The next morning, Michael got up to go to his business meeting. When he finished, we went to lunch at one of my favorites, Harbor House in Seaport Village. We walked through the restaurant and got stares from the few patrons. Mark made the comment that I looked really young. I was 28 and did look much younger. I told him that I knew and that I would always look young. It’s in my genes. We held hands at the table. We finished lunch and left.
We cruised around a bit before we returned to the hotel. I got my bag. He walked me to valet. As we waited for valet to bring my car, we hugged and said our goodbyes. As my car pulled up, I gave him one final kiss and he said “I love you.” I didn’t know if he said that on impulse or if it was intentional. I asked, “You do?” “Yes.” “I love you too.” I got in my car and drove off happy.
Valentine’s Day was the next big holiday that was coming up. Michael asked if I wanted to go to Vegas. He was going to check on a condo complex he had invested in, and his visit would fall over Valentine’s Day. I said of course. We were going to stay at the Wynn Hotel. I was having a lovely time planning our upcoming trip. I went to Victoria’s Secret to do some shopping. I even called him while at the mall to ask if we’d be naked on this trip. That turned him on. My days and nights were spent fantasizing about the trip.
I wanted to get him something special for Valentine’s Day. I went to Swarovski where I found the perfect gift- two humming birds perched on a branch. They both had green beaks. I thought it was fitting since his last name was Green. I had it gift wrapped, and I went on my way. I was happy. I thought about being in Vegas and eloping. How I ever thought I could elope with a man whose home I had never visited was indicative of how naïve I once was. I spent time on the Wynn Hotel web site. They had a Tiffany store in the hotel. I had it all planned in my head.
As Valentine’s Day approached, Michael grew more distant and vague. It was clear that something was not right. I could sense that he was not comfortable. Because of our business relationship, I didn’t confront him like I would a regular courter. He eventually cancelled our Vegas plans using a business emergency as an excuse. Instead, he wanted to have a dinner at Fleming’s. Dinner was scheduled for a couple of days after Valentine’s Day.
At dinner, we sat in a small private wine tasting room surrounded by glass windows. Everyone could see in. It was not my scene at all. I was uncomfortable. I wasn’t uncomfortable because I was with him. I was uncomfortable being on display. My uneasiness was subtle. I gave Michael his gift. He loved it. He could tell it was expensive. He felt badly that he cancelled our plans.
After that, everything went down hill. Cancelled meetings, phone calls went unanswered with delayed return calls. However, I’d gotten the best news at work. I had been selected to start a new department from the ground up. This meant I would no longer be the account manager for the sales territory, and Michael would no longer be my client.
Then it happened. Michael and I had plans. When I called to confirm, he ignored the calls. I called repeatedly. For whatever reason, he didn’t have the balls to end things. He was chicken shit. Over the next weeks, I transitioned out of the role and into my new one. I transferred the account off my desk to an account manager who had managed Michael’s company at a different paper. Here’s why. A 40-year-old, and by some men’s standards, sexy, woman was hired to take over my sales desk. She was a complete airhead and every time she’d speak her voice annoyed me. I didn’t like her. I demanded that Michael’s account be transferred to his old account manager. There was no way in hell I was going to let her get near him. First, she was his type, she was more age appropriate and ripe for the picking for a wealthy husband. Second, even if they didn’t end up happily ever after, I didn’t want to have to hear her talk about him every time after she’d visited him. I would have died of annoyance. If they would’ve started dating, I would have been miserable.
I was free. I never spoke to him again. I did drop something off to his office. He was on the phone when I popped in to plop it on his desk. I was out as quickly as I’d popped in. There was no need to speak. In June 2010, I saw him on Ventura Boulevard in Sherman Oaks. He was parking his Jaguar. He and another nice looking white haired lady got out of the car together and went into a restaurant. He looked exactly the same. I hoped they were dating.