Later that day, Allan was stretched on the bed, his mind on the day’s activities. Karen was uppermost in his mind and he kept replaying her smile over again.
Man, you’ve been hit hard, he thought. “Slow down, dude”, he said to himself in the dark. “Or she’s going to think you a psycho.”
His phone rang and he checked the caller ID and smiled. Shirley. He loved talking to her and this call would be the final crowing on his day.
“How did it go?” She asked, her voice coming across quietly and he guessed she was also in bed.
“I met someone”, he blurted.
There was a little silence at the other end and then her voice came through. “Oh, that’s nice. Someone I know?”
“No. It’s one of Alicia’s match-making schemes”, he replied. “But this time it paid off. Her name is Karen and she’s a stunner.”
“Happy for you”, Shirley said on a quiet laugh. “Good to know. Was beginning to fear for your sexuality and thought you swung the other way.”
Allan gave a low chuckle. He wasn’t heavy into women, although he had a fling every now and then. These affairs always began with the mutual agreement that nothing serious could come off them so there were no hard feelings when they ended. He also kept them private and well away from the prying eyes and waggling tongue of his junior staff. “Sorry to disappoint you, but I swing the straight way. I’ll see you tomorrow, Shirl. Goodnight.”
“Goodnight”, Shirley replied, ending the call. She dropped the phone by the head stand and turned on her side. Her heart suddenly felt less light, but she ignored the slight throb that beat there.
She’d known this day would come. Four years of being close to him; spending several hours in such close proximity, yet he only saw her as a friend, nothing more. She had spent the same four years trying to keep her feelings for him a secret.
Somehow, she’d suspected she’d lose his friendship if he as much as suspected how she felt. Those first few months when the feelings grew had been tough and she’d been tempted on more than one occasion to come clean. But which each passing day, she knew that would be a mistake. And so she’d settled for his friendship instead- a choice that had proven to be wise as he’d turned out to be a great friend indeed.
With a deep sigh, she closed her eyes and slowly drifted into a tired and dreamless sleep.