The Strangest Compliment: Episode One

In this episode, I witnessed an old man give one of the strangest compliments I ever heard to a female coworker of mine. It was compliment that had me dying of laughter, and it really made my day. I remember the old man trying to explain his rationale to me, but the damage had been done. The compliment he gave was weird, off the wall and a little creepy. It’s a compliment that one should never use on a woman, especially a young woman. It’s a compliment that all men should stay away from. Let me tell you all about it.

Back when I was working at Sheetz, I remember that I was coming in for my usual 6am-2pm shift. It was a Friday, and I was somewhat in the mood to work with only four hours of sleep. I came in at 5:59, and I saw this new female coworker of mine behind the counter. Her name was Fate, and it was her third day on the job. She was a gorgeous, attractive, young woman, and she was a very optimistic and happy person at Sheetz. I enjoyed working with her all of the time. It was always fun and cool working with her. She would always make me laugh, and I would always make her laugh too, and we just had a really good vibe. It also helped that she was black too. It was nice that another person of color was working at Sheetz, and I didn’t feel so alone.

I walk inside, see Fate behind the counter and say hi to her. She gives me a big smile and says hi back to me. One of my other coworkers, Sara, noticed my interaction with Fate. I put my head back and sighed because I knew what was coming. I went to the backroom, clocked in and saw Sara. I said hi to her, and she gave me a big smile. I chuckled and said, “What is it, Sara?”

“The new girl is kinda cute, huh,” Sara said.

I laughed and replied, “Yeah, she’s cute, I can’t deny it.”

“So, when’s the biggest flirt in the store gonna get her number?”

I laughed and said, “Sara, I’m not a flirt. I’m just friendly, that’s all. I am not flirtatious in any way.”

“Whatever makes you sleep at night, flirt, just go out there and work your magic,” Sara replied.

I just laughed and shook my head. Before I could say anything, Sara left and went to the kitchen. I grabbed my headset and went to the front where Fate was stationed. There was a little line formed to the register, so I wasn’t too concerned with taking care of it by myself. I went to an open register and started ringing customers’ items. I saw that Fate was almost finished with a customer, so I said, “Hey Fate, after that customer, you’re good to go, I can take care of this line myself.”

“Wow, you’re so eager to push me away, I thought we had something special,” Fate joked.

I laughed and replied, “Nah, we don’t, it’s about time for you to go and get the steppin.”

We both laughed, and she said, “You’re so silly, but I have to help you with this line.”

I didn’t object because if she wanted to stay, then that was her prerogative. If the situations were reversed, I would’ve been gone already. Her shift was over, and there was no reason for her to stay and help me out. At the same time, it was sweet of her to stay with me and bring down the line.

Anyways, I was ringing up a customer when this old, black man was at Fate’s register. He was in his late 40s, early 50s. He was a regular customer that would come in Monday-Friday in the morning before he had to go to work. However, he was at Sheetz earlier than usual. I wondered why he was at Sheetz, but then it was revealed. He looked at her and said, “My oh my, I heard about you but you looking even better in person. How you doing?”

Of course, he came for Fate. I was nervous because I didn’t what this old man was about to say to Fate, but I knew that it was going to be something crazy and off the wall. I just had a feeling.

Fate gave a nervous chuckle and said, “Oh wow, I’m doing good, I’m just about to be—

I interrupted, “Fate, hurry up, we got a line forming, you gotta talk and work.”

I interrupted because I knew that Fate was about to tell him that she was about to be done with work. There was no reason for him to know that, especially with the fact that he came for her. The old man laughed and said, “Isaiah, she’s doing a fine, great job with me, you don’t have to worry about her.”

I chuckled and said alright. Then, he continued, ” By the way, you’re such a pretty, little thing. Isn’t she pretty, Isaiah?”

I nodded in agreeance and Fate thanked him for the compliment. Now, I thought that he was done after he said that. That would’ve been a good stopping point for him, but there was more. Yes, what he said next was a truly strange compliment. He said, “Now, are you sure that you’re old enough to work here at Sheetz? You don’t really look that old, but you’re looking  just as cute and pretty as a 12-year-old girl.”

My mouth was wide open when he said that. I was so confused and perplexed that I didn’t know what to do. I looked at Fate, and she had this horrified look on her face. I’ll admit that Fate did look young for her age but to call her a 12-year-old girl was kind of pushing it and a little bit more of an insult than a compliment. How was she going to respond? I wondered. She looked at him, gave a nervous smile and chuckled and asked him what did he mean by that. He explained, “Nah, I meant that you have this youthful look about you. You know what I mean? It’s like this, you look like you’re 16 years old. It’s a compliment to your youthful look, baby girl.”

