I am sick. Yes, very sick. My psychological problems go well beyond any normal adolescent developmental problems or troubles. I doubt my condition could even be classified by any therapist. I fondly refer to it as the Unconditional Love Disorder. I think it started the moment I read my first cheesy romance novel, at age seven. Ever since I have been totally obsessed with finding unconditional love, someone who would do absolutely anything for me.
Ironically, I have been in some of the worst relationships ever, even though my standards are so demanding. My first boyfriend, Charley, after two months, told me he had to leave me to find his inner self. I’m not stupid, though. I knew he really just wanted to spend more time with his “cult,” whose only purpose was to play Dungeons and Dragons day in and day out. I wonder if that can even really be called a cult, probably not.
Next, I met Roger, at a circus. That should have been a clue from the start. It was not much later that I realized that nothing pulled his chain like watching clown movies. I’d never known so many of the damn things existed, but Roger had quite a collection. He got into watching the movies so much (even though he had already seen them all 87 times, he’s counting) that he wouldn’t even hold my hand or look at me. Needless to say, that relationship didn’t last.
Then there was Fred, Fred the mischievous, fun, practical joker. He was fun to be around until I realized that he had a serious deficiency when it came to anything serious, and some sort of maturity defect, or just a plain lack of it. Then, to make it all worse, I became the object of Fred’s jokes. I quickly became fed up with prank calls, finding orange juice in the milk container, (That ruined many a bowl of cereal, orange juice just does not go well with that stuff.), gag toys, mind games and Fred’s annoying laugh. That relationship was another letdown to add to my ever-growing list.
The day after I dumped Fred I was wandering around the local bookstore, the best place to make connections. I was flipping through some books in the Romance section, trying to find something good to read. Yes, I still read cheesy romance novels for cheap thrills. (I mean, most of the paperbacks cost $5.99 or less.) Actually, the books were kind of an addiction, but I don’t like to call it that. The label “addiction” has such a negative connotation that I prefer to call it a hobby, never mind the fact that I have three full bookcases of them at home.
Anyway, on that fateful day I could not find anything; I had already read everything they had to offer. The store is quite small. I decided to take a walk outside my comfort zone and venture into the Philosophy section, for no particular reason. I saw a boy my age with long blonde hair streaked with blue, which made me take notice of him. He was reading intently.
“What are you reading?” I asked. “And aren’t you supposed to buy the book and then read it? Maybe I’ve been doing it backwards all these years.”
He looked up, undaunted by my brazen tone. “Oh, just some book.” He quickly shut it and looked at me more closely. I noticed his eyes, gray as a cloudy sky, very cool. “Wow, I guess we’re both into the hair-dying thing.”
“I guess you’re right,” I answered. My own hair was fiery red and fell to my waist. The fact that I was short by nature made it appear even longer.
“Well, I should go buy the book. I think you may have been right before, Backwards Girl.”
“My name’s Angie,” I informed him.
“Whatever,” he said, and began to walk towards the counter to pay. Then I caught a glimpse of the book he was reading and its title, The Theory of Unconditional Love. I drew in a quick breath.
“Wait,” I called to him. “I have question. Do you like clowns?”
“What? I guess they’re okay. I’m not really a circus guy. I never gave it much thought.” He blushed. “Actually they kind of scare me, but why did you ask?”
“I don’t know. That’s not the way I usually greet people or anything.”
“Sure, I know that. You greet them by walking up and finding something to criticize.”
“You are one weird chick, I tell you.” Again he turned to walk away.
“Wait,” I called again. “I didn’t catch your name.”
“I never threw it, that’s why.” He looked at the initial confusion on my face and laughed. He stuck out his hand. “Hi, I’m Eric.” I shook his hand cautiously. “I’m Angie.”
“I remember you telling me that. About a minute ago actually.” He smiled.
“You don’t by any chance have an obsession with Dungeons and Dragons, do you?”
“Man, you are weird. The answer is no. I don’t even know how to play. Why do you ask?”
“Just another one of the burning questions floating in my deranged mind. I like to ask new people that.”
