Alright. I admit it, okay? I bought a pack of cigarettes today. The stress and transition of last couple of weeks have done my months of hard work in--temporarily, I would like to emphasize--and I broke down. So this morning on my way to work I stopped at the old tobacco shop that I used to frequent in order to purchase them.
Some of you already know part of this story.
There is a 60 year old Indian man (no idea what his name is) who owns the place and--for years now and for unfathomable reasons--has seemed to really like me. I would walk into his shop and he would cry out, "Hello, beautiful!" For a long time I have assumed he does this to many female customers, as he is a bit of a flirt. He would always ask me if I had a boyfriend and why did he never see me with him? Then he started asking me out for coffee.
I had learned bits and pieces about him over my years of visiting his store. He commutes to and from Vacaville, has two college-age sons, likes to play soccer with his friends on the weekends and (are you ready?) is single. His interest in taking me on a date began to get uncomfortable, so when I moved further away from his shop I didn't bother stopping there anymore.
When I came in this morning he was so surprised. He ran out to hug me and kiss my cheek and ask me where I had been? How was I doing? Where was I working now? He renewed his request to take me out for coffee and I laughed to put him off. Getting very serious, he said, "No, really. When are you going to let me take you out?"
Apparently I need to continue to stay away.
If I weren't 99.9% sure that he had romantic intentions, I might consider having coffee with this strange man, but I have no interest in encouraging him further. I can't even begin to imagine what we would talk about. I have a few ideas about where he would like to take the conversation and it creeps me out to think about it.