It was then that Wayne began taking a greater interest in what I was doing. This disappointed me, obscurely. I had hoped that our friendship had been a thing of its own, but it became clear that there had been a transactional element to it on his side, all along. Wayne wanted something from me, and once he was certain that I could provide it for him his manner became both more insinuating, and more directed. Genial, of course, for we were rather alike; more importantly, he perceived that I was thinking along a line of thought that suited his purposes.
I should fairly note that I am not spontaneous in my relationships with people, either. For example, I was maintaining my initial connection with Betty all along, although I certainly did not apprise her of my recent purchase history. It was useful to my blossoming plans to have the neighborhood associate me with one of their own; and Betty was sociable, yet not very demanding. She also had two teenage children whose pragmatic neutrality I could secure via the simple tactic of keeping their mother out of the house several nights a week. If things worked out as I planned, that willingness to go along with events would likely prove to be useful at a critical point.