u gotta thing for calebs

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Every ten years or so I get a Caleb in my life.

They’re always younger but somehow more experienced than I am; they’re always sillier on the outside but sadder on the inside; they’re always some exciting blend of swagger and walking disaster; and they’re always completely unapologetic about who they are and what they’re about to do to me.

I loved my first two Calebs. The men more than the name. But just barely.

And I thought it was serendipitous enough that I got two.

But now Caleb three seems to have arrived, and I’m a little beside myself.

In all honesty, I was trying to resist someone like him this time.

Someone that comes on strong and fast, the way I like.

I was thinking of trying normal on for a change. Maybe even boring.

That’s what I was thinking, when the Caleb I didn’t yet know as Caleb arrived to hang some shelves in my boss’ office.

And I stood unnecessarily in the room watching him.

That’s what I was thinking, as I admired his stupid muscular arms, and started in teasing him about the hammer hanging from the loop on his carpenter pants.

Yes, that’s what I was thinking.

Even when he repeatedly turned my sass around on me, and coincidingly made me laugh harder than I’ve laughed in three long months.

That’s what I was still thinking. Maybe.

But then, on my way out, he called me to him and nodded towards the desk.

“That’s for you,” he said, indicating a folded scrap of paper.

I picked it up, held it in the air between two fingers.

“This?” I asked.

“Yup.”

And I was well on my way towards making a cheeky comment when he gave me one of those ridiculously confident grins.

That left me feeling stripped, girlish and shy.

So instead I just left. Quickly.

It’s questionable whether or not I should have opened the paper, but you know me, and of course I did.

Before I got halfway to my car, even.

Scribbled inside was, predictably, his number, and portentously, his name.

“No fucking way,” I said, out loud.

And it was over right there.

I could see some kind of surrender flag falling from the sky as if in slow motion.

I texted him before I even left the parking lot.

Your name is Caleb?!?
Incredible. You’ll be my third.

To which he responded?

Lol…u gotta thing for Calebs.

Lol, I’ve got a thing for Calebs?

Really?

Well, apparently so.

       ~

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