It was never up to you to begin and to finish, India said to me, looking as exquisitely relaxed as a madam in an exotic comfort house. Her legs were elegantly crossed. Her voice was still of the rarest texture as she went on, “You may be tempted to feel better knowing this has been a game.
“To begin, it has been our game, not yours. Everything you did was not maneuver, they were all permitted. For each Don Juan you thought you pulled, you advanced our plan.
“If you haven’t realized it already, I’ll put it in simple words: you were Amber’s sex toy. It was satisfying just watching you act like you were quite the golden prick but the only reason you could not get her out of your mind was because you were never really in control. She was disappointed, by the way. She said you had no rhythm in bed, and no real turgidity down there.
“She only came back to complete your humiliation. You have to fancy how you never thought you could be knocked out that way.
“And for Eloke, it wasn’t that hard making herself your mirage. You thought people would just arrange themselves in these imaginary pews and worship you, if you made yourself seem like a prize, but the truth is that you wear a disgusting ego when you do that.
“All the while Eloke was with you, she had to count sheep jumping over a yellow moon in her mind. Vanity is shallow. If you had anything in abundance, it was that. Counting sheep was the least she could do to keep from running mad.
“She thought your jokes were old and corny. More than half the time she grit her teeth and exuded in frustration. Yours Truly thought she had a special way of smiling. I have to tell you that totally cracked me up.
“And then finally, Enter India. I was only ever in the equation for the sake of completion. How did you think this worked? You meet a woman, say a few magic words like Super Ted back in the day, and then take her under your wings? That was nice at the bank but under par, to say the least. And don’t be flattered it took such team work to strip you of your childish maverick. We had to make a compound fool out of you for the sake of conviction–to totally destroy your ego. We made you come and now we’re shush-ing you, just as you claimed you did with women.
“When I leave here, your heart will be torn in three parts. That’s a lot of mess, and that’s how we planned it from the beginning. You may want to take some time cleaning up in therapy. Pity, Oprah is retired. Maybe you’ll try Ellen, I hear she listens too.
“The next time you come out feeling like the cunt-o-nova of the times, remember you’re nothing but a cheap knockoff, a poor man’s Casanova. You will remember there are others better at your own game. And that you don’t figure women through a simple math or flat philosophy.
“You will also remember that our attention is something you should appreciate, and not gloat about. Sometime later when you comb through this part of your life, as you must, and ponder how you missed the clues that led to this build up, remember only one fact: good chess players think five steps ahead, great chess players think only one step ahead – but it’s always the right one. Therein lies the difference between you and us.”
India got up and made her way to the door as I watched her dumbstruck. She turned the knob, and just before she stepped out, she said, “Of course, you could choose to be in denial about all this, but your player’s diary will never be the same.”