The next morning, I arrived at the office intending to grab a coffee to start my day. As I approached the coffee machine, I overheard Janine and Sarah talking animatedly about Janine’s upcoming wedding. Curious, I lingered a bit to listen.

“You’ll love the reception, Sarah. We’re going to have traditional Greek dancing and food,” Janine said with excitement.

I was shocked when Janine turned to me and said, “Oh, you’re going to have such a great time!”

“Wait, what? We?” I stammered, genuinely surprised. “I thought I wasn’t even invited.”

Janine looked puzzled. “Of course, you’re invited! I haven’t changed anything from the invitation list. Everything is going according to plan.”

“Really?” I replied, still in disbelief.

“Yes! It’s going to be a big Greek wedding with my whole family flying in to meet their new son-in-law,” Janine continued. “Jay’s invited too, along with most of our colleagues. Only Andrea and James won’t be coming—Andrea’s leaving for her cruise and who knows what James is up to.”

I nodded, trying to process this new information. Still not entirely convinced I had been invited, I made my way back to my desk and started looking through my papers, searching for any sign of an invitation I might have missed.

As I rifled through the papers, I opened my desk drawer too quickly, and it spilled its contents all over the floor. Snacks, office supplies, and a few personal items scattered everywhere. I sighed, dropping to my knees to start picking up the mess.

First, I found a half-eaten granola bar, slightly crushed but still edible. Next to it was a stress ball in the shape of a smiling sun, which had definitely seen better days. As I continued to gather the scattered items, I scooped a forgotten tube of lip balm, a keychain from a long-ago vacation, and a few stray hair ties.

Then, I came across a small stack of sticky notes with various doodles and reminders scribbled on them. Among the more mundane items, I found an old movie ticket stub and a tiny bottle of hand sanitizer. I chuckled at the eclectic mix of things I had accumulated in my desk drawer.

As I reached the bottom of the pile, I finally found what I had been looking for: Janine’s wedding invitation. It was slightly crumpled but still intact. I smoothed it out and read through the details, feeling a bit silly for not realizing I had been invited all along.

Just as I was about to put everything back in order, Jay walked by and noticed the chaos. He knelt down beside me to help. “Desk drawer disaster, huh?” he said with a grin.

“Yeah, just my luck,” I replied, feeling a mix of embarrassment and gratitude.

Jay picked up the stress ball and handed it to me and made a light-hearted comment about it. “A stress ball? I bet this gets a lot of use.”

“You have no idea,” I said, smiling.

Finally, we had everything back in order. He glanced at the invitation in my hand. “By the way, Janine’s wedding is in a few days. Should be fun, right?”

“Yeah, apparently I am,” I said, still a bit bewildered. “Guess I need to find something to wear.”

Jay smiled. “Same here. I need to go shopping too. Maybe you could help me pick something out? And who knows, maybe you can start paying off my debt for all the troubles I’ve helped you out of.”

I laughed, feeling a warm blush rise to my cheeks. “I’d be happy to help. We can make a day of it.”

“Great,” Jay said with a grin. “Just let me know when you’re free.”

As we stood there, a sense of panic washed over me. Going shopping always gave me anxiety. I never felt like I could find something appropriate to wear, and just the thought of going with Jay made me feel like I was on the verge of a panic attack.

Jay seemed to sense my hesitation. “Hey, are you okay?” he asked, his tone gentle.

I took a deep breath, trying to steady myself. “It’s just… shopping can be stressful for me. I always feel like I can’t find anything that looks right, and now with Janine’s wedding coming up, it’s even more overwhelming.”

Jay’s expression softened, and he gave me a reassuring smile. “I get it. Shopping can be a nightmare. But we’ll make it fun. We can take our time, no pressure. And if you don’t find anything you like, we can try another place. Plus, I could use your fashion sense.”

His words helped to calm my nerves a bit. I nodded, trying to focus on the positive. “Okay, we can give it a try. But if I start to panic, promise you won’t judge me?”

“Promise,” Jay said, holding up his hand as if taking an oath. “And if it gets too much, we can always take a break and grab a coffee or something.”

I smiled, feeling a little more at ease. “Alright, let’s do it then. When are you free?”

“How about tomorrow after work?” Jay suggested. “We can hit a few stores and see what we find.”

“Sounds good,” I agreed, feeling a mix of excitement and apprehension. “Thanks, Jay. I appreciate your help.”

“Anytime,” he replied with a grin. “Remember, it’s just shopping. We’ll get through it together.”

As I went back to my desk, I tried to focus on the tasks at hand, but my mind kept drifting back to the upcoming shopping trip. Despite my anxiety, there was a small part of me that was looking forward to spending more time with Jay. Maybe, this could turn out to be a positive experience after all.

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