From Romania with Love

I’ve often heard it said that you should always go after what you want, rather than accepting whatever falls into your path. This applies to lifelong passions, studies, the perfect job, and of course, above all, the ideal mate. Or should I say the pursuit of the perfect relationship. Relationships ranging from basic companionship, to the simply sexual. Of course, there are the not-so-simply sexual as well. Then, of course, those involving long term love affairs, and of course marriage. Whatever the relationship desired, it is preferable to seek out what you want, instead of accepting what comes your way, or falls in your lap, so to speak.

My friend Viva is always driving around town in a rush. She’s a beautiful, creative and athletic woman, who runs her own very successful business as a jewelry designer. Most weekdays, you will find her up early to get the kids off to school, followed by a hike or surfing, then back at home working away in her studio, between various errands and business meetings. She never sits still. Of course with this lifestyle, in Los Angeles, she is constantly in and out of her car. LA, being what it is, involves cars. Lots of cars. Cars full of all sorts of people. My friend, being very vivacious and gorgeous, attracts a lot of attention. Men are constantly trying to pull her over to get her their digits. Oh, and did I mention, Viva is super friendly. Too friendly I think. Anyhow, one day, she was in the bank. She was doing a transaction with the private teller. She felt his stare. You know the type of stare. Heavy and intense. The kind of stare that wills you to look their way.

Sensing the pressure of his gaze, she glanced over, and saw a striking blonde, tall athletic looking young man. Well-dressed, and definitely European. He flashed his pearly whites, and she was intrigued. But, being that she was in her gym clothes and a rush, she left the bank without looking back. When she turned the corner to the parking lot, there he was, with his confident smile. He said hello with an accent, and she was hooked. Conveniently, he was parked right next to her Range Rover, in a brand new, immaculate white Mercedes. Red flag #1. If it seems to perfect to be true, it probably is.

Of course he got her number.

The first text arrived within the hour. He asked her to meet him for breakfast the next day, followed by a rose emoji. She said she could meet after her morning run, but just for a quick coffee. But of course, that was no problem, since he had soccer practice that morning as well. How convenient.

She showed up in her “lady of the valley” attire, gym shorts and flip-flops. But, Viva’s one of those women who can make anything look sexy, and with her bronze complexion, she always looks extra radiant after a workout, never red and blotchy. As she entered the café, there he was seated in the corner at a table with a coffee. He flashed that Cheshire cat smile in her direction and she was hypnotized as she headed towards the table. On her placemat was placed a single red rose. It was almost too perfect. She smiled and thanked him, as she sat down.

They chatted, and he told her he was from Roumania, a former pro soccer player, now coaching soccer here in LA. He looked young to have retired, but soccer is a young sport anyway, so she bought it. The bill came, and of course he pulled out a Louis Vuitton wallet, cracking it open just enough to give her a peak at a stack of bills. He swiftly flipped out a 50 to throw on the check tray. She glanced away, not wanting to reveal that she had noticed. She was no gold digger. In fact, she was quite secure financially.

He continued to be the perfect gentleman, opening the door, walking her to her car, offering her a hand and a hug. She got into her car and rolled down the window. He told her he would see her soon , staring into her eyes, while touching her cheek gently with the back of his fingers. Such a charmer.

She was walking on air. It was very flattering to be wooed by such a gorgeous young athlete. He seemed to have it all, looks, intelligence, charm, and money. What harm could come of spending some time with him.

He texted within the hour. Like clockwork. Would she be free this week because he really enjoyed her company, and he couldn’t wait to see her again. She said yes. She would be working at her studio all week, and he was welcome to stop by. He would be there tomorrow morning, he said. She texted the address. Oh, did I mention that her studio is in her home? Yeah.

The doorbell rang. She checked her hair in the mirror before she ran down the stairs to get the door. She felt her heart beat a little bit faster than it should. There he stood. Dressed casually, but obviously wearing expensive clothing. He smiled and his blue eyes sparkled with promise as he offered her a bottle of wine as a gift. She invited him in, and he sauntered into the house as though he had been there before. He flopped down on her sofa. Red flag #2. If a guy (or girl) seems too comfortable on the first visit to your place, it probably means he or she does this kind of thing frequently. Just saying.

