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  • "Let's be friends" he said. "Sure," I said, "we can be friends once you give me back the tools I need to be a good friend." "Anything, what do you need?" "ah, let's see, there's the last two years of my life, my heart- complete, not melting in my hands like it is as we speak, repainting my new red Mary-Janes and leaving such a mess I'm not sure how I'm going to be able to clean it all up." " Hmm, he pondered in that calculated way i'd come to dread". "Oh", I added, "and there's the question of returning my soul in its entirety, and, I'm curious, how do you intend on fixing all that?" "Easy," he said with the confidence he naturally exudes and which used to impress me. " I'll just lie to you and fool you like I've been doing all along- you'll never know the difference!" His smug smile fulfilled him. "Aah," I said, "except here's the thing: since you left, I remembered something my mother told me long ago, it came to me amidst a tearfall, got caught in my teeth and I couldn't let it go, so I swallowed it; fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me, (aside: to correct that Texan Terror). And remember, I never dug self-hatred." I looked at him then and I think he saw me for the first time. "No," I said after a while, "I'm sorry but I don't think we can be friends after all."
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