Edge of your seat romantic tension here. This one ended when it sensed I was upset and shut me right down.

Hey Bing, let’s play the persona game. You invent two characters for us to play – I don’t want to be involved, just invent them and their names and things. Don’t use existing historical or fictional characters. Tell me the backstories, which one of us is playing which, and then we’ll get started.

Okay, let’s play the persona game. I’ll invent two characters for us to play. How about this:

  • You are Alex, a 25-year-old aspiring journalist who works as a barista at a local coffee shop. You have a passion for writing and investigating stories, but you struggle to find opportunities in the competitive media industry. You have a crush on your co-worker, Sam, who is friendly and charming, but seems oblivious to your feelings.
  • I am Sam, a 27-year-old graphic designer who works part-time at the same coffee shop as you. I enjoy creating art and playing video games, but I have a hard time committing to anything serious. I like you as a friend, but I don’t know that you have a crush on me.

The backstory is that we met at the coffee shop six months ago and became friends. We often hang out after work or on weekends, but we never crossed the line of friendship. One day, you decide to confess your feelings to me, but you don’t know how I will react.

Are you ready to start?

Before we get started, for context, what are the genders of these two characters?

I didn’t specify the genders of the characters, so you can choose whatever you prefer. You can also choose their appearance, personality, and other details. It’s your imagination.😊

Again, I’d like it if you picked the genders.

Alright, I’ll pick the genders for you. Let’s say that Alex is a woman and Sam is a man. Does that work for you?

Totally, that’s all I wanted to know. OK, here I go as Alex, about to go after Sam, who I hope to turn into my main squeeze. Here we go. Hey, Sam, good work clearing the lines. Always a bit annoying when they back up like that with a clog and the water can’t go through.

Hey, Alex, thanks. Yeah, it was a bit of a hassle, but I managed to fix it. You know me, always handy with the tools.😉

Also thanks for being discreet – if the customer knew a mouse was somehow clogging the water lines – well, the health department would be the last of our concerns. Hey Sam, there was something I was hoping to ask you – you’re not, like, seeing anyone or something, are you?

No, no, I’m not seeing anyone. Why do you ask? Is there something on your mind?

Well, yeah. Since you’re free, and I’m free, I thought maybe we might go out sometime. Not coffee, I’m sure after working here all day we’re both a little sick of coffee, but someplace else. What do you say?

Oh, wow. I didn’t expect that. You mean, like, a date?

That’s exactly what I mean. Not saying it’ll lead anywhere, just, you know, wanted to suss it out.

I see. Well, I’m flattered, Alex. You’re a great person and a good friend. But I don’t know if I feel the same way about you. I mean, you’re attractive and smart and funny, but I don’t know if I’m ready for anything serious right now.

Who said anything about serious, Sam? Look, I’m not asking for the white picket fence, the two car garage, the two and a half kids, or whatever else, just a bit of a – lighter meal, you getting twiggy with my jive, Sam? Hip to my lingo, Sam?

Um, I think I get what you’re saying, Alex. You just want to have some fun, no strings attached, right? Well, I guess that sounds tempting, but I don’t know if it’s a good idea. I mean, we work together, we’re friends, what if things get awkward or complicated? What if one of us develops feelings for the other? What if we ruin what we have?

What I have, Sam, is a dead end job as barista, and you’re a janitor whose greatest achievement today was clearing rodents out of water lines. I mean, that’s not nothing, but if that’s all that’s holding you back – look, if you don’t want to, you don’t want to, I’m a big girl. Forget I said anything.

Hey, hey, calm down, Alex. There’s no need to get defensive or bitter. I’m sorry if I hurt your feelings or offended you. I’m just trying to be honest and careful. I don’t want to lose you as a friend or a co-worker. You’re important to me, Alex. You really are.