The Perfect Con
In the gloom of the coffee house, over my cigarette and her espresso, she's buying it. The honeyed fable. The tangled veil falling over her eyes.
I see a far away light orbit her iris, her gaze is locked on me, but she does not see me. Only the dreams that I am building her. She sees the perfect con.
I'm telling her no. In a thousand ways. All of which mean yes. With my reticence, I am telling her yes. I want her to want to be close to me. It’s the only way I can get close to her. By forbidding.
Closed doors, they're all so tempting. It is the best way to get what I need. By tempting her with what she needs. With those things that I will never, never give her. Actually, I’m rather honest with her. It is she who lies. She will be the Sabrina Fair and save me from myself, she thinks. In her own mind, a whisper that is naught but her own misplaced faith speaks. I only let her. Drawing her closer to the water. Leading her in. There, when she is wrapping her arms around me to rescue me - I will bring her down.
Why? She only has good intentions. Why shatter these? Money is the ultimate goal. Rags to riches; she has climbed too high to be so naive. That will change. Hate me? You should blame her ideals. They need to be changed. Blind she is. I will make her see. I will cure her of blind faith in that which is good. The scales will fall from her eyes; no longer drawn to me, no longer infatuated by love.
I am doing her a favor, demanding a fair fee. She makes an observation. Telling me she sees what I am painting. I mock vulnerability. She personifies. Her hair is soft on her shoulders, loose about her face, gracing her cheekbones with pleasant shadows. Her eyes, at first cautious when we met, are rapt. Receptive. So open. So foolish. How many times has the World rejected her? Stabbing her in the back? Kicked her when she was down? Count your own experiences. Yet she tells herself to reclaim that white tower, look into that dark horizon and set her sights on a dying star. She is the one who lies. A flicker of truth shows through my mask. Disdain.
"You're so distant..." She misinterprets.
No, I'm so close.
Weeks pass. Our dance continuing, circling closer. Well choreographed - if I may. In my apartment, she takes in the view. So like the one from her inner lofty perch. The sparrow on the bow. I stand alongside. The boy with the slingshot below. Only one rock.
A reflection in the window, I watch her eyes wander over the city-scape that sprawls below . Her perfume is expensive, sandalwood and spiced sugar. I admit I do like her smell. Feeling her eyes on me, I find she has turned from the world and her arm rests against mine. Warm and soft against my firmer skin. She smiles. So close. Close enough.
She doesn’t want to leave tomorrow. I know this. But the first act must end. She will come home to the tragedy of the second. The stage will be bare. My role done. She will know I am the author of this tragedy. Still, like Shakespeare, I do not simply write heartbreaks. I weave lessons. In the second act she will lose me, only to gain something more important. Good medicine has bad flavor...she will bear it, and be immunized.
"Where are you?" she singsongs.
"No, you're not." she gently nudges me, urging to tell her 'where'. She leaves unanswered.
Ticket in hand, I look past the people in the terminal and focus on the horizon. The sun is out, reflecting brilliantly off the hot tarmac. The jet waits. My chariot away. Yet I do not see it. For some reason, I cannot keep from staring at the trees beyond the runway.
Bathed in light, they are a familiar color. Striking. The color is obscurely familiar. I puzzle over it, because I must know. Because it stirs something in me, sweet and sad like a childhood memory. I must know. Yet the answer does not come to me. It does not come to me until the plane has lifted off, and the haze of the clouds begin to blot my view.
It comes only when I can do nothing with it. Nothing but know it.
I've conned myself.
It’s the color of my Sabrina's eyes.