He suggested she open the wine since they both had the day free. She went into the kitchen and when she came out with two glasses, he had his perfect bare feet up on the ottoman, and was leaning deep into her sofa. He asked her to come sit next to him. She couldn’t resist. He gave her a sip of wine from his glass. She was all in now. They laughed and talked about Europe, since she had spent time there as a girl. Conversation was light and easy. He kept refilling her glass. He stroked her arm gently and pulled on her hand….asked her to show him the rest of the house. They went upstairs.

Once in her bedroom, they fell onto her giant bed and she knew there was no turning back now. He was so confident, and sensual. His athletic prowess was a perfect match for hers. It was intense and physical, so much so that they both passed out after.

A while later, as they laid in bed, he was sprawled out like he owned the place and she was cuddled up on his athletic chest. His phone was vibrating, but he ignored it. Suddenly, he checked the time and jumped up like there was a fire. He told her he was late for an appointment, and he went to her bathroom where she heard the shower running. He came out looking perfect again and kissed her on the forehead as he was on his way out. He told her he would text later on.

He didn’t text that evening. She waited, but really that had just met, so she didn’t feel any concern. He had a life, and he would call. Obviously, he was into her.

The next morning she got another text. He wanted to come by again. She told him she needed to check her schedule, but she definitely wanted to spend time with him again.

25 minutes later, there was a knock on her front door. Yes, he just showed up. Unannounced. Need I say, red flag #3?! Normally, she would be upset, but she really wanted to see him again, and she was still reeling from the hot sex. One could say her judgment was somewhat clouded. So, she welcomed him in. Again, he walked in like he owned the place, this time heading straight to the kitchen where he opened the fridge. She followed him and offered to make him some brunch. After eating French toast and having some champagne, he was ready for desert and they headed up to her room. She was dizzy with infatuation. His scent lingered on her sheets, in her hair and on her skin. He lounged around in her bed for a bit afterward, his tousled locks and sculpted glistening body gleaming like an adonis. Again the phone continued to vibrate intermittently. This time it was texts he was ignoring. At a certain point he grabbed the phone, went into the bathroom and she heard the shower turn on. She also heard him speaking in his native tongue, in an angry hushed tone. He emerged looking fresh and clean, and again kissed her softly, this time on the lips, and told her he would see her soon. But probably not until the next week, since some important work had come up. His soccer coaching was about to start up for the season.

The days passed and no text, no calls from him. She continued with her life and business. Halloween arrived, and after a few drinks that night, while giving out candy to neighborhood kids, she picked up her phone and texted him. She simply sent a message saying “Happy Halloween. Miss you xoxo”.

Ten minutes later, her phone rang. A female voice with a heavy accent asked her why she was texting this number?  Viva was so shocked, she didn’t respond at first. Again, the woman asked her, “why are you texting my boyfriend?”. Uh-Oh. Didn’t I tell you, when it seems to good to be true…go back and take note…red flag #1, red flag #2, and red flag #3?…

Yup. This woman wanted an explanation. My friend, being a very honest and direct type of person, told her the truth. Oh, I think she left out the sex part. I mean, she told her they got intimate, but I don’t think any details were given.

Turns out he was living with the woman for years. And, yes, that immaculate white Mercedes? Of course it was hers, not his. Those nice clothes he wore, she bought them. Now the picture is getting clearer, isn’t it?

The woman was livid, of course. She called back again, this time she told my friend, she wasn’t mad at her, in fact she was glad she found out the truth. She told her in a controlled, robotic voice that if she wanted the guy, he would now be available, since she was throwing him out the next morning. But, he would be homeless, and carless. Not sure about his wardrobe.

In any case, the point of this story is sort of a cautionary tale to all the single ladies out there. When you see a red flag, take note. Never let a pretty face mesmerize you into overlooking the obvious. Be careful of those seductive foreign accents. Watch out for guys who seem to comfortable too quick. Like they’ve been in your place before. This is because they have. Well, not your place, but you know what I mean.

My friend, well, she let it go, and actually laughed a lot about it with her friends. It could have turned out far worse. I mean, this is the perfect set up for a crime of passion, but fortunately, the player’s girl was onto his tricks and she just needed the last piece of evidence to kick him to the curb. Good riddance.

The funniest part is that this guy still texts my friend. Even though she has moved into a serious long-term relationship with a real man, and she has told him this. He’s just one of those guys. There are plenty. Consider yourself informed and warned.

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