And she said, "Oh, are you a smoker?" Gesturing toward the pack of Camels on the table.

"No," I replied, "I just felt like hurting myself tonight. I warn you, I am a very strange person."

No, this is just a poor start. I can't begin this masturbatory piece of work with some coffee talk conversation with some nameless girl I seduced. It really should start with someone else, someone entirely different. It should start with Bonnie.

She doubted my will to marry her, so I slapped her across the face. "If you're going to do it, at least do it well," she retorted. I said to her that I wouldn't talk to her until she called me. I gave her three weeks to call me, hoping that three weeks and a day down the road she would tell me to go fuck myself. That night she called me in desperation to tell me she loved me.

My first memory of Bonnie is walking by her next to the light table in the photo lab. She was fourteen, I was sixteen. Struck me as cute, someone I would like to know better, but knew would never. Later that day, as I walked home from the last day of school, a green minivan drove by, and that cute girl appeared at the rear window frantically waving. She had chosen me, and I couldn't have had a more curious feeling.

Many months later we found each other at Jared's house, awkwardly watching some Robin Williams stand-up comedy while waiting for the new years party to begin. Turns out she had to leave at 9 o'clock, so we walked down to the hill where I used to go ice blocking and I counted down from five and kissed her. Once the clock struck midnight, I found myself mildly inebriated outside her window, wishing her a happy new year.

That summer, I worked at my father's job — a die casting company doing tedious filing. I started out with a cubicle and a window, and ended up in the copy room. That pretty much was the story of my life, constantly being pushed aside, downgraded, and never saying a word. From one of the scrap piles, I took a zinc o-ring that mildly resembled an engagement ring. Once school started again, I proposed to her with a ring one could dissolve in bleach while we were in the dark room. I can't remember if she said yes or no. I must have been only seventeen.

Not too long from that, she was put on medication. Her tales of hearing voices and dying from juvenile parkinson's disease must have got to them. Or maybe it was her sister's suicide attempt. No — that was the second time she was admitted. If emotions are irrational and psychosis is the over-action of emotions, anti-psychotics work surprisingly well. The only side affect is that it turns you into a robot. I sat next to this girl, one who I wanted to marry, one who I now looked at and felt empty inside. Even her hand was cold.

The next time I heard from her, I was in college. Not too long before she told me that she faked the psychosis, I was at a party drunk, crying out to Jake that he did not know what it was like to want to die for someone. Sacrifice was my first flaw. She met me at a Starbucks, no, some other coffee shop that I can't remember the name to. We talked about life and recurrence relations. Didn't see her for another year after that.

My second strike ended up being sacrifice again. I loved Sara more than I did myself — I blame the movies, personally.

I got an apartment with three of my friends, had a room to myself. And since I equated my family to prison, I loved being alone in that apartment, especially during the winter vacation, when the whole complex was empty. Something prompted us to meet again. I don't know what it was, but I believe that I initiated the conversation. She showed up at my door and we rented American Splendor. After the movie, the silence was broken when I told her, "I guess I should go over there and kiss you."


I couldn't tell you what was going on in her mind at that moment, but it was a lot, and quickly. After calming her down, we slept together, I told her before getting in bed that I wouldn't have sex with her. She suggested by stating soon after and I declined. We spent most of that winter break together. She was at Brooks now, and judging by our schedules, we wouldn't see each other in yet another year.

The trains were her savior. Whenever she could, we spent the weekends together. She spoke of writing about me, but not the me before her. She wrote about the me that would come in the future. Pitiless, ruthless, perfect. She never said those words, never explicitly told me what I should be. But I knew, somehow, that it would happen. She said that she loved me, she said that she would wait for me. I did not understand why her eyes were vacant when I kissed her, her body froze as a marionette.

It was when I jabbed her in the mouth and made her bleed that I realized that she was telling the truth when she said she had no reason to ever lie to me. My second flaw was doubt. She got a good one on my eye, it flashed white for a second and then a reserve of tears manifest. She ended that night with a few nasty bruises, a bloody lip, and a wicked black eye. I was just sore.

Time is like a car alarm without her near. And with her, it's like a whisper in the night.

And now I'm fucking a friend, making out with another, convincing another that she is more powerful than a god, and seducing neighbors by telling them that I don't like people. I'm drinking more, smoking more, intentionally causing strife in my apartment, and still not dead. My third flaw is fear, and that is beginning to fade.

Her patience bewilders me, and her choice amazes me. Once I lose that flaw I will own her — just like I own everyone else. It almost frightens me when we speak of taking over the world knowing that it will be easy.

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