If only life could be as simple as a spreadsheet. Rachel could make an equation, set the if then question then plug in values. The computer would run the program and every time a new variable was introduced the spreadsheet could make adjustments. Even with the spreadsheet she was working on that morning returning error messages over and over she had found solving that problem far easier than her emotional woes.
Why wasn’t she attracted to Drew?
Here she had a man who was handsome, funny, successful, and had the voice of a radio announcer and it wasn’t enough. Worse yet she knew he was going to call some time this week, probably today. She’d put in the offer almost a week ago and still hadn’t heard back. He’d emailed but she had her auto-reply on so he had no idea if she was reading them or not.
Each email was about the same. He was thinking about the fun they’d had and the goodbye kiss. She’d thought she had a month but this guy was looking for a physical relationship almost immediately. Even in the romance novels those things took time. Shannon thinks he is a great guy and she usually is dead on with these things but it’s not there.
What about love and romance and slowly wooing a woman. Rachel pushed back from her desk and paced in her office. She had no idea what to do. Shannon was clear and Mom was clear but Rachel wasn’t. She wanted more than great looks. How dumb did that sound? She decided to call Drew and check on the house. Maybe she’d hear what she needed in his voice.
She called his cell.
“Hi Rachel I have some bad news.”
“What is it?”
“The owners rejected your offer.”
“They didn’t have a counter offer?”
“They said no. I think they are trying to hold out for asking price. Which if that’s the case in the market right now it is going to be a while.”
“I like the house but I can’t go up any more than two thousand dollars.”
“And I’m sure that won’t be enough to make them budge. I found out this morning but I was waiting because I was hoping they’d go ahead and offer something back but their realtor didn’t return my calls.”
“That’s fine. Like I told you before, I wasn’t really looking. It was more window shopping.”
“I’ll go ahead and run properties like that one for you if you’d like.”
She thought for a minute. “I’d like to be no more than thirty minutes from work and forty-five minutes from my parents ideally.”
“I will see what I can find. You want to keep the same search parameters?”
“Yes. I like that house, except the teeny master bedroom. If you can find something similar to that one, in the right location around my offer price we’ll be all set.”
“Great.” The line went silent for a few moments. “I had fun the other night.”
“Yes, I’ve been kicking myself for never checking that restaurant out before. I need to listen to the office chatter more often.”
“I’d like to see you again.” And there it was.
“Drew.” Shannon passed by Rachel’s door and stopped. “I was thinking.” Rachel spun her chair away from the door in an attempt to get a bit more privacy.
“Don’t you dare.” Shannon whispered from the doorway. She walked in to the office and stood toe to toe with Rachel.
“Maybe we should stay on a professional level right now.”
“What are you doing?” Shannon scolded.
“But I thought you enjoyed yourself.”
“Then what’s wrong?”
“Don’t you dare dump that guy.”
“Was I rushing you? It felt to me like you wanted that kiss as much as I did.”
“No, I mean yes. No you weren’t rushing me.”
“Don’t tell him no.”
Rachel shot a glare at Shannon. “No, you didn’t offend me at all. I had an incredible time with you and I’m not ruling out seeing each other in the future.” She said that part for Shannon’s benefit the tried to shoo her away with her hand. Shannon only moved back a few feet and stood with her arms folded in front of Rachel. “I think it wiser until we are done with our business dealings that we should hold off on a relationship. I’d hate for a personal relationship to get in the way of our professional relationship.”
“You’re assuming something would go wrong.” She knew he would be agitated but his tone put her on edge.
“I don’t want things to be awkward.”
“And this isn’t?” Shannon said a bit louder than a whisper. Rachel swatted her hand at Shannon.
“Drew, all I’m saying is until we are done house hunting let’s stay professional and we can examine our feelings after that.”
“It was nice of you to tell me this now and not string me along or anything.” The agitation was blending with sarcasm to create one very unattractive package.
His tone was firm “I’ll email some properties to you. When you’re ready to make an offer, let me know. We can handle it all by fax if that will be easier for you.”
“You’ll hear from me soon.” There was a click then the dial tone.
“What in the world are you doing?” Shannon said when Rachel put the phone back in the cradle.
“I don’t have time for a relationship right now.”
“You don’t have time?”
“No, I don’t.” She snapped. The bitterness in Drew’s voice had her wondering whether she wanted to even maintain a business relationship with him at this point.
Shannon sat down. “We’ve been friends for almost ten years now. You never have time. First you needed to concentrate on school. Then it was graduation. Next it was starting this business and now it is maintaining this business.”
“Wait, there was a pretty significant exception in there that you’re glossing over.”
“That was an anomaly.”
“My point is you have found a man who is successful, handsome and who seems to really want to start something with you. Why are you going to throw it away?”
“But I’m not attracted to him, except physically.”
“So have fun for a while and see what happens.”
“I’m done having fun, I want a relationship.” Shannon laughed and when Rachel realized what she had said she cracked a small smile. “I’m trying to be serious. I want to have a relationship where-.”
“Never mind Rachel, I’m not in the mood to fuss with this right now. You want to throw this away for some fantasy that ain’t gonna happen then do it. But I do not want to hear about how confused you are or any of it.”
“It was one date.”
“But it was going to be two.”
“I hear you. Now I have work to do.” Rachel spun her chair back around to her desk. “I never asked you to come in in the first place.”
You are reading A Face in the Shadow by Tiffany Colter.
Tiffany is a writer, speaker and writing career coach. She is a frequent contributor to print and online publications in addition to her regular marketing blog at www.WritingCareerCoach.com
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