“Hi, I’m Robyn Hurst. I’m here to see Mr. Winters. I think he’s expecting me.”
Janice didn’t look convinced, Aaron obviously didn’t tell her that he’d asked me to come up. She picked up her intercom and I heard her say,
“Mr. Winters, there’s a Miss Hurst here to see you.” After a beat she said, “Yes, sir.” She looked up at me then and smiling, she said, “Go ahead in.”
I thanked her and went in to find Aaron sitting behind his desk looking as amazing as ever. He waited for me to close the door and then he stood up. I thought he was going to come around the desk and hug me or kiss me….I felt really foolish when he laid a photograph of a mug shot down on his desk and said, “Look!”
I looked at the photo and then back at him. He was smiling broadly, obviously proud of himself. “That’s the man who mugged me.” I was confused. What was Aaron doing with a photo of the man who mugged me?
“Good!” he said, ecstatic. “All they needed was your positive identification. I’ll take you down there right away….”
stopped talking but looked at me, shocked. I’d never used such a stern tone with him…but I was suddenly very angry. “Just wait…I’m trying to process this. Is this…? Oh my goodness…This is what you’ve been doing? This is my surprise?”
He smiled again, but it was a confused smile. He had no idea why I seemed upset. Hesitantly he said, “Yes, they’ve caught him, with the help of Winter’s security detail. He’s going to be brought to justice. I wanted to make sure that happened…for you.”
“Did you bother to ask me what it was that I wanted, Aaron? Because if you had, the answer wouldn’t have been bringing this petty thief to justice. It would have been spending time with you. That’s all I want…that, and for you to not be embarrassed to be seen with me in public. If you don’t get that, then maybe this relationship is just not going to happen.”
“Seriously? I did this for you. How could you not want this guy in jail?”
“No Aaron, you did this to assuage some sense of guilt that you felt for being so rude to me on New Year’s Eve, and you’re missing the point…I don’t care if he’s in jail or not. I care about you. If you were in an accident I couldn’t have been pried away from your side. The accident was not your fault, but choosing not to spend time with me when I need you, that is. You are so focused on closing your business deals…and that’s what you treated this as, a business deal that needed to be closed. I wish that just once you’d be that focused on being with me…I wish you would have at least just talked to me about it….I think we both need to take some time to think about this before someone ends up getting hurt.”
I turned around quickly then so he didn’t see the tears in my eyes. I opened the office door and hurried past Joanne and I cursed inwardly that the elevator took so long to get there. Once inside, I leaned against the wall and let the tears fall. I was sure he was the one….I’d let myself believe it. I’d let myself forget that he’d have to know that as well for this to work.
I sat there in silent disbelief of the things that Robyn was saying to me. She thought I was only trying to assuage my own guilt? She thought that I’d rather be closing a business deal than spending time with her? She thought that I thought of catching this guy as a business deal? She was wrong! I felt guilty, yes…but I wasn’t trying to purge my own guilt. I truly wanted the man who had hurt her…put her life in jeopardy, to pay for what he’d done. I honestly wanted to rip his head off, but at least I hadn’t done that. I’d gone about it the right way and I had truly thought that would be what she wanted as well. How could she not know how much I care about her? How is it that she can’t see and feel that when it’s just the two of us alone that the last thing on my mind is business…or guilt? Is it that she expects me to tell her that? Isn’t show better than tell? I rented out a restaurant for her….I celebrated Christmas…for her. All that somehow seemed to make her believe that I was embarrassed to be seen with her. That wasn’t true….but was I too worried about how she’d fit in? Was I so worried about it that I’d made her feel like I thought she was less than?
I sat there at my desk with my head in my hands. I was so confused. No woman had ever affected me the way she did. The rational side of me kept saying that she was everything I didn’t need…she would never fit in with the men and women I was obligated to spend time with in order to make my business a success. Yet, for the first time in my life I was thinking that maybe…just maybe, making my business a success wasn’t what was most important after all.
I left him sitting there, with nothing to say…I suppose. I don’t know, maybe he had a lot to say, but as usual, he wasn’t saying it. How had he ever expected to have any kind of relationship if he wouldn’t loosen up? Maybe he didn’t expect to have a relationship…maybe that had all been in my mind. I sat at my desk, staring at websites I was supposed to be upgrading on my computer with all of that running through my mind.
I shook it off and got back to work…for about five minutes. Was I just fooling myself? Wasn’t what I saw in his eyes the same affection I felt for him? Could I have been that wrong? With that thought, Gary walked into my office….great.
“Hi Robyn! How are you doing today?”
“I’m good, Gary, how about you?”
“I’m doing alright. I’ve just been so worried about you. It’s so good to see you back. Did they catch the guy who did this to you?” Leave it to Gary to open the wound without even realizing it.
“Yeah, they did.”
He looked relieved, “Good. I was worried that he had your information….Anyways, I’m glad. Did you get to have any fun before that, I hope?”
“Oh shoot! I’m sorry, Gary. My mind is wandering today. My New Year’s Eve was good up to that point. I spent it with some dear friends. I also enjoyed my time off. How about you?”
“It was okay. I went to a party that Dan in accounting threw. Good party…good people. But, Robyn….”
Damn it! He was going to say something that we would both regret, I could feel it. I couldn’t deal with this today. I’d already broken up with one guy…the one I really wanted. I didn’t want to have to hurt this one’s feelings.
“That’s great!” I told him. “Dan’s a fun guy. I’m sorry, Gary. All this time off has really gotten me behind in my work. Do you mind if I get back to this?”