She snapped me today. Or maybe yesterday; I can't be sure. A picture of her breasts. The caption read: "I love you. They love you. Can we come over tonight?" Which leaves the matter doubtful; it could have been yesterday. She snaps me every day.
Raymond asked to have a glimpse of them. "Is it possible?" he asked.
"No," I said. They are gone. They may as well never have existed. Raymond told me he didn't have any girl to be intimate with, and this was where I could help. He asked me if I'd mind screenshotting the next exciting photo she'd send. When I didn't say anything, he thanked me for being a good friend. It doesn't mean anything.
She snapped me a photo of her pouty face from above to look cuter, and in the caption asked me if I'd marry her :) I snapped back a shrugging selfie and wrote that I didn't mind, that if she was keen on it, we'd get married :|
Then she asked me again if I loved her. This time, she was naked, so I felt like saying yes. I cooled down quickly. She'd set the timer to 2 seconds to stop me from taking a screenshot. I replied, much as before, that her question meant nothing or next to nothing – but I supposed I didn't love her. To make it better, to relate to her, I also used a naked selfie in the background. I don't think it mattered anyway.
I had not kept my promise to Raymond. I snapped her again, telling her I wanted to see her for more than an instant. I think that made her feel something. She sent me another picture, this time with a full 10 seconds. It was so hot the heat was beginning to scorch my cheeks; beads of sweat were gathering in my eyebrows. Every nerve in my body was a steel spring, and my grip closed on my phone. The lock button gave, and with that crisp whipcrack, it began. I sent the photo to Raymond. I knew I'd shattered the balance of the day, the private calm of this conversation in which I'd been happy. I sent it to four more friends (#notYourSnapsLosers). And each successive message was another loud, fateful rap on the door of our undoing.
I was questioned several times with all caps texts. Raymond texted her that I was innocent. It didn't matter. She asked me to meet. She told me that we needed to talk. I told her that surely, she would not break up with a decent hard-working young man because of one tragic moment of lost self-control. She told me that she needed some time to deliberate and that she would call me.
She called me. She came to see me again, and the silence of my room closed in round me, and with the silence came a queer sensation that we were going to make love. But she was not looking into my eyes. I had no time to make contact, as she had already started saying that in the name of broken trust and a broken heart, she would break up with me. I heard her ask me if I had anything to say. After thinking for a moment, I answered, "No." Then she walked out.
She had just refused, for the third time, to see me. She had nothing to say to me, didn't feel like talking – and would be seeing me quite soon enough when she'd come to pick up her things.
On the day she came, she asked me if we would still be friends. I said no. She said: "Have you no hope at all? Do you think that when love dies, everything dies outright, and nothing remains?"
I said: "Yes."
She dropped her eyes and sat down. She cried. I felt nothing. But then she said she felt truly sorry for me. It must make life unbearable to a man to think as I did.
Then, I don't know how it was, but something seemed to break inside of me, and I started yelling at the top of my voice. I ran around my room and grabbed every one of our photos and ran to the stove and burned them all. I told her not to ever waste time on me; it was better for it all to burn and disappear from each other's memories. I'd taken her by the wrists, and in an ecstasy of joy and rage I poured her all the thoughts that had been simmering in my brain.
I'd been shouting so much that I'd lost my breath. She was about to run out, but I held on just a little longer and took out my phone and opened Snapchat and stuck my wet cheek to her wet cheek and took one last selfie of us. I set the timer to 10. Before sending it out to all our friends, I wrote "Love is forever."
BIO: Originally from Paris, Edward Lando is a senior at the Wharton School. He is writing his first novel.