It was a long seven days before I went back to Poe’s. I had hoped not to see Devin so that I wouldn’t have to face resisting his boyish charm. Who am I kidding? I wanted to see him. And when I saw him, I wanted him to ask me out. I desperately wanted the attention.
Devin was telling me about the art gallery in town and I agreed to a date later in the week. I was thrilled that he asked, it was as if he had read my mind.
To say that I wasn’t nervous would be the same as telling a lie. It had been more than half a year since I met a guy unique enough to hold my attention. My ex was Prince Charming when I first met him, but wasted no time sleeping around with one of the Clintville locals shortly after we moved here. I let her have him. My relationship before that ended in similar fashion. At 27 years old I had learned that my kind heart was a beacon for hungry hyenas to creep into my life, woo me with charm then tear my heart out once they got what they wanted.
I hoped that Devin was different.
The sun was setting and the courtyard lights were steadily beginning to brighten. I was ten minutes early, so I sat on a bench to wait. I was watching a young woman in a neon windbreaker jogging with her husky when someone grabbed me and yelled
“GIMME ALL YOUR MONEY!!!”
I nearly jumped out of my skin.
I spun around to see Devin laughing, proud of nearly scaring me to death.
“Why’d you do that?” I asked, trying to put my heart back into my chest.
He apologized saying I made it too easy for him. I forgave him, he did give me a good scare. He grabbed me by the hand and led me out of the courtyard and we started our first date. The ice cream at Basket Thompson’s was perfect, the best mint chocolate chip I had ever tasted. I was having a good time with Devin. I wanted to know what I was getting myself into so I asked him if he was single. He told me he was exploring his options. I guess I could respect it since he was single and good looking. Doesn’t mean I had to like it.
“So you’re a player?” I questioned, fed up with immature guys who found their worth in screwing anything that walks. It made me think of my exes and immediately sparked a sense of disgust.
“Not exactly, I don’t see it that way.” He answered. Of course he wouldn’t.
When I asked him what his intentions were, he told me that he basically wanted to get to know me a little better. Saying a lot but not really saying much. His avoidance of my questions irritated me. I knew I probably should have gotten more out of him but he quickly changed the subject and we left for the art gallery.
Later, Devin taught me a lot about art while we strolled through the gallery. His favorite artist was Quasbiat. Devin was very knowledgeable and I valued his opinions on his favorite pieces. I pitched in my two cents here and there but they were drops in the bucket compared to his ocean of knowledge. We had a fun date, I couldn’t stop laughing he was so sarcastic! He walked me home and I gave him a good night kiss. Our date felt magical, I could hardly sleep that night.
Devin and I dated for a few more weeks. He even got me over to his place where he tried to get lucky. After I refused him told him I was sorry, and he told me that I shouldn’t be, that there was no rush. He was nice that way. So compassionate and understanding. He drove me home that night and I spent the next few days trying to resist the urge to call him. I failed.
Wanting to see him again, I called Devin over to come watch a movie. My brother was out with some woman who had just left her husband so he would be gone for a bit; she picked him up so he left his car at the house. When Devin arrived, I nearly ran through the door to let him in, I was so excited. I won’t give too much details, but I will say this: I rewarded Devin’s previous efforts to sleep with me. He was all mine now.
“So where do we go here from now?” I asked.
“Well, I’m probably going to go to sleep, where are you gonna go?” He joked. He was so stupid.
“No, I mean. What are we doing? Like, what are we?” I questioned, knowing the answer I wanted but not quite prepared for the one I would get.
“Oh, that.” He said, propping himself up onto his elbows and turning towards me. My heart sank deeper with each second that passed in ghostly silence. It felt like ages until he finally spoke.
“I guess we keep hanging out and having fun. Why do we have to be anything?”
Really? He took all this time to say that?
“What?!” I asked incredulously. Fury rising within me.
Devin took a deep, thoughtful sigh and told me, “Well, Tiffany I’m not really looking for anything serious. I enjoy being single ya know? I thought we had this conversation before, I hope you understand.”
I knew he was a coward , too scared to commit. He was just like the rest of them. I’ve been in this situation before, a few months ago actually. Devin wasn’t about to sleep with me and leave me like every other man in my life. I felt like a fool for thinking I could change him but I felt more rage than shame.
I saw red.
I knew what I had to do.