Mike was full of bravado. Can the written word have swagger? His did.
He said all the right things and asked all the right questions. Every woman perceived his advances as flirting and in a sorted way, it was, but for him, it was more of fact finding mission.
He needed someone smart–he’d want to communicate with her of course, but more importantly she’d also have to be just vulnerable enough to believe him and desperate enough not to question any part of his story that might appear out of sync.
And invariably, in every ruse, regardless of how well it’s planned, there’s something that always sounds “out of sync”.
But that didn’t happen too often with Mike. He was good at lying. He was educated, smart; smarter than most and a quick thinker, too which meant lying also came easy. He was also self-taught in the ways and means of deceit. And when he decided he’d have her, there was no turning back, she was chosen, but he’d have her only on his terms. She’d comply because that was part of the sport. He always found the ones that would comply. He spotted her one day…her photo, actually. She had the right look, but would she have the right personality?
When Mike decided to pursuit his mark, fate was both cruel and kind. It set in motion a series of events.
He knew very little about Claire, but that was part of the game. That was part of the hunt. It was safe, fun–for him, anyway. She was his prize prey. Strong, pretty..smart. She had a dynamic personality that filled a room. He knew this. She was the kind of woman he could never have, but could if he remained in the shadows, hidden and obscured by the only truth he’d feed her. That way, he could be whatever he wanted to be, whatever he told her. Of course, nothing he’d tell her could be checked out. He made sure of that. It was mostly lies. Who he was, where he was from, what he did. He could have her that way, providing he told her all the right things.
Providing she believed.
So armed with a photo, he tracked her down–and when he called her, the game was on.
He heard her voice and was able to read it as he would a second grade primer. He smiled as he thought to himself, “This one is going to be easy.”
They talked and Claire liked what he said; he liked what he heard and they eventually met.
What does deceit look like? Claire had no reason to pose that question, not at first anyway, but she thought about it one day. It was after the first recognition that something was “out of sync”. It was a strange comment; a delayed response; a reaction that was harried and out of place. The “uh” he uttered at the beginning of a sentence containing the answer to a question took too long.
He got careless and committed a cardinal sin for liars–he forgot what he’d been forced to make up on the fly. Unfortunately for him, Claire had a memory like a steel trap. It was then she knew then that deceit had a face and it looked like Mike’s.
This saddened Claire. Something was amiss, oddly scoped as it was, but she defended her situation by reminding herself that really, aren’t we all a little deceitful? Don’t we all lie and hedge the truth? Little white lies? Embellishments of facts and figures? Who we really are? What we do? We splurge on the truth sometimes in order to make ourselves feel better and to feather our emotional nests a bit. Harmless, right?
Not always. Sometimes, the deceit goes deeper and is far more insidious. It is cruel, because that’s the intention. Getting something for nothing; getting and never giving. Claire knew this. She knew how Mike probably felt…how easy it is when you think you have the upper hand.
And that was the problem—Mike didn’t count on just how familiar Claire was with this ploy. He had no idea how often the roles had been reversed. Sometimes, there are things that are overlooked. Sometimes, the scam is found out early on and allowed to perpetuate because it becomes just as beneficial for the person being scammed.
There’s always a pay off.
But regardless of who benefits, it’s wrong. Make no mistake, when we practice to deceive, it never fails, we’re always found out. Theory of convergence, maybe? Or just payback for intentionally hurting someone? As in karmic retribution?
As previously stated, in every ruse, no matter how well thought out or deftly executed, there’s always…ALWAYS a slip up somewhere. It’s not always in what people say; it’s often in what they don’t say.
Nine times out of ten, the slip up comes from the one-two punch of reality. Mike wasn’t quite as smart as he thought he was and Claire, his intended mark, was far smarter and cunning than he first thought.
You see, whenever you take someone “on a ride”, eventually, the ride ends. It always ends. Sometimes that happens when you get tired of driving and then, sometimes the passenger just gets very bored.
Claire came to the conclusion that Mike was an extremely bad driver of a car that stopped being very comfortable.
In this case, she knew she had to get out first and did so, before the car even came to a halt.
The moral of this story? Never lie to a liar.