The rumor mill at my company works more efficiently than a news service.

Today I received the news that this past weekend, Matylda had started dating some dude she had met.

I always knew I liked Matylda, ever since I first met her. I didn’t really push the issue – she had a boyfriend for a long time, and I try to avoid dating co-workers. I did try to get her to go to lunch with me a few times, and she never went for it. So at least I gave it a try – and got rebuked. I guess this is a marked improvement over the Old Secretgeek, who would have never even tried that.

But – and isn’t there always a “but”? – when I was told, I felt a real jolt – you know, those moments when you have an “oh crap” experience, where the world around you seems to get just a little unreal and voices sound strangely distant. I hope I did not blush. I never realized that I actually wanted that woman. I mean, I wish her all the best, and I sure as hell will not bother her, knowing she is not interested in me, but it bothers me. A lot.

It bothers me so much that it shows. Bob offered me a Mars bar a little later.

“I don’t know what’s wrong,” he added, “but you look like you are having a really crappy day and could use this.”