I was alone my entire life. I mean, not literally alone. Of course I had friends, I had family, all that kind of stuff. What I didn’t have was a girlfriend. And the more the years went on, the more and more I grew more bitter and cynical every time Valentine’s Day rolled around. People would always tell me “The right girl will find you eventually” or “They’re just too shy to talk to you/Honest, you’re an Adonis/And you’re pretty clever too.” Okay, the second line was actually a couple of phrases from a song called “The Effect I Have on Women” by Spring Breakup, but you get the picture.
And a year ago that changed.
I was lying in my bed, tossing and turning. It was a hot summer night, and the air conditioning in my apartment had broken down. I was sweating like crazy even stripped down to just a pair of boxer shorts, and I was not very comfortable. I would sporadically turn to look at the clock, only to find out that a few minutes had passed each time. This night was going to be an eternity.
Well, it might have been, had I not glimpsed someone else in my room. When I opened my eyes for the umpteenth time, I saw something behind my digital alarm clock. I couldn’t make out any clear details on this person (or what I assumed to be a person). I wanted to go turn the light on at the very least, but I was a little too petrified. I assumed the worst, that this person/being was going to kill me. It didn’t. As if reading my thoughts, the creature swept away from the clock and flicked the light on.
“What the fuck?” I said. I was so glad I didn’t live with roommates at that point. I was sure someone would have noticed this thing if not me. “Who the fuck are you?” Rather than be intimidating, though, I threw myself under the sheet, suddenly realizing that I was almost naked in the presence of… A guy who looked remarkably human. He was dressed in clothing that seemed to be reminiscent of Clash of the Titans. It was a white robe (I don’t want to say toga) that left both arms bare, and covered three quarters of his chest. The bottom of the robe went to a bit past his knees, and on his feet he wore sandals. He had curly, blonde hair and green eyes that I felt were gazing into my soul.
I say the guy looked “remarkably human” because there’s no way a human could move the way he moved. He didn’t walk so much as slide across the floor. The guy/whatever smiled.
“Well?” I was insisting now, but I still wasn’t appearing the least bit threatening. Considering this guy could float across the room I imagined he could do a lot more than that. I don’t know why I thought hiding in my blanket would make this any less surreal.
Look, I’m only here to help you out. His lips didn’t move. I could hear his voice inside my head, as though I had put on headphones. And yes, I can read your thoughts. So you can think whatever you want to say to me, or talk if it’s more comfortable.
“I feel more comfortable forming words with my mouth,” I said.
“Okay, so what the hell are you and why are you here?”
Well, I’m a deity from… well, it’s hard to describe. A mountain. A mountain that no mere human can ever see or access.
The guy smacked his forehead. He wasn’t human, but he was aware of the facepalm. Curious. No, not Mount Olympus. Don’t worry about what it’s called. Just know that I have powers beyond what any of you could call normal, and I’m here to help you out. I understand you’ve been kind of lonely.
“Not–” I stopped. “Okay, yes, I am extremely lonely. I don’t have the best luck with women. None at all, actually.”
I’m glad you admitted that. Other people I helped usually don’t admit to their faults so quickly. Alright, well, I’ll be plain and simple. I’m going to make a woman fall in love with you.
“Oh, I know where this is going,” I said. “Let me guess. But it will only happen for one day? I’ll turn into a pumpkin if I don’t get a kiss from her? She won’t be a real woman? It’ll all be a dream?”
The guy facepalmed again. No, no, no, nothing like that. Why do all of you people think there’s some kind of heavy price to pay for everything?
“Exactly who are you calling you people?” I challenged. Then I stopped. I must have thought what am I doing? because the guy stopped frowning and waited for my answer to his question. “Well, I guess we humans think, based on science fiction, TV and movies, that everything that good comes with a price.”
Oh, so that’s it. Okay, well, I’m happy to tell you that nothing like that is going to happen. Well, I mean, I guess there’s one little thing. If you’re ethically okay with transforming the feelings of someone who may not otherwise have romantic interest in you.
“Pfft,” was my quick response. “Is that all? No problem with that at all!”
The guy/thing blinked. Alrighty then. Since you have no objections, now all you have to do is name and describe the woman, and come the morning, she’ll be in love with you the moment she sees you.
“Oh, now I see the catch. I’ll end up describing her wrong and then some random woman I’ve never met will fall in love with me.”
WILL YOU BE QUIET? Even though he was speaking in my head I knew he was yelling. Just describe her and name her. Using some basic magic, I’ll make her likeness appear in front of you before you choose for sure. Okay?
“Sounds like a deal,” I said. “Her name’s Candice Nayman. She’s tall, a brunette, with brown, almost black eyes. She usually dresses well and happens to work at the Herald offices were I work. She’s a reporter, just like I am.”
Thanks for being specific. Sometimes i get these really vague descriptions and it takes hours to finally find the woman some other guys describe. Okay, give me a moment… He closed his eyes. Then he waved his hands. In front of me stood Candice Nayman.
“Holy shit,” I said. “Candice?”
I told you it’s just a likeness, don’t you listen? Watch. He glided over to her and put his arm through her. She was basically a hologram. So this is her?
“Oh yeah,” I said. “I’ve had a crush on her for as long as I’ve worked at the paper. But I’ve never been able to work up the courage to talk to her.”
Whatever. My work here is done. Enjoy.
I could swear I heard him utter (in my heads) the word “pathetic” as he left, but those could have very well been my own thoughts. Having failed to actually ask a woman out in real life, I had been helped along to love. When the morning rolled around, it was time to reap the awards.
(to be continued tomorrow)