Tuesday, May 25, 2010

20. Special Delivery

September 28, 2009: My first day of work as assistant editor of the Texas-based magazine. Also, my birthday.

I had only been at my desk for an hour or two, and I already knew I was going to love it there. I was one of only two girls on staff, which was quite a change from previously working with ALL women, aside from the token Jim Halpert-type (who I'm pretty sure everyone had a crush on at one point or another), and one older male editor who was usually out of the office exploring the mountains or playing with bears or whatever it was he did.
I came back from lunch to see a beautiful bouquet of flowers on my desk. My stomach dropped. Were they from Cayden? I hadn't talked to him for almost two weeks, a record for us. I grabbed the tiny envelope hidden between the stems and ripped it open.
"Happy Birthday! We're so proud of you! -Mom and Dad"
I was relieved and disappointed. If they had been from Cayden, then I'd have to reopen communication with him, which I knew I couldn't do. At the same time, it would have been nice of him to send me something, being that I had put a lot of thought into his gift earlier that month. Jerk.
I thought it was cute that my parents sent me flowers considering I was living in their house. You know, to save a buck or two until I could get my own place. I was more than enjoying the free rent while I could. First I'd buy a car, then I'd look for an apartment. The hour-and-a-half commute, on the other hand, made me want to die a little twice a day.
My new editor, Hal, walked by.
"Wow. Who sent the flowers? A boyfriend?"
"Haha, close. My parents. Sweet, right?"
At that point I realized I wasn't only the new girl, I was the new girl with a bouquet of flowers on my desk. My new coworkers were going to think I was some kind of spoiled princess. But they knew it was my birthday, so surely they'd forgive me.
The door opened again.
This time, a delivery man came in with a bigger bouquet: roses.
The delivery man laughed and shook his head, "Well, aren't we just popular today?"
Shit. Now I was the new girl with TWO bouquets on her desk, in an office full of men. At least women would understand. Awesome.
I reluctantly reached for the card, praying this one was from one of my siblings, or maybe an old coworker. Although roses would be a little weird. Maybe I had a secret admirer?
I saw the name at the bottom before I read the note. "Cayden"
I held my breath, but the card down on my desk, and closed my eyes for a minute. Did I want to know what it said? What if it said, "Turn around," and then he was sitting there in the lobby? I stood up and my eyes darted around the lobby next to my cubicle. Nothing. What was wrong with me? He doesn't want to be with me, of course he wouldn't have flown all the way over here to tell me happy birthday, although a huge part of me wished he did.

"Happy Birthday, Whitney. Hope you have a great birthday, and good luck with your first day at work. -Cayden"

I folded the note back up, pissed off that he hadn't even put in the effort to hand-write the note. But then I remembered, he's a guy. Guys don't think about shit like that. They just give themselves a pat on the back for remembering your birthday and placing the order.
Hal walked by again on his way to the printer.

"OK, now who are THOSE from?"
He pointed to the embarrassingly large rose arrangement.
Crap, what do I do? It was my first day, I wasn't about to tell the story of Cayden to my new editor. And our office was so quiet, I knew everyone could hear.

"They're from a friend in London."
"Oohhh, a friend in London? Those roses look like they came from more than a friend," he joked.
I laughed and shrugged. "Well, Hal, that's a story for another day."
He retreated to his cubicle.

I sat there for a little while, trying to decide if I should respond. I could send a short email. Just, "thanks for the flowers" Just like that, no punctuation or capitalization. That sends a message. In the end I decided not to reply.

That was 7 months and 27 days ago. I still have four of his roses hanging upside down on my cubicle wall, with his note attached.

1 comment:

  1. I've seen those roses!!! ahaha. see you tomorrow. =)