There have been a few posts in the past where I’ve mentioned how I had a stupid and silly crush on a coworker last year (here, here and here). If there is one thing that I’ve constantly been told, it’s that work and relationships do not mix well together. This is something I fully agree with. When I started this job, I had zero intentions of getting involved with any of the guys that worked here – I didn’t need that drama.
Around September 2016, I was seeing this guy who also lived in Pittsburgh. I’ve also talked about him a few times, but moving past that, he eventually ended things with me on Black Friday that year. While I was at work. I was devastated – I had so much hope for this guy and he had shitty reasons for ending it with me. I gave it a week or so before redownloading the Tinder app again. And I only downloaded it again because I figured talking to someone new would help take my mind off the situation, and to move on.
This coworker, we’re going to keep calling him Leo, he only worked one day a week – Sundays – because he had another job he went to during the week (at some car dealership). The Sunday after Pittsburgh guy #1 ended things with me, I remember Alex was joking around about Leo and I, that I should take him on a date or something along those lines. It was quite awhile ago, I can’t remember exactly. Something involving a steak and that I should treat his boy right. It was in the same kind of fun that is just the theme of this job. We all poke fun at each other and we all get a little too personal with each other.
Anyways, I brushed it off and just took it as a typical work day. I remember Leo and Alex used to ask me so many odd and random questions. Leo was talking to me the one day and he asked me if I saw him on Tinder, he wondered if I would swipe right on him. The funny part for me is, when I redownloaded the Tinder app, I found him on there. And I knew, with how I struggled to figure out how to swipe, that I actually sort of had a crush on this guy. I got so nervous, over analyzing the entire situation. I actually spent a whole day swiping and closing the app every time his photo showed up. I didn’t know what to do. I wanted to swipe right, but my heart beat so fast every time I thought about doing it. I psyched myself out, wondering what would happen. Until I just forced myself to swipe right, an entire 24 hours later. He wound up messaging me on there and saying he knew I would swipe right, because you have to swipe right on people you know.
When my heart skipped seeing his name on my phone, I knew I was fucked. We started texting. It was such a weird thing, it really was. And naturally, everyone at work knew that I swiped right because nothing is a secret at work – everyone is friends with each other, we have no secrets. So I got a lot of jokes directed about my feelings towards Leo. Because I played it off, but I really did start getting this weird connection with him. I knew when he was near me, I knew when he was looking at me, and honestly? I think it was mostly just sexual, but we had something there. I dunno, maybe I made it up in my head. I was texting Leo all the time, always the one to initiate conversation.
I talked about the Christmas party that year, briefly, in one of the posts linked above. I got so drunk that night, Leo offered me a ride home (he had arrived less than a half hour beforehand), and I remember when he drove me home, all I wanted was for him to kiss me. And later on, the guys at work would joke at me that Leo and I made out in his car, but it never happened.
I wound up backing off from Leo for a bit, because I got tired of always being the one to text him. And I remember some time after New Year’s Alex came up to me and asked me why I stopped hitting his boy up. And I remember thinking to myself, he talks about me? I wound up deleting tinder and redownloading it, and Leo and I matched yet again. And I remember downloading Bumble and Leo and I matched on there. We started talking again. And things kind of, got heated conversation wise.
Here’s the thing with Leo – he’s a cool guy, but he’s kind of cocky and he kept a lot of things to himself. And when he was mad, he just wouldn’t talk. He was a mystery in a way, and I really wanted to learn more about him, but I knew it wasn’t a good decision. But at that point, I didn’t care, I made him my mark, and I wanted to make something happen. So when the conversations took a sexual turn, I also went with it. But, the only time he would want to hang out, was really late at night. And by late, I mean well after 1 am. And nothing good ever comes that late for one, and two, when you live at home with your watching mother, it’s kind of hard to sneak out, even if you’re an adult.
