The Secret Admirer – Entry 99

Dear Diary

My workplace has instantly become an uncomfortable space with just having learnt that I have a secret admirer.

At the start of the day I was in a meeting with my Team Leader. She took a phone call midway through and said ‘Anastasia? she’s right here with me now if you need to talk with her?…(pause)…okay‘ Confused, she hung up the phone and then asked if I’d been involved in any incidents that morning as they were asking for the one wearing the black dress. I froze wondering what I’d done wrong. I couldn’t think of anything so tried to shrug it off for the rest of the day.

At the end of my shift a member from another team came to speak with me. She had a sweet smile on her face and asked me how old I was. Surprised at such a personal question, I repeated her question back to her with a perplexed look on my face. She continued to smile her sweet smile and said that yes, she wanted to know how old I was. Still taken aback, I asked who wanted to know – was it a client? She said no, that it was a colleague. My face turned pink with embarrassment and self consciousness (I know this because she told me I was blushing). My other team members were there and looked intrigued at overhearing this conversation. Not going to leave without an answer she leaned over and put her ear next to my face indicating that I should whisper my age to her. Still in a state of shock and wanting the embarrassing moment to end as soon as possible I submitted and whispered my age. She smiled and walked away.

What had just happened!? I turned to my team members and pointed at them sharply and told them that not a word was to be said in the staff room. I knew fully well that the news would slip out and that the whole department would be talking soon enough, but wanted to at least attempt to protect my privacy. They asked me what the issue was and suggested they find out who it was. I said I didn’t want to know and that they weren’t to investigate anything. Again, I knew fully well that they would do the exact opposite. As long as they don’t tell me who it is then that is all I can hope for.

I was so relieved that it was the end of the shift when I found out the news. I felt uneasy knowing that people knew something about me that I didn’t know and that someone was paying extra attention to what I was doing. How long had they been admiring me? why was my age so important to know? Maintaining composure, I finished my final tasks and then glided out of the department as casually as possible. Inside I was frantically trying to process what had just happened and to determine how awkward my working environment would be until things blew over – my conclusion, no idea! hopefully, this would be one of those week duration tea room gossip discussions and that that would be the end of it….I think that could be hopeful thinking though. This isn’t like the dance scene where I can just disappear for a few weeks until things cool down.

I acknowledge that what happens next could be a manifestation of the acute state of paranoia that I was in, but I will share it anyway. As I walked out of the building I looked at my phone and started reading a message. From the side someone came up close to me for a moment and it seemed that they looked at my name badge…but I’m not sure. They may have just been looking at the side of my face to see if they knew me or not? Confused, I look around and but they had gone into the staff cafe just behind me.

The person was a new senior staff member from a different team within my department. I’d only had two or three interactions with them and found them to be friendly. I had had an inkling that he may be interested as he seemed more friendly than other staff in his department, but have been ignoring it as we are work colleagues. Could he be the secret admirer? why wouldn’t he just say hi instead of looking at me and quickly walking away? I brushed it off and kept walking.

As I walked to my car I was talking with a friend on the phone. Getting closer to my staff car park a dark 4WD drives past and seems to slow down. The driver appears to look in their side mirror back at me. The back of their head looked like the same staff member who’d gone into the cafe before. I pretended not to notice and kept talking on the phone. I mean, could I just be imagining things? He’d gone into the cafe a few minutes before. It couldn’t possibly be him. But it felt like the car wasn’t going as fast as cars normally would on that road and I felt like I was being watched. Was he trying to see which car was mine? Am I crazy? Surely I was just hyper-vigilant after the secret admirer bombshell just 5 minutes before leaving work?

To be honest, Diary, I am not at all excited about having a secret admirer. Especially one who has other people involved to find out information about me. I am much more subtler and private when it comes to dating. Why on Earth would you tell everyone? Especially if you don’t know the other person’s name or if they are even interested in you? or if they even know who you are?!

In other bizarre news, The Spaniard has been sending more surprising messages. Yesterday he spontaneously sent one through that translates to ‘Hola Anastasia…I have arrived in your life to make your heart happy’. Really? I’m flattered, but what has come over this man? why the sudden change. I waited until this morning to reply with ‘Oh wow, you are a poet. What beautiful words’. This evening, he has sent through yet another message ‘What a shame to not have you here close to  feel your skin and embrace your whole being’ – Seriously? I don’t know what to say. I’ll sit on it for a couple more hours.

Karate Kid sent through a message this evening asking what trouble I was getting up to. I didn’t think that it was appropriate to share with him that I’ve been freaking out about news of a secret admirer and reading romantic poetry from a Spanish lover….sometimes the truth isn’t required.

Diary, let’s hope that tomorrow is not an awkward day at work (…I think we both know that it will be…please wish me luck).


Image: [Jana Gouthova] ©

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