Unmatchable, p.1

Unmatchable, page 1

 

Unmatchable
 



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Unmatchable


  Unmatchable

  SKY CORGAN

  Text copyright 2016 by Sky Corgan

  All rights reserved.

  No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without written permission of the author.

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  Contents

  Chapter 1

  Chapter 2

  Chapter 3

  Chapter 4

  Chapter 5

  Chapter 6

  Chapter 7

  Chapter 8

  Chapter 9

  Chapter 10

  Chapter 11

  Chapter 12

  Chapter 13

  Chapter 14

  Chapter 15

  Chapter 16

  Chapter 17

  Chapter 18

  Chapter 19

  Chapter 20

  Chapter 21

  Chapter 22

  Chapter 23

  Epilogue

  CHAPTER ONE

  EMBER

  This guy definitely looks nothing like his profile picture from the dating website.

  I sit across from Stephen at a sub-par Italian restaurant listening to him drone on about his video game collection. All the while I stare in my peripheral vision at the giant mole just right of his nose with a ghastly thick black hair coming out of it. He shaves the rest of his face. You'd figure he wouldn't miss that hair.

  Despite the fact that my attention is fixed on the mole, that's not really what I'm upset about. In his profile pictures, the mole was actually quite charming, a mark that added character to his handsome face. The face I'm looking at right now is a lot heavier and at least seven years older. There's no question that the pictures he uses on his profile were taken long ago when he was still young, fit and reasonably attractive.

  False advertisement.

  No wonder there's such a bad stigma around using online dating sites. This is my first experience with one, and I'm already turned off. I think this guy might qualify as a catfish. Can someone be a catfish is they use their real pictures, just old ones? Usually, the catfish doesn't actually show up to the date.

  I sigh inwardly, trying my best to hide my disappointment at the whole situation. At least Stephen is nice. I can't count the number of crude responses I received as soon as I created my profile...And dick pics. Nothing says let's go out on a date like an unwanted picture of a penis. I can't help but wonder if that ever actually works? Somewhere in the world, there has to be a group of women who receive such images and respond that they're ready to jump on that. Why else would so many guys send dick pics as their conversation starter.

  Thinking about it makes me realize how oblivious I still am to how the dating world works. You would think that after working for a matchmaking service for three years, I'd be wise to the ways of men. But I'm completely clueless. Probably because I've been trying to avoid dating for my entire adult life. My therapist says that I'm ready for it, though—says that I should start putting myself out there. Otherwise, I'm never going to get over my fear of men and intimate situations.

  This is not a good start.

  While I'm not afraid of Stephen, I'm definitely repulsed by him. He's dressed like a complete slob in a pair of ratty cut-off shorts and a t-shirt that has video game controllers printed all over it. There are flakes of dandruff poking through his thinning blonde hair. He smells like a mix of BBQ, body odor and motor oil. And he's scratched his crotch at least three times since we sat down to eat.

  I feel overdressed and underwhelmed. Since this is my first date in...well, ever...I wanted everything to be perfect. I changed four times before settling on a purple cocktail dress with a ruched waist and black sandals with white rhinestones across the toes. Then I spent over an hour curling my long auburn hair and applying my makeup to perfection. Now I feel like it was a wasted effort.

  Stephen had told me that the place he was taking me to was a surprise, so I had just assumed it would be somewhere nice. Boy was I wrong. This restaurant only has three stars on Yelp, with most of the reviews being one star. I can see why. Aside from being an outdated hole in the wall, my chicken parmigiana arrived cold and looks like something that came out of a Chef Boyardee can.

  I pick at it lifelessly, wondering how much more of this I can take. The company is bad. The food is bad. If Stephen would just stop talking for five seconds, I would use the opening to excuse myself. It's starting to look like that might not happen—that I might be trapped here all night.

  I glance over Stephen's shoulder at the clock on the wall. We've been at the restaurant for nearly two hours.

  Five more minutes. That's all I'm giving this guy before I interrupt him to say that I'm going to the bathroom. When I return, I'll make my escape.

  The clock ticks down with more one-sided conversation. Finally, five minutes is up, and I politely excuse myself to the ladies room. When I get there, I scowl at my reflection in the mirror. This was supposed to be a therapeutic exercise according to my shrink. I'm starting to think that I'm going to need therapy for my therapy now.

  When I leave the bathroom, I don't even bother sitting back down. I stand at the side of the table and thank Stephen for a lovely time, even though it was anything but.

  He looks at my nearly untouched food. “Aren't you going to take that to go?”

  “No.” I shake my head.

  “It's so much food though.” His plate is wiped clean, and he's obviously still hungry. I can practically see him salivating.

  “I don't eat much.” I wrinkle my nose.

  “Well then, can I take it home? It will only take a minute to get it boxed up. Then I can drive you home.”

  “You can have it. I don't want it. And I don't need a ride. I'll take the bus. Thanks.”

  The expression he gives me is a mix of offense and hurt. “But you don't live that far away, right? There's no reason for you to take the bus.”

