I rushed from the exam room to the nurses' station. Female laughter bubbled up from a semicircle of chairs that surrounded a newcomer. The office manager called me over.
"Jan," she said, "meet Greg. He'll be updating our computer system over the next few months." Greg* stood and offered his hand. His eyes were cappuccino brown, his smile warm and welcoming. We exchanged polite chitchat before I hurried to see the next patient. Nice looking, nice manners, I thought. Good thing I'm married. Before the day was over, he was joking with the staff like he'd known us for years.
Greg came to the clinic nearly every day. Lights danced in his eyes whenever he saw me; smiles came easily when I saw him. At a farewell party for one of the staff, he wandered in and scanned the room, then sat directly across from me. Our eyes met and held each other in silence as heat filled my face and my pulse quickened. When the guest of honor entered the room and the gang yelled, "Surprise!" I finally looked away. When Greg mingled with the staff, I watched from the corner of my eye, straining to hear every word, curious to know more about him.
I attempted nonchalance a few days later when I asked if Greg was working. "He's at the administrative office today." I was disappointed, but minutes before quitting time, his deep voice filled the hallway. I pretended to look for a brochure filed in the hall closet so we'd run into each other.1