He was old enough to remember a time without the internet, although his time without such luxuries was longer than others’. He was confined, for five years. He deserved to be. He did something society regarded as abhorrent. He was a disgusting psychotic creep who didn’t deserve anything good – all the love and luxuries associated with one’s early twenties were to be stripped away. They cast stones. He wasn’t able to live online when the rest of the world had just started living online.

Here he is now, crawling his way back from solitude followed by aimless wandering, followed by more solitude. He’s a villain, says everyone. Everyone, except me, except the ‘other’ girl. He’s a villain for something he did in the past, that I believe he will never do again. He needs to control himself. He’s controlling himself. I beam at how far he’s come, even since April when I met him in the first place. He has everything going for him. I’m glad he didn’t succumb to himself. I’m glad he was saved. What I want is for the rest of the world to be glad for him, too. I want the world to see what I see. The world will never see what I see. I want to apologize to him for how terrible the world can be, how unforgiving, how one-dimensional and misunderstanding.


He is old enough to well-remember a world when there was scarcely even cell phones. He embodied that world with the same woman, the same woman he’s woken up with every day for the past fifteen years. He is low-key, worked a decent job or two, done his best to be a common-law boyfriend, done his best to handle his drinking, done his best to repair his life, whatever that means.

And yet.

And yet, he is a liar. He has taken an innocent, seemingly naive, too-kind smart, bright young woman under his wing and convinced her she is loved. He is not capable of love. He is not capable of being with only her. He is not capable of understanding everything he’s doing wrong. He is not capable of brushing his teeth or being good to someone who has done nothing but been good and understanding to him when very few other people would be.

He has cheated, lied, two-timed, been vague about the past when he could have been honest and upfront and saved a girl who cares about him (for some reason) large full bags of hurt. Easily. And yet, he continues to lie and cheat and act like an infiltrating monster.


So who is the monster? And who is the good person? Is the monster the man who society condemns as such, or is the monster the person who is allowed to live his life right and fully, but shouldn’t because of how he treats those who would give anything for them?

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