He shook his head. “It figures the first person I meet in this town is stark raving mad.” Again he turned away.
“Wait,” I said again. “Are you going to go to Cranford High?”
“Yes, I’m a senior. I start tomorrow.”
“Cool, I’m a senior too. Maybe we’ll have some classes together.”
“I’ll be looking forward to that the way I look forward to getting eaten alive.” By his smile I could tell he was kidding, though again he turned to leave me. He took a few steps this time.
“Wait!” I called. It was the word of the day. He turned around with mock impatience. “You know, I am never going to buy this book, and you were the one who said I needed to do that before I read it. What do you want now?”
I fumbled with my words, a rare problem with me. “Uh, will you go out with me?” I blurted.
He looked absolutely dumbfounded, but soon recovered. “This is a trick question, isn’t it? If I say no, you won’t let me leave, right?”
“You got it.”
“Well, then I guess I’ll have to spend the rest of my life in this store. It’ll be okay; I love to read.”
I put on a puppy-dog face and made my blue eyes look sad. I couldn’t read this guy. I could never tell when he was serious. I loved it!
“But then again,” he said, as if talking to himself, “I would like to eat, and sleep comfortably, and see the stars again. Oh, what the hell? I’ll go out with you. But you have to understand this is not a voluntary act; I’m just buying my freedom.”
“I think I can deal with that,” I said with a smile. In reality, I probably couldn’t, but he didn’t have to know that, yet.
“Me too,” he said, and put his arms around me. Then I knew he had only been joking. We began to kiss deeply, right there in the middle of the store.
“Excuse me sir, but are you ever going to buy that book?” the store-owner asked, her impatience not hidden at all in her face or voice. I had completely forgotten she existed.
“Yeah, sure,” Eric mumbled, turning red. He went to the counter to pay and this time I didn’t stop him. After all, I did want him to read that book, word for word.
“I thought you would never make it here,” the woman said. She must have been watching our antics.
“Yeah, well it’s been an unusual day,” Eric muttered. We both laughed. He paid quickly and we walked out of the store hand-in-hand.
Unfortunately for Eric’s well-being, I was completely head-over-heals in love with him by the time we left the store. One of my closest and most complimentary friends called it an obsession. But “Obsession” has the same negative, dependent connotation as addiction, so I instead call Eric my boyfriend. I mean, does it really matter if I practically have a nervous breakdown when I go without seeing him for five hours straight? I don’t think so. I think it’s just normal teenage love. Then again, nothing’s really quite normal with me.
We spend almost every waking minute together, partly because we shared many of the same classes. The day after we met at the bookstore, after realizing he was in my first period History class, Eric smiled at me and said, “With my current luck, I’ll be getting eaten alive soon.”
I laughed at him and replied, “You never know what might be lurking around the corner, waiting for a bite.” He grinned and put his arm around me. We were the perfect, happy couple, but already that was doomed. Actually, just my being in the relationship damned it all to hell from the start.
A problem slowly began to develop. Of course it wasn’t a real problem, just in my head. Eric had no idea it existed, and I was not consciously aware that my ideas had no basis in reality.
About two months into our relationship I began to conceive of the idea that I had to test Eric. Maybe it was because that was how long my fling with Charley had lasted, and that had been the longest. Maybe I had this fear that no one could stand me for over tow months. (Kudos to Eric for putting up with me). Maybe it was just my Unconditional Love Disorder kicking in. Whatever the reason, my mind became more and more occupied with this “test” I would put him through. It wasn’t that I didn’t trust Eric, it was just that I needed absolute proof of his devotion to me. Once fathomed, the concept could not be forgotten. Nor could the madness be avoided.
However focused I was on this test for Eric, it was all just thoughts and figments of my imagination, until one dreary day in March when I voiced it aloud to my best friend Jade at lunch, a class Eric and I did not share.
