Gemma strode past Wesley and hailed another employee standing behind him.
Wesley felt his heart sink as the smile slowly retreated from his lips. His left hand, which had been raised halfway in anticipation of her greeting him, now hung uncomfortably in the air for a few seconds before returning to its original position at his side.
Wesley stood there in the middle of the sales department unsure of what to do. He could feel warmth rising into his face and ears and swallowed hard as if it would relieve the discomfort. He was sure that all eyes were on him, a feeling which caused a rapid increase in his breathing.
After what seemed like an interminable amount of time, but which was perhaps only a few seconds, he trod back to his desk, avoiding eye contact with anyone.
He felt rejected. Used? Perhaps that was not the correct word. Overlooked, would be a more suitable description.
They had been friends, associates, more like colleagues, he reasoned. She was only a few years older than he. Certainly no more that ten years. In reality, he finally conceded to himself, she was a sales manager and he was the receptionist.
They had once shared a conversation at the front desk about the latest episode of “Game of Thrones” and every week thereafter she’d engage him in an in-depth analysis of that week’s installment of the show. It was one of the highlights of Wesley’s Monday mornings. A farewell party for a colleague at a pub after work managed to throw them together in a more informal setting to discuss other subjects. Alcohol, and a lot of flirting, did the rest of the work. A few hours later, it was a very satisfied Wesley that drove from Gemma’s apartment and headed for home.
He didn’t see Gemma for a week after that encounter and attempted to contact her on her mobile phone. But she remained out of office that week and so he automatically assumed she was travelling for work and was too busy to contact him.
Today was the Monday following, but she had arrived at work much earlier than usual, when he wasn’t yet clocked in at the reception desk. When he did see her later, it was a surprise. And now she was treating him like he wasn’t even there.
Perhaps that one night meant nothing to her. But Wesley couldn’t work out why it meant anything to him either. This was just one night after all.
Was it rejection he felt? Embarrassment? She hadn’t even bothered to acknowledge his presence earlier. She didn’t speak to him last week either.
She wasn’t special, he reasoned. He wasn’t one to dwell on such things. But still her actions nagged at him throughout that morning.
It eventually dawned on him that it was her apathy that bothered him so much. They had spent the night together — one night — and she had ceased all contact with him since then. To go from being colleagues, to lovers, and now to nothing had left his confidence a bit scarred, if he was honest, and he had not expected to feel like this.
He felt there was unfinished business between them, but was hesitant to proceed further. He lacked the courage to try to engage her in conversation now.
Wesley rapidly shook his head to clear his mind of these rambling thoughts and shrugged with a heavy sigh. He tried to ignore the nagging emptiness inside him and decided the best thing to do was to forget it and file this episode under “experience”.