By Jenny Braudt
It was the dead of winter when my eyes first captured his, my friend to be. We were both strolling through the nearby woods of our little town when we happened upon each other. He was charming in his own sort of odd way. He would suddenly be standing right by me, close as a lover. Then he would withdraw abruptly into the still of winter only to appear a few steps ahead of me as though he were waiting. Finally I stopped and called out to him. He pretended not to hear, but I could see a faint smile on his lips. He knew he was getting to me. I was so frustrated with his little dance about me that I left him and ran home. The next Sunday I was yet again walking in the woods thinking to myself. I was studying the needles of a pine tree when I noticed him on the other side of the tree. I ignored him as he had ignored me when we first met a few days back. I continued to stroll seemingly undisturbed, but I could hear his footsteps following mine. I felt haunted by this mysterious man. I turned around gingerly to greet him, he smiled, and before a word had passed, he swept me up into his arms and placed me under the nearest tree. There we talked for the next few hours. We had so much in common it was unbelievable. It was as though I found a male duplicate of me. I also found out how incredibly smart he was, he made me feel like King Arthur must have felt around Merlin. He taught me so many things about the way things worked, but it was only a matter of time before my friends and family realized how wicked his mind was. I did not notice it at all because he often explained to me why certain things had to be cruel. It was only when he told me to leave my husband that I became cautious of his intentions. I did not shun him, but I continued to be watchful of his behavior. It was then that I started to contradict him, and to not bathe his glorious light. That light had died out long since. He kept his clutch on me by acting pitiful and making me feel sorry and superior to him. One final day in our bizarre relationship, he mailed me letter (as he had many times before) pronouncing that he was to see me no longer and that he might end his life without me. Of course I was taken aback, but I decided that I had to say goodbye to him. I was drained of want for him, need for him. I really just wanted to start my life again and to set things straight; I was weary of his tricks and fraud. I had come to realize that he was just a facade, and that I had hurt every person whom I loved just to get down to the core of his mind.
I still am suffering from my short and grotesque relationship with that mysterious man. My friends have left me and my husband does not trust me. He has left me in a predicament that only time can solve. Being his friend was a two-person cult. I was the victim, and he was the leader. I was the victim by thinking I was the leader. Outwardly I thought we were friends and that we were close. Though inside I was infatuated and horribly disgusted by him. Like the way a vampire's peers look upon him. He was a vampire in his own fashion, a psychic vampire. A psychic vampire is a very Machiavellian and dirty sort of vampire. They do not steal the blood of a person; instead they steal the mind and manipulate what once was considered sane. To this day I am not really sure what went on or why I fell into his cleverly woven lies. I believed him, or did I just really want to believe him so I would not lose his tainted hold on me. I do know that I would not lose him until he decided he was ready to be lost, after he did his damage. He made things I loved seem trivial and in that he played innocent so that he was what I cared about. Only I really did not want my life to be that way. He would not let me be what I wanted though. Not after he took all that time giving me presents, keeping my interest, baiting my soul. Once I was caught, conscience of it or not, he had a power, it was true I wanted to be caught to some extent. If only I knew what the outcomes would be, I would take it all back. I would sacrifice my curiosity and not give in to my obsession. Yet what is done is done, and because of Pandora's recessive curiosity, my life will forever be changed in the most horrendous of ways.