Jade is not your average high school student. She couldn’t be categorized at all. She was absolutely brilliant. Ask Jade a question about any historical date or trig function and you’ll get an answer that will win you bonus points in any class. However, she is in danger of failing out of school. One reason is that none of the teachers like her. She is often smarter and only too glad to point out mistakes or argue any point. She also has quite a temper. The main reason, though, is because of her attempts to be Dr. Frankenstein. She wants to create a living frog. She takes many days of from school, claiming it gets in the way of her education, to work on this endeavor. One more cut and she won’t graduate. The worst part is that no matter how creative, inventive, and full of good ideas Jade is, her experiments have proven futile.
Jade is always the first person I go to for advice. She is just as crazy as me. We are a perfect match of friends. Her solutions are always completely off the wall. That’s probably why I follow her suggestions. Plus, they almost always work.
When I told Jade of my desire to make Eric prove his loyalty, she sat in deep thought, chewing on one of the straps of her backpack, a nervous habit she’d had since I met her freshman year.
Once I was finished I could tell by her smile that she already had an idea.
“If you want to make him prove himself, why don’t you have someone hit on him and see if he responds?” she asked.
“No, that’s not really what I mean. I know he wouldn’t cheat on me. I want to see just how important to him. I want him to prove that he loves me unconditionally.”
“If you want to make him prove that, then why don’t you?” Jade said simply.
Some help she was. “Well, how can I? What am I supposed to do, ask him how much he loves me? It’s not like that’s even a measurable substance like all of your chemical compounds.”
“A frog is not a chemical compound,” she replied indignantly. “Anyway, put him in a situation where he’s forced to make a huge sacrifice for you.”
“What do you mean?” I asked, although I was beginning to comprehend.
“Make him feel he has to choose between dying and letting you die.”
“But that’s crazy! I don’t want Eric to die! And what if he chooses to let me die?”
“He won’t really be in any danger. We just have to set circumstances that will make him think the both of you are in great danger. And if he lets you die, then you will know he doesn’t care about you the way you want him to, and you can dump him the next day.”
“I can’t do that; I can’t live without him!”
“You are obsessed. I don’t understand it. It’s not like he’s a frog or anything special like that.”
“The idea’s still crazy,” I told her without conviction. It was really starting to appeal to me.
“Angie, you are crazy.”
“Oh yeah, I know. I almost forgot about that for a second there. Sure, let’s do it.”
“So do you have any important dates planned?”
“Jade, Eric and I don’t date. We are just surgically attached at the hip. What I’m trying to say is that we don’t plan things, we just spend every free second together.”
“And he’s not sick of you yet? He must be special! Anyway, do you have a few free seconds this Friday night?”
“I think so. Do you have a plan to fill them?”
“I sure do.” Jade smiled, leaned forward and whispered excitedly her brilliant plan to me.
“How are you going to manage that?” I asked incredulously. I liked the idea, it was deranged enough for my tastes. Yet it seemed impossible to accomplish.
“Come on, Angie, I may not be able to create life, but simple construction I think I can handle. I have all the materials at home and I can build thins pretty well. Besides, the electrical stuff is right up my alley.”
“Yeah, but what if something goes wrong?”
“Then you test him some other time.”
“Just leave the details up to me.”
“Yeah, all I have to do is sit there and look pretty. Oh, wait, that’s not really possible with my face.”
“Actually, if you just sit anywhere, the plan won’t work.”
“True.” A smile crept across my face and grew into a huge grin. I was going to have a field day on Friday, literally.
The bell rang then. Jade and I left in our separate directions with our heads full of ideas. Outside the cafeteria I soon met up with Eric.
“Hey, babe, what’s up?” he called.
“Obviously not your vocabulary,” I replied. He greeted me the same way all the time.
Eric laughed. “I see you’re in a good mood.”
“I swear you are always so weird after you talk to Frogface. What kinds of things does she put in your head?”
I almost fell down laughing. How ironic that he should ask that then! “Oh, just some great ideas, that’s all. Besides, I’m always weird, right?”
“Of course. Otherwise I wouldn’t date you.”
“So that’s all I am to you? Someone weird to make the day more interesting? I’m not special or pretty or anything? I’m not your angel?”
