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His package ended up inside my box.
Normally, I was more of a cat person. As in, if I had to choose who lives, I’m going to take the cat nine times out of ten. It’s not that I particularly like cats, I just don’t particularly like most people.
My neighbor wasn’t most people. He lived in the apartment across the hall, and he was your typical, buttoned-up, fancy shoes, smells like a Calvin Klein commercial, looks like he actually flosses kind of guy. I mean, seriously? Wasn’t flossing just made up by dentists so they could go on their little power trips once every six months?
The point was, this guy very obviously had his life all put together. He was Mr. Perfect, and If you asked me, he needed to be brought down a few pegs to wallow with the rest of us.
Cue his long, thick, package penetrating my tight little mailbox.
I know. It’s absolutely sick. It was such an obvious ploy to hit on me. Forget the fact that the mail lady put it there, my neighbor and I both knew what kind of game he was playing. Oh yeah, we totally knew. It was on. It was in, if you would.
I accidentally dropped a knife on the package a few times back in my apartment. It basically sprang open on its own, and I had no choice but to look inside.
His dirty little secret was staring me right in the face. As it turned out, Mr. Perfect wasn’t so perfect. Who knew?
Hint: I knew. And I was absolutely going to enjoy every second of what was coming.
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People always thought I wasn’t a “people person,” whatever that even means. Well, guess what, assholes? I was totally a people person. There were a lot of things I liked about people. I enjoyed watching slightly unfortunate things happen to people who deserved it. I liked making people uncomfortable. Just because frolicking through a grassy field with my best friend and a picnic basket in my hand wasn’t my idea of paradise, it didn’t make me a psychopath. The fact that I’d probably choose to save a cat’s life before a person’s life… Well, that admittedly might push me a little farther toward the psychopath end of the spectrum, but nobody’s perfect.
Everybody had to find their joys in life. Guilty pleasures. My joys just happened to involve the misfortune of others. Maybe there was a less disturbing way to phrase that… I don’t like most people, and I enjoy seeing them suffer? No, still right.
Basically, I assumed pretty much everybody had some bad karma coming their way, and if I was lucky enough to see it happening, it was a bonus. The guy who just spilled coffee on his tie while commuting to work probably walked right past his innocent little golden retriever who just wanted a belly rub a few hours ago. Karma. The woman who had a scrap of toilet paper trailing from her heel after lunch break probably gave some poor customer service worker a hard time about her coupon not working the night before. Worse, the reason the coupon didn’t work was probably that, like ninety percent of people, she didn’t bother reading the details on the back. Boom. Karma strikes again.
But there’s something I enjoy even more than casual acts of the universe’s great balancing act. I don’t excite easily, and I don’t make a habit of smiling—but I especially enjoy waiting for karma to strike down someone when they’ve pissed me off.
And that’s how it all started.
I lived across the hall from Mr. Perfect. I didn’t know his name, even though he’d lived across from me for a few weeks now, and I didn’t plan to know it. It was probably something douchey like “Cade,”“Tade,” or “Spade.” Guys like him always had names like that, like they just rolled out of a yacht wearing boat shoes with a sweater wrapped around their hips.
Mr. Perfect didn’t dress like that, but you could totally see him pulling it off. Something about the hair or the way he had one of those obnoxious faces that probably would even look good bald. It could’ve been how you could look at him and practically see the long, unbroken line of absolutely gorgeous people who had to sleep together over the centuries to produce a man with such perfect genetics. Or maybe it was just the stupid way he kept himself in such incredibly good shape—I mean, come on, who needs their body to look like it’s classily trying to fight its way out of everything you wear, perfectly shaped muscle by perfectly shaped muscle?
I’d decided, in a very out-of-character moment, to give him a chance the first day he moved in. It’s important to note that my decision had almost nothing to do with how good he looked or any bizarre fantasies I might have had about him and my heaving bosoms. It was nothing like that. I just thought I’d be neighborly. Instead of my usual glare, I just kind of looked his way and waited for him to introduce himself. I even gave him one of those subtle head nods I see guys give each other. I’d seen both the chin tilt up and the chin tilt down variation, so I picked one.
I didn’t expect much in return. Maybe a chin tilt or a chin dip. Maybe a smile. Maybe he’d drag me into his room and have his way with me because he’d never seen such an untamed beauty like myself.
But he completely ignored me. Not even eye contact. Nothing. So, in the immortal words of the kids back in middle school, “it was on.”
He wanted to be perfect? He wanted to practically wear a sign around his neck that says “my life is better than yours?” Fine. He could knock himself out. But if I go out of my way to not glare at you, then you better bet your ass you at least owe me a head nod.
That was mistake number one.
His next mistake was continuing to look like he had some secret stash of Liquid Luck from the Harry Potter universe stashed in his apartment, like every day of his life was a never-ending series of perfectly fortunate coincidences. You could just see it in his eyes.
But the details aren’t what matter. What mattered was that he irritated me. So I’d been aggressively waiting for the universe to realize it owed him about thirty years of bad luck all in one moment ever since. I didn’t want anything seriously bad to happen to the guy, but it would’ve made my day if I could just see him fall flat on his face once. I’d even settle for a funny bone injury. Maybe his toilet could back up and flood his apartment with crap. Anything, really.