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“I bet you all the love in my soul he will come out here and talk to you about what a great guy I am.” I spoke with the viciousness of a snake hissing at its’ prey. “He will come out here and use his time to make you feel like you have the power to choose between us. He’ll tell you the positive aspects about me and explain the depths of all the feelings I’ve had for you, feelings I trusted to him as my best friend. Once he has put on his show he will look at you with his cocky grin and say ‘as much as I like you he has longer and its’ your choice’.” The girl’s confused expression was lit by the luminescence of the moon which only accentuated her beauty. “When it comes to this—this, five minute one liner session then, yeah, I guess Travis wins. He can promise a lot of things to a lot of girls in five minutes, I’ve seen him do it hundreds of times. If that is what your after then fine I’ll just give up right now because I deserve better than that and I deserve better than using these five minutes to prove myself to you.” I explain as I walk back to the backyard porch. “So pick whichever one of us you will, when he comes out here and tells you how great I am I can’t win. If you pick me he’ll say I owe it to him, if you don’t it will be because of his self sacrificing nature” I say sarcastically before swinging the door open and walk by Travis, the potential backstabber.
I sit angrily inside with another friend of mine that seems so out of place in this situation his name eludes me, but he provides me comfort despite his deep friendship with Travis. Jessica, the girl I spoke to earlier in the backyard called me out where she stood, Travis across from her. Our other friend stood by the back porch to bear witness to Jessica’s decision between us.
“You were right Will, he said what you knew he was going to say,” Travis looked over at me puzzled. “However you were also right about me falling for him for saying those things. I’m sorry.” Travis smiled his smug little victory smile as he gave his new girlfriend a wide armed bear hug then turned to me with his hand out.
“No hard feelings, like he promised.” He pretended to say genuinely with his backstabbing face, I could almost see the teeth missing in his perfect smile from the damage I could unleash on him right now. I glanced at his hand, not even able to fathom how many women it touched, women that belonged to other men that bled and worked for a healthy relationship that Travis could pry effortlessly out of their hands just because he was beautiful. I raised my hand and slapped his away, not satisfied with the strength I put into it.
“F*** off,” I say turning back toward the door, “you’re both shallow f***s, you deserve each other anyway.” The other friend tries to stop me for an explanation spewing some sewage about the no hard feelings agreement although I couldn’t understand him and just brushed him away. I went to my room in a blind rage, I could only remember the sounds of the other friend and Travis going to their rooms and an extra pair of footsteps I attributed to be Jessica’s. I heard in a past psychology class that the subconscious mind could shut off the conscious mind’s functions so that it could not receive certain information it deemed hazardous. I experienced this phenomenon first hand, it took a few minutes for my mind to comprehend that Travis was f***ing Jessica in the room next to mine, but once the information was bored from my mind I slept like a baby.
The other friend confronted me the next morning, asking what I was going to do now that Jessica was no longer mine. The grogginess of sleep and the sudden realization of what I heard before I fell asleep knocked me in a daze that messed with my perception and I still couldn’t think of the other friends name or what I told him. The walk to school was pain in physical form since we decided to make no change to our schedule of departure which meant Travis, his new(est) girlfriend and the other friend were all behind me as I walked as fast as I could to get away from them. Suddenly I heard quick footsteps shuffle in behind me and I was caught off guard to notice Travis standing there with a naively friendly smile.
“I know you were angry last night, but how about we try again buddy?” he asked holding his hand out again. “No hard feelings.” I knew what he was doing so I took his hand, pulled him closer and kicked him to the curb a few inches away from falling into the street.
“Just because your lifestyle was so hard in the past does not mean you can just take whatever you want!” yell at him, “I do not give a s*** about you anymore and all I have to say to you is go ahead and put on your nice guy persona because if you are going to take what you want from me I’m going to take you down with me!” Jessica ran and helped lift him off the curb, Travis began pushing my shoulder, yelling at me, waving his hands in front of my face; anything to get my attention. Travis and Jessica finally gave up, noticing their tardiness for class, but I could not seem to take my eyes off something.
The other friend stood there staring at me, his face blurred and the existence of his name still eluding me. The entire world seemed blurred until it seemed nonexistent; it was just me and the other friend staring at each other as if in some kind of hypnotic trance. With no motion involved the other friend was suddenly topless, his bare body standing awkwardly. A hole had been ripped savagely through his belly, a few loose organs spilling onto the pavement, his heart beating like a drum falling down stairs. I looked up at the other friends’ face, the longer I stared the more clear it became. The face was identical to mine, it was me standing here in the middle of nothing staring at myself, although this other me had a smile carved on its’ face that looked so deformed it was a wonder this other me was still alive. The other me’s smile comforted me and seemed to draw me into a warm embrace when suddenly this other me spoke to me.
“You know what we do.” It said simply, although its’ lips did not move. The voice it expelled seemed to be from a loudspeaker several yards behind the other me. His voice was soft and ghastly like a pedophile singing a lullaby and while every fiber of my being told me this was wrong I smiled to him
“Of course.” I said responding. The other me patted at its’ pocket with its’ hand a few times, then did nothing as if patiently waiting. I reached inside my pocket and pulled out a knife, examining it, the blade seemed to smile in the afternoon sun. The blade’s smile seemed comforting and genuine, not as friendly as the Other Me, but a good substitute to sit in class with. I thought walking toward my school, down the same path as Travis and Jessica, the Other Me holding my hand as we walked together.