  “Safety and all. See ya.” I give him a slight wave of my hand before turning around to take long strides out of the restaurant. I have a feeling that if he wasn't so preoccupied with trying to flag the waitress down for a to-go box, he might have followed me. Just thinking about it makes me walk faster.

  It's not until I'm on the bus that I feel relief flood my chest. The date is over. I survived it. My first big step in healing is complete. Somehow, I feel like it was a step backward, though.

  ***

  They call me “The Beast” and right now I'm in Beast mode. It's funny to think that a petite 5'2, 113lb woman could amass such an intimidating nickname, but I learned long ago not to take shit from anyone. At first, my attitude almost got me fired, but my boss liked me enough to find opportunity in it. Now, I'm the last line of defense at Full Hearts Matchmaking Service. I'm the person a client is sent to when it's time to cut ties with them. The hard truth fairy. The one who tells them that they're unmatchable and need to move on.

  Today's gem is a Mister Luke Luis. Married Mister Luke Luis, to be exact. How that managed to slip by our research team, I have no idea. Each client has a thorough background check, psychological evaluation and blood test run on them before we agree to match them. This is to ensure that they are sane, healthy and...NOT MARRIED.

  Someone is going to get fired over this.

  I sit at my desk with my legs crossed and my hands resting on the armrests of my chair. Across from me is a man who makes me absolutely sick to my stomach. Guys like this are the lowest of the low, and the fact that he's staring shamelessly at my tits only makes me loathe him more.

  I lean o
ver and flip open his file. “Do you have any idea why you're here, Mister Luis?”

  “My file got passed on to you to find me a more suitable match.” He straightens his tie like he's some prize.

  “No.” I tap his file. “Something came back in your background check.”

  “My background check?” He quirks his head back, looking confused. “You guys ran that a month ago. What could possibly be coming back now?”

  I fold my hands on top of my desk. “You're married, Mister Luis. You are aware that we don't match married clients. It was in the contract you signed.”

  His relieved expression makes me think he had expected me to say that we found something much darker.

  “Well, if that's all it is.” He gesticulates like it's no big deal. “I don't see any reason why you can't keep matching me. I mean, your company has already sent me out on three dates. I think we can let this slide, don't you?”

  My jaw tenses. “I'm afraid not, Mister Luis.”

  “Well, what if I sweeten the pot?” He reaches to pull out his wallet.

  I slam my fist down on the desk to make him stop and draw his attention back up to me. “Your money is no good here.”

  “Alright. Calm down.” He holds his hands out in surrender, a smirk playing across his face. My outburst should have been the cue for him to get the hell out of my office, but instead, he relaxes back in his chair. “Aren't you a saucy little thing.”

  “We're done here, Mister Luis.” I shut his file, doing my best to ignore him.

  “You know, I love redheads. Always have.”

  “I don't care, Mister Luis.”

  “Call me Luke. All of my friends call me Luke.” He gives me a charming smile.

  “I'm not one of your friends, Mister Luis. Now would you please get out of my office.”

  He snorts. “Not until you agree to go out on a date with me.”

  My temper flares. Not only is this asshole married, but he has the audacity to think I'd go out on a date with him after I found out that information. This is yet another reminder why I haven't been dating. Some men are such scumbags.

  “Listen, you worthless piece of shit, I would not go out on a date with you if you were the last man on the face of the fucking planet. Now if you aren't out of my sight by the time I count to ten, not only will I call security to forcibly escort you out, but I'll also call your wife to let her know that you've been cheating on her.”

  He stands, glaring at me as if I'm the one in the wrong. “Wow, you're a real bitch.”

  “Good day to you, Mister Luis.” I dismissively wave him out of the room with my middle finger.

  If he thinks that calling me a bitch is going to get under my skin, he's got another thing coming. I've been called far worse. In fact, name calling is child's play compared to what I've endured in the past from irate clients. One time, a woman spit on me. Another time, a guy in his early twenties left a dead cat on the hood of my car. The woman was a troll with a personality to match, and no one wanted a second date with her. The guy got pissed because I wouldn't let him use an expired Groupon.

  The woman's issue was her own fault. Changing your looks when you have a butterface is expensive. Changing your personality is free. Apparently, she didn't want to change either. When I told her that all of the men she had gone out with thought that she was rude, she took her frustration out on me. That was a jolly time, getting yelled at and then spit on. At least, I accomplished my job. I got rid of her, and we haven't heard from her since.

  To be fair, I felt kind of bad for the guy. Even with a fifty percent off Groupon, our services aren't cheap. I wanted to help him, but business is business, and my boss wasn't going to budge. Too bad the dead cat didn't end up on my boss' car instead of mine.

  I take a sip of my caramel frappuccino to calm my nerves. The sugar-laced coffee is the only sweetness in this room. From eight to five, I play the part of a heartless bitch. I can be as mean and nasty as I want, and I won't get fired for it.

  Speaking of being mean and nasty.

