When Flynn and I had lunch a few weeks back, I didn’t initially post about it because our conversation was too close to my heart to share publicly. It was too precious a memory to display online for all to see.
But I’m ready now.
After bumping into each other once in the parking garage and twice in the cafeteria, Flynn and I had agreed to meet for lunch the Tuesday before Thanksgiving. Going into that lunch, I tried to keep my expectations low. I kept telling myself, “Flynn is a coworker. A friend. Nothing more. He has a girlfriend. Sure, we have ridiculous personality chemistry and forged an immediate bond, but nothing can happen. This is just a friendly lunch between coworkers.”
We rendezvoused in the office cafeteria that Tuesday, and my face lit up the instant I saw Flynn striding toward me. I can’t help but smile when I see him. He has an aura of charisma and playfulness that makes my heart feel light. He hugged me hello, and then we each got our meals – a salad for me and sushi for Flynn. He tends to sit in the same place every day (a fact I’d noticed over the preceding weeks), so we settled into his usual place.
We talked about lots of things – work and church and family and friends – and we were both grinning like fools the entire time. Flynn is hilarious. He makes me laugh out loud constantly. And he makes me happy. But every time I started to drift up toward Cloud Nine, I reminded myself to keep my heart in check. He’s spoken for.
After hearing about yet another one of my hobbies partway through lunch, Flynn said with mock exasperation, “Is there anything you don’t do?!” I laughed and told him I’m a pretty terrible swimmer. “But I do great photography, so if you’re going to be in the need for engagement portraits any time soon…” I raised my eyebrows expectantly.
His mood instantly changed. His roguish grin faded, and his twinkling eyes looked down at the table. “Yeah… I wanted to talk to you about that today…” his voice trailed off. He looked up at me then, searching my eyes as he said, “I’ve been meaning to break up with Patricia for a while. Before I even met you, in fact. The weekend before our camping trip, I was going to end things, but I got into a motorcycle wreck and ended up in the hospital.” So that was the reason for his knee surgery. I hadn’t realized he’d gotten into a wreck.
“She stayed by my side the whole time,” he continued, “And I felt like I couldn’t end it then. And now it’s getting into the holiday season, and I just… I know it will crush her. I know I need to do it, but the timing never seems to be right.”
I listened quietly, letting him share as much or as little as he wanted. I tried to keep my face neutral, but on the inside I was simultaneously flooded with joy for myself and compassion for Patricia. I’ve had my heart broken so many times. Devastatingly broken. And she’s clearly expecting a ring for Christmas. Instead, she’s going to get heartache.
After he finished telling me about Patricia, the twinkle returned to Flynn’s eye, and he teased me, “And why aren’t you dating anyone? You’re quite the catch!”
It was my turn to be somber. I looked thoughtful for a moment; then said, “I’ve found that I tend to intimidate most guys. Everyone wants to take me on a date to try to solve the mystery, but once they get to know me, they get overwhelmed and – in their own words – don’t feel ‘man enough’ to lead me. I’m supposedly ‘too much’ for most guys.”
Flynn raised one eyebrow at me. “I know what kind of man you need. You need a strong alpha male to lead you.” He paused; then continued, “I could be the kind of man you need.”
Woah. I was completely taken aback at his boldness. So much so that I started giggling nervously and blushing profusely. Then he started blushing! He fanned himself comically. “Whew, did it suddenly get hot in here?” We laughed, both embarrassed; then Flynn chucked and said, “Let’s hit the pause button on that conversation for a week or so until it’s appropriate for us to be talking about such things.” I wholeheartedly agreed.
We ended the lunch, and I fully expected to hear from Flynn the next week. Or the week following. But he has ceased all communication with me, despite having both my phone number and instant messaging capability at work. I know it would be inappropriate for us to talk while he’s still with Patricia, but shouldn’t he have broken up with her by now?
This week I finally reactivated my dormant Facebook account to have a look and discovered they’re still dating. Our lunch was three weeks ago. And he’s been meaning to break up with her for nearly two months. I am disappointed… and know better than to keep waiting.