Thursday 5th March 2009

by Tina

The events of the weekend remained with me until Monday, which got me into a not so good mood when I got to work. Because I like my job so much, I don’t suffer much from what everyone calls “Monday sickness,” but today was definitely an exception.

Just my luck, people are extra sensitive that Monday, too.

“Why the long face, boss?” Von asked when he stopped at my workstation.

“Don’t ask,” I growled and as expected, he just laughed at me. They never get these moods, and usually, I’d also laugh with him, too. Not today.

I looked at my desk clock and saw it was almost time for our Director’s meeting. I got my notebook, locked my laptop and told Von to get back to work before I stalked to the Ecclesiastes board room. He must have sensed the serious tone and he scuttled away fast.

As I turned to the viewing deck — the long sun-lit hallway that overlook the city — I heard footsteps behind me. I turned and saw Ian making his way to the board room as well, flipping through his planner, not paying any attention to me. On normal non-moody days, I would have stopped to call him so we could get to the meeting together, but today, I just wasn’t in the mood to socialize. So I turned and continued walking. However, he must have chosen that moment to look up then because I heard him call my name.

I pretended not to hear him and continued to walk. I heard his footsteps go faster and before I knew it, he was already standing beside me.

“Hey Ruth,” he said brightly.

“Hey,” I said, not masking my glum mood. He seemed oblivious, as he continued in a cheery tone.

“How was your weekend? And belated happy birthday again.”

“Thanks,” I said. “My weekend? It was…weird.” The word was out mouth before I could say anything.

“Weird how?”

I don’t know what happened next, but I felt like his question opened floodgates and all the things during the weekend started coming out. I started rambling. “You know. I get a year older and people ask me why I’m still single. Then I see a future me, the one who’s waiting and waiting and nothing is happening and it scared me. And then I find out one of my crushes is gay and my best friend got a boyfriend which left me the only remaining single in the group,” I paused to take a breath, then added. “Petty, I know.”

Ian chuckled. “Women,” he said, shaking his head. He did not have a chance to say anything else because we were already at the board room. He opened the door for us and motioned for me to go in first.

We were a bit early for the meeting as Lia was the only one inside. She was talking to someone who was sort of familiar but I couldn’t figure out who. She turned when she heard us enter.

“Hi, Ian, Ruth,” she greeted in her eternally maternal tone. “I’d like the two of you to meet Matt, our new Managing Director. He’s going to be replacing Glenn. Matt, this is Ian for Logistics and Ruth for Creatives.”

I watched as Matt stood up and extended a hand to Ian who shook it firmly, just the way he always does. He turned to me then, and I extended my hand to him which he took. Then I looked up and our eyes met.

I didn’t know what happened exactly, but all I could remember was how warm his hand was and how beautiful his eyes were and how suddenly we seemed to be the only ones in the room. It was like we had some kind of time freeze moment, and I  forgot that Lia and Ian were there with us.

Then it was over. He dropped my hand and smiled, saying, “Hi Ruth, it’s nice to meet you.”

The others started to arrive and we settled in our seats. Lia started the meeting but I couldn’t help but glance at Matt, who was listening to every word Lia was saying. I didn’t know what happened, but I knew I could feel something warm and fuzzy from inside my chest and my face felt all hot, like all the blood went up to my face.

I caught Ian staring at me from my left with a curious grin. I wanted to kick him then, but instead, I found myself smiling. I glanced once more at Matt, and then finally at Lia. Somehow, I knew my mood has changed.

[771 words]

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