The Troll worked in IT. He worked on the 18th floor of the Horton Flemmel building for a textile company that made the spandex that was used in maternity wear. In his spare time he collected Hummel figures- at first, it began as a joke house warming gift when he had moved into his new condo in the Forgotten Marsh, but he found, over time, that the tiny faces of the children cavorting brought a joy to his otherwise perfunctory life. He also followed Hockey, but unfortunately it was the New Jersey Devils, and with their arduous journey to the bottom, the metaphor for his life was not lost on him.
In the Summer before he met Brenda the Younger, he was working hard at his New Year’s promise to get fit, work on his attire, and find that special someone who would love him as much as he would love her. He had lost nearly sixty pounds, and with help form reddit’s r/malefashionadvice he had found his style and acquired a nice wardrobe that complemented his Troll body. Yet, still no one to share his love of Hummel with; no one to cook a two-person microwave dinner with; and worse, no one to help him lose the dark side of his Troll by having someone love and respect him.
Trolls had two faces depending on the light, and the conversation; the soft, polite, human face that they wore more often than not in this GQ and Vanity Fair world, and the monster face, that most wore in the swamps, and far hills away from the world. The curse of a Troll was that if you did not find a Princess or some such to kiss you, and accept you for who you were by the time you were twenty, you would be doomed to having the monster side for good.
With his twentieth birthday coming up in December, Troll was desperate. He knew that years of video games, and re-watching Star Wars, Empire, and Return were fun, but might not have been the smart decision for a nerdy Troll from the barrens of Manitoba. Most of his other Troll friends in the IT department had slowly paired off by using online dating sites, but Troll just didn't have the ability to make small-talk over texting- it always came out as desperate, or cold because no one could read him when he was making a joke.
In February he took a Dale Carnegie course on How to Win Friends and Influence People, and he learned the basic, yet scary trick that most people want to talk about themselves, so one must always be asking questions, but he felt like this was cheating somehow and rarely used the technique. His credit card bill read Amazon all the way down from the self-help, and dating advice books he bought, and found, quite quickly, just rehashed everything Dale Carnegie had already said, except dumbed down. In July he went from Pub, to Bar, to social gathering to try and work on these new seductive skills, and sometimes it worked; he would say all the lines, and work all the angles, but then when the time came to invite them home, he chickened out, or let slip that he liked Horror movies a little too much, and they would be scared away.
He was scared of being alone, and he was scared of actually finding someone who he would have to share his private life with. At times he was so overwhelmed by all the schemes, and lies, and tricks to pick up women that he would not leave the house for days; falling back into old ways watching all fourteen episode of Firefly, and then crying all the way through Serenity. Would he ever find his Zoe? Or Kaylee? Was he a Leaf on the Wind, or a Bun tyen-shung duh ee-dway-Ro?
Sometimes he wondered if he was sad because women didn’t like him, or women didn’t like him because he was sad. The same friend who bought him the ‘Relaxation’ Hummel believed the Hummels didn't help, but Troll had never had a woman he was interested in over to his house- he couldn’t get them out of the Bar.
In September, during the commercials of the first episode of the latest season of Castle, Troll was absentmindedly lurking on reddit when he found the Title: ‘Three Beauties named Brenda’ and followed the link. It told the story of these sisters who lived alone in a house in the woods. Like he lived alone. How they were not just beautiful outside, but beautiful inside. How the youngest was full of potential, and wonder, like he was. How the middle sister was hurt, and broken, like he was. And how the oldest was wise, and secure like he wished he could be.
He wished to meet these Beauties, and know them. To learn from them. To be in their presence. And, one day, maybe, to love them, and have them love him.
After the paperwork asking for vacation leave was filed he was not approved to leave until the end of November. At first he was saddened by not getting to meet these Brendas sooner, but he quickly found that this game him time to get back to working out, and working on being the best Troll he could be. Hopefully, the best Troll one, or all these Brendas had seen else he would be doomed to a life of loneliness with his giant TV and old episodes of Doctor Who.
When Brenda the younger denied his advances he was hurt, but he understood that he had been too forward, that he had been too desperate- which he was, but he should not be. These women were someones just like he was- they had feelings, and beliefs, and opinions like everyone, and not everyone was interested in everyone. Brenda the first was young, younger than he was and still figuring herself out, she did not need an older someone sucking the life from her with his self-doubt, and worries. She needed to grow and blossom on her own with those that were her same age; make her own mistakes, in her own time. He could see that, and he was glad she did, too.
A Tap-Tap-Tapping pulled the Troll from his ruminations. He turned towards the beginning of the bridge to see a woman of great beauty step into the candle-light. She walked with a slight slump, seemingly lost in her own thoughts; eyebrows furrowed, and lips dipped on the edges. When she caught the Troll in her periphery she visibly straightened her back, pursed her lips, and changed her gait to one with more purpose; steps longer than before.
The Troll, having learned something from Brenda the Younger, raised a hand in greeting, and announced himself.
… to be continued (Part 3)