Charlotte – part 3

Ryan sat nervously on the couch. He had gone into work early today so he could come home early and prepare. Charlotte would be home in an hour to take him to the airport and he wanted everything to be perfect.

He fiddled with the box in his hands, set it down and arranged the books on the table. He sat down again and soon was back up moving this picture and that pile of stuff so it was just so. He got himself a glass of water but only took one sip out of it before he saw something else that needed to be moved. He decided to clear off the table so that the large bouquet of flowers was the only thing there. He wanted to wow her.

He couldn’t wait to get back from this business trip and finally be done with the year long project with Randi. They had been assigned together to research the effects of their company’s social enhancement policies and now they were going to present their findings at the all-company annual meeting in New Orleans.

Ryan thought back to the beginning of the project. Previously he had put forth a great amount of effort to avoid Randi because he found her so attractive. He loved Charlotte deeply but there was something mysterious about Randi that piqued his curiosity. He knew that if he wanted to remain faithful to Charlotte, he had to avoid Randi. For two years, he had been successful. Then they were assigned to work together.

At first, Ryan made a point of working only together in the office during office hours. No coming in early or staying late together. He worked on his other projects during off hours if he needed to. Then they had their first off-site meeting. They drove together in Ryan’s car but there was no lunch provided for an over-lunch hour meeting. Since they were just a few blocks from his apartment, they decided to grab a bite there instead of driving around to find a restaurant.

He was giving Randi a quick tour of the apartment showing off Charlotte’s unbelievably creative decorating skills. After that meeting, he never allowed her in his car again, except yesterday because her car was in the shop from rear-ending someone. He held fast to no off-hours working together. The more he got to know her, the less he liked her as she was very judgmental and a bit racist. He couldn’t believe that he had once found her attractive. What he once thought was confidence was arrogance and her decisiveness was due to her superiority complex. He couldn’t wait for this trip to be over.

First, though, he was going to ask Charlotte to marry him. He wanted her to be his forever. He loved her deeply. He should have done this years ago, but he was just a boy then. He looked at the clock. 1:45. She should be home any minute.
***

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