Tactical Avoidance

“Do you have a problem with me?” She was shocked by the words that slipped from her mouth on the dreary morning day but she wasn’t surprised.  

She couldn’t take the subtle glances every time she passed by this particular person in the hallway. It had been happening for the last twenty-nine days she’d been living in her new apartment complex.

“Excuse me,” He replied with the confusion that had been riddled on her face. 

“I said, do you have a problem with me…cause every time I pass by you on the sidewalk you avoid me like the bubonic plague.” This wasn’t something that normally bothered her. She was used to going without eye contact, a wide smile, or a genial  ‘good mornin’ but that was before she moved to the South.  

He dimly smiled to himself letting his eyes drop to the cobblestone sidewalk before greeting hers again. “I’m married.” He lifted his finger off the travel mug calling her attention to the gold band.

“And…” She shrugged. “So. Being married means you should be an asshole.”

“No.” He nodded more to himself than to her. “But you’re attractive. Your smile’s compelling and everything about you is intriguing to me. And I don’t want to be in a situation where it’d be impossible for me to say ‘no’.”

She blinked, taking a step back. The dew from the early morning and the mist from the thick humidity made the rubber at the bottom of her canvas shoes slick. Her hands went out to regain her balance. Falling backwards on the damp cobblestone while confronting someone wasn’t how she wanted to start her morning.

He reached out but once the shock on her face turned into humor his limb froze.

“What’s funny?” He questioned with a lift of his lip wanting to join in on her chuckle.

“It’s just…” Her laugh dimmed but the smile remained. “I don’t want you. I mean…” She gestured to him like it was obvious. “You’re not my type. So…you would never be in an impossible situation. 

“Thanks for the clarification.” His eyebrows went up as if he was running his own image through his mind. His hand slid down his dress shirt as if he’d mistakenly missed a button. “What’s your type?” The words slid awkwardly from his mouth.

“Uh…” The curl of her lips remained as she shook her head. “That’s none of your business but…have a good morning neighbor.”

“You, too.” His eyes followed her as sidestepped him and headed to her apartment. She strutted into her loft hoping the strange situation was solved but something in the back of her mind whispered and it wasn’t words of agreement. 

Maybe she should’ve left it alone and avoided it all together. But that wasn’t her style. Attacking matters head on was how she rolled. So, she shrugged her shoulders and unwrapped the chocolate blueberry muffin that made her abandon the comfort of her bed.

Should she have left it alone and avoided it all together?

Why do you think he was interested in knowing what her type was?

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