inspired by several real-life encounters

he walks into the brightly lit seminar room and her eyebrows shoot up in the familiar salute to the devil. you need an awareness of god’s love to undo your fear, he muses. he smiles. she watches him like a rattlesnake that has just slithered into her card-box home. the rattlesnake normally doesn’t hear its own rattle, but this one can. from her reaction he knows she has heard he is a satanist, and that he lures women with a ring on his right hand. on cue, she looks at his right hand – he is wearing the ring. her heart slithers into her throat as she regards the classic oval class ring with a turquoise inset … he can feel her eyes follow him through the room like a piggy-backing guide dog as he goes to drop his man-bag on a table at the back of the room. she is taking in his height and clothes. i didn’t realize he was this tall, she muses. he is wearing a shawl cardigan, a crew-neck t-shirt, fitted pants and a pair of penny loafers – all of the same evil color. the color does complement his fair complexion no doubt, but why the evil color, she muses. then he starts to walk towards her, her heart fills her throat like cotton wool soaking up fluid – the fume of fear choking her. one moment he is at the back of the room, the next he is standing next to her by the table with drinks for the participants who are still trickling in for the nine o’clock seminar. they have seen each other before, but they have never spoken. they are in the same faculty, but in different departments. “hi. we’ve met.” it wasn’t a question. so she didn’t know if she should respond. her mind says, “not quite,” but she says “may i ask you a question?” she clears her throat. “my color.” again, it wasn’t a question, so she didn’t know if she should respond. her mind says, “it’s the color of evil.” but she says, “you look like you’re in mourning.” she laughs awkwardly. he smiles. “then it should be the color of love, don’t you think.” that throws her off balance. her mind says, “he reads minds too. but she says, “that’s funny.” but instead of laughing, she backs away from him, bumping the table. “may i,” he gestures to the drinks table behind her, she moves aside, and as he stoops to pick a bottle of water, she smells him – acqua de gio. he starts to walk away. “excuse me –” he turns and waits. she walks up to him. “you, you say this should be the color of love?” but her mind says, “it’s an evil color.” he smiles, puts the bottle of water on a table beside him. facing her squarely, an impish grin on his face, “when you mourn a loved one what memory do you mourn, the evil or the loving memory. so, should a loving memory inspire fear.” it wasn’t a question so she didn’t know if she should respond. he continues, “you mourn the void the passing creates in your life, but you think people mourn an evil void.” he watches her process his words. her mind says, “that’s just creepy” but she says, “but to wear it all the time scares people.” he smiles. “you think. what scares you about me, the color that can’t do anything or me who you don’t know.” she begins to see why he polarizes opinions. he picks up the bottle of water.

he looks at her, if the color i wear causes you to experience a fear of me, 
then you are experiencing an illusion. enjoy the seminar.”