Against my better judgment, I ordered my 6th gin and tonic that night. This was undoubtedly a bad call, but at this point, I had nothing to lose. Through bleary eyes, I surveyed the cavernous room. Samantha’s wedding had been opulent, a truly lavish and stunning affair. No expense was spared. The food was decadent, and the live band fantastic. Though I was still miffed I hadn’t been asked to be a part of the bridal party, the ticket cross country had seemed wholly worth the price of admission. It was the perfect wedding and an even more perfect reception. However, something was still missing. Where was he? And more importantly, what was his name? Vince? Michael?
As the clock struck 1, the numbers continued to thin. I scanned the room once more. Sadly, he was nowhere to be seen.
“Fuck,” I muttered to myself. I ordered another cocktail. As the hand clasped my shoulder, I turned my head optimistically.
“Oh, hey.” All hope came crashing down as I saw his face.
I gave him a forced smile as I rapidly searched my memory for a name.
“You’re Jordan, right?” I struggled to recall the conversation we had earlier in the evening. Eventually, it came to me. He was an acquaintance of the groom, an LA local. We had had a perfunctory conversation about the differences between NYC and LA. It was pleasant, but I had remained guarded. He had an awkward air about him. His politeness seemed labored and insincere.
“Indeed, Angela. How is the night finding you?”
“Could be better,” I said frankly while furtively glancing over my shoulder for the man I was still hoping to take back to my hotel room.
“My dear, you know what always chases away the blues. Shots. Let me buy you one.”
I smiled. “But they’re free.”
“For you, everything is and shall henceforth be free.” He had an endearing smile, and his clumsy attempts at chivalry actually tickled me at the moment. Plus, he wasn’t ugly by any means. With the 7th gin and tonic I had ordered, I was already resolute that the remainder of the evening would be all about making mistakes.
And the night was still so young.
I woke up and checked my phone, 9:15 AM. Good, I had time to prepare for my flight home. The events of the previous evening began to flood my mind. I pulled back the covers. Thankfully, Jordan was nowhere to be seen.
As flashes of our night together filled my thoughts, I began to shudder. The sex had been so awkward and unfulfilling. Thankfully, I was alone now. The remorse that would accompany an encounter such as this proved almost nonexistent with his absence. The lie about taking an early morning flight seemed to have the intended effect of getting rid of this nuisance. I was effectively absolved of all of my sins. I was going to fly across the country that afternoon and regain my dignity.
I checked my laptop and was grateful that my flight itinerary was already on the screen. I was way too hungover to have to hunt for it. After vomiting in the toilet, I ordered room service and contemplated how the next couple of days were going to play out. As I returned to the bed, I noticed a piece of paper on the nightstand. I picked it up and read it.
You looked so beautiful this morning that I didn’t dare stir you from your sweet slumber. You were and shall forever be my angel of the morning. On the wings of a cherub, I will fly to you soon. May the rest of Heaven continue to envelope you in a shroud of luminous beauty.
With an undying love,
Needless to say, this creeped me out. Who the fuck did I invite to my bed last night? All of the sweetness and platitudes he had spoken to me at the bar and in my hotel room made me cringe upon the cold examination of the light of day. However I assured myself, it was what I desired in the moment, and there was nothing wrong with that.
I showered and forced down my breakfast. I made my 12:30 flight and slept the entire way back to New York.
Landing at JFK, I made my way to the baggage claim. I scanned intently for my luggage, completely oblivious to my surroundings.
When the hand grasped my arm, I jumped. I turned in bewilderment to see Jordan standing next to me.
“Greetings, m’lady,” he said with a smile.
Incredulous, I didn’t know how to respond. I just stared back at him blankly. He handed me a box of chocolates. I grasped it weakly.
“How romantic is this, my dear? I beat you here. I flew across the country to be with you.” I stood in silence incapable of responding to him.
Petrified, the next thing I knew I was in a cab with him heading back to the city.
