Happy Ever After
by Glenn

Fairy tales can go fuck themselves, for all I care.

You don't get to live happily ever after, just because you say...

"I love you."

The memory of that damning statement was even more excruciating than the pain that constantly hovered over each limb, ripping through every single nerve ending in my broken body. In the Top 10 of the most fucked-up things I had ever done in my entire life, this ranked way up there with killing Kathy Rockwell and bunking with Vern...How could I have been so fucking na´ve to believe in any of the shit that Keller said?!

Trapped in this prison made from crusted plaster and soft, antiseptic sheets, there was no escape from the pain. It was my constant companion, making me its bitch as it fucked me over each and every single waking moment.

And sleep brought me no relief. Because in the dark kingdom of my dreams, the sky glittered maliciously with the brittle brilliance of sapphires, while the wind whispered a million lies over and over again...

"I love you, Toby."

I thought they meant something, wished to God they would mean everything in the world. But they were nothing but words. A meaningless collection of vowels and consonants that approximated emotion and promised false hope. A treacherous curse that would ultimately condemn me to the hell of my own utter stupidity...

"I love you."

I let those three little words crawl under my skin and burrow its way straight to my heart. I was so fucking stupid that I allowed myself to trust someone again in this psychotic zoo, forgetting that Oz was not a place where dreams come true. It was a maximum security penitentiary, and no altruistic heroes lived here, just monsters masquerading as men.

Like that Aryan fuck Schillinger.

I should have learned my lesson, that nothing was ever as it seemed. Kind and fatherly at the start, Vern immediately metamorphosed into the vicious predator that he truly was - a rabid beast that reveled in its power to rend and maim and kill. And just because I survived the privilege and honor of being his prag, I thought I was ready for anything.

But not even the seemingly endless nights of lubeless fucks prepared me for...

"I love you, Toby.'

It was the most seductive drug that I had the misfortune of ever taking. Alcohol, heroin, even PCP paled in comparison to the mind- numbing joy hearing those words gave me. The venom was so insidious that I was blinded to his true character and purpose. I didn't notice the betrayal that was just lurking beneath that beautiful blue gaze. Couldn't taste the bitterness in the insistent pressure of his lips. Never felt the inherent cruelty in the solidity of his body.

Until it was much too late...

When those eyes had already iced over. When those lips spat back hateful words and vile rejections. When once they had comforted and held me gently, those hands turned merciless as they wrapped around flesh and broke bone.

I was barely conscious when they got around to the other leg. And in the murky haze that was spreading through my mind, the bright, scorching blaze of his laughter exploded. And with that echoing in my ears, I was swallowed up in shadow. And I suddenly surrendered -- drowning myself in the darkness, waiting anxiously for death.

But death never came to claim me. There was only the hell of my pain, and...

"I love you, Toby."

When I next opened my eyes, I woke up to a fucked-up Wonderland. Made from crumbled gingerbread and rotting pumpkin. Overrun by razor-sharp rosebushes and poisoned apples. Populated by comatose royalty, fallen angels and tarnished knights all dressed up in ash- ridden rags and shattered glass. And ruled over by white-garbed necromancers and a blue-eyed Anti-Christ.

I tried finding my way out but I kept getting lost. Always going in eccentric circles. Going farther away rather than nearing my chosen destination. Being waylaid by demented mice in drag and shank- wielding dwarves. There were times though, when I thought I was saved. Once, when I encountered a soft-spoken medicine woman that was about to cross my path. Another time was when a sharp-featured priestess and a balding, goateed scarecrow pulled up just behind me on their flying carpets.

But before I could even talk to them, they were whisked away by a tornado teeming with crooked crosses and red lipstick, reeking of burnt flesh and moonshine. And with a deafening bang, the whirlwind would disappear, taking my salvation along with it.

Then one day, I finally became the whirlwind's target. It swept me up in its dizzying carousel, hurtling around in the air, dodging spinning pieces of trash and used goods. I really wanted to scream for help, but all I was capable of saying was...

"I love you."

I woke up screaming in a hospital bed. And that wasn't the last time they heard me cry out, because I have never experienced this kind of pain in my whole life. And if Dr. Nathan and the others thought it was because of my broken bones, it was a mistaken assumption that I thankfully, gladly never bothered to correct. It was much easier to endure than what they would all think if they found out the real reason for every shout and whimper...

"I love you, Toby."

But even the tears dried up after a while, and despair was cast away. And it its place was his voice. Forever reverberating in the jagged hollows of my heart, it tainted my consciousness. Filling it with an anger that burned red-hot and unrestrained. Stoking the fire with every deceitful memory, every manipulative word, every traitorous emotion...

"I love you."

Fuck love!

Fuck you too, Chris Keller!

And believe me, you will get fucked. Again and again.

For the rest of your life.

I'll make sure of that.

You should have just shanked me and let me bleed to death on that gym floor. Because now, every day that I live is one more day to plan, to devise, to perfect a million ways to fuck you over.

Just like you did me.

And someday soon, when I'm all better, I will return the favor.

Hundred-fold.

"I love you, Toby."

I will make you eat those words.

And then, I will fucking live happily ever after.

 

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