Finally, the event at the university Alyssa worked at was over and she gingerly slipped into her brown coat, slinging the fluffy blue and white scarf around her. She imagined putting her feet up on her couch and sipping a nice cup of tea before getting to bed.
Opening the door of the conference centre, she realised that it had started drizzling during the course of the evening. Pausing, she took a deep breath and then stepped outside into the crisp fall night and enjoying the light mist on her face. Walking through the dark streets, she let each detail of the event go through her mind, making mental notes on items to follow up the next morning at work and to prepare the post mortem for her meeting with her director.
Deep in thought, Alyssa did not notice that one of the guests of the congress had called out to catch her attention and jogged over to catch up with her. When she finally heard her name, Alyssa glanced over her shoulder. She saw this Mike/Martin or Marvin guy jog toward her, his open coat billowing out behind him. What the heck was his name again? She remembered that they had been introduced and she had briefly talked to him, before finding an excuse to get away. Conceited, that was it, Alyssa thought. That’s what she didn’t like about him.
Mike, or something like that, was impeccably dressed in his navy blue suit, light blue dress shirt and purple tie. His shoes were reflecting the street lamps on the side of the road.
‘Ugg, he is trying too hard. NO, his name is Marvin, right,’ she mused. Marvin, ticked none of Alyssa’s boxes for attractive men. He was an average looking guy, thin hair and being too concerned with his appearance. But worst of all he had a beard. For the life of her, Alyssa could not explain what it was with beards that she did not like. It was an instant turn off for her. Aside from that, this guy had this condescending tone when the two of them spoke.
Slightly panting, Martin reached Alyssa. “Alyssa, Alyssa, wait! Did you not hear me calling out for you? I called three times. I wanted to ask you if I could walk you offer a ride home? But now I see you are walking. I..”
“Oh no, that is really not necessary,” interjected Alyssa. “I quite enjoy the walk right now. Good time to relax after this long day, right?” Alyssa fidgeted and picked up her speed a bit. Feeling the need to be polite she added, “did you enjoy the congress?”
“Oh yes, I did. It was a nice enough event. Would you mind if I walked you home? I had really hoped we could have chatted a little bit longer earlier at your organization’s booth. Too bad your manager sent you on an errand, right?”
Did he just wink at her? How do I get rid of him?’ Alyssa thought. “Oh no, that is quite alright. As I said, good time to wind down. And..”
“Listen, Alyssa,” Mike interrupted. “I was wondering if you wanted to go for a drink tonight or maybe sometime this week. I thought we had instantly clicked earlier and I wanted to get to know you a bit better. ”
“Uhm, really? Oh. Thanks. I am just really busy right now and simply exhausted at the end of the day. Sorry.”
“But what about the weekend? That would work better, right? I know this really nice restaurant in downtown with live music on the weekends,” Mike trailed off.
‘Self-confident much, huh?’ thought Alyssa. ‘He did not get the hint. Not one bit.’
“Sorry, it was Michael, right? I am sorry, this was a crazy night and I didn’t catch your name right.”
“Yes, yes, you were right. Michael it is. But my friends call me Mike,” Mike smiled at her.
“So Mike, sorry, that was nice of you, but I really have to get going now. It’s late. I don’t even know you. It was nice to meet you. Have a good night.” Alyssa tried to hurry away, but Mike caught her wrist and swung her back around. “Alyssa wait. I, …”
Alyssa snapped “Hey, let me go!” she snatched her hand back. “Take your hands off me.” I said no, did you not get the hint?”
As few passers by started noticing their conversation, Mike let go of Alyssa’s hand. “Sorry, I didn’t mean to frighten you. I just want to walk you home and…”
“No Mike, sorry!” Alyssa remarked sharply. I’ll be fine by myself. Good night.” Without awaiting his reply she hastily ran away and caught up with other people walking down the road. At an intersection, Alyssa hopped onto the next bus and when the doors had closed she fell into the next empty seat, her heart pounding.