I saw him as the father I never had. I was working for him but he treated me like his daughter. Whenever we travelled on a work assignment, he treated me like I was his boss. He listened to me. He asked for my opinions before doing anything. He’s not young. He’s as old as my father but he treated my opinion as sacred and came to me for more. He isn’t tech-savvy so I handled his phone, sent his personal emails and responded to his messages.
Working relationship turned into a romantic affair. It happened so fast I didn’t have the space to even think about my actions. He kissed me one day. I got frozen. I didn’t kiss back but he kept going and going and then he said, “Yeah, that’s how I feel about you. I’m sorry if I scared you.”
Yes, he scared me because I didn’t see it coming. All day he kept apologizing for his actions. He was apologizing for scaring me but on the other hand, he was asking me to be his girlfriend. I said yes, anxious about how our working relationship was going to be like going forward.
Nothing changed. Apart from being sexual and sharing a room when we travelled, our working relationship stayed professional. We tried our best not to allow our emotions to leak out whenever others were around. But when we were alone, we were in a world of our own.
A guy came to the office one day and introduced himself as Richmond. He asked to see my boss. I asked if he had an appointment and he smiled. He said, “I’m sorry but he’s my dad. He knows I’m coming.” I hurriedly walked to his office and told him about this visitor who was claiming lineage to him. I said, “Your son is here.” He responded, “Oh he told you? Let him in.”
When I came back to ask him to go in, he asked for my name and I told him. He introduced himself again as if I didn’t hear him the first time. “We’ll talk. I’d like to know you more. And don’t worry, I’ll talk to my dad about it before we talk.”
I nodded and watched his back as he walked in. He walked back out with his dad in tow. He tapped on my table and said, I’ll get in touch.” I nodded again while looking at the face of his father. He was blank. Like a poker player reading an opponent. When Richmond left, I went in to ask what he said about me. He went straight to the point, “I think he likes you. He came to see me but ended up asking plenty of questions about you.”
A few days later, a call came through. He said, “This is Richmond. Remember we met a few days ago?” He went on about how he wanted to know me and why I didn’t need to worry about his dad because he knew about it and asked when I would be available for a date. I told him, “Good to hear from you but currently, I have a lot on my table. May I give you a call later and discuss this in detail?”
I called his dad and told him about it. I asked what I should do about it and he said, “You two are mature individuals. Can you resolve this without bringing me in? I have a lot on my table right now and wouldn’t like to be involved. Yes, he likes you. He has told me about it and I’ve told him you’re a good woman. That’s all I can do with this. Please deal with it.”
I had a date with Richmond. He was such a nice guy who had a plan for me even before I said yes to him. He went straight to the point. He wanted me to be his girlfriend. He mentioned that his dad spoke so well of me and it was the reason he didn’t want the opportunity to slip. To be honest with you, had it not been his father, I would have dated him in a heartbeat but I had to be careful and assess the situation very well. I didn’t want to set a war between dad and son. I told him I was going to think about it and give him a response.
A few days later he called. Not long afterwards, he came to the office to see me. He told me he was waiting for me to close so he takes me home. I was torn between emotions. “What’s happening here? Is that a setup? Is that a test of character? How do I go through with this?”
I rushed to his father’s office and told him, “Your son is here. And no he didn’t come here because of you. He came to take me home. What should I tell him so he stops pursuing me?” He smiled and said, “I’m way beyond your generation so I don’t know how you guys handle situations like this. In my time, we say no to people we don’t like. I don’t know how you do it now.”
I went quiet. He asked, “Do you like him?” I was honest enough to tell him that I do. “I’m struggling with all this because of what we have going on. It’s not right and you’re also not helping the situation.” He told me, “Then go out there and tell him you have a man so you can’t date him unless of course, you want him to bring you home to come and meet me, the man you’re dating.”
I went out with Richmond. That night I told him I was seeing someone else and it was serious so I didn’t want to give him fake assurances. He was gracious enough to accept my situation but said, “I will still remain a friend. At least give me that chance to be close.” I nodded and ended the night.
All night I couldn’t sleep. This is a gentleman I can have myself. He ticks the boxes. From what I know about him so far, I can say he’s considerate and courteous. He doesn’t give up easily and from all indications, he would wait in the shadows for his turn with me. What I don’t know now is how to deal with this situation going forward.
I started withdrawing from his father. He asked if I was doing it because of his son. I said I was doing it because he wasn’t making things easy for me. Right from the beginning, I was expecting him to close access to me by telling his son something. He didn’t do it. He left it to go too far—far where I got exposed to his son.
That’s what’s keeping me awake at night. I think about the situation and ask myself what I’d gotten myself into.
Richmond will call me on the phone and talk to me as a friend who wants to share my troubles with me. He would ask about my day and ask if there was something he could do to make things better. His dad on the other hand doesn’t care about me that much. He talks to me only when we are at work or when we travel. When he travels alone, I won’t hear of him until I see him in the office.
I’m not comparing. I knew it from the start before I got myself involved. I know somehow I can’t have Richmond. It will take a miracle for us to have something that leads anywhere but I can’t stop thinking about him.
Somedays, I feel like I should tell Richmond the truth and see how he would handle it. He sounds like someone who can handle the truth very well but you won’t know people deeply until you test their character.
I’ve Thought About How To Blame God
I’m confused. The road ahead of this thing looks bleak but I wish I could have a fighting chance. No, his father isn’t married. He has been single since his wife died five years ago. He won’t marry me that’s for sure. I wouldn’t marry him if he asked me. But Richmond, I would do it without a blink. What should I do? Please help.