The apartment was covered in drawing paper taped to the walls. In what looked like children’s handwriting, the words “Don’t give up” lined the room.
“Want a pair of my cowboy pants?”
These words broke me from my daze.
“Oh, um, sure?”
He guided me into his barren spare room that had only a tool bench and a closet full of jeans.
“I think we’re the same size. You can borrow them anytime.”
“Oh, ok. Thanks.”
We sat down on his couch and he picked up his guitar. I couldn’t look at him anymore. He was winning me over, so I tried to keep my focus on a used piece of floss lying on the coffee table.
I didn’t want him to get under my skin. For all I knew, this was all an act.
Lauren, just keep reminding yourself that he did it, whether it’s true or not.
Before I left that afternoon, I asked him what he had done for Thanksgiving that week.
“Oh, it was Thanksgiving? I bought a chicken from Gelson’s and drove up to Ojai and ate it in the woods.”
I smiled and patted him on the arm.
As I left, he said,”Maybe we can go out to dinner sometime? Grab a drink?”
That evening I went to a bar with friends. I had recently gone through a sort-of break-up of a sort-of relationship. That sort-of ex-boyfriend was there. I had had a few drinks and found myself slowly slipping into a funk. I wanted to call Mr. W.
Lauren, what is the matter with you? This man is not your friend! This man is quite possibly a murderer!
I fought the temptation. I knew something was happening. I began to care for this person and I had to nip it in the bud.
The next day I dropped by Mr. W’s unexpectantly and he was taken aback. He commented on the fact that he doesn’t like surprise guests. I shrugged it off and handed him an invitation to my party. On the back, I wrote, “Mr. W, it’s been a pleasure getting to know you. It means a lot that you trust me and brought me into your home. You’ve become sort of a mentor so please don’t ever it on me. Haha. Sincerely, Lauren”.
Needless to say, he didn’t come to the party. I never heard from Mr. W again. I called him a few times to see if he needed anything. I left him a message on Chirstmas Eve. I knew I must had offended him, but I had no choice. I couldn’t let my guard down. Not with this one. He was fire and I knew better.
Sometimes I think of Mr. W.
I wonder how he is doing and get the urge to call him. I pick up the phone and force myself to remember who I am dealing with.
Lauren, he’s not the man you saw up on the screen.