The Office Friend, Romance + Social Complications (Agent T’s recollections)

When I began talking to Agent B I didn’t count on finding a great friend, much less love… Complicated by social acceptability.

Agent B and I work for the same employer. We’d talked on occasion. I like to chat with coworkers when I can, about interests outside of work. B and others work in the actual office where I started many years ago. I’m not one to feel like I’m better or above anyone else. We’re all here working toward the same basic goals.

Anyway, it turned out that several of us have similar interests in movies. A new highly anticipated film was coming out we got to talking about it before and sharing critiques afterward. I particularly was impressed by B’s opinions and reasoning.

We got to talking more often and it didn’t seem odd to do so as I needed to pass through the office at least once a day. I found I was particularly enjoying the friendly chats with B. Work had been demanding and I was in a relationship that was quickly spiraling down (also VERY demanding). Before I knew it my passing chats with her had become the bright spot in my day. It turned out we had a mutual interest in craft beers. Another in a growing list of shared interests…

We also discovered we were both creative and she shared some of her work with me and asked for opinions. These took place away from other coworkers. It was then I began to really notice how attractive she was and how awkward I felt about that. So, I tried to ignore it and remain my friendly self for I knew she was in a relationship and at that point so was I.

Talks began to include our relationships. And we discovered how broken each of ours had become. We each tried to verbally console and offer each other advice. I felt our friendship was growing stronger even as those relationships continued to wither and soon died.

When the night came in which the wheels completely came off my relationship I found myself dialing B before anyone else. She helped calm me. Helped me to think through what had just happened. She grounded me and while exhausted from the ordeal and the hour, I could function again.

In the days after we talked, and texted more than ever… You can see where this is leading, yes? I found it increasingly harder to remain “neutral.” She is intelligent, talented, passionate about her opinions, compassionate, and yes, beautiful. We found ourselves paying compliments to each other, sharing music that increasingly hinted at feelings, but we stopped short of expressing them openly.

We planned a shopping day, that included a meal at a craft brewery restaurant that B recommended. We had an excellent time together, and she has great taste in clothes!… But, when it was over and she was about to take me back to my car, something happened. Maybe the beers are to blame (or to be commended)? But we finally, openly admitted our feelings for each other.

We do not believe this was simply “rebound.” Nor were our relationships torpedoed by our growing admiration. They were already sinking ships…
So, what’s the problem you ask? Sounds like a fine tale of unhappy boy meets unhappy girl and they find happiness with each other! This is so.

Now, when I tell you that there’s a 26 year difference in their ages, what do you say? Still good? For many this is where the love tale turns to “sickness,” “perversion,” even though we’re both grown adults (B has a college degree for crying out loud, which is more than I can say LOL). Sadly, for them, it doesn’t matter that our relationship is founded on mutual respect and we desire only to spend time with one another and love to take care of, and support each other.

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