I was trying so hard to keep my laughter, but it was so hard. I was in tears and just trying to keep it together. Then, Fate laughed and said, “I’m older than 16 years old, though. That’s kind of messed up that you think that I’m a child.”

“No, it ain’t even like that,” he said. The old man tried to plead his case, but he was failing miserably. He wanted me to help him out, but I couldn’t. I was trying to keep my composure because I had just heard the weirdest compliment I ever heard. Eventually, he ended up looking at his watch and realizing that he needed to go. He grabbed his things, looked at Fate and said, “I’ll see you around, baby girl. You doing an amazing job, don’t let Isaiah tell you otherwise.”

Once he left the building, I ended up just laughing like crazy. I was rolling. Fate smiled at my laughter and asked me what just happened. I ceased laughter, wiped the tears out of my eyes and said, “Clearly, he likes them young, my bad, real young with his old, pedophilic self. I can’t believe he compared you to a 12-year-old girl.”

We both ended up laughing, and she just couldn’t believe it herself. She said, “Yeah, it was so weird and creepy, I hope I don’t see him again.”

“Oh, you will. He likes you, and he’s trying to get to know you. These old men that come in here, are trying to get young, pretty girls that are employees here like you in any way they can. They think they can say or do whatever they want to you because you can’t run away from them. Ironically, they think you’re product in the store that they can own. It’s sad and pathetic, which is why you gotta be careful here, especially with the male customers. This place is toxic towards the women that work here, remember that.” I stated.

She understood, but she wondered what she was going to do about the old man. I replied, “Oh, that’s easy, all you gotta do is just tell him that you gotta boyfriend,” I responded.

Fate laughed and responded, “But that’s lying, Isaiah. Plus, maybe I won’t see him again.”

It’s true, she wouldn’t see him again. In fact, he would come in the very next day trying to find her. She wouldn’t be there, but I would be there. However, that’s another story. I just really wasn’t expecting such a strange compliment at Sheetz.

This is the end of “The Strangest Compliment: Episode One.”

Be sure to like, comment and share your thoughts on this short story. There are more episodes to come in this short story series “The Strangest Compliment.”

 

 

The Death of You

It’s frightening that I have murder on my mind.

I have to remind myself that I’m justified in killing you.

Please understand that I don’t want to do this.

Killing you is my worst nightmare.

I’ve always loved you and everything you’ve done for me.

You’re the reason for my Shawshank Redemption.

You’re the reason for my motivation to fight.

You’re the reason for my dedication to life.

Nevertheless, I have to end you.

 

I rely on you way too much.

You have failed me countless times.

You’re an ally that I can no longer afford to have by my side.

We’ve lost too many battles together in this great war called life.

The enemy is destroying us at will from all angles, yet you tell me to be patient.

You tell me to stay optimistic for help will be on the way.

You tell me to trust in you, and I trust in you.

 

Years later, we’re still losing the battles that you said we could win.

And you’re still telling me the same things.

How long can I continue this never ending cycle of losing?

How long must I show goodness and mercy to all of my enemies?

How long can I tolerate you?

 

I’m sorry that it had to come to this.

I never expected this day to come.

I thought that we would always be together.

I thought that you would always be my strength.

I thought that you would always be the one to comfort me.

I thought, and I was wrong.

 

The thought of killing you is madness.

I don’t want to lose you.

I didn’t think I could ever lose you.

Like dreams, nightmares do come true, too.

At the same time, circumstances have changed.

Killing you is a necessary evil.

 

I’m sorry that I have to do this.

I’m sorry that I have to betray you.

I’m sorry that I have to abandon you.

I’m sorry that I have to crucify you.

I’m sorry that I have to murder you.

Please, forgive me.

Please forgive me for the death of you.

 

 

 

 

 

Getting Condoms With A Friend

Last summer, my friend Marvin and I were working out at Planet Fitness. It was a Thursday, around 8:30 when we met up at the gym. We ran on the tread mill, worked on our stomach and arms. We ended up being done at 10:00. After we’re done working out, I remembered that I needed to get some water and bread from Walmart. I asked Marvin if he wanted to come to Walmart with me, and he said yeah sure. As we were walking to our cars, I joked, “Hey Marvin, while we’re at Walmart we should get some condoms.”

