Aquarius: loyal, inquisitive, generous, ambitious, eccentric, moody, erratic, aloof. So, she thought, that makes him either a selfless humanitarian or a sociopath.
“What’s your sign?” It was such a silly thing to have done. She had never been the kind to hit on a guy in a bar. But, then again, since moving to the city, she had done a lot of things she had never thought she’d do. She saw him across the crowded room and a voice in her head told her to go for it. She just wished she had come up with a better opening. She was surprised when he smiled and answered her. She liked his smile, she decided. He had good teeth.
From there, the conversation continued in fits and starts. She was nervous, but eventually, he put her at ease.
“Hey, listen,” he said after about an hour. “I know a sushi place around the corner. They’re open late, and they make a mean dragon roll. Why don’t we continue talking there? Have you ever had sushi before?”
“No,” she repled.
“Well, this will be an experience, won’t it?”
She let him do most of the talking at dinner. He was funny and charming, and he had a nice laugh. He talked about how much he hated his job, but loved living in D.C. He asked about her, but she deflected most of his questions. When he asked her where she worked, she just told him that she had just lost her job because the hours didn’t work for her anymore. He paid, and she thanked him for the delicious meal, though she hadn’t eaten that much. After dinner, he suggested a walk on the National Mall. It was only a few blocks away. She agreed.
“It’s completely different at night, isn’t it?” he said, “but it’s still beautiful.”
It was beautiful. The Reflecting Pool splashed the light of the full moon onto the trees lining the Mall, giving them a soft, almost supernatural glow. He told her ten interesting facts about the Washington Monument and told another joke or two. He made her laugh, but then he startled her when he grabbed her wrist, and leaned in close, so that he could whisper in her ear.
“You know, my apartment’s not far from here,” he said. “Why don’t you come by for one more drink?”
She hesitated. She couldn’t believe that she was thinking about doing what she was in fact thinking about doing. She couldn’t possibly. She had only met him, but she had never had such an amazing evening before. The possibility of more evenings like it excited her.
He unlocked the door his apartment and pushed it open.
“Go right in,” he said. “It’s not much, but I’ve done what I can.”
The scene inside would have taken her breath away, if she had any breath. One entire wall was covered in swords. There was a Japanese katana blade, what appeared to be a medieval broadsword, and a curved Turkish scimitar. No fewer than three crossbows adorned another wall. The shock was just setting in when she heard a strange noise behind her. She turned around to see him holding a neon orange pressurized water gun. It must have been lying on the table just inside the door.
“You shouldn’t have let me touch your wrist,” he said. “No pulse. And, I know the gun looks stupid. I’m sorry it’s not more dignified, but it is filled with Holy Water, and it will finish you off just the same.”
He was an aquarius: ambitious, eccentric, moody, erratic, aloof. Unfortunately for her, that made him a selfless humanitarian.