LoveLines
Author:S. Walden

No one at work suspects I’m OCD. They just think I’m uber organized and task-oriented. They seem to like that about me; they know I’ll never miss a deadline. I’m reliable. Trustworthy. Punctual.

 

Sounds boring. Hmmm. Am I? No, I don’t think a dull personality is the reason behind all my failed romances. I’m not boring. Buttoned up at work, yes, but not boring. My problem is that I can’t suppress my urges, and eventually they expose themselves the longer I’m with someone. The guy sees the tic and gets the hell out of Dodge.

 

“You want any coffee?” Marjorie asked.

 

I had just opened my email for the day and was about to start on the Blue Ice Water campaign portfolio that was due by ten.

 

I shook my head. “You know I don’t drink coffee.”

 

“Bleh. I keep forgetting. And who the hell doesn’t drink coffee?”

 

“Lots of people,” I replied.

 

“I don’t know how you can make it through the day without coffee. God, I’d die without caffeine.”

 

I didn’t need caffeine. I had anxiety. Anxiety was good for a few things: I exercised harder. I could lift things that were really too heavy for a woman my size to lift. I had no problem staying awake all day to do my job. Good stuff. The negatives? Well, the elephant on my chest that made it difficult to breathe. The rapid-fire heartbeat that made me believe I’d drop dead of a heart attack at any minute. The occasional shaking and sweating. Not good stuff.

 

I finally tore my eyes away from my email.

 

“You’ve got five minutes. And I’m serious. You know I’m timing you,” I said.

 

Marjorie’s round face lit up, and she plopped into a spare chair in my cubicle.

 

“I only have five minutes anyway,” she said quickly. “His name’s Rob, and he works in advertising at another firm—”

 

“Hold up,” I interrupted. “Another firm? No. That’s sleeping with the enemy.”

 

“No kidding,” Marjorie mumbled. She hung her head to hide the grin, but I saw.

 

“Already?” I said, just the slightest bit disappointed. “Didn’t we talk about this? You said you were gonna start waiting until the fourth date.”

 

“I know,” she replied, shaking her head. I watched her short, auburn curls bounce.

 

“What made you do it?” I asked.

 

“Three martinis and a kiss.” She giggled.

 

I giggled, too. I couldn’t help it. Marjorie was so silly. Her favorite thing to do at work was regale me with stories of her dating life. I think she assumed I was some lonely, pathetic girl who had no real life of my own, so she thought she’d do me the favor of sharing hers. Truth? I am lonely. Am I pathetic? Ummm . . .

 

“I suppose that’ll do it,” I said.

 

“That and these muscles that could make a girl come on cue,” she whispered.

 

“Please.” I laughed.

 

Marjorie grinned like a fiend. “Kidding. But why do guys think that’s all it takes?”

 

I shrugged. “Beats me.”

 

“Like their biceps are enough,” Marjorie went on.

 

“Or their words,” I added.

 

“Seriously. They honestly think saying, ‘Baby, come for me’ is all it takes to push us over the edge?”

 

“Maybe they think our orgasms are like trained circus animals,” I offered.

 

Marjorie laughed. “Have they seen what’s going on down there? Is there anything easy about that? Anything that looks like it could be trained?”

 

“I don’t even know what the hell is going on down there most of the time,” I replied. “And I own one.”

 

We burst out laughing.

 

“Well, Rob couldn’t make me come on cue, but he worked it out of me,” Marjorie said. “Took him a while to figure out where my clit was, but he got the hang of it.”

 

“Did he now?” we heard a gruff voice say above us.

 

Marjorie shot up from her chair. “Dan! Oh my God! I was just dropping off some paperwork for Bailey.”

 

“Mmhmm,” he replied, unconvinced. “I apologize for interrupting your stimulating conversation—” (Double entendres sounded really awkward and disgusting coming out of Dan’s mouth.) “—but do you ladies think you could get to work?”

 

I stared at my computer screen, hands poised above my keypad. I could feel the burn of embarrassment Marjorie was experiencing at this very moment. Our boss heard her say “clit.” The word “clit” passed her lips in front of a man who’s scary, burly, and in complete control of our paychecks. It was excruciating, and there was nothing I could do to erase my humiliation or Marjorie’s. Well, that’s not entirely true.

 

Bailey, don’t you dare pick up that pen.

 

But I’m just gonna tap it a few times. To ease the awkwardness. No big deal, I argued.

 

You don’t need to tap the pen.

 

I do.

 

You don’t.

 

Oh my God. It wasn’t even OCD voice this time. It was my reasonable voice trying to keep me from giving in to my compulsion. And I was arguing with her! What the hell was wrong with me?

 

“Bailey!”

 

“Huh?” I whipped my head up and met Dan’s eyes. They weren’t quite glaring, but they portrayed mild annoyance. Well, moderate annoyance.

 

“Disregard the Akers Pond campaign. Move up Blue Ice.”