“I gotcha!” he thought, watching her figuring she was older than he. Since turning twenty he’d enjoyed a decade of women vying for his attention. He was habituated to pockets filled with phone numbers.
She dawdled along alone preoccupied and when he ‘bumped’ into her, she said, “Excuse me.”
Except this was no accident and he maneuvered immaculately, “I have been looking for you!”
He threw her confusion into confetti until she was in his sway. As in most cases, while the beholder was awestruck by his cherubin glow, countenances slackened suspicious eyes, incurring self-conscious smiles. He was confident he had her.
He fell in step and made sure to entertain, to focus on her. When she mentioned a project he pounced.
“You deserve me,” he soothed.
She tittered but kept her claws retracted.
With the project concluded she was done with him. He was flirtatious, that being his currency, but inexperienced with rejection. For a while he enjoyed it, if only for the novelty, the challenge.
He felt her unspoken sentiments but he couldn’t make sense of them. They didn’t fit the narrative so he didn’t question. A mistake. But to him it was a mathematical impossibility that she was not besotted.
With the windfall of cash he’d earned he bought a toy. He loved this toy. He fussed with it and messed with it and showed it off to all his friends. Their envy was his joy.
She disconnected from him, and he didn’t care, he had already moved on. This was his modus operandi, a redistribution of the callousness he’d suffered as a child, but that, as I often say, is another story.
One day she happened upon his toy. It was unattended. With her claws out glinting like swords she aimed a hefty rock and smashed the toy to fragments. “I saw you coming!” she laughed and carried on along her path.
Careful what you play with.