I laughed at my comment, and Marvin had this confused look on his face. He looked at me and said, “Oh my God, Isaiah. Why would we get condoms? There’s no reason for us to get condoms, bro.”

We both started chuckling, and I said, “You’re right, there’s no reason for us to get condoms. After all, I have so many anyways.”

Marvin stopped walking. I looked at him, and he had this shocked look on his face. I started laughing like crazy at his face, and he was yelling that this was not a laughing matter. He wanted an explanation. So, I chuckled and explained, “Yeah man, I got two in my wallet, four in my backpack, two in my jacket and two in my car. I may have a few at home, too. Other than that, I don’t have that many.”

Marvin exclaimed, “Oh my God, Isaiah. Why do you have so many condoms? There’s no reason for you to have that many condoms, considering you’re…you know…a…um…a…

“A what? Come on, say it with your chest. Don’t be scared,” I interrupted.

Marvin nervously said, “You’re…you know…a…um…virgin. And there’s nothing wrong…

“I know that there’s nothing wrong with being a virgin, thank you very much. Do you know how many girls have been trying to get with this irresistible, caramel body? I’m thankful and blessed to be a virgin, it’s nothing that I’m ashamed or embarrassed about, and you shouldn’t be either,” I said.

Marvin chuckled and said that I was right. Then, we went back to talking about me having condom. Marvin asked for proof of condoms that I had. I said okay, and I showed the two condoms in my wallet and the two in my jacket. Then, we went to my car, and I showed him the two condoms in my car. Unfortunately, I didn’t have my backpack and jacket with me, but the condoms that Marvin saw were enough evidence to him. He had this horrified look on his face, and he said, “Oh my God, Isaiah. Why do you have condoms in the first place? Are you talking to someone that I don’t know about or something, bro?”

I laughed and said, “Nah man, I ain’t talking to nobody. I mean, I hung out with that one girl and nothing crazy happened. I just have condoms for protection, and it’s nice to have them because you never know.”

“Oh my God, Isaiah. Wait, are you still trying to wait till marriage?” Marvin asked.

I told him that I was still trying, then he said, “Then, aren’t you more likely to have sex with a girl if you have a condom with you?”

I laughed and replied, “No because having a condom is like an emergency break for a car. You’re never gonna use it, but it’s good to have it with you. You’ll only use it in case of an emergency.”

Marvin didn’t understand my argument, and we kept going back and forth about me having a condom. We argued for five minutes, until we decided to agree to disagree. Then, I smiled and added, “Well, I think you should get some condoms at Walmart.”

Marvin asked why he would do such a thing. I said, “Well, aren’t you going to visit your girlfriend in Virginia this weekend? You don’t want to be unprepared when she’s ready to get it on and all.”

Marvin blushed and said, “Oh my God, Isaiah. You honestly think that me and Mary are gonna do it?

I chuckled and said, “Oh yeah, it’s very possible. I’m like 80% sure that y’all are gonna do it. You two haven’t seen each other in months, and it just wouldn’t surprise me if y’all did anything.”

He agreed with me, and I told him that it honestly wouldn’t hurt to get some condoms. Then, he looked at me and wondered if maybe he should try to wait like me. The thought of having sex made him nervous. He didn’t know if he was ready or prepared for something like that. I laughed and said, “Relax man. You’ll be fine. If it happens, it happens. If it doesn’t, it doesn’t. You just gotta go with the flow man. You love her, right?”

Marvin nodded his head, I shrugged my shoulders and said, “Well then, it wouldn’t hurt to be prepared just in case something does happen.”

My friend understood exactly what I was saying. We talked a little bit more, and we ended up walking to our cars and heading to Walmart.

When we made it to Walmart, we went in the grocery section, so that I could get some water and bread. After I got those things, Marvin and I headed to the other side of Walmart to get some condoms. As we were getting closer to the treasure, I noticed that Marvin was getting a little nervous. I asked him what was wrong, and he said, “It just feels weird getting condoms at Walmart. Like what if somebody sees us?”

I laughed and dramatically said, “Now that I think about it, we are very, very bad boys right now for getting condoms. I mean, these people in Walmart, who probably aren’t virgins themselves, will probably look at us with judgment and disgust. Why, they’ll be thinking to themselves, ‘Those boys are nasty. Getting condoms to have safe, protected sex. It makes me sick. How dare they consider it. Fornication makes me sick. Lord, please forgive these sinners for even considering getting condoms. I beg of you, Lord Jesus. I cannot believe what I am seeing with my unclean eyes. I am appalled at these heathens.'”

