The light of Jase’s phone screen hurt his eyes as he read the text. Lex’ pleading words illuminated in the dark room of his apartment, she had canceled their movie night to venture off with a new boy toy yet again. He sent a text back saying he was tired anyway to play it off like he didn’t care, then he laid in his bed staring at the ceiling. He envisioned a night like tonight exactly a week from now, where she would be broken down and crying into his arms about lost lovers and assholes. The worst of it all would be that she will be completely oblivious and uninterested in his advances. So blind, so fucking blind.
Jase, a wholesome boy from Texas is the ideal man, kind, compassionate, and sympathetic. He has a great sense of humor and is loyal. Strong enough to lean on when needed to but comfortable enough to cry if things get bad. He would rather spend a night cuddled on the couch watching a movie then hanging out with the guys watching football. Easy going temperament with a little bit of an ego but, every guy has his flaws, right? He’s the kind of man who would go out of his way to cheer anyone up when they’re blue. He treats the women around him like he would his own mother. Or, at least that’s what his dating profile on Plenty of Fish says.
Lex, the desired woman of his affections, is an exceptional blonde. She has great smelling hair, a nice figure, and only a semi-annoying laugh. Her breasts are the perfect size, not too big for a handful and not too small for cleavage. Many a time had he dried her tears with a tissue, not quite getting close enough to cop a feel but enough to want her even more. And her butt was pretty great too, but Jase really loved her for her eye, that’s what he told people anyway.
Annoyed, and sexually frustrated, Jase turns to the internet, like most people his age, to sate his desires. The first image to load on the screen is a girl with luscious caramel ringlets. Her eyes are striking, crystal clear and sharp, blue with a hint of green. The plum colored lipstick makes her lips look full, succulent and oh so enticing. The text above her face read “The Perfect Woman”. Lex’ voice drifted into his mind saying countless things that had twisted and cut at him:
You’re so kind and sweet. I wish I was dating a guy like you.
You’re like, my best friend.
We are so similar, it’s like we’re related or something-
He switches off the computer screen and snags his leather jacket off his bed, “Time for a drink…”
Revving the engine of his motorcycle excessively, Jase drives out into the night. Driving along the country road, the night air rushed over him in refreshing sweeps. The city bustle clogs his brain and the outskirts were always far more interesting. Unsure of a destination, he feels a pull of some kind that leads him down a dimly lit dirt road. It takes him to a shabby looking building where he pulls up and takes off his helmet. The hinges moan painfully as the weight of a thick weathered sign bearing the words “Fortune’s Favor” pulls at their hooks. The smell of stale crackers wafts to his nostrils. It seemed almost as if he can feel the atrophy vibrating off the air around the building. He had never heard of this place before, nor was he familiar with the road that lead up to it. Jase mentally shrugged, he had wanted a drink and ‘fortune’ had brought it to him.
Entering the bar, he sits on a stool that puffs out an excessive amount of dust and shoveled some peanuts in his mouth. A tall, slender man strolls out through a door behind the bar and greets him with a killer smile. He has dark hair and extremely white teeth that clash with his oaky skin and there were flecks of gold in his brown eyes. The man’s voice is surprisingly smooth, “What’ll it be?”
“Something strong and neat.” Jase declared.
“Rough day?” the slick voice inquires.
“Something like that.” He dismisses and downs the whiskey in one shot tensing only slightly. It was oaky with loads of salty caramel and a bit of licorice. He convinces himself that this is better than the strawberry wine Lex had brought over and shared a few days ago after she was stood up by yet another one of her charming flings. Being in a raunchy smelling environment beat the uncomfortably strong sent of lavender candles any night. It was then that Jase realized the bar was empty, which made sense now since there were no cars parked outside but it unsettled him.
A couple drinks later, the bartender broke the silence, “Women, eh?”
Shaking off his thoughts at the voice, Jase stutters, “Excuse me?”
“Women, that’s what’s get ya’ in the dumps, eh?”
“Uh, yeah, actually.”
“Is it that friendzone?”
