Kindness. It’s a good thing, right? Treat others how you’d like to be treated. Well yeah, I agree and I love to put myself out to help others. But not too recently I discovered a scenario where kindness got me nowhere…or at least nowhere I want to be.
Story time, guys.
As I previously mentioned I am a second year journalism student who resides in the North East.
However, a student loan only gets you so far and if you want to partake in
drinking getting smashed crying failing caffieine-fuelled stress sessions the most cultural aspects of student life, then you might consider getting a job.
I’m lucky in the sense that I’ve had my part time job at an electronics/gaming store since I was 17. And, seeing as I stayed local to go to university I was able to keep my job throughout my studies, meaning I manage to earn that little extra each month which truly keeps me from a ramen-exclusive diet.
So every weekend I get up and go to work, and sometimes I actually enjoy myself. (Working with cool gadgets, new technology and of course gaming can be pretty cool, I must admit.)
Anyhow, I am an extremely awkward person. Just last weekend my supervisor told me he’s pretty sure that I just wandered into the shop and managed to get the job by accident one day. And was too awkward to say no so three years later here I am. Much like the whole theory about how Michael Cera became an actor.
My friends also often comment on how awkward I am –
– and I have to admit I don’t blame them. Let’s not forget that time I tried to date and regretted everything.
Anyhow, I have a colleague at work who’s just 2 years older than me. (I’m 20). His name is Ray, and we have really similar interests! Horror movies, sarcastic humour. He’s foreign so his accent and stories are an area of great intrigue for me. He’s also a nice guy, too.
When he found out my boyfriend and I had split up, he brought me in a Scream figurine of Ghost Face. (One of my fave movies. Also see; Donnie Darko)
Now. I know what you’re thinking. ‘Ha, that guy is so far deep in the friendzone lol’ but that’s where it gets interesting. And ultimately, kind of scary.
So a little while after he gave me my Ghost Face figure he asked me a (fairly) strange request. See, have some background context here: the guy collects film memorabilia and figures. One particular character he loves is Lara Croft – so much so he got a life-size version of the doll.
I mean, that’s kinda cool. You do you. Anyhow, the request. Ah yes. We went on a staff night out and a few days after he messaged me on Facebook saying something basically along the lines of ‘I couldn’t help notice but the flats you wore on that night out were perfect for a project I’m doing.’
So! Basically, Ray was doing up an outfit for life-size Lara and he needed some shoes which fit her. Apparently my feet looked the right size (My feet are between a 3 and 4). But he couldn’t just buy a pair like them as they needed to be worn… for the project.
I was getting ready to buy some more shoes soon anyways as he was right – the ones I had been wearing were almost dead. So I thought nothing more of it – why not?
I left them in a bag in the office at work for him to collect on his next shift.
Fast forward a few days and I found a Facebook message from him. It was something along the lines of ‘The shoes are perfect. Thanks, dude.’ Naturally, I felt happy. I had helped this guy, and returned the favour after he helped me out when I was upset. Cool.
All is good and well, we continue to have our working banter when at the shop, and we’re getting on fine. Maybe a few weeks after the first pair are in his possession, he messages me again, hitting me with a: ‘Hey, when are your next pair of shoes on the way out? Feel free to say no…just I could do with another pair for my doll.’
I think to myself that’s a little strange, seeing as a) I had not long given him the first pair and b) when I bought a replacement pair they were the exact same ones. Just some cheap flats from Primark. Why would he need the exact same ‘worn’ shoes if they’re for a doll?
However, the problem with cheap flats from Primark is that they quickly fall apart. So I brushed aside my reservations and thought fuck it, I am getting a new pair soon anyway. He can have them. This guy had been so nice to me, it seemed that the least I could do was help him out again. So again, I left them in a bag for him. Sure enough, got a text from him a while after saying they were, once more, perfect. Glad to help, Ray!
Anyways, the guy I referenced splitting up with earlier is called Jon. Me and Jon had an on-off relationship much like Ross and Rachel from Friends did. To the point where my friends were making fun of me for staying with the guy. (But that’s a whole other story…)
At this point in the story me and Jon were back on. Jon had been studying abroad in Prague for a few months at this point in our ‘relationship’ and was eager for me to come see him. Tickets were booked, everything was planned.
Up until now me and Ray had communicated by text a few times. He had sent some dangerously near-flirty comments but nothing ever direct enough for me to truly pin down that he had a crush on me. I was updating Chloe (my best friend and flatmate) on the situation and getting her to analyse my texts from him to make sure I wasn’t stepping on dangerous territory. (After all I had a boyfriend.) And just as important, my close friend/colleague Clara had confessed to me she had a crush on him a few weeks earlier.
A few days before I was due to go to Prague, I saw a message off Ray. He was telling me he has a crush on me but that he knows I have a boyfriend and nothing will happen. I was secretly rejoicing over the fact he has accepted the lack of reciprocation so I didn’t have to be that girl and say ‘aw you’re great too…but I like you as a friend’. (Seriously guys, we know its painful, it is for us too.)
So I went on holiday, came home, and ended things almost immediately with Jon as let’s just say Prague wasn’t the best experience I’d had. (Again, whole other story.)
Anyways, fast forward to a few days ago, when I was at work last. I was talking to Clara and she mentioned a guy she was seeing who wasn’t Ray. Curious, I asked her if she still had a crush on him. She said no, that he had messed her on a bit, going hot and cold. Things like telling her he liked her and kissing her, and then a few days later saying they should just stay friends. And then saying he liked her again a few days later.
Basically, Clara couldn’t be bothered with him and found someone else. It was at this point, after she told me she didn’t like him anymore I told her what he’d said to me. The sole reason I told her this was because I wanted to create a timeline in my head of when he said he liked each of us. Perhaps he was a player who disguised it well as ‘Mr Nice Guy’.
Clara told me quite vaguely when he’d confessed his attraction to her and it seemed there were only a matter of days or weeks between then and when he told me the same.
At this point I had a customer hanging around my till, clearly wanting to be served so I turned my attention back to my job. Whilst serving, Clara walked past me and whispered into my ear ‘I think he has a foot fetish too.’
I finished with my customer and near dragged Clara into an abandoned corner of the shop. ‘Why do you think that?’ I asked. And then she told me; ‘He keeps asking for pairs of my shoes for a doll.’ Sounds familiar, right? Right. Thing is, he told me my shoes, a size 3-4 were perfect for the doll. Clara told me she was a size 6.
At this point it became clear to me the shoes were not for the doll. Clara continued ‘Yeah, when we kissed, once, he took my shoes and socks off, kissed my foot, and then kissed the inside of my shoe.’
I almost died. At this point, all of our conversations where he kept talking about foot massages arbitrarily (I always just changed the conversation topic without acknowledgement) made sense.
Turns out he’d said identical things to Clara, too.
So yeah, this was the story of how I accidentally gave two pairs of shoes to my work colleague who has a foot fetish and whom I don’t think I can ever quite look in the eye again. I
shudder to think about the fate of my poor flats but then again, its not my problem anymore.
Disclaimer: Just for the record, I have no problem with fetishes. Everyone is free to do what they want. The only thing which freaks me out a little is involuntarily becoming involved in someone else’s fetish under the guise of DIY doll-making.