Steve stood for a moment to look at all the pieces of his car sprawled across his garage. The beloved project car had totally been taken apart. Every single bolt, clip, screw, and tied pieces was spread out on the ground. Most people would have been totally lost in the spread of parts, but Steve felt that he could best revive this car by intimately connecting with it. After all, if he was going to get all the water damage out, he’d have to inspect every single piece and replace what needed replacing. In fact, this project, as unplanned as it was, gave him the space to think about his love life and dissect it completely.
Steve was understanding his failings. He was trying so hard to be something he wasn’t. He wanted to be in love just as much as the next guy, however, the fake it until you make it mantra was failing him royally. Women were just too complicated for him to understand. The inner workings of a v8 engine made far more sense to him than the pretty and high maintenance types he was pursuing. They all made his head spin in a bad way.
The types of gals Steve seemed to hunt were the types that came from money, knew high fashion, demanded a lot of attention, were very capricious, and also were highly connected to the very places in life he wanted to go. To him, the transactional cost of love meant being yelled at, cursed out, hung up on, and treated like mud. When it worked, if you could call that, Steve felt he had access to a society he did not know and a sense of belonging that was very fleeting.
The little discretionary cash he had was spent on these gals wining, dining, beautifying, and shopping. Had that money stayed with him, he would not be living in the garage that housed his car. At least, his neighbor had been kind enough to offer him the garage so he wouldn’t be homeless. Steve felt that if he could only figure out these women, then, he’d be on his way to a better life. Not that his current life was all that bad, but the drain these gals were putting on him would make it really bad fast.
The only ray of hope Steve was feeling today laid in the fact that instead of chasing gals who had no interest in working with him, he was working on the car. His baby was going to come back to life as good as new. Steve was going to finally get the return on his investment he felt he deserved.
With a small shake of the head, he tried to once again push down the feeling of attraction he had felt the day he was rescued from the flooded street. Sure, the lady was super cute. But, seriously, no one this far out of his league would ever take him seriously. He would be better off forgetting the magnificent view of the well curved and sweetly toned legs that had been so elegantly propped up on the window’s edge of her car. How he wished he had reached forward and touched, but no, that is too creepy.
Steve grunted out a sigh and returned his attention to the work at hand. The parts were not going to inspect or reassemble themselves. The weight of his choice to take the car apart sunk in like a ton of bricks. This was going to be a hard and expensive project. Oh well. The tear down was done. Now the build up. If only he could program a woman to be perfect like he was going to do the car…wait…that’s creepy too. Never mind.
As Steve settled himself into his work, his attention was arrested by the sound of a car pulling up into the driveway leading to his garage. Looking up over the mound of bodywork strewed about the perimeter of the garage, Steve noted a sharp looking, all white, gold trimmed, gold rimmed, blacked out window, sleek Lexus come to a stop not far from the open garage door. Who, but more importantly, for who was this person’s car?
The motor came to a quiet halt. Must be nice driving a car so quiet, one barely hears it coming until it’s right up on you. Oh the luxuries many had he wished for. Steve stood up. Whoever this was, they were probably either important or had something important to say. Putting on his best confident stance, Steve waited.
Eventually, the door slowly opened and paused. Whoever was inside was in no particular hurry to reveal themselves. No matter, Steve would stay his stance and wait. Then, appearing from the bottom of the door’s hem, as if in the movies, the slow uncovering of a stiletto made it’s appearance. A silver matted leather shoe with a similar heel moved it’s way slowly towards the ground and landed with authority. The door further opened and unveiled a slicked blond hair belonging to a remarkably beautiful well shaded face. Steve only managed to speculate the shades were brand name designer glasses, the ones that were oh so popular with the young starlets of the time.
Trying to mask his awe, Steve watched this bombshell model type woman look up the street before slowly turning her attention to him as she completed her exit of the car. In what can only be a sizing up gaze, Steve felt uneasy being so closely examined through tinted glasses. Sure, he had done this before to other women, not meaning any harm. But this, this reversal of roles, made him appreciate why women didn’t like this. Still, he held his ground. Not wanting to appear weak or eager, Steve waited. This lady clearly was in control of her aura and wasn’t worried much by his thoughts of her.
Eventually, she closed the gap to him and skillfully and effortlessly made her way through the parts of his car as if they weren’t there. With what could only be regarded as disinterest, she stated his name and let her glasses slip just enough down her nose so that he could see the sharp deep piercing blue of her eyes lazering through his soul. His heart nearly froze. There was some definitive recognition in her eyes. Who was she? What did she want? How did she know he lived there and that his name was Steve?
Waiting patiently, Steve stood still. Maybe more like a deer caught in headlights trying to decide to run or stay put. The noise of his heart pounding loudly in his ears drowned out the deafening pounding inside his chest. The eyes stayed locked on him. There was some quiet power struggle going on. Steve wanted to cave and ask questions and apologize, but today, for some reason, he just sat there transfixed waiting.
A small smile seemed to bubble beneath the surface unable to break the brightly yet darkly colored red lips. The eyes narrowed some in a none threatening way. Whatever recognition there was, it had zeroed in on it’s target and Steve wished it would do it’s damage. In his mind, this was another date from his past that was upset and had probably tracked him down for answers. No matter how fast his mind ran, not a single face came to mind. He rarely pursued women with such strong traits. They were always softer versions of beauties that were out of his league. The one thing that seemed to match was her designer everything she wore.
“I’m Donna” was all that registered through his frantic name search. He had never dated anyone by that name before. Steve couldn’t place any Donna’s in his life at all actually. So, he just stood there with the best imitation of confidence and nonchalant he could muster. This Donna must want something. But what?
Considering all your failed attempts at dating, Donna noted as she removed her glasses, you could use a bit of coaching. It would be a shame if you continued to chase after the unreachable and waste all your resources. With a little help, my client will be quite happy with your results, you’ll be happy with your results, and once your car is rebuilt, you’ll have a brighter outlook on life.
OK. First. What?!?
Second, who are you and how do you think you know me?
And lastly, who told you anything about me?
Steve couldn’t pull back his surprise at this woman’s straightforwardness. She was direct, polite, blunt, and too to the point. Who was her client and what did they have in mind?
Dread filled every part of his veins and let his temperature drop to the floor. What if a prior date was so dissatisfied with him she had hired someone to rub him out? They all had that kind of money. He hadn’t thought of that before. Oh no, wait. Be cool. This is some kind of joke. Has to be.
Donna watched with a degree of entertainment as Steve squirmed about trying to appear tough and resolute. The client had been correct. This man had potential but was so not aware of what he was working with. He was wrecking a lot of havoc due to his ignorance. Smart middle class man with great talent and aptitude unused. If her research was any good, which it always was, this man was about to blow the best gift life could through him. She needed to work fast. There was no time to be subtle, gentle, or patient. If he was willing, she was going to whip him into shape. Maybe the client wasn’t going to get their exact wish, but in the end, everyone should win out. No matter, Donna had Steve’s undivided attention, now was time to close the deal and get to work.