I ran into Flynn at the office today. And last week. And the week before. We’ve been seeing each other a lot, completely unplanned and unanticipated.
Last week, I walked with Jo Ann to pick up her diaper bag from our on-site lactation room, and we bumped into him while waiting in line to walk through the building’s revolving doors. As I have recently befriended Patricia, Flynn’s ex who was his girlfriend during our period of mutual interest, my feelings for him have faded somewhat, but my stomach still flip-flopped when I saw him in the office cafeteria this afternoon. He had already spotted me and was watching my winding path through the tables as I walked with my tray.
I was supposed to meet Jo Ann and Farah for lunch, but I didn’t see them yet, so I made my way toward Flynn, who was sitting alone for once. “You’re eating alone?!” I asked in a teasing voice as I got closer. He is normally a social butterfly.
He shrugged with a smile, “I have no friends!”
I raised an eyebrow. “I know that’s not true. I’m waiting for some girlfriends. Can I keep you company until they show up?”
“Sure, pull up a chair!” he gestured to the empty seat beside him.
“So how’s your lady friend?” I asked as I sat down, referencing the full-figured blonde I’ve seen in his Facebook photos lately. I wanted him to know that my joining him was not an attempt to pick him up; I knew he was taken.
“I don’t have one,” he said between bites of sandwich.
My surprise showed on my face. “What about that girl in all of your pictures?”
“Oh, you mean Josie?” He waved his hand and made an it’s-no-big-deal face. “We broke up. It was never really anything serious.”
“Oh… so who’s next on the docket?” I asked without missing a beat. Flynn is never without a girlfriend for long.
“I’m looking at her,” he said with a devilish grin that instantly changed into an embarrassed smile. “Sorry–”
“You’re such a player!” I laughed, making light of the comment. He hasn’t changed a bit.
We just looked at each other for a moment; then I added, “It might be good for you to have a season of singleness. You tend to go from one relationship right into another.”
“I know,” he said, head down. His expression told me that he really did know. “I don’t know how to be single. I tend to go from one intense relationship to another. It would be nice to have something casual and low-pressure. That’s what Josie was supposed to be, but she got really intense really fast. She was asking all of these questions…” he paused; then went on, “That’s actually why I backed off from you after Patricia.”
He grinned in fond recollection. “We would have gone on one date and been done.” And by the way he raised one eyebrow with the word done, I could tell that he meant we had ridiculous chemistry and would have mutually gone off the deep end in utter infatuation and intensity if we had even gone on one date together.
“I know.” I smiled back at him. There was a natural break in the conversation, so I pushed back from the table and said, “Well, I’d better go find those girls I’m supposed to be lunching with.”
As I stood, Flynn laughed and said, “See? Casual conversation?” he gestured low with his right hand. “Intense conversation.” He gestured high with his left hand; then whistled as he arched his right hand up the imaginary curve to intense conversation.
I just laughed. “See you later.”
When I got back to my desk half an hour later, I had a text message from Flynn:
“So if you think we can curb the intensity for one night, you want to be my date tonight to Newsies?”
I would love to see that musical, and I would love to be Flynn’s date, but I already have a date planned tonight with Jared. He’s making me dinner at his place; then he wants to snuggle and watch a movie.
“Ha! I think we can try to curb the intensity! …but I already have plans tonight. That said, if you ever find yourself in need of a +1, I’m game.”
I wanted him to know I wasn’t completely uninterested, but I also wasn’t about to cancel on Jared.
I could see the “…” indicating Flynn was typing a reply; then he stopped and erased it. Then the “…” started again; then stopped. Finally he simply wrote, “Duly noted!”
It’s probably for the best that we’re not going out. It wouldn’t be very good for my budding friendship with Patricia. Also… we could probably both do with a season of singleness.