I’m an avid reader and anyone who knows me knows this since I always bring up books in every conversation. Additionally, I constantly recommend lists of books to my friends who never bother to read them. However, I finally met my match when David came into my life or so I thought. My friend walked in with one of the most handsome guys I had ever seen and came straight to me. She introduced me to him and he turned out to be a charming man who liked books just like me. Things were going well and he even offered to gift me one of his books. This is my love language so the guy was quickly winning my affection.
I confirmed that he was a true reader after we spent hours on the phone talking about our favourite books. He was well-read and even introduced me to some books that I didn’t know about.
“Wow, I’d love to read that book,” I said to him trying to hint that he could give it to me as a gift.
“I’ll bring it for you next time we meet.” He answered.
Yes, he took the bait once again. By now, he had offered to gift me five books but I wasn’t complaining. On the contrary, the guy seemed too good to be true. We got along almost perfectly so I started questioning what his flaws could be. My friends didn’t know much about him since he had just moved into the neighbourhood a month ago.
“He’s a good guy. Give him a chance. At least you have someone who loves books as much as you do.” My friend said urging me to keep talking to him
She had a point and I didn’t want to risk losing the one person who I could talk to about books. So, I decided to give him the benefit of the doubt. Our conversations soon moved from books to more intimate topics. I started opening up to him about my experiences and he was surprisingly supportive. This made me become more vulnerable with him and so did he.
At that moment in my life, I had been let go from my work after five years of teaching in high school. I was in a dark place and David felt like an angel sent from heaven. He was a good distraction and somehow made me excited about the things I loved most – books.
“Look on the bright side, now you have a lot of time to read books.” He said jokingly.
I laughed but I was too ashamed to admit that I hadn’t read a single book since I got let go.
“I know. It feels like a really long holiday.”
It didn’t. In fact, it felt like hell and I stressed every day about getting another job.
David tried to be as supportive as he could but there were only so many words of encouragement could do. Not to mention, the days were going by and I hadn’t received any good news. I had accumulated almost three months’ rent arrears but I was lucky since my landlady had allowed me to pay my bill in instalments.
“So what have you been doing to earn a living?” David asked over the phone.
“If I’m being honest, nothing. In fact, I’ve been going through a tough time since I lost my job.” I finally admitted.
We hadn’t spoken in weeks and I thought he had gotten tired of me complaining and cancelling our plans. I wasn’t in the mood for a date and quite frankly, I couldn’t even afford bus fare money even if I wanted to go. I felt ashamed to ask him for Uber money but I think he got the hint.
“You know what, let’s meet tomorrow for coffee. I’ll pay for your Uber.”
I had already said that I was free so I couldn’t say no. The next day, I dressed up in a bright yellow jumpsuit and tried to convince myself that I would have a good time.
When I got there, David greeted me with a warm hug. We immediately started talking about books which took my mind away from my problems.
“Remember I promised to give you a couple of books.” He said reaching into his backpack. He pulled a stack of books and placed them on the table. “These are for you.”
There were about ten books on the table.
“No. I can’t take them. This is too generous.”
“I’ve already read them and re-read them two more times. I want you to enjoy them as well.”
“Thank you so much. You’re too generous.”
Just as I thought the gift couldn’t get any crazier, he pulled out a huge box and I could see an image of a laptop printed on it. I didn’t think much of it since I couldn’t believe that it was an actual laptop. However, he pushed it to my side and I could see that it was sealed.
“That’s a brand new MacBook.” He said. “It’s yours.”
“No!” I screamed.
“I had bought it for myself but I think you need it more than I do.”
“This is too expensive though.”
“Don’t worry about it. I can get another one next week. If you like, I can teach you the work I do.”
Immediately he mentioned work, I perked up. I knew he must have a good job since he could afford to give away free MacBooks. It turned out he was a scammer and tried to get me to bring new clients for him. When I refused, he took the MacBook back and blocked my number. He also moved out of the apartment he lived in.
Thinking back at my interaction with him, there were some subtle red flags that I didn’t notice at that time. He was particularly interested in knowing where I worked and some of my old colleagues told me that he had sent them friend requests on Facebook. He was also pretty impressed by my writing skills and occasionally asked me to write emails for him.
I was lucky to have noticed that the guy was a scammer and distanced myself from him before it was too late.
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