My First Job


After college I was hired in an office located a walking distance away from our residence. Fifteen  minutes including crossing the street is all I need to get there. And because of this  I was the first person reporting to work almost everyday, err, correction there’s another one our janitor. Everyday I’d catch him mopping or vacuuming the floors and except for a sly smile coming from me each time our eyes meet our non friendship stayed that way. In our culture, a smile is a sufficient expression greeting or acknowledging a presence of an acquaintance or a friend or a co worker.  Unlike in the west, people are encouraged to express or speak up, thus, the corresponding  “good morning or hello or how are you?” even if not truthfully meant is commonly heard.

The cleaning guy was almost my age and pleasant looking, mild mannered, a quiet type person and with a body that I admit I’m attracted to, that exudes a kind of sexiness owing perhaps to the nature of his work.  I feel we both had this feeling of being attracted to each other yet we are simultaneously suppressing it. I was born into a very conservative culture, flirting is a big NO, although waiting for the aggression to come that never came but still hoping. I report early in the morning smile at him, then I’d burrow my head in my table reading pocketbooks (my defense).

One day I learned his close friend got into a relationship with one of my friends. This paved the bonding of my friends and his friends and out of the blue one of them hinted  we two get together. But I guess the years of smiling never grew into the next level. I still see him all these time uninvolved just like me, thinking he was just too shy.

After four years,  I moved on to another rented room together with some girls to a house owned by a lady, single but more senior.  One day when I got home, I found this guy in our living room. It was a pleasant surprise, in a second my ego bloated like a balloon, finally he was there for me. I felt like Cinderella being chased by my Prince Charming. After so many years, I’ll surrender this battle now.

After the fog was cleared I found out that he was getting acquainted with my landlady. They actually got married and had two children despite their age difference.

If there was a story, that never was, of our unrequited, suppressed emotions, I don’t know, not until he reads this prompt.

The last time I was embarrassed. In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Isn’t Your Face Red.”

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