“You don’t have to sound so surprised,” I say.
I’m joking but deep down, I am pleased that he likes my work. I’m pleased because he is my boss, but more than that, I’m pleased because I want him to love everything about me like I love everything about him, and my designs are a big part of who I am.
“I’m not surprised at all,” Tyler says. “Not after working with you on our last big project.”
I flash him a smile and turn back to my drawing for a moment, stroking a few pencil marks onto it, before turning back to Tyler with a questioning frown.
“Sorry, you obviously came here for a reason. What’s up?” I ask.
“Oh Angela, my sister, she’s having a barbecue on Saturday. My parents will be there too. I wondered if you would like to go and meet them,” he says.
I nod my head slowly and then I smile.
“Yes, I’d love to go, thank you,” I say. My smile widens. “I want to see all the baby pictures your mom wants to show and hear all the embarrassing stories Angela has about you.”
“That’s not fair. Your mom didn’t get baby pictures out when I met your parents,” Tyler says.
“Ah that’s true, but that’s because you didn’t think to ask her to,” I say laughing.
“Well damn,” Tyler says, also laughing. “I can’t even uninvite you now because if Angela finds out, she’ll kill me.”
We laugh for a moment longer and then I look at Tyler, serious now.
“Seriously though, it will be good to meet your parents and your sister,” I say.
“I think you’ll like them, especially Angela and Mia,” he says.
“Mia?” I prompt.
“Oh. My niece, Angela’s little one,” he says. “I’m her favorite uncle. And it’s not just because I’m her only uncle.”
I laugh at that. I feel a bit nervous at the thought of meeting Tyler’s family but if they’re all as laid back as him, I’m sure we’ll all get along. I just hope they like me.
“We’ll sort out the details later,” Tyler says. “I just wanted to let Angela know one way or the other because she wants to start getting some of the stuff today. So, I can tell her we’re definite yeses?”
“Yeah,” I say.
“Cool, see you later,” Tyler says.
He leaves my office and I look back down at my work. He has barely been gone for twenty seconds and he’s back again. I look up and smile, wondering what he’s forgotten but it’s not Tyler that’s standing in my office door, it’s Camille, one of the architects who came over with Tyler and Jack. I have spoken to her a few times, and she seems nice enough, but I wouldn’t say I know her well.
“Everything ok?” I say, because she is just standing there and not coming in or speaking.
She nods and then she does come in and she pushes the door closed behind her. Ok, that’s a bit weird, I think to myself, but I let it go. She might want to talk about something private, although I can’t imagine what that might be considering how little we know each other.
“So, you and Tyler huh?” she says. I am genuinely confused for a second and she rolls her eyes. “You can drop the act. I just heard you two making plans for a lovely barbecue with his sister and his niece and his parents.”
“Oh. That,” I say.
“Yes, that,” Camille says.
“Tyler and I are in a relationship. It doesn’t affect work, so we generally don’t feel the need to announce it around the office,” I say.
“Fair enough,” Camille says. By now, she’s moved to sit down opposite me. “I wouldn’t want to announce something like that either. I couldn’t be bothered with everyone talking about me. Especially the ones laughing at me. Or worse, the ones pitying me.”
“And why would they be laughing at me or pitying me?” I ask with a raised eyebrow.
“Oh, you know, with Tyler being such a player. But I can see a difference in him. I think he’s really into you so if anyone can tame him, I reckon it’s you,” Camille says.