Special Boy
Bev Vines-Haines
Dorsal Winner

Norman Castle played women the way some men master sports, musical instruments or complex careers.  It started with his mother who clearly adored him more than she cared even for her own life.  Thus his childhood became Manipulation 101, much easier than it should have been.

Turned out women are pretty trusting as a gender.  He discovered they believe almost anything if it comes wrapped in compliments and promises. No matter what trouble he managed to create his mother spared no effort, financial investment or influential pressure to make it go away.

  By the time he married Katrina two years after graduation he had achieved a Master’s Degree, a Lamborghini, a penthouse in Seattle and an oddly smarmy reputation at work.  He didn’t care.  The ends justified the means, didn’t they?

He had begun to question his marriage.  Katrina was not like his mother.  She actually questioned his motives at times.  And she scolded him.  Not all the time, of course, only when his actions or his words offended her.

During the daylight hours Katrina delighted his senses.  Laughing on the beach, running the trails in their favorite park, throwing her head back to laugh.  But often, when holding her at night, he would wonder why she didn’t see his specialness, didn’t understand the rules of life were not for him. 

But she was so lovely.  So alive.  Her hair shiny, her teeth dazzling.  He longed for her to adore him as his mother had, to hang on his every word with passion and interest.  Even worse, she seemed to consider herself his equal. To believe with fervency she had the right to tell him how to behave when they were together. 

They had begun to argue.  Over stupid things.  The homeless.  Politics.  Human rights.  He told her all the things he knew.  ‘It was a dog eat dog world.’  ‘The new Golden Rule: He who has the gold rules!’  ‘Climbing to the top requires turning off your heart light.’

One day, coming home from work, he found she’d moved out.  Her clothes, her bike, her intoxicating cologne.  All gone. 

He called his mother.  She told him he didn’t need Katrina.  She was an anchor.  She would hold him back from the great call on his life.  She reminded him he was special.  The best boy ever.  She promised to send him a check for his car payment. She said she’d find him a better woman, one who would recognize his value. 

She was correct.  Of course.  He fell asleep holding onto Katrina’s pillow, just needing to bury himself in her fragrance one last time.  In the morning he knew he would be special again.

First published: February 2019
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