How many times can a person be kicked in the teeth before they simply give up? So many of you out there are either Stepford Smiling or just have some kind of a mental block that keeps our existence from getting to you. Sometimes I wonder how many of you are even real. Because there is no reason you should be laughing and smiling. There is nothing left in our lives except for it and its minions and the games that they play with us.
I suppose I should actually explain my current state of bitterness, shouldn’t I? I took Ryuu and Nick’s advice. I went out on a date with Ryan. The plan was simple. Go out, try to have some fun, and then let him down politely. Simple right?
Only not a single thing went the way it was supposed to. I couldn’t relax at all during dinner. The only thing that made me feel even slightly comfortable was being able to reach into my purse and touch the bottle of pepper spray I had in there, or to put my hand under the table and feel the knife I had strapped to my leg under my skirt. I had nothing to talk about. He asked about books and I don’t read books anymore only blogs. He asked about movies and tv shows and all I watch are the vlogs of our fellow stalked. He asked about family and what was I supposed to tell him? A brother on the run from a Cosmic Horror and two dead godchildren?
The whole dinner was awkward and miserable for me. He would ask questions, I would mutter some half assed response, and then go silent until he asked another question. I was so miserable that I couldn’t even enjoy the food and it was a pretty good restaurant, one I used to enjoy before…well before everything. It was a huge relief when the check came. I assumed that I wouldn’t even need to let him down, that I had been such a horrible date he would be dying to get away from me.
Instead he asked me if I wanted to take a walk down the strip. I was surprised to say the least. Maybe I hadn’t wrecked it. Maybe I was still capable of being a worthwhile human being after all, instead of just a paranoid wreck of a woman. It’s not so much that I wanted to be a great date for Ryan. Logically I knew that if I was bad date it would be simpler to get him to stay away from me, from the nightmare that is my life. But well…I do have some pride. What woman wants to be remembered as the worst date ever?
We walked down the main strip. It was a humid night, but not as hot as it’s been. I started talking a bit, and before I knew it I was actually having a real conversation. I told him that I was between jobs at the moment and debating trying my hand as writer. It was about as close as I could come to the truth without getting into far too many details that would be detrimental to him and well, let’s face it, the details of what Tom did to me still fill me with shame. I don’t know if that is something that will ever change.
I was handling things pretty well until we got near the park. I saw the trees and froze with my paranoia back in full force. Did he bring me to the park on purpose? Was he the half assed proxy that has lately taken to making my life annoying? I tried to pull away from Ryan, who was not looking confused. Instead, he looked eager.
I turned and bolted, running as fast as I could. Smart me, I wore a pair of sensible shoes instead of heels. And as always seems to happen in these adrenaline fueled situations, the little details were so clear. The rasp of my breath as I started to breathe heavier, my hair rising off of my shoulders and back by the momentum, and the sound of two pairs of feet slapping against the sidewalk. He was chasing me, I was so stupid, my instincts said don’t do it but I listened to Ryuu instead and now I was going to pay for not trusting myself.
I turned a corner and there was the creature. I barely managed to stop myself from running right into it. I could hear Ryan coming up behind me, I was sandwiched in between the two of them. No matter which one grabbed me first, I was about to pay for my idiocy of actually thinking I could give myself a life.
Ryan rounded the corner and I held my breath waiting for the inevitable. To be attacked or for Ryan to start babbling crazy proxy talk. Because that’s the last thing we all want to hear before we die right? About how their Father or Master or whichever name is the flavor of their crazy will be served and sacrificed to.
But I was wrong. Ryan didn’t start babbling. Instead he started screaming. You know the one. That scream that we all let out the first time we saw it whether out loud or in our heads. The one that begs for it to go away and tries to deny what you are actually seeing. Terror and insanity and denial and pain all mixed into one primal scream of anguish.
It looked at us for a moment before swinging one of its tentacles at Ryan, a forward strike that would have gone straight through his face while he stood there screaming. I ran forward and tackled him as hard as I could. He hit the ground and I heard a dull thud as his head smacked the sidewalk. I pushed myself to my knees and made yet another mistake. I looked up at it.
And again it felt like an eternity that we looked at each other. I could feel the tears running down my cheeks. I am just so tired. I want to give up. I want to rest. I want to walk into its embrace and just let it end me. But Ryan was on the ground next to me whimpering. There’s always something holding me back from peace. Lucien, Ryuu, Nick, Cathy. Always someone preventing me from finally being out of this.
Anyway, Ryan was whimpering and it turned its attention away from me and looked at him instead. I grabbed his arm and dragged him to his feet, screaming at him to run. We ran, me dragging him along until I reached my car. I shoved him into my passenger seat, got into my side and drove off.
When I pulled over I had no idea what I was going to tell him. Apologize? Try to explain what it was? As it turned out I didn’t have to say anything. Ryan sat in the seat next to me and started laughing, high and hysterical.
“I knew it!” he said. “I knew that you were the right one! I knew that if I found you I would find the Slender Man!”
He was never actually interested in any kind of a date. I was a means to an end, in this case finding and seeing the monster.
I can’t do this right now. I’ll finish the story later.