“Well. Good bye then.” I tried to smile, but it turned out a grimace.
My date, whom I’d just dropped off, didn’t seem to notice. Mostly because she was looking everywhere but at my face. And no, it’s not because she was shy.
“I had a… unique time.” She said. I knew what that tone meant. I wasn’t getting a second date. I’d learnt to recognise that tone ever since I ventured into dating. Women seldom wanted to see me again.
“I’ll call you.” She said by way of custom. She didn’t even have my number.
“Sure” I muttered. Too bad. This one was actually pretty.
I was thirty one, and I was going home to nothing but an empty bachelors pad. When my fellow workers complained of marriage, I wanted nothing more than to punch them and their home-made lunches to pieces. Living by myself even after thirty was rather…. boring.
Who am I kidding. I’m utterly miserable.
Only, when I turned the door handle, I heard a decidedly masculine burp from inside.
There was someone in my house. Someone male, and rude, judging from the gastric outburst.
I held my umbrella with both hands and nudged the door open with my shoulder, preparing to strike.
Only to be greeted by a half- naked baby chugging what looked like alcohol while lying on my sofa. My once pure white sofa.
He followed my gaze to the sickening splat on said sofa, and seemed to understand my concern. “Sorry bro. I like the drink, but it doesn’t like me”. He burped again for emphasis.
I collapsed on the floor.
He looked slightly offended at the question. “Listen bud, I’m a winged child with a bow and suspiciously heart-shaped arrows. You dont need to be a genius to figure it out.”
“You seriously can’t figure it out?” The baby puffed up his rosy cheeks. “I’m Cupid. Eros. Whatever you know me as.”
By this time, I was convinced that I was in a dream.
“And why are you here, great one?”
“None of that ‘great one’ crap. Just Cupid, please.” He flicked the bottle away and reached for another one. “And I came by to tell you that I quit.”
“I quit. I give up. I’m done. I cant find you a partner.” He shrugged. “Cases like yours is rare, but it’s common courtesy to let you know, comprendrez-vous?”
I could feel all the blood drain from my face. This dream wasn’t fun anymore.
” Why not?.. is… is there something wrong with me?”
“Well, you’re okay appearance wise. And you’re a gentleman. And oh look, you donate to charity. Bibbity-boppity-bam. Dream boat.” Cupid fished around for a pack of kurkure, “I couldn’t really understand why those ladies couldn’t get it on with you. Almost drove me mad, you know. I have a reputation. God of love and all that.”
“This is bad for you” I couldn’t help but point out.
“Yeah I know. That’s why i tried so hard to get you a girl and-”
No. Not that.” I gestured to the drinks and the fast food. ” That. You’re a child and-”
“Listen, mon ami.” Cupid’s expression became decidedly less child-like. “Not only am I considerably older than you, but I’m also the reason you even exist, so continue to give me lip and I’ll cut off your family tree. Ca va?”
” Yes.” I gulped. He went back to grinning, all sweet and innocent as if he hadn’t threatened to destroy my b-
“So where was I? Ah yes. My inability to get you a mate.” He closed his eyes, as if meditating. “Tell me, son. How many dates have you been on?”
“Okay. Nearer to twenty.”
“Fifty three okay? Happy?”
“Not really” but I spied a particularly mocking glint in his eyes. “So you don’t got no problems bringing ’em in. But you do got problems making ’em stay.”
“I believe I still haven’t met the right person yet-”
“Ah blah blah blah. You know what I hear when you open your mouth? ‘Yadda yadda yadda I’m a thirty one year old vir-”
“How do you know that?”
“I’m a God. Omniscient ya know. One of the perks of the job. Though not always. I wish I could forget all the stuff I know about Zeus.” Cupid rolled his eyes as far back as he could. “Spoiler alert. He’s into some freaky stuff. You know about what happened with that Leda babe?”
“Can we please concentrate on me now?” I whispered, still a bit cautious of offending the drunk cherub in front of me.
I shouldn’t have bothered. His eyes lit up like those of a child during Christmas. “You’re finally interested, my boy! Good. Good. Let’s sit down and you tell papa Cupid why you think women run away screaming from you.”
“I believe you could’ve phrased that better.”
“But I didn’t.”
“But you didn’t” I signed. Maybe he was annoying me on purpose. “Well.. the most obvious thing is- Maybe I’m not good looking enough?”