He meets the man’s gaze head on, and starts to feel dizzy when he really looks at him. A wide grin that almost curls at the edges greets him, with curved, pointed teeth. The man’s eyes are yellowing, shifting his pupils into a slit kind of shape, that of a cat. He brings out a pack of cigarettes from his back pocket, and taps one on the wooden surface. His curled nails held it gently, giving the sense that he could slice it to pieces on accident. Jase blinks and resists the urge to check his pulse.
“Uh, yes, thank you, um, I’m Jase.”
The man extends a tanned hand, “Marcel.”
After a long moment of silence, Jase says quietly, “I think I’ve had too much.”
Marcel’s grin widens, which Jase wasn’t sure was possible and pours another whiskey, “Nonsense my boy, you’ve only just begun! So, which asshole is it this week?”
The minute the next drink hits him, Jase spills everything. Right down to the nonsensical rants about how women choose men who treat them badly and don’t even give nice guys like him a chance. The bartender nods with an unwavering interest, moving only to pour him another glass of whisky.
Once he runs out of breath, the man across from him doesn’t waste a moment, “You sure are a stand up guy.”
Jase can’t help but feel a note of sarcasm, but his intoxicated state ignores it, “I’m just so sick of waiting around, you know? It’s like I do all this stuff for you, at least give me a little something, I mean she doesn’t have to sleep with me but that would be nice.”
“Say, I think I have a solution to your problem.” Marcel pulls a vial from under the bar and holds it up to the light. It is a silvery blue substance that glitters in the seeding lighting. Almost like starlight, Jase thinks.
“What is it?”
The smile spreads cheek to cheek and his eyes enlarge, “Some powerful stuff, my man, and a little risky too, but then again what’s life without a little risk?” He pauses and thinks for a moment, then waves his other hand, “No, you know what? It’s probably no good. You probably couldn’t handle it.”
Without a moment’s thought, Jase sloppily grabs the vial from his hand, “Like hell I couldn’t!”
Marcel’s irises flash with something for a moment, and then he regains control, “That’s my man. Take the whole thing before you go to bed tonight. By tomorrow, I promise everything will work out how it’s supposed to…”
Back in his room at home, Jase stares at the small bottle in his hand, gaze hazy and shaking. It will work out, Marcel’s voice purrs in the back of his head. He sees Lex, with her platinum wavy hair and plush red lips. It’s about time.
He stepped out of the shower the next morning, truly feeling like a million bucks. The best part was he didn’t even feel the need to check in the mirror. For the first time ever he knew he looked amazing. He heard his cellular buzz on his nightstand with a chirpy tone, Lex’ ringtone, wrapping a towel around his chiseled physique, he padded toward it. Every step gave him more confidence, more finesse. She asks if she can come over, she has something to tell him, and he knows exactly what it is. Her voice is different somehow, more involved, more alive. Obviously, she wants him.
He throws on some jeans and a t-shirt, excitement built up so high it was practically expanding his rib cage. The doorbell rings and he struts to it. No need to rush it, play it cool, for once she is making the right choice. Opening the door, he casually leans against the frame, and then she screams. He just stands there in shock, fumbling for words. There’s no way he looked that bad this morning. When she stops, she just stands there staring in mute horror, then bolts down the apartment hall, dropping her purse. Jase, shocked and confused, chases after her down the stairs and out the door, trying to call to her but when he opens his mouth a strange and deformed sound comes out. Maybe he his body wasn’t fully awake yet. Passing a car parked on the side of the road, he glimpses himself in the windshield and freezes. His head is freakish and big compared to the rest of his human body, and covered in yellow fur. Dark eyes meet his, big and sad looking, the eyes of a dog. He opens his mouth in terror, and so does the dog in the reflection, exposing sharp canine teeth lining the inside of his snout. It is then that he realizes what he is seeing, the head of a Golden Retriever, attached to his body.
Jase Williams is a decent guy, but one should never brag about traits they don’t have, because regardless of whom you portray yourself as, karma knows exactly who you are.