When Jesse used to work here, I often wondered about what my coworkers thought of us. As I've mentioned before, I work in a small office, in close quarters. While Jesse and I never dated, I'm sure that some coworkers could tell that there was something between us. But I never was sure of how all that really came across to them. To what extent, and in what way they saw us. I should be though, because it was part of my reality.
I think that when a relationship happens in the context of community, or communities, then that's when it become real. Or rather, that this is an element to making a relationship real. Because a relationship is all about relating to someone, and thus it is only natural to be relating to the larger community as well, during the relationship.
Not all workplaces have a sense of community, socially. And that's fine. Some people at work don't reveal or show much of their personalities, keeping it very professional. Some workplaces, for whatever reason, don't have environments where groups of people tend to naturally congregate socially.
But this wasn't the environment for me and Jesse. There was a group of people at work that was pretty social, and Jesse was part of this group. I wouldn't say I was really part of it, but being the receptionist at work, everyone knew me and on the outside at least, I was assumed to be everyone's friend by default. So this group still felt like it was my community, socially, in a way. And I often wondered how me and Jesse, together, came across to this group.
Most of what happened between me and Jesse was private and stayed that way, as it should. At the same time, we didn't try to hide things from others. We were both pretty open and real people, or tried to be. So what do I think other people, my coworkers, really thought about what was going on between us?
I know they didn't see the whole picture, but they saw some of it. As they should.
What they saw was that....
Jesse really loved me, a lot. He came into the office all the time, when he didn't need to. His job didn't demand that. It was for me.
I got hurt. Jesse couldn't commit to me though. He didn't lie to me or deceive me in any way about this. But, and this part was his fault, he was in a really immature life stage for his age.
I liked Jesse. I more than liked him. I cared about him and loved him.
I hurt Jesse too. I never gave him the green light to go ahead with me.
It doesn't take a genius to figure out that this was what this group of coworkers probably saw between me and Jesse. And all of it was true.
I'm not used to having my big mistakes, such as how I hurt Jesse, played out in public. I always hid my real self from the public before.
And now, they don't know what's going on with my personal life anymore. It's a black box to them. It's weird shifting between these two extremes.