Dave is kind, sweet, attentive, funny, romantic. He’s also a good listener. And – cherry on top – he knows how to make a woman feel like she’s the only one … He can just look at a woman and make her melt. (This I’ve seen more than once.) He can remove her clothing with a stare, while being the perfect gentleman. That’s his superpower.

He’s the perfect catch.

Or so I’ve heard.

Dave has about five girlfriends at a time. And each lasts three months, max! The longest relationship he’s ever been in was three months, two weeks and twelve long, excruciating hours. That was in high school, when he first started dating. He believes five is a manageable number, so he always keeps to five or fewer. He is the guy every guy wants to be.

We’re related, but I’m nothing like Dave. I’m the insignificant little guy who sits on the passenger side of his own car and watches his best friend use it to rope in girls. I’m the one who listens to Dave’s rumblings and plots. I’m the one who gets used when Dave needs a wingman to catch his latest bird. I’m the one who gets calls from the women asking me his whereabouts.

Heck, I’m the one who sits listening to independent, beautiful women moaning about Dave, trying to understand why he doesn’t want them anymore. I am Tumiso, or Tumie for short: the nerdy cousin.

You’d never pay me any attention if you saw me walking down the street. I don’t look hunky; I’m just a dork. I look like Steve Urkel without the rabbit teeth. I don’t care much about my looks, my hair or my build. If I’m clean I’m good to go.

I spend my time working or playing video games. I work in IT for a small call centre and anything that has anything to do with a computer is my thing. I love my job and I’m content with my dull life as it is.

But that was before she walked into my life: my beautiful, smart, bubbly Lilly. I watch her every day, when she has her morning coffee at the cafeteria at work. These are the moments I live for.

I wake up in the morning aching to see her red, cherry lips as they touch that hot cup of coffee. I sit far away and imagine I am that cup. I envy the raspberry muffin she eats, that it gets to be caressed by her soft fingers …

I love watching Lilly; it’s all I can do. Let’s face it, this is the closest I’ll ever get to being near her. She’s my secret relationship. I am no Dave, so all I can do is watch. She’s my little secret.

I envy Dave’s charisma and almost hate him for it. The guy has an ego the size of Salt Lake Stadium. All he ever does is talk about himself and his latest catch. And he doesn’t have an off switch – believe me, I’ve searched. Not surprisingly, he works in Sales and Marketing at the same call centre where I work.

We’re sitting together at the cafeteria and, as usual, he’s rambling on about something.

I’m trying really hard to concentrate on what he’s saying, but I can’t peel my eyes off Lilly. She’s gorgeous. Every morning she goes to the gym before she starts her day. I don’t know why she works out, because she looks perfect.

She’s standing at the counter, picking at her muffin and chatting to the staff. She’s so friendly she chats with everyone. If only she would notice me, look my way. But she doesn’t even know I exist.


Question: Do you think Tumie is a stalker?