He nearly choked on his laughter. “Of course you aren’t. My angel? You need to wake up and smell the cafeteria food!”
“Aren’t you in a generous and caring state of mind?”
“Always. You know it!”
“I hate you,” I said in frustration.
“I love you too, Angel.”
“I’m just not going to say anything anymore.”
“A gift from the heavens,” he proclaimed. Then he pulled me close to him for a quick kiss before we entered our Physics class. “I’m sorry,” he said. “I was too mean. You really are a gift from Heaven.”
“More like Hell,” I replied and we both laughed. I knew, though, that I would soon make him prove just how precious his “gift” was to him. I couldn’t wait!
I spent the whole week counting down the hours. Eric told me that I was extremely fidgety, even for me. It seemed to pass slowly. The strange thing was I hardly talked to Jade. She took Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday off from school, but got a doctor to write note excusing her so she wouldn’t fail. I wonder how much she had to pay her for that note. I also wondered if she used the time for her usual frog exploitations, or if she was constructing the magic creation of death for Friday. Probably a mixture of both.
I saw her Thursday night though, much to my dismay. I walked over to her house to see how the project was developing. Instead of going to the front door like any normal human being, I went around back to the door to her laboratory. She practically sleeps there. Perhaps she does sometimes. I was about to knock when I caught a glimpse of blue in the window. I took a closer look and almost screamed. That blue had been Eric’s air. I immediately turned and ran home. What the hell was he doing with her? I guess I didn’t have to test him anymore; I already knew wasn’t faithful. I hated them both and swore then and there never to speak to either again, and never to fall in love.
My convictions changed though, during school the next day.
“Why won’t you talk to me?” Jade demanded during lunch. I had avoided her all day.
“You’re a liar and I trusted you,” I said angrily
“What did I lie about? I really was home sick with bronchitis.”
“Yeah, you had bronchitis the same way I dance on rainbows.”
“You dance with rainbows? Have you been hallucinating again?” When she saw I wasn’t smiling she lowered her vice. “OK, so I wasn’t sick, but no one else needs to know that. Besides, I spend the time a project for your use tonight so I don’t see a problem.”
“When I see my boyfriend at your house, I sure see a problem.”
“What? Oh, we were working on history homework, Angie. I tutor him. What did you think? You know I wouldn’t do that to you.”
“But I’m in his History class. Why didn’t he ask me for help?”
“Angie, you think the Vietnam War took place in Sweden. How were you supposed to help him memorize the events and dates of it?”
“Where did it take place?” After seeing her initial horror, I laughed. “Just kidding. So nothing happened between you and Eric besides studying?” Actually, now that Jade mentioned it, I did remember Eric telling me about it a long time ago.
“Of course not.”
“Well, I’m going to talk to him about it anyway and act hurt. I’ll see if he gives the same story.”
Cut the crap. You just want to hear him tell you how much he cares, that you’re the only one for him and that he’d never hurt you.”
I know, but thanks for the enlightenment anyway.”
True to my word, I put on a sad face upon leaving the lunchroom. I hadn’t talked to Eric in History that morning either, so I’m sure he knew something was going on.
“Hey, babe, what’s up” Eric called out, but this time I didn’t answer.
“Hey, what’s wrong?” Again I ignored him, and even managed to avert my eyes from his face. This acting was not easy.
“Angie, talk to me.”
“Why should I after what you did yesterday?”
“What do you mean? Did I say something wrong? DO something wrong? You have to tell me.”
“Why were you at Fade’s?” I made myself burst into tears.
“Oh my God! She was just helping me with History. I’m not doing well in that class. Angie, I wouldn’t cheat on you.”
“Are you sure?”
“Absolutely. I might tease you and stuff, but I really do care. I hope you know that. You mean the world to me; I swear it.”
I smiled and my mood lifted. I stopped the act.
“Besides,” Eric said, “what would I want with Frogface? I’m sure I wouldn’t appeal to her anyway. I don’t leap around and rabbit, you know.”