“… and I can’t wait to see your apartment. This is exciting! It’s going to take some adjustment moving from LA to New York.”
I collected my thoughts and finally spoke up.
“Th-this is really weird. Don’t you see that?”
“What? Something this romantic is a little beyond the pale I will admit, but isn’t it grand?” He looked at my face and saw the confounded look written on it. “You weren’t expecting to meet such a gentleman I’m sure (indicating the box of chocolates I still held in my hands), but here I am to stay,” he said with a wink.
“Look… I had a fun time last night,” I lied. “And you’re a really sweet guy. But I’m not really looking for a relationship right now. Don’t get me wrong. I-I’m flattered.” I struggled to look him in the eyes as I said this. “You should probably just head back to LA.” Eventually, I stared at him, finding the strength to punctuate this statement without a hint of ambiguity. “Last night was… last night. I’m not really interested. Do you understand?”
“… Sure. Let me just see you to your apartment, before I make my leave,” he said this with an obnoxious bow. His change in demeanor was sullen but understanding. It seemed as if my statements had gotten through to him. That being said, there was no way in fuck I was going to let this guy see where I live. I told the cab driver to take me to 91st and Lexington.
I got out of the cab, grabbed my bags, and made my way to a random apartment building. As soon as the taxi pulled out of sight, I grabbed another one and headed across town.
I entered my door and crumbled onto my bed. As night began to peek through my blinds, sleep found me once again.
The next day I awoke with a start, still sufficiently creeped out by the events of the previous day. Throughout the day, my phone would periodically buzz with his name (this fucker must have entered his number into my phone as I slept) making it difficult to push on with my normal routine. Eventually, curiosity began to get the better of me. I called my friend Janice. After making some small talk, I asked her if she knew who Jordan was from the wedding.
“Yeah, I think I met that guy. He was fucking weird and really into you. He asked me like a billion questions about you.” As the conversation continued, I didn’t glean enough information to be satisfied. I remembered that a mutual friend of the groom’s worked at the same place as Jordan. I gave him a call and quickly launched into my inquiry.
“Don’t you work with that guy, Jordan?”
“Yeah, used to. Ha, the 30-year old Virgin.”
“Yeah we called him that. I don’t know how you make it into your 30s without getting laid, but somehow that fucking psycho managed it.” My eyebrows raised. I badly wanted to deflect the conversation away from sex.
“Oh, did he quit or what?”
“No. He got fired. There was this girl in our office, Madeline. She gave him a kiss on the cheek once, and he got like really obsessed with her.” My blood began to run cold. “It got so bad that they canned him, and she had to get, like, a restraining order against him. Yeah, that guy is a real fucking weirdo and loser. I think Josh is insane for inviting him to his wedding, but he felt really bad for him. After the whole incident with Madeline, he was totally suicidal.” This did not in any way help alleviate my fears.
However, three days on, the whole incident was receding to the background of my thoughts. I have an uncanny ability to push unpleasantness out of the forefront of my mind. I ignored the myriad calls I was receiving from Jordan and resumed my normal life. This all changed on the fourth day. My phone buzzed on my nightstand yet again. The name said Jordon. Reluctantly, I read the text.
The other day, you were not the angel I remembered from that glorious night and the resplendent morning. My angel doesn’t lie. She soars with feathers of truth and love. Your computer not only informed me of your flight (not that you need a plane to fly with wings such as yours), it whispered many other truths. I know a gentleman such as me only comes around once in a lifetime, and that can be scary, but the boundless love of heaven which radiates from your being will prove you wrong. See you soon.
Within moments, the pounding began on my front door. It was near deafening. The shock of that sound startled me. I stared at the door as the force of the battering threatened to take it off its hinges. After a minute of this, I pulled out my phone once again with the intent to dial 911. However, the knocking ceased.
I stood frozen in the foyer, praying that this was the end, but knowing deep down that this wouldn’t be the case. I double checked the locks on my door and was relieved to see that the deadbolt was firmly in place. I waited a few minutes before heading back to my room still debating whether or not to call the police. As I entered my bedroom, I gasped.
