Stressed out in work, bored with the seemingly repetitive tasks or exhausted from the work volume, I opt to visit the restroom for the usual business, a retouch, or just to sit there, think things through, or just have some respite from the formal, serous, stressful atmosphere.
And the last person I see before I enter the restroom, and the first one to view after coming out is this guy in white polo shirt and black pants. At the periphery of my vision, I usually see his eyes glued on the laptop screen, sometimes in a reclining position, sometimes touching his chin in deep thought. Wavy hair, fair skin, medium-build on the chubby side.
I thought he is the grown-up version of my ideal son. Wavy hair my hands will caress and play with, skin I will take care.
He did not give a damn. I did not really give a damn either. Until one day.
Whenever I need to tell something to the guard/receptionist, or messenger, I opt to go to the reception area, not call them up, for I crave interaction. Real interaction. I was about to tell something to the guard when he showed up and also spoke. His voice was not deep, and the tonal quality reminded me of boy jesting and male bragging in drinking sessions, movie reruns, sports watching. I was interrupted, and for such occassions I reacted by looking at the speaker for a while, saying a quick good bye to the one I was supposed to be talking to and leaving. He looked at me.
Since then, we snatched looks. I caught him, He caught me. I frequent the restroom now, and I now see him passing our area. I even saw him in a moss green teenager-style shirt at the pantry, who just walked pass us to throw trash and then was gone. Whenever we saw each other, we had poker faces, but the moment he could not see my face anymore, I smiled.
One time I left the restroom,and my foot hurt due to my new shoes, I bent over to check, then at the periphery, I saw him, head tilted, looking at me, or my boobs, or whatever, and smiling. In pain and embarrassment, I looked at him, and scowled. The next day, it was already 9am and I was in line for the elevator when I saw him on another line. With that quick gaze I realized he is not that handsome, and is really on the chubby side. I was fooled by my rose-colored spectacles. I had this nasty habit though of looking at a person quickly then averting my gaze. They perceive it as “katarayan”. I called it nonchalance.
But I got interested. I’ve got to know his name. So after I logged in, I sat at the reception area couch, and waited for him to come and log in. He came, rushing, and he did not even log.
Dammit, now I would not know his name.
I just have to extract the info from the guard. Since I also became acquainted with our admin staff, I casually asked them about the guy I see before going to the restroom. They agreed that he is handsome but that he is chubby, and that he is still young. I said, “But he seems to be a TL, based on the uniform he wore,” and they assured me that he is still in his twenties. I just said, “Maybe he’s 29 already, too old if you ask me.” Hahaha. Deep down, awww, maybe he already has a girlfriend, or a fiancee.
The next few days, I rarely saw him. When he was there, he was shrouded by another employee. Or was not at his desk. I was already thinking that maybe he is one of those IT employees who had transferred to another floor, when one afternoon, as I walk the corridor near the female restroom, I was about to pass by him.
Surprised to see him in black, with Starbucks coffee in hand, I looked at him. Now a bit longer. He also looked, eye-to-eye, no body-scanning, just eye-to-eye, but I cant stare that long, so I had to look away again, walk straight ahead. Did not even smiled after. But since then, he’s included in my daily, hourly musings.
And maybe this is just a fleeting infatuation. But who knows.