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They say that a love struck man is a fool. A fool to fall so helplessly into a woman’s warm embrace without a backwards glance and without a moment of hesitancy or regret. A fool who is hopelessly helpless when a woman turns her gaze upon him. A game of wit and pure charisma, women are cunning and sly when it comes to entrapping a man. Not a game played in high school adoration and that “bubbly” feeling most teens associate with love. No, it’s the chase. The man chases a woman, eyes wide with desire, as she gives him the impression of getting closer while all the while pulling back.

I myself am unbelievably old fashioned. I can somehow romanticize my death as being beheaded. Why? I could not tell you. Beheading isn’t exactly the most modern form of death or the most romantic, is it? So somehow in my ability to romanticize my death I have also established a concrete image of what it looks like when a woman has a man on the run. To me it is exactly that; a man chasing a woman. The man, with wide hearts for eyes, mouth agape with his tongue out and to the side with pure determination. The woman is a few yards in front of him clad in an Elizabethan gown, petticoats and all. With her skirts in her hands, to prevent herself from tripping over them, she runs with catlike speed and a mischievous grin plastered across her angelic face. Temptingly she stops, throws her hair to one side and nonchalantly wipes the sweat from her brow. The man’s heart-like eyes throb with his excitement and anticipation of catching this woman. She bats her eyes discreetly then lifts her skirts up once more and darts off.

Uncharacteristically the woman’s cat-like speed evolves into something much slower and more sensual. The man, with triumphant in his eyes, catches her in his arms. It is perfectly choreographed, the woman faints dramatically into his arms, hand flung against her forehead. Then I imagine something similar to what happened to the Grinch. His heart grows three times it’s original size and summons all the strength never before given to him and carries her away.

It is all very romantic isn’t it? Seemingly innocent. Oh, but too much innocence can only be hiding guilt. Women are the puppet masters; pulling the strings while muttering “Dance puppet! Dance!” Simple as that. A relationship only gets where it is going with the gentle hand of a woman silently, cunningly directing it on its path. At one point I believed that I controlled the speed in which I courted a girl and the speed at which our relationship moved, but I was wrong. And what a fool I was. I should have known. I have four headstrong sisters and an unwavering mother; I should have known. Even now, seven years after my parents’ divorce, I know without a doubt that my mother, Anastasia, wore the “pants” in my parent’s marriage. It is the same now with Beverly and Jack; Beverly rules over Jack with little effort. My sisters are the same.

Then there is Achilles and me. And I like to think we are the exact opposite of Jack’s codependence. For sure Achilles is, strong and unwavering just like my mother. But me? I don’t know. I have a quick witted tongue, but I have yet been able to test my independence. I should have known that there were other skillfully witted women out there, like my mother and sisters, that would have set their sights on me long before I had set mine on them. I should have known that she would have already been moving and putting into play her pieces in this game of Chess.

What a fool. Foolish for me to think that I had any say in who I chose to love. When all the while she had slowly been guiding me into her warm embrace. Foolish of me to think that I could choose the speed in which I fell for her. When all the while she already had plans for us. Foolish of me to believe that I could not love her. When all the while she had been building a relationship without my noticing. Foolish of me to think that I could choose from any girl that I saw fit. When all the while she was slowly removing threats to her out of my sight. Foolish of me.

Foolish of me to think that when I noticed her for the first time and bent low over her hand and whispered “enchanté” that she had not already planned this all out. What a fool.