the lenses of his specs.
“Hi,” he greeted me warmly, as I smiled back and waved at him. “What brings you here?”
“Oh, the usual,” I said lightly and shrugged. “Prep for Saturday classes.” Then I went straight to my desk while he was hurrying to his last class of the day, calling out to me:”Okay, then. See you later…hopefully.”
“Yeah, see you,” I replied coolly. I waited until Tony B. was out of the staff room, then slipped the note I wrote (from the entry called “Would I Scare You Like Obsessed Stalkers Do?”) and slipped it in between the pages of Jonathan Franzen’s “The 27th City” – the book I’d borrowed from him. Then I left the book on his desk.
After that, I simply bolted out of the school, my heart pounding like crazy. I felt like a lovestruck teenage schoolgirl. I thought I’d run off like a coward, but my friends disagreed. Begz said I was insanely brave!
“There’s no turning back now,” Hazel Eyes said as well. How true.
Still, I slept restlessly that night.
I went to buy a magazine at Daily Food Hall when he walked in. We exchanged awkward greetings as he bent down to kiss my cheek. He asked if I was on my way home and I said yes. He asked me to wait for him to buy something first, because he’d wanted to talk about something with me.
Oh, God! I’m not ready, I thought with sheer panic, but I waited for him anyway. Then he said he’d walk me home because he knows where I live. So we did, while my heart was pounding. He asked me if I was okay and I lied, yes. I was scared to death! Then he simply asked me to swap my laptop bag with his because mine seemed heavier. So we did and I thanked him. (Have I mentioned to you that he’s also a gentleman?)
Did we talk about the note I sent him? No. I didn’t dare mention it first. We ended up talking about other stuff like work, life, and the people we know until we reached the gate of the house where my rented room is. Then we swapped bags again. This time he kissed both my cheeks and said:”See you on Saturday” before he left for home.
Does that mean he’s not angry? By the way, it was the first time he really walked me home.
Once again, I couldn’t sleep well that night. I woke up at about three in the morning on Wednesday – and ended up going to work way to early. I just couldn’t go back to sleep.
Tony B. had finally given me the answer on Friday night. He and I ran into each other again after work – almost like “Serendipity”. We walked together again, just like before.
“I’ve read it.”
Gulp. Oh, God…
“Than you,” he said at last, smiling sweetly at me. His steel blue eyes softened again. “I am flattered.”
Okay. Good news.
“But I’m not thinking about that right now.”
Oh. My heart sank, but – somehow – I kept my expression well-composed. Okay.
“That’s okay,” I said as lightly as I could, smiling back at him. Then I shrugged. “I’m not expecting anything from it. I just want you to know.”
“Thank you.” Was it all that I got? Not really. As we walked down to where I live, he started venting about work and being overworked. Poor Tony B. No wonder he gave me such an answer. I don’t blame him, though. (He’s also broken up with his last girlfriend recently that I believe he still needs some time.)
Should I be disappointed? Even if I was, I knew that I wouldn’t have had the heart to just show him any sign of it. I care about him way too much to do that; I just want him to be happy – even without me.
By the time we reached where I live, Tony B. bent down to kiss both my cheeks as always. We held hands gingerly for a while and exchanged smiles.
“Thank you,” I said, and then silently added, for not saying that I’m weird and treating me like a freak over that letter.
“No, I thank you,” he said. Then, since he’d been feeling rather exhausted lately, he asked me if I could just call him in the morning – just in case he’d fallen asleep through his alarm, like I used to do to D. when that boy used to work with us here.
“Of course.” I did. He was in a foul mood all through Saturday that when I asked him how he was, he just smiled at me and gently patted my arm.
“Ask me that again in about a month.”
— // —
I ended up hanging out with Nessa after work that day, watching “The Quiet Ones” at Kota Kasablanka. Then I attended my cousin Omar’s wedding on Sunday.
Come to think of it, I’m glad I’ve sent Tony B. that letter. Even if he turned me down, at least the letter has made him smile. That’s good enough for me.