I discarded you. You failed me and you had to go. You had no idea of course that this was the case. You tried to see me, speak to me, plead with me and you were rebuffed and told to stay away. The teeth were bared at you and you saw that look in the eye, the one that still unnerves you and you backed away. You slid into misery and confusion, unable to comprehend why I flung you to one side, why I wouldn’t at least do you the decency of explaining. You do not realise that our kind are never beholden to the obligation to explain. We are above that. You however operate by differing standards and regard it as a common courtesy to explain why something has been done and it certainly applies when the situation is one of romantic entanglement. You believed that you are owed an explanation. We operate from the position that we owe you nothing because once upon a time we gave you everything.
I have the new primary source of fuel of course. She was from a shortlist of individuals who were being cultivated as I embarked on my cruel devaluation of you. When I slipped away to my bolthole, when I made repeated excuses to go to the bar when we went away on holiday, when your back was turned I was extending my electronic tendrils as I engaged with these prospects. The fuel flowed from them as they readily connected with someone as charming as I. How could they not? A couple of these prospects have been kept in reserve, contingencies as they became outer circle friends who will wait in the wings, suitably brainwashed and conditioned so that they will jump at the chance of being promoted to the primary source at some future point. I know as well that they will not hesitate to hand me the dagger which I will plunge in that primary source’s back at some future point. There is no sisterhood here in the battle to win my affections and favour. Thus two find themselves admitted to the chain of fuel providing appliances and like two growing plants, I occasionally tend to them, cultivating and maintaining their interest, keeping alive the hope of promotion. It is reassuring to know that if the one who eventually saw off the others on the shortlist has to be discarded then there are ready and waiting appliances who can be plugged in without much more effort. It is not always possible to find those appliances which will wait around but it is far from impossible. You may be surprised at the number which will readily accept a role as an outer or even inner circle friend, possibly an acquaintance too in the right circumstances. Content to have intermittent contact with me in person. Happy to have more frequent contact through electronic medium. These reservists will smile at the primary source, appear to even be friendly but they are only doing it to maintain my favour. If I give the signal they would rip the throat from the primary source in order to replace her. That is what we bring out in people.
Still, those are the reservists but for now an excellent primary source was chosen and thus you were surplus to requirements. You heard no more from me as a wall of silence greeted your attempts to contact me. Your position as primary source came to an end. You were made redundant and you were cast aside. I drew fuel from imagining your distress at this state of affairs and your repeated attempts to contact me provided similar fuel until I decided that I wanted to concentrate on the new primary source and therefore you needed to stay away. Thus, as I mentioned, the teeth were bared, you were warned and for once you listened and backed off.
Life has been sweet with the wonderful, new and shiny primary source who has lived up to expectations in her admiration, adoration and love. All is well and I cannot say that I have really given you any further thought since I made it clear that you were to “stay the hell away from me, understand?” I have been drinking deep from the new, potent fountain and enjoying all of this fresh, succulent fuel. So much so, I soon moved her in and why not? I may as well ensure that such a precious source of fuel is on tap.
Then one day I was moving some things around in the study and I found a book which belonged to you. I picked it up and you flared in my mind. I know that if it was the other way around, you would have been consumed by emotion as you triggered this ever presence. That does not happen with me. There is no charge of emotion but instead there is the spark of opportunity. The appearance of this book has caused you to enter into my sphere of influence. You did nothing did you? No telephone call, no text message, no driving past my house, all of the usual things which victims do in the aftermath and which will invariably result in a hoover. The appearance of this book has thrust you into my mind again. I have plenty of fuel from the wonderful primary source but a dash of hoover fuel would be welcome also. I feel no need to re-engage you as my primary source, your replacement is functioning well, but I am fuelled, powerful and I want to taste your hoover fuel. You have entered the sixth sphere of influence and caused a Hoover Trigger.
Moments such as these are delicious indeed. I have taken a bite of the succulent cherry that is the new primary source but here I am with a delightful opportunity to take a bite of another cherry and apply a hoover to you. What I especially like about it is the fact that because I do not want to or need to rekindle our intimate relationship again, the effort required will be minimal in order to get a taste of your hoover fuel. I pull out my ‘phone and look up your number. I kept it of course. I felt no need to block it. You rang and you rang but I never answered and eventually you gave up. I wonder for a moment whether you have blocked me and feel a twinge of irritation if that proves to be the case. Nevertheless, I have the energy and inclination to want to hoover you,, I perceive that there is a good prospect of gaining fuel from you, I have no reason to think that your fuel will be diminished, I have considered whether there may be obstacles but do not regard there as being any which would mean the attempt is likely to fail and I have not got any perception that you will reject me and thus criticise me and cause wounding. The Hoover Execution Criteria have been met and I have surpassed the bar, it is thus time to hoover you.
I jab your name and smile as I hear the ringing noise and within just two rings (two rings! Someone remains keen!) you answer. Your voice is tentative.
“Hi Tabitha, how are you?”
There is a pause. You are trying to work out what is going on but I know you will want to talk to me. You answered didn’t you? You spoke. You want some answers. You need to know. I have seen it so many times before and therefore I know that no matter how much you may think that you need to end the call before it gets going you will not do so. I know that the emotion is surging through you, hope, expectation and no doubt the glowing embers of the love that has not yet been extinguished for me.
“What do you want?” you ask but it is not said in a hostile tone.
“I was just thinking about you and I thought I would give you a call and see how you were doing.”
“I don’t understand. Why call me now when you made it clear you didn’t want anything to do with me?” Ah, a bit of a fightback from logic here. Fair enough.
“I know, I know, that was some time ago, I was in a bad place, a lot going on and something had to give. I know I didn’t handle it well, I am sorry.”
Like hell I am but I know those three words will have a magical effect. I stop speaking. I can picture you trying to hold back the tears, fighting with the competing emotions that are washing over you. I can feel the power rising inside of me at this image as I gather the fuel.
“You hurt me, you really hurt me,” you say voice cracking slightly.
“I know, I know and I am truly sorry, I know you must hate me, listen if it is any consolation to you, I hate myself for what I did to you, you didn’t deserve to be treated like that.” That should hit the spot. A bit of self-flagellation always goes down well.
“Well you won’t hate yourself as much as I hate you,” you answer with a little steel in your voice. It’s good. It is all fuel.
“Trust me Tabs,” oh yes the shortened name for added familiarity needs to be used here, “I know just what I did and I am not proud of myself. I just felt it was only right that I call you in order to explain…”
I hit the end call button after saying this.
Five seconds. She will call back in five seconds.
Sure enough her name appears on the ‘phone as she returns the call.
“Hi,” I say enthusiastically.
“You went off.”
“Yes poor signal I guess.”
There is another pause. I say nothing allowing the silence to be used to compel you to speak. I know that you want to talk. It was always likely and your behaviour so far is laden with indicators that you want to continue to talk.
“You said you wanted to explain,” you say and I hear the hope in your voice and the fuel drips from you once again.
I know that I can dangle the prospect of answers in front of you for weeks now. I don’t want you back. I do not need you back but I have tasted your delicious hoover fuel and I like it. I have managed to cause you to speak to me and then call me back after everything that I did to you, including my callous discard. That highlights the power I have and that is why when remembering you through seeing the book it was too good an opportunity to miss and I applied a benign hoover. Not to win you back, but to get you to respond and to provide me with fuel. And it has worked.
I lick my lips before I speak.
This cherry is mighty sweet.