“Oh my God, Isaiah,” Marvin laughed.

Then, I continued, “Yeah, they just need to wait till marriage. That’s all they need to do. I mean, I didn’t do it, it was hard for me. It was a struggle, but they can’t know that it was hard for me too. They just need to know that it’s expected of them, and they can surely do it. They don’t need no condoms at all until they are married to their wife. And if one of them do decide to fornicate and shame a girl, well then she’ll just end up pregnant and it will be all a part of your plan, God, for his life.”

“Oh my God, Isaiah. You’re so dramatic,” Marvin said.

I laughed and said, “Of course I am. But look man, I promise you that these people in Walmart don’t care what’s going on with us. And it’s normal and responsible of us to get condoms. It’s nothing to be ashamed or embarrassed about, I promise you.”

Marvin appreciated my words, and he admitted to me that there was some fears he had in regards to religion and how they would view it. I replied, “Look man, I wish the church would be more helpful in these situations. I wish that they were more open and honest with the young people that are confused about their sexual desires. I wish the church would be willing to educate and help those that are confused about sex, but they don’t want to deal with that in an effective way. They want to continue to do what they’re doing, even though it’s clearly not working because it’s the way it must be according to the elders. This old-school mentality to just abstain from sex and fear fornication when it’s clearly not working. You still have people in the church getting pregnant left and right because you’re afraid and uncomfortable to have an open dialogue about sex.”

“Oh my God, Isaiah. You’re right, it’s up to us to really be responsible,” Marvin said.

I nodded my head and said, “Yeah man, you just need to get some condoms because you never know what’s going to happen. You could easily have sex with Mary or maybe nothing’s going to happen, but it’s good to be prepared and responsible with some condoms. If you do end up having sex without any condoms, and she ends up pregnant, then your life is going to change completely. Why take that risk? Just get some condoms man for protection.”

Marvin appreciated my words of wisdom and thanked me for them. Then, he was ready to go to the condoms. We looked at different condoms from Skyn, Trojan, Magnums, Durex and others. Marvin ended up finding the right ones for himself, and we ended up checking our things out. Then, we headed out of Walmart.

When we made it outside, we headed to our cars with our things. As I was putting the water and bread in my car, there was a thought that came in my head. There was something important that I needed to tell Marvin. So, I rushed over to his car and yelled wait before he left. He got out of his car and asked what was wrong. Then, I said, “Make sure you practice putting the condoms on before seeing Mary.”

Marvin laughed and said, “Oh my God, Isaiah. Is that really necessary?”

“It’s absolutely necessary. You need to make sure you know how to secure that thing. Otherwise, it will be going all over the place. I’m just trying to help you out man,” I replied.

“Ok will do, bro. And thank you again for helping me out with this. I would’ve been lost without you,” he said.

I told him that it was no problem, and I was glad that I could help him out. As I walking away, Marvin asked me to wait. I turned around, and he asked, “Do you think that you’ll still be a virgin till marriage?”

I was surprised by this question, and I was surprised by my answer. I said, “I don’t really know man. I don’t know how I feel about waiting till marriage anymore. I remember that I was 15 years old when I got my purity ring, and I’m 22 years old now and I’m a different person now. I don’t have the same views like I did before, and I don’t know if I want to retain some of them. For right now, I don’t know anymore if I want to be a virgin till marriage.”

“Oh my God, Isaiah. My boy’s gonna have a little bit of the sex,” Marvin responded.

I laughed and said, “I don’t know about all that man. I mean, if I fall in love with a girl, then maybe I will. But again I don’t know man, it’s something that I need to think about. I mean, I don’t know if I want to be open for business for these ladies that have been waiting for me, and just give them everything they needed and wished for such a long time. But for a girl I love, maybe. It’s open to interpretation.”

This is the end of “Getting Condoms With a Friend.”

Happy Valentine’s Day to everyone, and I hope that people that are having a little bit of the sex tonight have protection.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pure Imagination, I Wish

This room? Although it was a small, cramped room,
You always managed to make it big and wondrous
Like Wonderland for time was all messed up,
Time had gone mad and jazz was the only thing that made sense.

I remember all the unnecessary papers
Stacked and spread around like skyscrapers in a city,
There was no room to explore this confined, yet marvelous city
That you designed.

