Face to Face

Harley smiled as she sat in the dark with her laptop, looking at Jeremy’s profile picture. The handsome young man was perfect—even better than the last one. And he lived in a house, which was a big plus.

They had chatted online for weeks and really seemed like a great match. Tonight’s date would be the moment of truth. Online chemistry is one thing. Face to face can be something entirely different. Harley knew it all too well.

Jeremy had suggested dinner at a fine restaurant.

Harley told him she would prefer a more intimate setting.

He liked the sound of that, and said he would be happy to prepare spaghetti, salad, and garlic bread. He admitted it was one of the few meals he knew how to cook.

Harley arrived at his door wearing her best blond wig. It always made a better first impression than the short, brunette hair hiding beneath it. Besides, that was what he would be expecting, since she was wearing it in her profile picture. And as they say, blondes have more fun.

They also say that blondes are dumb. That gave her an advantage. Harley was anything but dumb.

“Wow,” said Jeremy, “you’re even more beautiful than your picture.”

Harley heard him say beautiful, but knew he was thinking sex. The man was practically drooling.

“Thank you,” she said, smiling.

“Come in.”

As she walked in past him, she could feel the heat of his eyes trained on her tight butt. It was so easy for Harley to get men excited. Like flipping a switch.

“You lied in your profile,” said Jeremy.

“What do you mean?”

“There’s no way you’re 5-foot-10. I’m six foot, and you’re definitely taller than me.”

“Oh, it’s the heels. Sorry. I’ll just slip them off, if you don’t mind.”

“Sure, make yourself at home.”

Now he was staring at her feet—a little too long. Foot fetish?

“That’s more like it,” he said. “Sorry I called you a liar. Guess that’s no way to start a date.” He smiled and winked.

“No problem.” She smiled. Some guys were so insecure. Would he really be devastated if she was two inches taller than him?

“You know, you remind me of somebody.”

“Really? Who?”

“I don’t know. But it’s driving me crazy. I’ll figure it out.”

“Well, you know what they say.”

“Everyone has a double?”

“Right.”

“I hope that’s not true. There’s this old man at work—he’s so ugly I can hardly stand to look at him. Surely there can’t be two of him. I don’t know—maybe in some foreign country, where they have mostly ugly people.” He laughed.

“I guess.” This guy might not deserve a woman, thought Harley.

“Okay,” he said, “just make yourself comfortable. I need to go pop the dinner rolls into the oven.”

“Mm, great. I love rolls.”

He grinned at her, and walked into the kitchen.

What? Did he think she was throwing him a double entendre? I love to eat rolls and I love rolls in the hay. That’s exactly what she was doing.

Harley saw a framed picture on an end table and went over to check them out. It was Jeremy, standing arm in arm with an attractive woman. When she held the picture up close, she saw her own reflection, ghost-like, hovering over the couple in the photo.

The woman in the picture looked almost identical to Harley. Was Jeremy a complete idiot, a compulsive liar, or a weirdo?

He walked into the room, and seemed startled when he saw her holding the picture.

“So you couldn’t think who I reminded you of? What kind of game are you playing?”

“It’s not a game. I forgot that picture was out.”

“So you meant to hide it from me?”

“I just didn’t want you to freak out.”

“Why would I freak out? Because you only date women who look exactly the same?”

“I wasn’t dating her.”

“Oh, really? You two look pretty chummy to me.”

“It’s my sister. Two years ago, she married this rich guy from Ireland and moved back there with him. I haven’t seen her since.”

“Well, that’s even worse. You’re drawn to women who look like your sister?”

“No. Not exactly.”

“You were hoping to have sex with me tonight, weren’t you?”

“No. I mean…yeah, I guess.”

“At least now you’re being honest about something. Apparently, you and your sister had a very sick relationship.”

“No, no. Nothing like that.” He stepped in close to her and gently took the picture out of her hands and dropped it on the couch. “I really like you. Yes, you do look like my sister, but that doesn’t matter.”

“So if I kissed you right now, you wouldn’t be thinking of her?”

“No, of course not.”

Harley grabbed the back of his head with both hands and pulled his lips to hers. She didn’t know whether he was thinking about his sister, but he was definitely enjoying it—especially after she slipped her tongue into his mouth.

But his enjoyment faded quickly after her razor blade sliced his neck and the blood began to spurt.

He jumped back, holding his neck with his hand, staring at Harley in disbelief. “Why?” He collapsed to the floor. “Please, call 9-1-1.”

Harley pulled off her wig. She took a moist towelette from her purse and wiped the makeup off her face, and would have stripped naked. But there wasn’t time. Besides, she was sure Jeremy could now see that she was not a woman.

Harley crouched over Jeremy and saw the confusion in his eyes—when looking at someone else is the same as looking in the mirror. He and Harley could have been twins.

“Goodbye, Jeremy. And thanks for the new life you’ve given me.”

Jeremy looked confused. “Please, help me.”

“Yeah, they say everyone has a twin. But you know what I’ve found, Jeremy?”

Jeremy said something unintelligible.

“I’ve discovered that we all have multiple lookalikes. We’re quintuplets—and we don’t even know it.”

Harley stood up and looked around. “So this is my new house. Thanks. And my new name is Jeremy. I like it. That’s a good name.”

Jeremy tried to speak.

“I’ll forgive you for getting blood on my carpet. Fortunately, I have experience with this type of cleanup. I’ve done it many times. But I know what you’re thinking. DNA evidence and all that. I’ll never get away with it, right?”

Jeremy struggled to breathe.

“But you see, the police will have no reason to suspect anything. I’ll buy a big freezer to store your body. And I’ll just start living your life. Nobody will suspect a thing. I’m very good at faking it. You might even say it’s my life’s work.”

Jeremy’s eyes began to close.

“Sooner or later my luck will run out here, and I’ll have to move on. But no problem. I’ve already located the next me. His name is Benjamin, and he lives in London. I’m working on my British accent. I’ll have it perfected by then.”

Jeremy was barely hanging on.

Harley bent down. “It was so good to finally meet you, Jeremy—face to face.”

THE END

Copyright © 2011 Robert Burton Robinson