Standing there was Jordan. The open window and the adjacent fire escape had provided him entrance. As the night breeze played with my blinds, I could see that he held an object in his hand. My eyes adjusted as he raised his arm toward me.
“These flowers are for you. I know we are coming off our first fight, and that’s okay. I forgive you.” He grabbed my arm. My mind raced. A plan of attack quickly formed.
“Yes, and I’m s-so sorry about that.” I tried my best not to recoil from his touch and remain convincing. “It’s good to see you.” His large frame pulled me in for a hug. I struggled not to push him away. “You seem like… a real romantic. You know what? There is nothing more romantic than taking a lady on a walk in the park.”
“Indeed, my angel.”
“Well, Central Park is only a couple blocks away. Will you accompany me?”
“It would be my pleasure to escort a lady such as you.”
As we left my building and walked down the street, I made sure not to betray my thought process though every fiber of my being was screaming to just run. As we rounded 82nd street, the park came into view along with something else of much greater importance. In order to distract him, I kissed him on the cheek and spoke.
“Have you ever been to Central Park?”
He looked deeply into my eyes. “No, my angel.”
As we passed the front of the 20th precinct, I began to scream. “Help!!! This man broke into my apartment and is trying to kidnap me!!!” Before long, the police had grabbed him and cuffed him. The look of betrayal on his face was well worth the anguish that walk had caused me.
As I settled into the guest room at Mary’s apartment, I looked out the 7th floor window. There, I saw that the fire escape led directly into this bedroom. I went to her room and asked if she could talk to her super about raising the ladder. I was worried that this would come off as paranoid, but she was more than understanding of my request and obliged. I knew I wouldn’t be able to sleep that night until it was done. Looking out the window later to see the ladder pulled up, I knew I could finally rest. I took an Ambien and was left alone with my thoughts. Naturally, anxiety still coursed through me. I had told the NYPD repeatedly to inform me if he made bail. They assured me they would, but the vast bureaucracy of that organization did not instill me with any confidence. Eventually, my thoughts calmed down, and I welcomed sleep with open arms.
My eyes opened as the buzzing of my phone brought me out of a deep rest. I picked it up and looked in horror at the screen. I had received a text from Jordan.
I was able to wrest myself from the prison you constructed. However, I will never bail on our love.
I’m an angel too, you know.
I was perfect. I was a gentleman to you, to all women. I was hoping that one day I would have the power to make someone love me. However, in this plane of existence an angel can only fly so high before its wings are singed by the sun. This knife is going to penetrate both of us, just as your angelic countenance has punctured my soul. I’m sorry my lovely, but anybody that stands in our way is of this Earth and will be punished. We don’t belong on terra firma. We will both fly to heaven together tonight and be as one.
I got out of my bed and made my way to Mary’s room. I knocked on the door and called to her.
I opened it and turned on the lights. She lay in her bed. Her throat slashed to ribbons.
I ran toward the front door and recoiled in horror as I saw the hallway light illuminate his silhouette. The crimson dripping from the knife gleamed as he raised it upwards. I knew I had only one option. I ran back to the guest room and opened the window as he gave chase. I crawled onto the fire escape and climbed. His lumbering steps gave suit. I was too terrified to look back as I ascended further.
As I climbed upon the tiny roof, I finally turned around. I had no choice but to run to the opposite end and helplessly watch as his figure surmounted the ledge.
The morning light was beginning to show. Having me cornered, he approached slowly at first knife still in hand. However, restraint was not becoming of him. He started to rush towards me. I knew I only had one chance at this. I swiftly stepped aside and used his momentum to shove him over the edge.
As he fell, he looked up to me. He flapped his arms wildly as if this would give him license to fly. The burgeoning light of dawn illuminated a look of serenity on his face as he descended. That look sickened me then and still enrages me to this day.
Rot in Hell you piece of human garbage.