As the sound of your saxophone went wild in this world,
I found myself in paradise.
As a young boy, I was exposed to a world of pure imagination,
I was lost, but I was not afraid.

A few years passed, a new sound entered this universe,
It was the sound of percussion.
I thought the loud drums didn’t belong,
It couldn’t compare to your loving saxophone.

When I became a young man, the drums and saxophone were in-sync,
And we were the kings,
Our empire was glorious as we ruled it together,
Sadly, kingdoms don’t last forever.

You got older and forgot this world,
It wasn’t your fault, it was a cruel disease that murdered your sweet mind
A mind that shared love, wisdom and strength to me,
Reduced to confusion and terror.

I wish those days together with you would come back once more,
I wish this room was more than a room again,
I wish we could create sweet music together once more,
Why did those days ever have to go?

This is the end of the poem.

This poem is dedicated to my late Grandpa Jerry. His birthday was on Friday, and I was debating if I really wanted to share this poem that’s personal to me. However, the untimely death of NBA legend Kobe Bryant changed my mind because this is a poem about cherishing the moments and times that we have with our loved ones and to live a life of love and happiness. We can’t press the rewind button on life, and we have to treat every day as if it was our last day on this earth. I had great, loving moments with my grandpa that I’ll never forget. I cherish all the days that we had together because they helped shape who I am. My grandpa showed me the strength of faith, the beauty of writing, the magic of music and so much more. I love my grandpa so much, and I just wish those days with him would come back once.

Please Forgive Me

I’m glad that you’re back in my life again.

I’ve missed you so much.

I hated that there was a division between us.

I hated the wall between us.

I longed for your warm touch.

Ironically, it wasn’t that big of a wall.

It was a little wall that was easy to step over.

It’s crazy that I didn’t have to jump over it.

I just had to will myself to the wall.

Sadly, that was easier said than done.

 

There was something in me that never existed before.

It was doubt about you.

I had doubt about us.

I didn’t know if we could be together.

I thought that maybe it was a mistake to have you in my life.

I thought that I didn’t deserve someone like you.

I thought that I wasn’t worthy of you.

I thought that we couldn’t go the distance.

 

I’m glad that we have each other again.

I’m glad that I could finally will myself over that small wall between us.

Thank you for your patience and kindness with me.

I promise to always keep you close to my heart.

Life may have gotten crazy, but it was no excuse to push you away from me.

You’re a part of who I am, and I love who I am when I’m with you.

I’ll hold on to you as long as I can.

Please forgive me for abandoning you.

Please forgive me.

 

The White Mask: Part Five

Dylan is in shock to find out that he killed Dan. He can’t believe it. His heart is pumping like a speeding train, and he can’t seem to control his breathing. He looks down and sees the white mask in his hands. He quickly throws it across the room, then he looks at Cupid. Cupid tilts his head to the right and smiles ever so slightly at Dylan. Dylan finally gets control of his breathing and says, “Please, tell me that I didn’t kill Dan.”

Cupid’s smile widens. He tilts his head to the left, laughs and whispers, “Oh, you killed Dan. I saw the whole thing, and it was honestly a work of art. The passion and the drive you showed was breath-taking. It was kind of romantic.”

Dylan shakes his head and says, “No, I just put that mask on a couple of seconds. There’s no way that I killed Dan. There’s no way that I could ever do such a thing. I don’t remember doing anything like that.”

Cupid chuckles and responds, “Well, that’s good because you weren’t supposed to remember anything. However, if you don’t believe your blood-stained hands, change of clothes and that bloody knife in the bathroom, I would be more than happy to go in detail of all the torturous, sick, twisted things you did to Dan.”

Cupid slowly tilts his head to the right. He continues to smile at Dylan, but it’s freaking Dylan out. Then, Dylan gets up to see if there was a bloody knife in the bathroom. He gets up and walks to the bathroom. Dylan’s hesitant to peak in the bathroom, but Cupid yells for him to take a look. Dylan exhales, and he’s disappointed to see a bloody knife in the sink. He drops to the ground, and he starts crying. Cupid starts laughing and says, “You know, it’s interesting seeing you be so regretful in killing Dan.”

“Why is it interesting?” Dylan asks.

“Because you enjoyed every minute of torturing and killing him. It was fun for you, Dylan. In fact, watching you murder Dan was like listening to a song. You were killing him softly, and I loved every minute of it,” Cupid says.