He leaned forward till his nose almost touched mine. “Well, it’s true that you’re no golden apple, but like I said, you ain’t that bad on the eyes. Next?”
“Am I boring, perhaps?”
“Rather than that, I’d say you have the personality of a paper bag.”
“Nope. Irrelevant. And easily eroded by liquid” Cupid poured himself a glass. “I’ve seen you when you’re drunk. It’s a mess.”
“So maybe that’s it?”
“Nah. Most people nowadays go for boring people like you.” He chugged the glass in one swoop and burped viciously. “Marriages of convenience and all that. You’re perfect cuckloid material,if you ask me.”
“I thought you guys voted that being offensive was okay this year.”
“Is that a reference to Donald Trump?”
“Oh is that what humans call him?”
We weren’t getting anywhere. I mean, yes, I was learning a lot. But not about the preferred topic.
“This don’t seem to be working, boy.” Cupid voiced my thoughts. “Say, all these dates and… haven’t you ever dated someone more than once?”
“Um. There was Camillia. We went out for a solid week. She was fun, to be honest.” I couldn’t help but smile at the memory. “But it didn’t work out. She broke up with me.”
“She dumped you. Why?”
“Well. She said I was spending too much time with my friends. That I didn’t pay much attention to her.”
“Dude. You’re not that much of a gentleman after all.”
“Naomi dated me for three days.” I couldn’t stop the memory train. “She asked me to choose between her and my friend Kevin. I think I made her cry.”
“So you chose the dude.”
“You’ll understand once you meet Kevin.”
“Suuuure. I can live without that experience. Anyway.” He snapped his fingers. “Onto the next person. I’m tryin’ to find a common deal breaker.”
“Emma. I was with her for a whole month, but it turns out I was the only one who thought we were dating.” I flushed in embarrassment. “She told me I was her best friend.”
“You’re lucky you got even that.”
“I know. But then came Islie. She really hated Kevin.” I rolled my eyes,”Just because I stood her up once or twice for him, she immediately accused me of not caring and stuff like that.”
“You didn’t even call her to cancel?”
“I completely forgot. Kevin bakes a wicked pie.”
“You really loyal to this Kevin dude, huh?”
“He’s amazing.” I grinned. “He’s nice, and has a wicked sense of humour. We’ve been together since we were in diapers.”
Cupid’s searching gaze suddenly turned to one of amusement.
“So here’s what I found. You’re not particularly supportive of homosexuality, are you?”
“I believe its a sin. God didn’t design us that way.”
“You people make God sound like a douche, you know that?” Cupid burped again. “I know her. Nice dude. She’s the last person to judge you like that.”
“That’s what you find surprising?”
“I- no it’s just. So that’s why girls don’t like me? Because I’m not pro-gay?”
“No no no, my friend. The question is , why dont you like girls?”
I was dumbfounded. “Excuse me?”
“Oh you really are a dumb human. You. You don’t like girls.”
“What? Of course I do I-”
“Dude. You can’t hide it. It’s obvious.”
“B-but I’m a man! I’m not- I cant be-”
“What’s so difficult in admitting that you like d-”
“Whooooa there keep this pg13” I interrupted. “I still don’t see your point.”
Cupid inched over until he was face to face with me. There was a certain light in his eyes, the sort of light that is usually seen in sages and all that. It suddenly struck me that he was a God. And that God was sitting next to me, currently discussing my love life. Or lack thereof.
“Son” he burped, and placed a greasy hand on my coat. Upon tracing my gaze, he took it to his mouth and ‘cleaned’ it before placing it back on the original position. I decided that Gods could get away with some things after all.
“Son, tell me more about this Kevin guy.”
“Oh. Okay. He’s really tall. Like extremely. But he’s got such a baby face, you’ll always guess he’s younger than he really is. He’s really good at cooking, being the only child and all. He makes time to help around in his house and sometimes even comes over to help me with my chores. The guy is always cracking jokes too. He’s only cried in front of me twice- but he cries so beautifully, you know? It’s like every tear has meaning behind it. He’s always embarassed after he cries too … flushes red just like a tomato. His eyes always seem to be brown but in the sunlight they turn amber.. And his smile, he has that one pointy tooth that always peeks out and-”
I stopped, suddenly really aware of Cupid’s wide grin.
“Hey Cupid?” My voice sounded small even to myself.
“I think I might be a little gay.”
“Yeah no shit Sherlock.”