I laughed. Eric put his arm around me. “To make it up to you, I’ll be sure to hang out with you tonight.”
“Hey, you were already going to anyway.”
I know, that’s the point.” We both laughed. Since everything seemed to be all right, I figured I would proceed with my original plan for the night’s festivities.
Later on, Eric came over. We watched a movie, which had not one single clown on it. After that I didn’t know what to do to pass the time. I didn’t even say much, a rarity for me.
In the midst of my silence, the phone rang. I answered.
“Hey, Angie, everything’s set up, so whenever you’re ready, go for it. Be sure to call me and tell me what happens.” She sounded as excited as I felt.
“It’s all perfect?”
“That might be pushing it.”
“OK. Whatever. I’ll talk to you tomorrow.”
“If Eric follows the plan, you will.”
“Very funny. I know nothing will happen to me.”
“I wouldn’t be so sure,” Jade teased, trying to scare me.
“If you say so.” Of course I put no stock in her warnings.
“Who was it?” Eric asked after I hung up.
“Oh, Frogface? What’s new with her?”
“She thinks she’s made a breakthrough with her frog creations.”
“Really? Maybe we should go visit her to witness this Earth-shattering event.”
“You don’t know Jade like I do. She says that almost every other day.”
“Oh,” he replied, sounding disappointed. Then his expression turned to disgust. “I don’t know how she can stand working with all those dead frogs. It’s kinda gross. I mean, when I dissected one in Bio that was bad enough.”
“I agree. She once told me she thinks they’re cute.”
“Yuck. They smell so bad too.”
“She says it gets her high, the way they smell.”
“And I thought you were strange.”
“I know, but you’re not sick like that. You’re just sick in the head.”
“Thanks for the compliment.”
“You’re quite welcome.”
“Do you want to take a walk outside?” I asked, changing the subject abruptly. “I just have this strange desire to see the stars.”
“Sounds cool. I could point out all the constellations to you.”
“How?” I asked suspiciously. Eric was no science enthusiast by any stretch of the word.
“I know where our school’s Astronomy Club keeps sky charts.”
“I’ll believe that when I see it.”
“OK, I’ll take you up on your challenge. Let’s go.”
Things were working out all too well. The structure Jade had created was supposed to be in the field in back of my house, which we would need to cross in order to get to the high school, all the way across town.
We set out on our walk, both of us concentrating on the sky.
“Do you ever think, when you’re looking at the sky, that some unseen face is up there staring back, wondering what you’re looking at?” I inquired. I had read something like that in one of my romance novels, and the couple had soon started kissing.
“No, I can honestly say I haven’t.”
“But look at those stars. They kind of look like eyes. And the ones below it look like an evil grin.”
“I just don’t see it.”
“That’s because you have no imagination.”
“The fact that I don’t see imaginary faces in the sky means I’m unimaginative?”
“Whatever you say.”
We walked on in silence, past the playground, until Jade’s creation came into view. It was a tall arch made of wood, looking forlorn and out of place all surrounded by grass.
“I wonder what that is,” Eric said, pointing.
“It looks like a magical entrance into another dimension, left out just for us,” I said, sighing dreamily. I hoped Eric wouldn’t catch on to the fact that I was acting.
“First faces in the sky and now doorways to alien dimensions?”
“Of course. What else would that arch be?”
“I don’t know. Let’s go check it out,” he said.
Once we reached the arch, were under it and were about to leave, Eric stopped me by putting a hand on my arm. “Wait! Let’s see if we get transported into another world.” His actions were really working into my plan. I now didn’t need to find an excuse to stop. After a few seconds I heard Eric let out a breath he must have been holding. “I guess we’re not in Alice’s Wonderland,” he remarked dryly.
“I guess not,” I replied while looking around as if I didn’t know exactly what all this was. “Hey, what’s this?” I asked, looking above me.
Eric looked up too. “I don’t have a clue. It’s way too dark to tell.”
I reached up as if trying to feel what was above us, searching for the switch to turn on the recording. I drew my hand back quickly upon doing so. “There’s spikes up there!” I exclaimed.