Cupid smiles as he reminisces about the brutal, horrific murder he witnessed minutes ago. Dylan looks at Cupid, and he’s frightened by his look. Cupid quickly snaps out of his daze and says, “Let’s not forget why you did what you did to Dan. Remember, he was a monster that mistreated your beloved Melanie. You saved her, Dylan, and now you two can be together.”

Dylan realizes that Cupid is right, and he can finally be with Melanie. Her husband can no longer get in the way of their love for each other. Dylan thought to himself that he was going to have his Juliet. There’s a sense of relief from Dylan, then Cupid gets up and heads for the door. Dylan asks Cupid why he’s leaving, and Cupid responds, “Oh, you don’t need me right now. You’ll be fine, but don’t worry, I’ll be back in a couple of months.”

Cupid opens the door, but Dylan stops him and asks why he’ll be back in a couple months. Cupid smiles, looks at Dylan and says, “Just to check on you and keep you motivated. Also, I want to visit you on my favorite day of the year.”

Dylan frowns and explains that Valentine’s Day is next year. Cupid chuckles and says, “Valentine’s Day? I can’t stand that day. No, I’m talking about Halloween. Something tells me that it’ll be an interesting Halloween for you and Melanie.”

Dylan asks Cupid what he means, but Cupid only smiles and doesn’t answer his question. He quickly leaves and disappears into the night. Dylan locks the door, looks to his left and sees the white mask lying on the floor.  He goes to it, picks it up and stares into it. Then, he shakes his head, takes it to his room and puts it in a box. Dylan hopes he never has to see the white mask again, and he can just put it behind him. He smiles because him and Melanie can be together finally with no interferences. He would have his Juliet.

A few months passed, and Dylan was still having a hard time getting closer to Melanie. Dylan understood that Melanie needed time to figure things out, but he was still hurt that she didn’t try to make an effort with him after some months passed. He would text her daily, but he would barely get a response from her. Most of the time she would reply a day or two late, and it really bothered Dylan. Also, he was buying her flowers, chocolates, perfume and food, at least two or three times a week. Sadly, it still didn’t make a difference. He didn’t understand. Why couldn’t she see how much he loved her? Why couldn’t she see how much he needed her? Dylan starts to think to himself that she’s not taking their relationship seriously, and it’s a problem from him. Dylan killed Melanie’s abusive husband. He saved her from a monster, but it feels like she doesn’t appreciate everything he’s done for her.

Today, it’s Halloween. Dylan is not working his typical 2-11 shift, but he’s working a 9am-6pm shift at Sam’s Club. He comes in 30 minutes early, and he’s excited to be spending time with Melanie. They have a date today. When he arrives at work, he walks into Sam’s Club with a dozen roses and a wrapped present for Melanie. He’s feeling bold and excited today because he’s finally gonna have lunch with Melanie again. It’s been four months since their last “date,” and Dylan’s ready for his special Halloween date with Melanie.

He puts all of his things for Melanie in his locker. He thinks about his sweet Melanie and texts, “Hey beautiful, I can’t wait to see you for lunch. I’m so excited! Also, I have a surprise for you that I know you’ll love.”

After he texts that, he closes his locker. All of a sudden, he’s confronted by Elijah. He tells Dylan that he needs to talk to him. Elijah and Dylan go to the break room, and they find a table to sit at. Thankfully, it’s empty. Dylan urges Elijah to tell him what’s going on. Elijah sighs and says, “Okay, you’re doing too much with Melanie, man.”

Dylan doesn’t understand. He asks Elijah how he knows he’s doing too much, and Elijah adds, “Because she told me, Dylan. You’re making her very uncomfortable with the gifts. She told me that she’s been trying to be nice to you, but she’s close to telling a supervisor about you.”

Dylan thinks that Elijah is lying to him, and he doesn’t want to hear anything else from him. Dylan says, “Then, why is she having lunch with me, Matthew? If she didn’t want to be with me, then she wouldn’t agree to go on a date with me.”

“Bro, it’s not a date. She’s just trying to tell you what I’m telling you. She’s honestly hoping that you listen to me, instead of her telling you when you have lunch with her,” Elijah explains.

Dylan shakes his head because he can’t believe what he’s hearing. Why is Elijah trying to sabotage his relationship with Melanie? Elijah says, “Listen, I understand that you…like her, but she doesn’t feel the same way about you. No amount of gifts or text messages is going to change that. She’s not interested in you, man. You need to let her go and move on.”

