When a man is intent on interacting and communicating with a woman, he makes it happen. I had resigned myself, based on my own interpretation of Alex’s self description, to the fact we were friends and only friends. Looking back, it is completely ridiculous I did all of this without saying a word to him. For a few days, I made myself stay focused on friendship and interaction that was related to work. I tried to convince myself because my feelings were so new for him, it would be easy to go backwards and find a level of interaction and relationship that was appropriate for our circumstances. I began not responding to his messages for hours, when it was typically a matter of minutes. That didn’t last long.
His charm was magnetic. I tried, but I couldn’t stay away. My slight shift in response time tipped him off something had changed and as would become a pattern, anytime I distanced myself a little bit, he would come at me full force. More messages. More banter. More flirtation. More compliments. The list goes on and on. I got sucked right back in.
We would be in meetings at work and while people were talking and interacting around us, we would be on our phones having a completely different conversation of our own. As silly as this sounds, it felt fun and exciting because no one in the room knew we were doing this right in front of them. We rarely sat by each other in meetings because we were conscious enough to know we didn’t want people making assumptions about the amount of time we were around each other. Guilty conscience for both of us, I suppose. Our messaging conversations in meetings would move from our commentary around the content of the meeting, to anything and everything, just to keep the flow of conversation going.
It was around this time we began a sort of game with each other while in meetings. We would send a message to the other, something funny which we both would appreciate, and then we would watch. Watch the other for a reaction. A smile, a smirk, anything to indicate we had gotten to each other in a way to make us lose our meeting poker face. I loved making him laugh or doing something he thought was funny. When someone is as naturally funny as he is, to get acknowledgment from him of my humor, was the greatest of compliments. He loved getting a reaction from me, too.
When I look back at this time for us, I wish there were words to describe our interactions and the way in which our communication flowed. It was easy, effortless, and we both got a high from it. It was now common for every morning to begin with a good morning message, and every night to end with conversation up until the point we were both ready to fall asleep. Every single thing we went through individually during the day, we shared with each other. Our meetings, our conversations, the challenges of the day, the high moments of the day, everything. I knew, on a daily basis, every emotion and experience he went through. Likewise, he knew every emotion and experience I went through.
I had been in serious, committed relationships, but I had never communicated with anyone like this. With the way he described his own style in communicating with people in his life, I was confident he had never communicated with someone like this, either. If an hour passed and we hadn’t exchanged some type of messaging, we honestly thought something was wrong or the other was upset. Seems so ridiculous now, but that’s how important our communication was to us at the time.
We soon began to realize we could tell each other’s moods simply by the words they were using. They say tone cannot be heard in email or text messaging, but that was not the case with us. We knew the tone of each other almost as well as we knew our own.
Alex’s wife still had not moved, so his time in the evening was still all his own. We would communicate nonstop from the time we both left work until we went to bed. We began watching the same TV shows in order to share our commentary with each other while watching the shows. Yes, it was as if we were watching TV together, but in separate houses. This continued even after his wife moved. I remember there were times my phone would ring and it would be friends and family calling to talk to me and I would purposely not answer the call so as not to interrupt our flow of communication. He told me of times he would be playing some stupid video game with his friends and brother in other states and they would get annoyed because he would disappear from the game. He disappeared from the game because it was impossible to message with me at the same time.
It was at night where we generally had our most personal conversations via messaging. I had never had conversations like this via messaging, either. In normal circumstances, people talked in person or on the phone when it carried on for as long as our conversations typically did. We would talk about our greatest fears, life’s challenges, and even our greatest dreams. There were several times he would share things about himself and he would tell me that no one else knew those things. It was the same for me. I had a handful of people in my life I shared a lot with, but soon, he was taking over the place for me sharing the most with. It was shocking to me when I thought about it. Even through messaging, our connection was electric.
As I laid down to go to sleep every night, my heart was full. It was as if I were overflowing with emotion from him. There were many times I would think about the confusion around us being friends, but actions saying otherwise, and the emotions surrounding our communication overrode any confusion I felt. I knew he had feelings for me. It would be impossible for someone to spend so much time communicating with me when there wasn’t more there. Then, the guilt would arrive. I was falling asleep full of emotion from a man who was married. This thought made it difficult to comprehend. Yet even with all of this, I still didn’t have the guts to say anything to him.
Within a day or two of my visit to his house, our communication was right back to where it was before our phone call where he so adamantly described himself. In fact, our communication and intensity had grown. I am typically a very strong woman, but for some reason when it comes to him, I am weak.