Calvin Spears by M. Handy
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Calvin (Prologue cont.)
People pressing to break past my boundaries aggravate me; make me feel trapped between their expectations and the force of my raw response. This, in turn, arouses the man beneath the shell that brutality built... You do not want to wake him. If I could genuinely warn others, I'd tell them that there is only a thin membrane that separates their world from my true identity and there is no room for excess… Excess guilt, greed, doubt, or fear, and worst of all, the excess temperament of a woman! All of the above cloud sound reasoning, and I am a man who "must" exercise sound reason.
Just over three years ago, I disappeared from a world where I trained men to become one-third profiler, one-third bloodhound, and one-third annihilator. They are all assassins whose goal is to destroy opposition; right now, that opposition is me. So, my need to remain concealed is conceivably sound, seeing that each day they track me could be my last. Therefore, like a good soldier, I march to the tune of this new life, always two steps ahead and every move deliberate in nature.
I chose Chicago's North Shore for my home, and every tenant a type of cozy window dressing. I followed by playing the elusive bachelor, fooling everyone while convincing myself that this was the man I'd always been. What balanced my gate between the two worlds was my desire to stay alive and the affinity I hold for Ladi Burgess; I never want to see her harmed. For that reason, I left her an undisturbed part of this scenery. The most I could do was extend common courtesies and pretend not to see her blush.
My piercing eyes always unsettled her sense of confidence, causing her to shift her weight from one leg to the other. This placed a strategic disconnect between the sensual brush we both felt. I understood her need for a buffer… I had a rose-like persona that couldn't quite conceal my thorns… I knew that she could feel them. I also knew that in one another's ideal world, we fucked until flesh and breath failed us. The difference was, Ladi didn't realize the depth of my longing. Perhaps it was better this way... A woman like her would find no rest in knowing that I am, "Jack of all trades—Master of them all." As ludicrous as it sounds, I mean it literally, and those who discover this truth usually begin to act like sleight-of-hand victims... Suddenly, everything I do is suspect.
Still, from somewhere, perhaps on a demented plane of my making, I believed that Ladi could handle and translate my complexities… Make me feel human… Or, as close to what I'd imagine "human" to mean.
My lines are particularly blurred in this area, as I've survived off of raw instinct for so long and at such varying degrees, that I've become irreversibly primal. In many instances, no words need to be exchanged for me to be aware of a person's vibe- Like a vampire syncs to a hammering pulse, I sync to a person’s fear, strength, and weakness. Some cultures romanticize this ability, linking it to two souls becoming one, but in this present reality, it is a tool of my trade.
Unfortunately, there are no social or poetic graces to be found in the monster that I've become—nor the atrocities that I've performed... It just is what it is, aside from the anomaly of Ladi, whom I know is primal as well. I can feel it more profound than anything I've ever known... If given a chance, I could be completely naked, mind, body, and soul before her… And, she before me.