Dylan is angered by Elijah’s words and replies,”I’m not giving up on her, Elijah. I’m a hopeless romantic. That’s just who I am. I’m giving her my all because I love Melanie so much. I’m sorry that I can’t be all nonchalant and hide my emotions like you do Elijah. I want Melanie to know how I feel about her. I’m not afraid of embarrassing or exposing myself to girls like you are. I feel bad for you Elijah because no girl is ever going to love you because you’re a coward that doesn’t know how to take a chance on love. It’s pathetic and sad.”

Elijah is a little hurt by Dylan’s insulting words, but he gives a chuckle and responds, “You know what, have fun on your date? It does take a lot of dedication and wasted time to be obsessed with a girl that doesn’t want you. In fact, you give everyone here at Sam’s Club something to laugh about. It’s funny, for four months, you’ve been harassing a newly single mother that recently lost her husband. You’ve been making things uncomfortable for her at work with your stupid gifts that she just throws away in the trash. So, I can’t wait to hear what precious gift you got her for your little date. It should be interesting to hear from her because she does like to talk to me. She’s a real fast responder too, but you wouldn’t know anything about that, would you?”

Dylan is silent and angry. He wants to punch Elijah in the face, but he controls himself. Elijah laughs and walks away. Then, he turns around and yells, “Oh, and happy Halloween, Dylan. Have fun on your little date, you piece of trash.”

Dylan couldn’t believe the words that Elijah spoke to him. A few minutes later, he gets a text from Melanie. He’s excited to see the text message, but he’s disappointed to see that it reads that she won’t be able to have lunch with him because something came up. He doesn’t understand. Dylan asks why she has to cancel, but there is no response. Ten minutes later, he clocks in. As he’s walking to the backroom, he stumbles upon Melanie. She arrives an hour early to work, and Dylan sees this as the opportunity to get close to her. Dylan says hi to Melanie, and she replies hi back. Then, she asks Dylan if Elijah talked to him, and he responds, “Kind of, but look. I actually got you a present that I think you’ll love.”

Before Melanie could object, Dylan begs her to see the present he has for her. She says fine, and he rushes to his locker to get the roses and the special present for her. Dylan makes it back to Melanie as she groans at the roses and present. Dylan tells her that she’ll really like this present if she just gave it a chance. Melanie sighs, takes the presents and opens it up. When she opens it, her mouth drops. She can’t believe the present that Dylan gave her. She simply responds, “Oh my God.”

This is the end of “The White Mask: Part Five.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The White Mask: Part Three

The man in the red suit tells Dylan that his name is Cupid, and he’s here to help him. After a few seconds of silence, Dylan looks to his right and sees his shotgun near his coat rack. Cupid discovers where Dylan’s eyes are looking. He gives a devilish smile and whispers, “I wouldn’t advise shooting me. You could damage your furniture.”

Dylan didn’t care to think about Cupid’s words, he reaches down for his shotgun. He grabs it, turns the safety off, cocks it and says, “Alright pal, you got five seconds to get out of my house before I shoot you. I don’t want no trouble, you hear?”

Cupid laughs and says, “Alright, I’m leaving. Don’t need to get your panties in a twist. But before I go, don’t you want to know how I can help you?”

“Not interested, pal. Just get out of my house,” Dylan says.

Cupid laughs and says, “I promise I’ll get out, but I have an interesting proposition that I think you would like to hear. Why it’s about your beloved Melanie.”

Dylan didn’t understand how Cupid could possibly know about Melanie. However, he was interested in learning more about what Cupid knows. He starts lowering his shotgun and relaxes. Then, he asks Cupid what all he knows about him and Melanie. Cupid smiles and says, “Oh, I know everything about you two love birds.”

Cupid goes on to explain how he knows that Dylan has been in love with Melanie for about a year now. Also, Melanie and Dylan had just gone on their date today, and Dylan had just gotten Melanie’s number. Dylan is stunned by Cupid’s knowledge of his relationship with Melanie. It’s surprising to him, and he asks, “So, are you actually the Cupid? The Cupid, the angel or god of love?”

Cupid chuckles and responds, “In a way, but I’d like to think of myself as the god of passion/desire, if you will. That’s my area of expertise, honestly.”

Dylan nods his head and Cupid continues, “Enough about me, let’s talk about the solution that I have to unite you and Melanie together.”

Dylan is still hesitant with Cupid, and he doesn’t know if he can trust him. He asks Cupid why is he wearing red sunglasses in this dark room. Cupid smiles and whispers, “Let’s just say, these sunglasses help me see things and people more clearly. Now, can I please tell you my solution to your problem?”

