Rosy Chance is your typical girl at 38. She is once divorced with two children. There have been times the past was not too kind to her, however, she has prevailed and leads a fairly comfortable life.
One day, while she is out to dinner, she meets Doctor Trace Dastardly. Her initial instinct tells her, he’s harmless, but likely uninteresting. Rosy decides that she will humor him for a bit before politely excusing herself.
Over dinner and drinks, Rosy finds herself pleasantly surprised. Dr. Dastardly is clever, captivating and enchanting while seeming very humble at the same time.
One evening soon thereafter, Rosy has a few too many drinks and notices that he is so ‘on point’. She scrunches her eyes and nose a bit as she blurts out to him, ‘You’re just bringing you’re A game so you can sleep with me and never speak to me again! Trace doesn’t falter over this outburst and in fact proceeds to whisper sweet things in her ear as he holds her close and she relaxes once more.
Over the course of the next few weeks Rosy and Trace spend more and more time together. Rosy is in bliss and feels reassured when he tells her he loves her. And when she becomes defensive or irrational, he calms her and speaks about the way he can directly relate to her guarded behavior and even tells her, ‘You’re the same kind of crazy, I am!’
They continue to spend even more time with one another and even take a weekend trip to the country where she meets his daughter. Rosy is elated, passionate, filled with desire and spell-bound with Trace and the brilliance of their affair; no matter how precocious it seems. Rosy is enraptured by his presence and although doubts occasionally sneak into her mind, she is persistent about pushing them away and promising to just live in the present! The gift of his presence is intoxicating.
While at the ranch, things are amazing…until they weren’t. In the second evening, after a carnal and erotic romp on the couch. Doctor Trace wants to take a nap. At first, Rosy does as well, but something disquiets her mind and she can’t sleep. Unsure of what it is, she tells him to go ahead and rest she can entertain herself for a while. He accepts the offer.
Shortly thereafter, Rosy discovers that he has had an intimate looking conversation with another woman. Rosy is immediately crushed and feels both betrayed and insignificant.
The vacant woods wooed with the solitude they offered and vacancy enough for the emotions boiling over. First, she reacts with fervor…then tearful. Her fears take a strong hold and she begins to wonder if her original premonition was indeed correct. She admonishes and berates herself sternly, how COULD she have been so trusting, so blind as to not know and realize when the change occurred. Had she merely been wishing and dreaming all along?? Contemplating all that was unraveling before her, the vast passionless grove accepted her abandon and comforted her heartbreak as it enveloped her into its depths. Walking and walking, trying to make her way to the river…suddenly she was lost. The emotional loss was still there, but now she was physically lost! Of course, she revolted against the idea of calling him for help.She pressed on thinking she would find the path back again. Also, it occurs to her about this time that it’s been two hours and she hasn’t received a concerned call either. New tears spring fresh into her eyes and down her cheeks and the sun helps to sear them on her skin. She presses on out of will, pride and spite.
She makes her way back to a dirt road leading to the house, but she’s angry as much as sad now. After a rest, he calls. ‘where are you? Want me to come get you?” she responds, “I took a walk. And no.” She mentions the lake in the conversation, and he gives her a general sense of where it is. She hangs up and goes there. Now she feels blank, dry and leaden. She feels angry, and spiteful, jealous and betrayed. She feels hurt abandoned and deserted.
At the lake, she sees the irony in her flight into the woods for solace. He is obviously running away…or slithering away from the idea of being in love just as she flew away from the house with her emotions wrapped up tight. The hogs are dominant as he has become in the course of their future together. She is cornered into being taken over in ignorance or hurtling into the fire of destruction. His philandering and easy desertion and changing winds are like the woods and the general act of running away.
Just then, Doctor Trace shows up, saying, let’s take a ride. She has dried her tears and composed herself for the conversation that must be had, but then she sees his handsome unknowing face and it hits her harshly that things are forever different and she doesn’t want it to end just yet. Her composure flickers away and she knows she will quickly fall apart as soon as she speaks. At the same time he asks what’s wrong. ‘How does he always read me so well??’ She hesitates and asks to talk later. Finally, during the ride around the property she braces herself and bites the bullet of truth.
His responses are vague, apathetic, even calculated yet non-challant and reserved. There seems to have been a beginning and an end to the conversation, but shortly after, Rosy realized that in truth absolutely nothing was resolved! He had really just spoken in circles and what’s more, she had been tricked into allowing him to do so!
Finally, another talk. Rosy has prepared for this to ensure that her concerns are heard and not circumvented again. Forced to the point, Doctor Trace relays, cautiously, that this has all moved too quickly and that he is just not ready for this level of commitment at this time. That he does not want to lose Rosy, but he can’t be the man she wants of him right now. He makes several excuses about his work and other things that are in the end unprovable regarding their validity…but the message is clear…and final. Doctor Trace does say that he would like to remain friends with Rosy while he sorts his affairs…but Rosy knows what that means and is both slightly insulted but primarily confident that she would not be able to so easily separate the feelings.
Crushed, Rosy goes home to mourn. There are tears and tears along with a barrage of self-hatred as she questions whether his intrigue was deceit, perhaps something he doctored up all
along…which would be absolutely dastardly.
These thoughts along with a diminishing zest for life, leads her to wild frenzy, delirium and just plain raving madness. In her quieter, detached moments she becomes the prosaic woman she feels he must believe her to be. Next, fueled with a new surge of passion and clinging to hope, she attempts to find ways to evoke reminiscence out of Trace… As the days and weeks pass, Rosy’s cycle of emotions continue to turn, often turning into herself with a lack of his presence to push them upon.
Rosy finally admits defeat, the battle is over. The doctor has made his presence into a semblance, to a glimmer, to a whisper and finally into a shadow…
Indeed. His transformation seems unearthly…unnatural.
Still in defeat, Rosy wonders, ‘was he just an apparition?’ She feels a chill and darkness descends upon and consumes her.
Rosy is no longer rosy. She is a shell of her former self feeling rejected, unwanted, forgettable, unworthy and insignificant.
A month later, Rosy goes into court with a plea for a name change. The court asks her for her newly selected name. She replies, ‘Falsely Ruin’. The judge hesitates, seems to look for someone to confer with in the corner, then says, ‘are you sure?’ Rosy replies with a firm yes. The judge pauses once more and says, ‘I will grant you this…but may I ask why?’ To which she replies, “Oh, of course. It is because, I have lost all hope through an affair with the phantom of deceitful ruin. I am a changed woman, doctor…or judge, pardon me. I want to never forget the pain of taking a chance on someone who is able to doctor their lies and leave you without a trace…