Walking out of the bathroom, I put my game face on and returned to my desk where Richard was waiting.
“Are you ready?” he asked.
“Sure. Let me grab my purse.” I shot him a look telling him that he was in my way. He stepped aside with a smile on his face and I grabbed my purse.
“Where would you like to go?” he asked as we headed for the exit.
“You invited me, should you have an idea?” OK, I was being a little extra, but if I made him not like me, then I could deal with working with him, right? Slipping my hand into my purse, I retrieved my sunglasses and put them on.
“You’re a touch chick or at least that what you want people to believe, huh?”
“This attitude you’re giving me, for no reason I might add.”
“I’m not giving you attitude. But I do have to say, I’m a little perturbed that someone upstairs feels that I need a partner when I’ve been doing research projects like this—alone—for years.”
“I’m the one pushing for the partnership. It’s not an indictment against your work.”
I fought the urge to snort. As much as I hated to admit that he was right, I did try to be a tough girl at work. I didn’t like to get help from a coworker or share the glory. In my last evaluation, Perry did say I wasn’t a team player. Not that I changed anything. Glancing at Richard, I decided that maybe I needed to stop acting like the “tough girl.”
“Do you like Chinese?” I asked.
“I do. As a matter of fact, I know a great place. Are we taking separate cars or do you want me to drive?”
I sucked my teeth and said, “Why don’t I be nice and drive?”
“What?” He placed his hand on his chest as if he was Fred Sanford threatening to join Elizabeth. “Not you. Being nice.”
“Don’t believe the office grapevine, I’m the nicest person you’ve met in the last five minutes.” Oh snap, I was flirting. This was going to be bad. I knew I should’ve eaten my turkey sandwich at my desk.