Lennie, as is often the case with malignant narcissists, had a rough childhood. It is typical of someone with this particular personality construct to use their past as an excuse to harm others.
Having growing pains is not a valid justification to pass on the legacy of abuse.
With insecurities so deep, Lennie fantasizes about reaching great heights of power and control... if only he had the intellect to achieve his dreams.
Born to an Egyptian father and a scottish mother, Lennie was raised with a scottish mindset in an Egyptian society. His parents neglected him most of his life, which left him vulnerable to predators, as well as to his inner demons. Self-obsessed and powerless, Lennie struggles with developing a sense of self. In turn, he becomes a chameleon, ever changing masks and personas, destroying one mask in favor of another. His patterns align perfectly with his self-destructive nature. The only thing that was being solidified was his narcissism. Lacking empathy, while feeling a little too much for himself, he becomes a walking open wound. Come close to him, and he reacts like a third degree burn victim.
Fear is his home emotion, expressed through resentment and anger. When those expressions are absent, the fear pushes him into emotional bluntness, albeit on the surface. His inner world is in constant turmoil. Torn between characters, not knowing which will finally give him the power he craves, he looks for others he can emulate. Where there is admiration, there is an instant and equal amount of resentment that formulates within him, eating away at his insides. In his mind, the only way to end the pain is to destroy those he secretly admires, which eventually ends up destroying him. A vicious cycle that always leaves a trail of destruction in its wake.
For a long time, the harm he would cause was, mostly, self-directed. Others would be collateral damage from time to time. When he did impact others, he would often go into hiding until he finds a way to charm his way back in, banking on the kindness and naivete of his "friends". In spite of two major incidents, most people wanted to give him the benefit of the doubt. It was too inconceivable to think he committed these heinous acts deliberately.
The First Incident: Lennie being a Coward
Lennie was driving his friend's car, Oliver, while under the influence. Overestimating his abilities as per usual, he hit and killed a young man, then sped away. Someone took the licence plate, which legally, made Oliver and his father criminally responsible. Oliver was a minor at the time, which meant trouble for his father too. Lennie refused to take responsibility, even though a financial settlement was eventually reached in favor of a prison sentence. Needless to say, Oliver and his father expected Lennie to, at least, cover some of the financial burden, which he didn't.
Already facing criminal charges for Heroin possession, Lennie decided to flee Egypt to England to avoid prison, leaving Oliver and his father to bear the consequences of his actions. In order to lessen judgment on himself, he kept promising Oliver that he will pay him back once he gets the money.
Oliver was kind, and thought Lennie was a true friend, who simply lacked the means, but not the intention.
Lennie had no prospects in London.
"When a man moves to run away from something, they forget to consider what they are running to."
Already a heroin addict with no money, Lennie becomes homeless. Through short summers and long winters, he would sleep on rough streets, around drug addicts and criminals.
"Every day, I would get my heroin fix through a governmental system set in place, to prevent addicts from attacking people." Lennie would share with his "friends" back in Egypt.
Tired, broke, and sick of himself, he longs for home. He calls his father.
"I want to come back to Egypt, but I don't want to go to prison. Can you check to see if the case is dropped?"
"I'm sure it is. It has been six years."
"Don't drug-related charges drop after 10 years?"
"No, it's six, but I will check for you."
A few days later, Lennie's father told him the charges have been dropped and he can now safely return to Egypt.
The Second Incident:
Upon his return, Lennie is relieved by passing through airport security without incident. He used his British Passport, which left no trace of pending criminal charges in Egypt. Primitive computers and weak laws helped remain undetected for a few years. He opened a kennel club to train dogs, and earned a living. To celebrate his sense of freedom and promising venture, he invited all his friends and acquaintances to a party at his dog farm, located in a rural area. A filthy conduit is a divider between the countryside and the city. Narrow, bumpy, two-way roads are squeezed between fences and the conduit. Some parts along the road is lit; others are pitch black. Some truckers' headlights blind you; others drive at staggering speed without so much as hazard blinkers.
The party was fun. People filled the farm with life. The future seemed bright. Then, night crept in, followed by subtle signs of dawn, when some decided to continue on at another friend's place in downtown to be closer to their city homes. Oliver was severely intoxicated. He had a tendency to drink himself to unconsciousness. Lennie was drinking too, as everyone else at the party, but was lucid. Morgana asked Lennie to drive Oliver's car, since he is the only one who seemed to be able to influence him. Lennie assured her that he won't let Oliver drive and sent her on her way. Morgana got into her car and took a few friends with her. To her surprise, she spots Oliver in her rear view mirror driving behind her. She calls Lennie, who assures her that Oliver is able to drive and that he is driving at his tail. He spoke convincingly and calmly, and so, everyone continued on.
