Nathan was never known for his sincerity. He was a well-dressed and well-spoken lout of a man, if such a thing could ever truly exist. His finely tuned swagger was carried out with such finesse that one could easily overlook the viscous, contemptible grease that ran through his veins. Given his disingenuous tendencies, as one might expect, he was frequently maligned by the countless past victims of his acidic charm. On the other hand, those who never had the misfortune would tend to admire his style and his well-structured façade of gentility. Perhaps inevitably, Nathan garnered a considerable amount of female attention. His sexual exploits were countywide and the reputation of such conquests spread even further.
It was the seventeenth of April, a week and four days after his thirty-second birthday, and Nathan was walking down Grandview Avenue, displaying his manly, yet elegant gait as a male peacock would its feathers. He was basking in the adulation that was thrust at him on any given day. His eyes shifted and focus like a card player, with his face so genuine he could convince the lord that the sky was green.
Two streets over on Harper Avenue he had a brand new ’51 Victoria, polished and painted, waiting to be driven. Nathan preferred to walk. The day he bought that car, he said to himself, “There’s nowhere worth getting to that a man can’t simply walk to, and there’s nowhere a man can’t simply walk from, either”. With that, he closed the door of his garage and never thought about the car again. Nathan felt no need to spend his time minding traffic laws or speed limits, and surrendering himself to limits and laws was a concept that he would never concern himself with.
On this day, Amie, a woman with whom he was briefly involved, had requested Nathans presence. Always a fiery and capricious woman, Nathan came to the conclusion that this particular engagement was worth his time. Amie was a slender, brown haired beauty with all the zest of a redhead. She was vivacious, saucy, and most importantly, unpredictable. Nathan never thought that so much spirit could possibly be held in such a svelte frame. The two had a passionate affair weeks prior, and just as his passionate affairs usually go, he had considered this one utterly burnt out. Given Amie’s mercurial bent, the evening could go one of two ways, though there was one possibility that Nathan naturally preferred.
Nathan slid up the steps to the veranda of her home on the corner of Grandview and Ash. The potted flowers that lined the yellow painted railings were just about the bloom, and there was a cheery brightness to the place that even Nathan was forced to appreciate. The buzzer by the door was a dusty orange, and Nathan felt pretty good pressing it, although it may have been the potential of the evening that truly excited him. The dark behind the glass door was soon replaced by the radiant vision of Amie. She wore a black gown that one might normally see at a cocktail party. She allowed him to absorb the sight for a brief moment before opening the door. He walked in smooth and seemingly un-phased by her appearance, an appearance that would put the women in the newspaper advertisements to shame. There was no goddess of Greek or Roman origin that could rival the way she looked, and she knew it. In stark contrast to the warm beauty of the porch, the inside of her home was sparse. The decorating touch might have even prompted a poor person to call it “bare” or “unlivable”. The living space had a couch that could fit no more than three, a 12 inch black and white television, a lamp, and nothing else. The dining room was decorated in a similar fashion, with a small cabinet for glassware, a table, and four chairs.
Nathan and Amie sat down at the empty table. After a few seconds of silence, Amie said coldly, “We need to talk”. Nathan’s mood dropped to a new low as he abandoned his eager posture. Clearly this night was not going to pan out as he had so joyously anticipated. Amie saw this shift in his posture and sighed, knowing all too well what he was expecting. She composed herself and continued, “I have never met a man so passionate, daring, and fascinating”.
Nathan perked up.
Nathan slouched once more.
“… I have also never met someone so unfeeling and despicable. You made me promises you never intended to keep, all for your own disgusting selfish gains. I will never forgive you, Nathan, but most importantly I can never forgive myself for letting this happen”.
Almost immediately a thousand methods of escape surged through Nathan’s mind. He was not one to console a hysterical woman, especially one with her eyes filled with such lunacy. He jerked himself out of his escape plans to respond, “Darling, the fires lit with gasoline always burn out the quickest”.
Amie’s face grew stern and cold. She was slack-jawed by his audacity. Speechless, she shot up, went to the kitchen, and returned with two glasses and a bottle of sherry. “Oh. You prefer bourbon, don’t you?” Nathan nodded. “Well, I suppose I shouldn’t keep you”, she said dryly, “We’ll have a farewell drink, then you can go on your merry way”. She left Nathan in the dining room to fetch the bourbon. She filled his glass with a look of thinly veiled fury. He sniffed the bourbon, took a sip, and when the drink passed his lips, he knew immediately that he had messed with the wrong woman. Unfortunately for her, however, she was also messing with the wrong man. The ex-lovers raised their empty glasses, and just as Amie expected, Nathan fell face first into his plate. What Amie was not expecting though, was that moments later, she followed suit.