Wednesday, October 14, 2009



            Tatiana bumped in to a man she’d known before. She knew him from way back in high school and he was crazy about her, but she broke his heart. We’ll get into the details later, the point is, sheknew this fact. She knew that she had broken his heart.

            Now, the kid had been on the chubby side twelve years before, but now he was lean and handsome, wearing a nice suit. It took him a second to recognize Tatiana back, but she could tell when he did. She couldn’t believe how nice he looked; he was always a bit of a mess in high school.

            They stood in the middle of the supermarket and talked for a few minutes. He was in advertising, and apparently had some pretty big clients. She blushed as she admitted she was a cashier at the Walmart down the street. He smiled. “No harm in that, surely you have a man that takes care of you?”

            Immediately a man came to mind, a man she had been with as recently as the previous night, but she answered no.

            “Awe, that’s too bad. Hey, we should go out sometime–here’s my number.”

            She looked down at the card and smiled. She wrote her own down on a scrap of paper she found in her purse. He glanced at it, smirked, said goodbye and walked away. Tatiana felt her stomach do flip-flops.

            Over the next few days, the feeling continued. She called up her closest female friends as soon as she got home to tell them the story. Every single girl got the same story: Extra! Extra! Read all about it! Formerly fat high school dweeb returns as Prince Charming! Sweeps Princess Tatiana off her feet in supermarket! Extra! Extra!

            It took the man three days to call her, but she wasn’t upset. Turns out he had been in Los Angeles but was coming back to Boston to meet with a few people in a week. “Interested?” he asked her. “Yes!” she said, barely containing her excitement.

            The day came, and she looked stunning. A few of her girls had come over to help with her hair, and she spent money she didn’t have on a new dress.

            The date went marvelous. He spoke confidently, talked a lot but not too much, and genuinely seemed interested in everything she had to say. When the subject of sex came up, the look on his face changed. “I don’t want to move to fast, to be honest. I’m still kinda hurting from my last relationship, really. I just want to spend time with you, and you know, get re-acquainted.”

            Two hours later they were making out in his (very nice, very expensive) car.

            He flew to Chicago and she didn’t hear from him for another four days. She was starting to get worried when he called and asked if she was busy that night. She had become so desperate for human contact by that point that she had called up her ex, but she promptly canceled. They ate sushi and went walking through the park. They made out by an old fountain and he got under her shirt.

            And so it evolved this way: He would call her up out of the blue, treat her to an amazing evening, and disappear for a few days. Just when she started to lose hope, he would reappear, and she would be happy for the time being. This lasted for about a month...

            “Where do you go?” she asked out of the blue.

            “Hm-what?” he replied, mouth full of food.

            “Where do you go when you leave? You’re always in LA, or Chicago, or Seattle, or some big city. I feel like I don’t even know the real you. You just come and go like, like, like, like the weather!” It was at this precise moment, that she realized she felt strongly enough about this to cry.

            “Babe, I, uh,” he said, as her crying got louder, “no, babe, don’t.” People began to stare. The classical music faded out.

            “I feel like you’re using me!” she said, and shot up. She took off like a rocket, and he jumped up after her. She made it all the way to the lobby before he put his hand on her shoulder and spun her around.

            “Hun, what’s the matter?”

            “Don’t give me that! You know what the matter is! What are we?”

            He hesitated.

            She reiterated. “What are we, you better tell me right now, Fenton Niles.”

            Fenton looked at her and smiled. “I’m someone that is falling for you, and you are a beautiful girl that I’ve been treating poorly.”

            Things changed after that night. He started texting her from various places. Sending her pictures of all the cool things he’d see. He would call more often and they would have long conversations. She began to feel comfortable referring to him as her boyfriend, and her heart would always skip a beat when the phone rang.

            Finally, about two months after the incident, he came over. They drank wine, they laughed, they made out. Finally, he looked at her and said, “I’m ready.”

            They started on the couch. She had been waiting for this moment. He pulled off her top, and his hand shot right down to her pants. Those came off quickly. They stood up, making their way towards the bedroom. It’s like a movie, she thought. This is my Prince Charming. This is my Mr. Right.

            They had sex, and it was good. They stayed awake after, talking, and did it two more times before she drifted asleep in his arms. She fell asleep so very, very happy that night...

            When she awoke, he was gone. She was hurt, but she wasn’t completely surprised either. Something felt wrong, though.

            She walked into her livingroom. Something was off. She looked around, seeing if furniture had been moved. Nothing that she could see. Then she looked to the mantle, and it hit her. The flower he had given her on their second date was gone. Also, there was a framed picture of the two of them that was missing. She went to her jewelry drawer; a pair of earrings had disappeared. Every little trinket, every token of their young relationship was MIA.

            She called his phone, but the number was out of service. She googled his name but nothing relevant came up; just superficial information and pictures of different bands he had promoted. He didn’t have a Facebook or a MySpace profile. She realized that he had never told her his home address or the place he worked, or which of the big cities he was always flying off to was his home.

            She couldn’t think of anything else to do, so she cried. She cried and she shut down, her heart irreparably damaged.

            Just like she did to me. Her heart was broken just like mine was twelve years ago. Except, I had the last laugh.

            My name is Fenton Niles, and Tatiana was #2 on my list.

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