Your new haircut is super sexy. XOXO

Kelly smiled as she looked at the index card in her hand. She found it next to the phone on her desk, the first place she looked each day when arriving at work. The notes were sporadic, but they always appeared in the same location.

They started appearing about three weeks prior. The first stated simply “You are amazing” and was signed “Your Secret Admirer”. Kelly wasn’t sure what to think at that point, choosing to ignore it. A follow up note explained “I have admired you for a long time”. Kelly didn’t tell anyone about the notes while she tried to figure out what was going on. Was this a stalker? Or a coworker teasing her? Or, perhaps, someone secretly enamored with her?

Kelly could still remember the nervousness at dinner one night when Bruce asked, “Anything interesting going on at work?” That was after about the third note and she was still debating whether she should tell him. She was certain he would get angry and there wasn’t really anything he could do about it. Besides, they had been arguing enough lately without bringing something like this into the relationship. The question was innocent enough, but Kelly feared her hesitation had betrayed her, “No. Not really. Just the normal stuff. What about you?”

Gifts followed those first few notes – a small box of Godiva chocolates one day, a gift card to her favorite coffee shop another. After the gifts came email messages, more words of praise and admiration. The mystery remained, though, as they were sent from a free web-based service. Anyone could have signed up for the account. She had yet to respond to the emails, still uncertain what to do about the situation. At times she felt concerned, but at other times she found herself looking forward to the next note or gift.

She spent hours over the past few weeks trying to determine the source of the notes. She was certain it was not her boss, Stan. He was creepy, and even single, but he wasn’t the type to harass an employee. Once she thought she caught Jeff looking at her during a meeting, but later decided that perhaps she had imagined it. Besides, he never said anything to her and was several years her younger. Kelly placed the note card in her top desk drawer with the others and ran her fingers through her hair. Sexy, huh? No. Super sexy. Kelly smiled.

For the next several hours Kelly found it hard to concentrate. The string of notes and gifts were now getting the best of her curiosity. She finally decided to respond to the email address. She rewrote the email at least twenty times and finally decided on a simple, short communication.

Thank you for the notes and gifts.

This would acknowledge the sender without committing to anything.

About an hour later she received a response. I hope you like them. How about we meet for dinner?

Kelly stared at the email, unsure what to think. This was the first mention of any personal contact. Oddly enough she had not even given that a thought. She felt a bit foolish for not anticipating this development. In a way it felt wrong; cheating on Bruce was something she had never considered. On the other hand, the excitement of mystery had awakened a part of her she didn’t realize was there. This mystery admirer said all the things she longed to hear from Bruce but had not in a long while. Her thoughts were interrupted by a tone from her phone.

Hey, Kel. I gotta work late again 2nite. Don’t wait for me. love.

Kelly read the text message a second time, surprised at the timing. The fact that she was now having dinner alone again made the decision even harder. What would it hurt? It was just making a friend. It wasn’t like they were going to sleep together or anything. After all, what was it Bruce had said a few weeks ago? Something about them needing to spice things up a bit?

Ok. I’m working late too. love.

Kelly tapped the response to Bruce on her phone and then nervously turned back to her computer.

It seems I’m free tonight. Where did you have in mind?

******

Kelly’s stomach knotted as she neared the rendezvous. It was a strange mixture of nervousness and excitement. She steeled her nerves as she entered the restaurant bar. The location had been her choice, figuring it safer to choose the spot than to let mystery man do the choosing.

As she entered she looked around the room, realizing that she had no idea what she was looking for. It never occurred to her that they had not exchanged any information about how to recognize one another. Her confidence waned. I should get out of here.

Turning to leave, something caught her eye. Bruce? What is he doing here? He’s supposed to be at work. And who is that woman beside him?

Kelly suppressed her anger as she walked up behind him. “Bruce? I thought you were working late?”

Bruce spun around with a quizzical look on his face. He looked at her thoughtfully for a moment before his face broke out in a large smile. “Oh, yeah,” he laughed, “I ended up meeting a friend instead.”

Kelly controlled her anger but the smirk on his face made her even angrier. Did he not care that he had been caught lying? Before she could say anything Bruce continued.

“Shall we grab a table?” Bruce pointed toward the restaurant area.

The realization of what was happening hit Kelly all at once. She felt her face flush as she realized her mistake. A smile forced its way across her face.

“I’m sorry I’ve been so busy the past few months,” Bruce spoke as he put his arm around her waist. “I thought a little role play might make things interesting. You did know it was me, didn’t you? You never said a thing.”

“Of course,” Kelly lied. “I just didn’t want to stop the mystery man. I kinda like him.”