“Look, Jack. You’re a good guy and I like you, genuinely, and I know this that is probably just a big, stupid mix-up. But rules are rules. I can’t let them slide for you. That’s the shitty side of being the boss…”
I nod and smile, thank Melanie for at least considering giving me my job back, then leave it behind.
My name is Jack. My rent is due in a few days and I am fucked.
Jack’s Devil #3:
If you’re new to this, let me catch you up: the devil in my head bought me a hooker for my birthday, I consented to a blowjob then slept for two days, missing work and subsequently getting fired. There, now you’re caught up.
I’m making my way home and trying not to direct my malice toward Sid in particular, but Sid catches wind of some ungenerous thought and sees fit to respond.
“You know, it’s not my fault you couldn’t handle your shit. You should have set an alarm or something,” Sid tells me.
I almost reply, but I think better of it. In the years that Sid has been floating around my head I’ve excoriated him more than once and I might as well have stayed silent for all the good it’s ever done me. Instead I just cross the street.
Losing the sandwich shop job isn’t the worst thing that’s ever happened to me, but the major perk of working there was Melanie’s flexibility with my hours. Being able to schedule work around my gigs made for a very comfortable existence. An existence suddenly thrown into turmoil by Sid’s interference. Unsurprising.
“Maybe you’re right. Maybe I did have a small part in your misfortune. How about you let me make it up to you? I’ll get you a muffin,” Sid tells me.
As if a muffin could change what he’s done. As if a fucking muffin could get me my job back. I accept though, if for no other reason than to see how he intends to get me a muffin without having me pay for it. He’s incorporeal, so he doesn’t really have an income per se.
“I promise, you won’t have to pay a dime. Just go into that coffee shop right over there.”
I follow Sid’s instructions and walk into the coffee shop. I start to head up to the counter when I see a dirty-blond in tailored charcoal pants laughing with the cashier. His good mood seems to be infecting her. I turn to leave, to escape before he sees me but it’s too late.
“Jack!” the blond exclaims.
I cringe and turn around to face him. He’s already making his way over and my stomach is vibrating anxiously. Sebastian looks as good as he usually does and that’s probably an understatement. His perfect teeth are on display as he grins at me and his new haircut makes him look like more of a movie star than he did when we were together.
“How are you, Bas?” I ask.
Sid has gone quiet, but I can nearly feel his smug sense of pleasure at having successfully manipulated me into this bear trap. No muffin is worth this.
“I’m good, Jack. How about you?” He reaches out and touches my arm and the anxious feeling in my stomach disappears. I want to stay on edge, but I start to smile despite myself.
“Not bad,” I reply, and somehow it’s not a lie. In the thirty-seconds since he’s touched me, my day has improved immensely.
It took me seven months to break up with Sebastian the first time, and nine months the second time. I had to change my number because he could lure me back even over the telephone. Nothing works except complete isolation from him and that isn’t easy when Sid is actively trying to throw me in his path.
“Let me buy you a coffee,” Sebastian says. “Are you hungry? What can I get you?”
I mutter my answer.
“What was that, J? Could you repeat that?”
Sid once explained to me that the world as I knew it was a fabrication. He told me that humans could see only what they allowed themselves to see and that having him in my head was a blessing of a sort. He insisted that his presence elevated me.
He had told me that he was completely invulnerable. As it turned out, that wasn’t entirely true.
When I met Sebastian, things got weird. We met at a bar. Sebastian had been with a group of his friends and though I’m not usually the kind of guy to approach someone so boldly, I walked straight up to him and told him that I found him adorable. In those words. Imagine how awkward that is.
I’m certain that his friends thought I was crazy (and probably still do) but Sebastian just smiled at me, and said, “thanks, cutie.”
Sebastian is the kind of guy who can get away with calling another man “cutie.”
We went home with each other that night and I discovered something that I don’t think Sid intended me to find out.
I was in Sebastian’s enormous bed. We were kissing and I was rubbing my hands over his ripped stomach. We’d shed most of our clothes on the way to his bed, but he was still in figure-hugging white boxer briefs that were soft to the touch and outlined his half-hard cock which my fingers occasionally brushed against. His mouth, improbably, tasted like whipped cream and wherever his hands fell on my naked upper torso instantly flushed with heat and made me moan. I hadn’t been that giddy just making out with another guy since middle school.
Eventually though Sid had to ruin it. He “suggested” that I suck Sebastian’s dick. The “suggestion” had the full force of Sid’s influence behind it, meaning that I had two choices: follow the instruction or risk doubling over in a cocktail of pain and pleasure so severe that it would probably result in me losing my load epically all over Sebastian’s clean white sheets.
I started to lower my mouth along his collarbone and shifted my position on the bed so I could travel further down his chest. I was lowering myself, and Sebastian said, “not yet.”
I stopped dead. The feeling of Sid’s power fled my gut in a way that I’d never experienced.
I looked up at that moment and I saw Sebastian, not just what I wanted to see or what he wanted me to see or what Sid wanted me to see, but I saw him. There was a corona of light so bright around his head that it was nearly blinding. His smile wasn’t just white, but luminous.
“Are you?” I asked.
Is he? I thought.
Sid sighed, and said, “yep. He’s a fucking angel.”
And that’s how I got roped into a long-term relationship with a supernatural being. Another one, I mean.