I wanted to, I think there could have been fun nights if I had, but, this guy was also toxic, and I think I was just set on him because of how he made me feel. When I saw him, my heart would actually skip a beat. And I think he liked me, but he also knew he was a terrible choice for me. He wouldn’t give up his addictions, and he wanted to do what he pleased.
Eventually, while I’m not entirely sure what drove him to this point, he lost his job at the car dealership. I found out later, it was alcohol related. Shortly after that, he lost his job here, and it was also alcohol related. See, he would get himself so fucked up and black out drunk, he didn’t remember things. And he was mixing the alcohol with other hard drugs. He had a problem. And he got himself fired here by selling himself alcohol after 2 AM, while he was off the clock and incredibly drunk. In the state of PA, it’s illegal to sell alcohol after 2 AM, and between having a record of it on the computer, and other coworkers witnessing this, it caused him to lose his job. What’s worse, is that he doesn’t remember doing it. He came into work the day after doing this and he got pulled aside and I overheard the conversation the owner, my main boss, was having with him. It was during a big weekend, too, but my main boss couldn’t have him working anymore, so he got sent home, and that was it for his job.
Two nights before this incident happened, he had called me at 3 AM trying to convince me to let him pick me up and we’d spend the night together, smoke some weed and have some beers. I had work that next day at 10:45 AM, and I couldn’t just do that and be okay. Plus I didn’t want to deal with the consequences of sneaking out. And we talked on the phone for a half hour, before I think he just got sick of me saying I wasn’t sure, and I wanted to and couldn’t. And he just got annoyed with me and gave up on it. And honestly it made me feel kind of shitty, but I wanted to hang out at reasonable hours, not that late. And the next day I remember I messaged him and he didn’t want to hang out nor was he feeling the same as he did when he had called me.
Leo was super confusing for me, because I could feel that he liked me, and we did get really personal with each other, but there was this huge wall up, and I couldn’t get past it. I was too good, he was too bad. We just didn’t fit. And I wanted to. Because, sadly, you can’t help who you develop feelings for. Him getting fired was probably the best thing. Not only did it push him to straighten himself up, but it got him out of my life, at least shortly after. For someone pushing 29, he really needed that push to get his shit together.
I remember the following week after he got fired, he came in to buy a 6 pack, my heart skipping seeing him, and the guys had all been talking shit about him because of how he’d been acting. I remember when he paid for the 6 pack, he signed a heart on the slip he had to sign (if you use a card you have to sign).
I dunno, I wanted something there that just never was there. And when he left town, I felt empty again. I kept in touch with him for awhile, but there wasn’t much point. We were never really good friends, we never hung out outside of work, it was just all talk.
But I didn’t imagine that connection with him. And I think in a lot of ways we sometimes confuse love and lust, and I learned that through him. Because the heart is confusing. It knew he was a terrible match for me, but it still wanted to hope. The moment he walked in the room, I felt him. I could feel him standing across the room. And as much as I really like Ray – something that may actually be turning to love – he has never made me feel that. And it’s weird, how people can make you feel. How connected you feel to another person’s soul, body, character.
When you feel that spark or connection with someone else, it’s truly amazing. But, in my case at least, these feelings have all been felt with people who turned around and either left, or it just never worked. Or they didn’t see me the same way I saw them. Which is why, even though Ray and I don’t have that same in depth feeling, I feel more at ease with him, and I truly do care so much for him. It’s just, different. And maybe down the road we will develop something like that, once I start to really feel like I’m his girlfriend, or that this is truly something. I think for me, with Ray, is the fact that he doesn’t openly really talk about his feelings, so it’s hard for my heart to start skipping when he doesn’t surprise me like that.
As far as Leo goes, I do miss talking to him, and it was a fun time working with him when he was here. He was an ass, but he did teach me things about myself and what I know I deserve. And I deserve better than someone who just wants to use me.
Have you ever liked a coworker?
January Writing Challenge #9