Tina has made a decision to move into another department. Except for Jim there is no one here who Tina can talk to. This particular department is huge and well-established but a bit of top heavy in terms of employees. Most of the people are middle aged and old. Only few people including Jim are running the show and rest of them just time in and time out to get a pay check. They gossip, play politics behind people’s back. The job is stable, so there is nothing to worry about getting kicked out.Tina is a brand new addition in the team. She never envisioned herself being in a slow paced, rigid job right at the beginning of her career. The only person who was young, easy going and friendly was Jim himself. But things are getting awkward between the two for some indescribable reasons. Both know that something is going on but no one wants to talk about it.
So it is just better for Tina to move on. It will be hard. She will miss Jim. But she must move on. She cried a few times already.
Finally that last day came. When Tina was about to leave at the end of the shift, Jim said, “Hey you gotta hand shake!” It is a big thing to say for a mutable person like Jim who hardly expresses any kind of feeling.
Tina awkwardly smiled and shook hands. She felt if she spends one more minute there she might just cry. She said, “Bye, Jim..” and then quickly about turned in the hallway. When she went home she sent a text to Jim saying, “Thanks for teaching me all the great stuff!”
Almost an hour later a reply came from Jim, “You are welcome. Have fun at your new department.”
As if it was like yesterday, when Tina first arrived, Jim was showing her around the office. The first thing he showed was the coffee table where he has all kinds of coffee brewing gadgets. He has many different types of ground coffees. His personal favorite is mild-black coffee. Tina is another coffee addict. But she loves dark roast french coffee with creamer and sugar. So the next day Jim got Tina a condensed milk. Tina found another person who pretty much survives on coffee like herself, and this guy actually tops her on that in terms of craziness, LOL.
They both just talked and talked in between their work. About their own culture, heritage, about their passion and ambition, about simple things. They laughed loudly while other employees gossiped and gave scorn looks to each other making suggestive body gesture-hinting there was something brewing up between these two. Both of them are highly productive and they just talked about work, career, technology and all things nerdy but not anything private and personal. Tina knew that Jim is married with a kid. But other elderly co-workers are jealous that this pretty young lady only talks and works with Jim.
Jim is amazed with Tina’s straightforwardness. He has not seen many people who are so “direct” in expressing their feelings. The more days passed, the more Jim was drawn towards Tina. There were times when Tina was doing her stuff in the pair programming table next to Jim and he would just stare at Tina. This girl is so sharp, talented, gorgeous, full of personality and elegance.
While Jim is not very expressive, would always keep an eye on Tina. Taking care of people is a way for Jim to express his liking towards someone. Tina also used to go out of her way sometimes to help him and do the things that he likes.Strong women don’t say a word, they just help you to let you know that they like you. Just when Tina used to think that Jim is way too simple and innocent, he does not understand the complexity of human feeling, Jim would very subtly surprise Tina. He would also make extra effort in explaining something better or do something better. There was one time when Tina and Jim was arguing over a coding concept.Tina was having a hard time understanding. She kept saying “it’s okay.. I will try to figure it out later.” Tina thought that this type of lines triggers Jim because he is very dissatisfied when he cannot fix or help fully. He said, “No it is not okay..hold on.” Then he went on to making some kind of drawing with objects on his desk to visually describe the concept. Tina had this cushy comfort feeling just by looking at it. She thought to herself, “Aww…how adorbs. He doesn’t wanna give up.”
But then both started distancing themselves- due to those dreams which no one were able to discuss and due to their own inner personal conscience. But once in a while whenever Tina would look really nice, Jim would still greet her very cordially and would stop by to have few minutes of conversation. He has a simple mind but has an eye for great details. Jim probably has some personal favorites in terms of looks. For example, whenever Tina would wear red lipstick, Jim would come to talk to her as if nothing happened. When she got a change of hair style or fashion style recently, same thing happened. Who said, men don’t notice women’s look? Well, some sure do. Jim asked about weekend activities. He often asks that. Tina thinks, it is his way of inquiring if she was alone or with someone during the weekend. It seemed like an apparent innocent question. But many of Jim’s indirect simple questions demand detail deep answers. Otherwise he says, “Okay…” as if he wants to hear more and he keeps asking questions until he is satisfied with the answers. He does not look straight in the eyes except when he is listening to something which is very important to him.
But now it’s over. No awkwardness, no cold vibes. New department, new people and new work for Tina. Good for her. It will be hard to get used to but she will overcome her grief. Well, hopefully, as long as she does not continue to see those dreams.