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The Lord of the Night

A Little like Scarlett

By Stephanie Van OrmanPublished 5 months ago 4 min read
The Lord of the Night
Photo by Emre Karataş on Unsplash

Of all my boyfriends, I only officially dated one guy from my hometown. I was having a bad night and I wondered to myself how long it would take me to get Benjamin to ask me out. As it turned out, it took two and a half hours. Why does no one want to play hard-to-get with me? Why does every guy just give me what I want?

In any case, afterward, I didn't feel like dating him had been such a good idea. I had just wanted a compliment because I was feeling low. The whole thing would have been better if I had just turned to him and said, “Benjamin, I need a compliment. A good compliment, and I need it to come from you. So, please, right now, if you would be so kind.”

If he had only humored me by saying something like, “Stephanie, you're just like Scarlett O'Hara tonight.” That would have been enough for me, but I stupidly ended the night as his girlfriend and I softly regretted it in the days to come.

Again, he was a decent guy, nothing to complain about. The problem with me was that I had high expectations when it came to love because I was used to experiencing it like it was a drug I could smoke on a whim. I could look at pretty much every guy I saw, and he would look at me with these admiring love-lost eyes and I would feel it. On my end, I could merely think about one of the unrequited loves I had suffered and feel it. My love for him, like a slow burn that made me warm... until it turned to frostbite.

I really had neither of those feelings with Benjamin. He didn't really like me. I was like a prize because of all those adoring looks I garnered, but he didn't really want to be with me. A few weeks before this muddle, he had very briefly dated Lizbet, who I thought he cared quite a lot for and I was just a rebound girl. We had nothing in common and I wondered what I could do to untangle the mess I had landed myself.

I wasn't in any hurry to do so. Why should I be? This could drag out for months as far as I cared. Until something happened.

Benjamin had come over to my house after school and hung out until after dark. It was cold and I volunteered to walk him halfway home so it would be less lonely. We started walking. When we got to the spot I was going to leave him, he gave me a hug and looked at me.

I would now like to tell you what 'The Lord of the Night' is. It's a look a man gives you. There is a perfect example of it in Skip Beat Volume 12, by Yoshiki Nakamura. I'd add the page number if there were page numbers in my edition. Ren and Kyoko are practicing their acting. She is trying to get a dish down from a high cupboard and she slips. He tries to catch her, but in typical manga fashion, falls on top of her pinning her under him. Then he gets up, realizes how feminine and vulnerable she is, runs his finger across her lips, and asks her if she's ever tried kissing before. Then he gives her The Lord of the Night look and suggests he 'teach' her.

I'm in stitches thinking about it. Romance is so hilarious, but still, that one frame is epic. Let me explain the look. It's sort of a half smile, paired with a sort of piercing gaze that implies playfulness, danger, and sexual desire.

And when that look came over Benjamin's face, I knew I had to put an end to it. I said goodbye to him and suddenly felt like my epic love life could not begin that way. He was a great guy. The way he had liked Lizbet proved he was, but not for me. I needed to do something to put an end to all this, but that was okay. I was good at doing that sort of thing.

It was seamless. I don't think he even felt dumped.

Teenage yearsDating

About the Creator

Stephanie Van Orman

I write novels like I am part-printer, part book factory, and a little girl running away with a balloon. I'm here as an experiment and I'm unsure if this is a place where I can fit in. We'll see.

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