Not if you were the last man on earth
She had said it with a smile, as if it pleased her to twist the knife. And yet he couldn't get over her.
In the days after Barry had retreated into his hobby to distract himself. Roaming the antiques shops in town whenever he had the time.
It was a strange hobby for a boy his age, and perhaps if she knew it would be another reason for Michelle to reject him. But it reminded him of simpler, better times, when his family visited his grandmother over the holidays. Her antique shop had always been a place of innumerable wonders to him when he was younger.
Barry picket up a bracelet. It sparkled like gold and had an elegant design with symbols engraved all around. Maybe she'd like that. But no, he should stop thinking about her. She'd been clear enough she wasn't interested.
"Looking for a gift for your girlfriend?"
Barry spun around. Behind him stood an older lady, smiling.
"Uh. No. I..." He put the bracelet back down.
The shopkeeper looked at it. "I'd be careful with that. It's a big promise to give someone."
He'd been about to walk away, but curiosity stalled him. "What do you mean?"
She picked up the bracelet and pointed at the symbols. "This isn't just decoration. It's a vow in ancient Sumerian that the giver promises to be the kind of person the other can love."
"That doesn't sound so bad. Sounds rather sweet, actually. Wait, Sumerian? You mean it's thousands of years old?"
"Oh, no, no, no. See these symbols here? They say 'made in China'." It was small, but plain English.
"So what's the worry then? Even if I believed in magic, this is just a replica."
She shrugged. "A promise is a promise."
Something about it spoke to Barry. It reflected how he felt about her. "How much is it?"
"$29 and your immortal soul." She smiled. "Do you want me to gift-wrap it for you?"
Barry didn't believe in souls any more than magic, but negotiated the price down to a round $25 anyway.
Barry was a bundle of nerves as he rang the doorbell. This was a bad idea. She'd already rejected him once. She might hate him for bothering her further. But the bracelet wouldn't do him any good if he didn't at least try to give it.
By the time the door opened, Barry had halfway turned to flee. "Barry? What are you doing here?" Michelle looked at him puzzled, a slight furrow in her brow. "How do you even know where I live?"
"I... I wanted to give you something." He held out the bracelet, and she took in reflex. "I get that I'm not your type. But I can change. I'll work on becoming someone worthy of your affection." He paused for a moment. "Errm... Can I have hint for what your type is?"
Michelle fiddled with the bracelet. She hadn't really paid attention from the moment she took it. She traced the symbols on the outside with her fingers. She put it on, just to try; held out her arm and looked at it. It was quite nice. But...
The stress of the situation was getting to Barry. He felt nauseous. The world spun. It felt like he was having a panic attack. But somehow he stayed on his feet, even though everything felt wrong.
Michelle slid the bracelet off her hand, still looking at it. "It's... It's a nice bracelet, Barry. But you can't buy my love with trinkets, and —" As she looked up at him, preparing to give it back, the words stuck in her throat and confusion crept across her face. "How...?"
The confusion changed to wonder, and a puzzled smile emerged. She reached out and touched his cheek, as if to check he was real. "How did you ...?" The smile grew, and excitement sparkled in her eyes. She grabbed his head with both hands and kissed him.
"This is wonderful!" She grabbed his hand and pulled him inside. Barry almost stumbled as she dragged him along. He stepped right out of his shoes, as if they were several sizes to large. His socks slid off as he walked, and he had to grab his belt to stop his jeans dropping to the floor.
Michelle dragged him into her bedroom and pushed him down on the bed. "Sit there." She started to rummage through her closet. "Take off your clothes. They really don't suit you. They never did, but now..."
Barry's mind was a jumble of confusion. Things were moving too fast. And they didn't make sense. But it was going better than he'd hoped for, and he wasn't going to jinx it by questioning things now.
He loosened his belt and pulled down his jeans. He froze a moment when the bony, hairy stilts he expected to find where smooth and soft and full. He blinked and pushed through the confusion. As he bent down to push the jeans over his feet, long locks of luscious blond hair cascaded down around his head. He grab a handful and stared at it. "What the..?"
"Here, try this on!" Michelle turned to him holding out a red summer dress. It was probably his favorite dress that he'd ever seen her in. But why..? His eyes traced a path from the dress to her silky smooth legs and back up to her face, all smiles, bright blue eyes, and framed by long blond hair.
His eyes darted to the mirror on the closet doors and caught his reflection. Saw her reflection. And he realized then that she was a narcissist that could only love herself.
And they lived happily ever after.
Please feel free to fix any typos/grammar/other problems and point out anything that doesn't make sense or could otherwise be improved.