"Someone here in the office has a crush on you."
It was not everyday that Liz heard that. In fact, it had been years since she had. Try 15 years ago, when she lived for that kind of news and she was still in high school – when she wore braces, black Doc Martens Mary Janes and a beeper carefully hidden in the pocket of her long, plaid, Catholic-schoolgirl skirt.
Such a far cry from the perpetual tight ponytail, conservative black pumps and reliable Nokia Communicator stashed in her Longchamp Le Pliage tote that completed her rather boring day-to-day office ensemble.
Crush was not part of her vocabulary. Sure, she crushed almonds over her sugar-free yogurt. She crushed the confidence of wheedling, underperforming sales agents. She also crushed unsuspecting little bugs under her kitchen cabinets.
But crush, as in to like, to be attracted to and to moon over someone?
Liz cast a sideways glance at her co-worker Karen, who had an eager, excited expression on her face. She lifted a corner of her lips to smirk-smile, merely to acknowledge she had heard what her friend just said. It betrayed the slight, unusual flutter she felt in her tummy.
Karen rolled her eyes, took a deep drag of breath from her cigarette and sighed dramatically, puffing out wisps of smoke. "I'm not kidding! I practically had to cut off an arm and a leg to make him admit it. I'm not supposed to say who, mind you, but since I'm your friend – "
Liz grinned in spite of herself as Karen leaned towards her ear and spoke in a theatrical whisper. "It's Dennis."
The flutter came to an abrupt stop and the smile vanished from her face. It was replaced by confusion and a slight knit in her brow. "Dennis?" she asked stupidly.
"Yeah, Dennis! Duh." Another roll of the eyes, but now with a knowing little glint in the eye. "It's not like we have 800 employees."
"No, that's not what I meant," Liz clarified, shooting her daggers, still trying to wrap her head around the idea. The image of the oft-smiling financial analyst flashed in her mind. "It's just that we've barely exchanged three words in the how many months I've been here."
Karen smiled a little Cheshire cat smile. "Oh, but it doesn't mean he hasn't noticed."
Liz suddenly felt warm under her starched white shirt and two-layer pearl necklace. She felt a little smile ticking at the corner of her mouth, but she quickly relaxed her facial muscles to create her usual unaffected façade.
Truth be told, she never ever once considered giving Dennis airtime in the major television network that was her brain. Aside from keeping up the formal, almost austere persona she decidedly put on for work, it was true that they rarely spoke to each other.
And I'm so… boring, Liz thought desperately.