Dylan still isn’t sure, but he decides to hear Cupid out. Cupid smiles and says, “It’s quite simple really. All you have to do is kill Melanie’s husband.”

This comes as a surprise to Dylan. He starts laughing, and Cupid joins in with the laughter. After a few seconds of laughter, Cupid quickly stops smiling and laughing. He just stares at Dylan. Dylan is filled with fear now, and he asks if Cupid is serious about murdering Dan. Cupid tilts his head to the right and says, “Why wouldn’t I be serious? Melanie can’t leave or divorce Dan. You have to know that killing him is the only way for her to be free of Dan’s torment and in your arms.”

“That’s just crazy! That’s ridiculous!” Dylan yells.

Cupid giggles, tilts his head to the left and responds, “I know. However, the greatest love story of all time is crazy and ridiculous.”

Dylan has this confused look on his face and Cupid continues, “It involves two, young hopeless romantics who fell in love with each other at first sight. Their love led to lies, deception, and most importantly murder. It ended with the star-crossed lover killing themselves because they couldn’t live without each other. Do you know the story that I’m talking about?”

Dylan knows this story all too well, and he whispers, “Romeo and Juliet.”

“Yes, Romeo and Juliet. Why, isn’t Melanie your Juliet?” Cupid asks.

Dylan sighs and responds, “She is my Juliet, but—

Cupid interrupts and asks, “And would you not kill for the woman that you love with all your heart?”

Dylan nods his head without hesitation and Cupid says, “Melanie is wondering where her Romeo is. Why aren’t you there for her? You’re her Romeo, are you not?”

Dylan says, “I am her Romeo, but love is—

“Love is crazy. Love is ridiculous. Love is passionate. Love is murderous,” Cupid interrupts.

There’s a long silence between Cupid and Dylan. Dylan knows that killing Dan is crazy, but it makes so much sense to him. However, he could never do such a thing, even if he wanted to. He couldn’t go through with killing Dan. Cupid knows what Dylan is thinking and whispers, “Dylan, what if I gave you the ultimate tool to kill Dan with ease? In fact, what if I told you that there was a way for you to not remember killing him in the first place?”

Before Dylan can say anything, Cupid puts something white on the coffee table. Then, he brings a lamp closer to the table and shines the light on this sinister-looking white mask. The white mask has evil eyes, sharp teeth and a sinister smile. It isn’t scary to Dylan, but it’s rather comforting to him. He walks closer to the table and reaches to touch it, however he’s stopped by Cupid. Cupid says, “Wait, let me tell you about this mask before you go and put it on.”

Dylan stops himself from touching the mask and listens to what Cupid has to say. “Now, this mask will give you the drive, the determination and the motivation to do what’s necessary,” Cupid says.

“Okay, that’s kind of a little vague. But how am I not going to remember what I did?” Dylan asks.

“It’s quite simple really, all you have to do is put the mask on in front of a mirror. As long as you put it on in front of a mirror, you’ll be fine and forget whatever deed you commit once the mask is off. Think of a mirror as a protective blanket from the white mask. But be warned Dylan, if you forget to put on the white mask in front of a mirror, then you will be lost forever wearing the white mask,” Cupid explains.

The last part scares Dylan. He’s still not sure if it’s necessary to murder Dan. Cupid smiles and says, “I tell you what. I’ll give you two days to determine if you want to utilize the white mask or not. If you don’t want it on day two, then I’ll just take it back it’s that simple. What do you say?”

Dylan isn’t sure. Cupid adds, “I promise, I’m only trying to help you get the girl. Nothing more.”

“I guess wouldn’t hurt to think about it some more,” Dylan says.

“Excellent! Then, I guess I’ll see you again soon,” Cupid smiles and whispers.

Cupid leaves the white mask on the table and walks past Dylan. Dylan manages to get a little look at Cupid, but not enough to see his face in the dark room. Then, Cupid opens the door, looks at Dylan, smiles and says, “You know, I am rooting for you, Dylan. I’m honestly just dying to see a sweet, hopeless romantic like yourself get the girl.”

Before Dylan can say anything, Cupid goes out and disappears into the night. Now, Dylan is alone with the white mask.

This is the end of “The White Mask: Part Three.”

Be sure to like, share and comment your thoughts on this short story.

I will be sharing and posting “The White Mask: Part Four” Saturday on the Warfield Zone.