  I open up Married Mister Luke Luis's background check and find his wife's phone number. Then I pick up the phone on my desk and punch it in before leaning back with a tight smile spread across my lips. If that guy thought he was having a bad day, it's about to get a whole lot worse.

  A woman picks up on the third ring with a voice that would suggest she suspects I'm a telemarketer. “Hello.”

  “Hello. Is this Mrs. Luis?” I glance back down at the file. “Mrs. Marta Luis.”

  “Yes,” she replies hesitantly.

  “Hi. I'm Ember Washington with Full Hearts Matchmaking Service.”

  “I'm not interested.”

  “This is about your husband,” I say before she has a chance to hang up on me.

  “What about my husband?” If there is any ill will towards him, I can't hear it in her voice.

  “Are the two of you currently separated?”

  “No.” A mix of annoyance and anger begins to seep into her tone.

  Yes! I got the bastard.

  “Well, ma'am, I called to inform you that your husband came into our office about a month ago and signed up for our services. He's been out on three dates already.”

  “What?” she growls.

  “I just wanted to let you know. He lied on his application and marked off that he was single. We did a background check on him and discovered that wasn't the case. Since he broke his contract, I felt it was my duty to call and tell you what was going on, just in case you were not aware of his extracurricular activities.”

  The line goes silent for a moment.

  When she finally responds, she sounds less angry and more distraught. “Thank you for telling me this. I have to go now.”

  Click.

  I set the phone back in its cradle, feeling victorious. The poor woman seemed like she had no idea that her husband was cheating. Enlightening her might have ruined her day, but at least it will help her make an informed decision over whether or not she wants to stay with the dickbag. If he hadn't come into our office, lied on his application and gotten caught, she might never have known.

  I take another drink of my icy beverage and relax in my chair for five minutes before taking Mister Luis's folder and placing it in the basket on the corner of my desk for the file clerk to pick up later. It will get filed away in the Inactive Clients/Restricted cabinet. The file is already marked for a contract violation, so he'll be banned from ever using our services again, not that I think he would have any interest in it after how I treated him. You never know, though. Sometimes the most despicable ones do try to come back.

  When I feel like I'm ready to deal with the next miscreant, I pull their file from the top of the pile of clients I have for the day and flip it open. Not surprisingly, it's another guy. The vast majority of rule breakers and unmatchables are men. They make up about two-thirds of the clients I see on a daily basis.

  I look at his profile first. The parts that interest me, at least.

  Name: Alfred Barnes

  Gender: Male

  Age: 29

  Height: 6'1

  Weight: 187 lbs.

  Hair Color: Dark Brown

  Eye Color: Blue

  Occupation: Restaurant Manager

  Subscription Level: Platinum(5 Dates per Month)

  Then I look at the sticky note that Dana left on top as to why my boss wants me to get rid of the person.

  Only showed up to two out of five dates last month. No call/no show to the other three. Female clients greatly unhappy with their dates. Unmatchable.

  I frown, not understanding why someone would pay for such an expensive service and not use it. Our platinum packages cost upwards of five thousand dollars per month whether you go on all of your dates or not. That's a lot of money to piss into the wind.

  When I read through the comments that the women who were matched with him left about their dates, I can't help but smirk. Their opinions of him are rather scathing. I can almost feel
the anger rising from the page as I read.

  Once I'm done reading, I flip to the big reveal; the guy's profile picture. A sardonic laugh passes my lips. Of course, this guy would be a complete asshat. He's fucking gorgeous.

  The clients' profile pictures are taken in our in-house photo studio, but you'd think that this guy had a spread in GQ. Alfred poses for the camera like he's done it a million times before. In his full body photo, he's wearing an expensive looking business suit, all black. His hands are in his pockets and his head is tilted slightly toward the camera. He's giving the camera a half-cocked smile that says he knows he owns the world. Just looking at that smile stirs something inside of me. Hell, any woman would be turned on just by looking at him, so I know I'm not crazy.

  The next photo is a head shot accenting all of his features. Tan skin. Dark hair slicked over to the side. Not too long, but not so short that you couldn't run your fingers through it and grab a fistful. It's the kind of hair that would make him look delicious coming up out of the ocean, but that can still be styled into something manageable for a business meeting. His face is covered with stubble. Probably a week without shaving. On someone else, it might look messy. On him, it looks divine. His eyebrows are thick. His nose has a slight curve to it, but it only adds to the charm of his face. Those eyes though. Such a light, dreamy blue. I find myself gazing into them. They're the only soft thing about him.

  My chest tightens as I reach over to pick up the phone on my desk and tell the receptionist to send him in. I always get nervous around super attractive men, and they don't get any better looking than this guy. I just have to keep reminding myself that those good looks come at a price. Men like Alfred Barnes are usually assholes. Genetics blessed them with an advantage in this world. He can probably have any woman he wants, which is why he feels it's fine to treat the ones he's not interested in like shit. Or not show up to his dates at all if he doesn't feel like it. Hell, those nights he might have just gone out for meaningless sex. We don't serve that here. All of our clients want to get married, which means...

 
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