A truck was speeding in the opposite direction, when Morgana was long gone. The trucker did not have any lights on, and Oliver was startled to find himself facing off with it some short meters away. Two friends, Moose and Deena, who couldn't swim or drive, were with him in the car. He swerved down a steep brick wall into the heavily polluted conduit. The car sank head first. Lennie witnessed the accident, as did another trucker, who blocked the road to help out. Lennie had no choice but to stay put. The trucker, who hit them, sped away. Everything happened fast and slow; too fast to catch the culprit, and too slow to save everyone.
The trucker got a rope and helped Moose and Deena out of the trenches, while another struggled to release Oliver's seat belt. When he was finally carried out of the water, they placed him on the ground, as Moose rushed to give him CPR. Oliver was breathing. Moose turns to tell Lennie to help him carry Oliver into the car to take him to the nearest hospital. The cops were taking too long since they called some 15 minutes ago. To his shock, Lennie was gone with all the girls, leaving Moose alone, without a car, and leaving Oliver to die.
By the time the ambulance and the police arrived, it was too late for Oliver. Devastated Moose sat in the back of the police car trying to process the accident and Oliver's death, as the cops take turns insulting him and making assumptions on the kind of party they were at. In Egypt, people take issue with parties, drinking and women, which removes their empathy for party goers, who are accident victims.
None of Oliver's childhood friends, including Morgana, had the mental space to comprehend Lennie's actions. Lennie had the audacity to show up at the funeral, and then later at a private memorial at a friend's home, where everyone needed to mourn together. Moose, unable to handle the betrayal, punches Lennie and accuses him of murder.
This incident was traumatising enough to fragment the previously tight-knitted group of friends. While some moved on to other environments, Oliver's close friends carried the pain, drowning in rumination of what they missed about Lennie. The warning signs were always there for those ready to believe them.
Years pass, and law enforcement catches up with him for the drug charge. He spends six months in prison, then re-emerges, talking his way out of the perception and bitter taste he left in everyone's mouth.
If he was good at anything, it was to play the victim, and turn on the charm on command. Some friends forgave him, and thought he acted out of PTSD rather than something more sinister. They did not want to foresee that he was a criminal in the making, vowing to scam everyone, starting with his own friends, out of their life-savings.
After all old doors got sealed shut in his face, and after losing his farm, he turns to crime, masked under the guise of working in the security and defence sectors. He figured, it pays a lot to become a gangster. That is when he meets George.
Lennie's warning signs:
He is emotionally blunted. His face is expressionless with contrived seriousness.
A pseudo-intellectual, who would repeat something he read or heard and learned by heart, then passes it on as his opinion. He is a chronic plagiarist, and isn't smart enough to mask it under the guise of rewording. He transcribes it verbatim, as though he is doing a cold read. He cannot even translate the emotional foundation of the text.
He proudly announces, “I don’t do emotions”. Lacking the knowledge of how important emotional intelligence is to success, he mimics others. Shallow affect is too deep for his mind.
Lennie’s home emotion is envy and his deepest need is to be in control. Empty inside, he displays power by manipulating and scamming others. He knows he is a fraud, which causes any show of power over others to blind him to the traps laid out in his name.
Disagree with him, and he will blow a fuse. He cannot admit to any wrongdoing. Correct him, and he will stubbornly hold on to his mistakes. “When you fight for your mistakes you get to keep them.”
He wants to prove that he can do what you do, and better, no matter what it is. If you are masterful at your craft, he will imitate you, while criticizing your work. If you are creative, he will waste time creating what someone else has already created. If you are a writer, he will sit down and write a book that is filled with run-on sentences and needlessly complicated synonyms to appear smart.
Having lived as a loser all his life, Lennie found himself in the world of crime. He met all of the criteria of a small-time criminal, yet his arrogance convinced him he can play alongside the big sharks, not realizing he was only welcomed in to be their fall guy.
He has an ability to go on hour-long rants without skipping a beat. If you so much as sound off, “aha”, or ask a question, his face will fill with blood, asking you not to interrupt him. Don’t you dare contribute to his monologue or turn it into a conversation.
Ever condescending, he constantly disrespects those he thinks are beneath him. However, when he converses with someone he deems powerful, he will turn on his charm, become agreeable, and keep his voice at a gentle pitch.
Too arrogant for his own good, Lennie was about to be confronted by something much more powerful than his ego, and the only payday he will ever receive is delivered by none other than karma.
Keep an eye out for more episodes of this series to discover what happens when two psychopaths form an alliance, turn against each other, and ultimately fall.
The M.O of these petty con artists will be revealed to you, as will how to avoid the trail of destruction they leave in their wake.