Making the call

New job started, pay was good and hardly complicated,

How long it’ll last up to chance, working life’s taken a turn for the nomadic,

Woke up anxiously then put on my best suit,

Headed out the door, braved the road, caught the train, fuelled by oatmeal, eggs and fruit,

From the station traipsed towards the building, a giant among skyscrapers,

Collected my lanyard from the receptionist, headed off for the elevator,

That’s when she appeared, dressed nice and smart,

Glanced at her, eyes didn’t linger, we exchanged not a single word,

The lift doors opened, like a gentleman let her in first,

She complied with a smile, could’ve sent pulses racing for miles,

Then in rushed behind me a sudden train of humanity,

The rat race had started early, victims running on that wheel already,

We ended up side by side, crammed towards the back wall,

Shoved my way through when the doors opened at my floor,

Stole her gaze once more upon departing, before the elevator closed,

Emboldened by positive first impressions, hoping we’ll meet for a proper ‘hello.’

Crossed paths with her two days later, ‘twas the end of the grind,

From different departments keeping similar hours, happily found some common ground,

‘Hi’, said I, ‘nice to see you again,’

She seemed to remember me, thankfully, ‘fancy running into you here,’ said she,

Yours truly on the way to catch trains, her to the bus terminal,

Three-to-five minute walk from the building, no time for lengthy conversation,

Introduced ourselves to one another, formally, made small talk before parting,

‘Nice to meet you, have a good evening, see you tomorrow’, that sort of thing.

Rode home feeling chuffed, glad to have made a friend, maybe,

Contact finally achieved, still counts as a minor victory.

Ran into her again the next morning, waiting outside the building,

Fifteen minutes early, expanded last night’s small-talking,

‘Twas just a coincidence, I promise, ain’t nobody stalking,

Perhaps it’s a sign of two kindred spirits?

Starting time arrived rather quickly, covered plenty of ground already,

Promised to meet for lunch break, off we went to our respective workplaces,

Turned up bang on time outside that noon, she was already waiting,

For a good five minutes it turns out, but really who’s counting?

Got half an hour to kill, went to the mall across the street,

Off to the food court, got some grub, sat down to swap life stories,

Conversation flowed like a smooth stream, but so did the minutes on the clock,

Walked back towards the building, side by side, just in the nick of time.

Met her again at five-past-five, again walked her to the station,

Day by day met her between working hours, a pair of desk jockeys sharing a daily ritual,

Started at mere friendship, ain’t nobody catching feelings,

Then one day the heart started trolling, ceased to be platonic,

For one party anyway, that would be yours truly,

Her interactions with others exposing chinks in the proverbial armoury,

The working day consumed by thoughts of her, running on high rotation,

All but melting like Olaf before her, internally, that smile a bright light on a barren wasteland, truly,

‘We’re just friends’ that’s all there is to it, don’t even have each other’s numbers,

That would be a start, just gotta ask her permission,

Simple as that, seems straightforward, so why do we turn simple things into complicated puzzles?

Ran through the gamut of feelings, whether pleasure or torture,

Thankfully she’s none the wiser, my straight-face game as impenetrable as ever,

Counting my blessings, daily, that an angel entered my life, willingly,

Perhaps someday in the long run I’ll strike it lucky,

She ain’t mentioned a co-pilot in her life, she ain’t someone else’s wife,

Gotta keep the big guns holstered, resist the temptation, play it cool and collected,

Gonna ask to exchange numbers first, seems like a harmless gesture,

It’s what friends do, should make plans to hang outside of work,

Set the date to ask her the next day, nerves won at the last minute,

Then aimed for the one after, but turned out she was absent,

The weekend followed, can’t believe my mind’s consumed with planning for this,

It ain’t rocket science or a rescue mission, boy do I feel desperate and pathetic,

How to ask her a simple question without coming off creepy?

The mind continues overthinking, the cause of many an individual’s great follies,

“Just be straight with her, stop fretting about it, the more you think about it, the more you’re liable to make a mess of it,”

Easier said than done, love does things to people,

Even the strong rendered helpless against its influence.

Come Monday morning, ‘it’s now or never,’ whispered that inner voice,

At lunch time the moment of truth arrived, time for the bomb to be deployed,

“Eyes up, chest out, exude an air of confidence,”

“Get it over with, Brother, you’d wracked your brains too long for this,”

Sat opposite her as she munched away, hoping her eyes won’t catch my nervous gaze,

Finally mustered the strength and audacity required to get the mission underway,

Asked her for her number, to keep in touch during off-hours,

And maybe hang out too as pals, ripped the bandaid off without second thoughts,

Braced for impact, as though trapped in a falling jet, fire streaming from the engine before hitting earth in a massive explosion,

Heart beating fast, can feel the sweat coming, how will she react?

Thankfully she agreed, removed a pen and notepad from her bag,

Scribbled on it that paper the precious digits, handed it to me shortly after,

Just like that put me at ease while euphoria took over,

The hard part’s over now, continued eating while conversing,

All the while keeping the contents within from bursting, could barely keep the lid on it.

Kept that precious piece of paper close like a rare and sacred text,

Got me acting like Gollum, can’t believe it feels like life itself depends on it,

Shot her a text a few days afterward,

Nothing too serious, just a simple greeting to get the ball rolling,

Objective completed, now we play the waiting game,

That ELO song come to life, the one about telephone lines,

Hopefully it won’t end in vain.

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