“Huh—” Eric began, but he was cut off by a mechanical, recorded voice.
“I see you’ve entered my world of magic. How are you today, my fair travelers?” Eric gave me a strange look. I wondered who Jade had gotten to record this. Knowing her, though, it was probably some computer technique that I wouldn’t understand in a million years.
“All right,” the voice continued, “So I really don’t care about your states of mind. Let’s get on with it. You who walk under my arches are doomed!”
I saw real fear enter Eric’s eyes as he gripped my hand tightly. “What’s going on?” he asked.
“For your information, these spikes up here will come down in exactly two minutes,” the voice responded, as if hearing Eric’s question. “You will die,” the voice went on, the laughed ominously.
“Let’s run,” Eric whispered.
“And don’t you dare think of fleeing. If the motion sensors on these spikes sense any sudden movement, they’ll immediately clamp down. There is no escape.”
“Why?” Eric asked, trembling visibly. “Why are you doing this?”
“I must kill you, for I feed the National Cannibal Society and they are low on food.” It was amazing how Eric’s questions fit so well into a prerecorded tape. It almost made me forget this wasn’t real.
“Now you have one minute and forty-five seconds.”
“Angie, run!” Eric yelled suddenly and urgently.
“I can’t. He said the spikes will clamp down. You’ll be killed and I’ll be ripped to shreds!”
“It’s worth a chance!” he yelled.
“No, it’s not, I—”
“One minute and thirty seconds.”
“Just run Angie! You’re running out of time!” His voice softened. “I can’t let you die. Please go?”
“But you’ll definitely die if I do!”
“I don’t care! Run! Now!”
“One minute and fifteen seconds.”
“Don’t think, just GO!”
I was about to. After all, Eric had passed the test and I knew this wasn’t real, but something stopped me. The arch above us was shaking, a lot. Then I saw the spikes start to lower. Something had gone very wrong.
“Eric!” I screamed. “Get out of here!”
“Yes you can! Put one foot in front of the other and run like hell!”
“One minute. Ha ha ha.”
“I just told you to leave, Angie. Listen to me! Go!”
“No, you listen to me! You have to leave because it’s all my fault. There wasn’t supposed to really be any danger. You’re not going to die because of me.”
“So now you have a guilt complex too? It’s not your fault. Now get out of here!”
“Yes it is my fault! I have this condition called Unconditional Love Disorder and I wanted to test you to see how much you really cared!” My voice was becoming high-pitched and I was spit out 400 words per minute. I must have sounded hysterical. I began tugging my hair in frustration. “None of this was supposed to happen! It wasn’t supposed to be real, but it is! I don’t know what else to say. I’m goddamn crazy and that’s no reason for you to die!” At this rate I’d be bald before I was meat for the Cannibal Society.
“You’re not crazy.”
“Yes I am! I set this up! But it all went wrong! I had Jade help me with this. Even ask her. It’s—”
“You’re not going to make me leave,” Eric said calmly, but with sadness.
“Well, I’m not leaving either!”
“I always knew you you were stubborn!”
“This isn’t something to joke about!”
“Fifteen seconds. Are you ready?”
“I’ve got an idea, Angie.”
“It might not work, but it’s worth a chance! Let’s both run!” With that, he grabbed my hand tighter and we both ran like hell out of there. I could have broken records. Once we were a safe distance away, we both collapsed in the grass, trying to catch our breaths.
After calming down for about a minute, I looked back at the Arch of Doom. “Hey!” I pointed out. “The spikes never came down!”
“I know,” Eric said. “I’m surprised you haven’t already figured it out.”
“Actually, I thought you would find out from the start. At the bookstore, I mean.”
“Oh! You have ULD too?” I hugged him. “We really are perfect for each other!”
“I didn’t know you had it too until Jade and I talked last night.”
“But I never told her about it.”
“Well, she slipped something about it accidentally during my tutoring session. I made her tell me the whole plan. Then I knew.”
“So then you set it up so that I would think we really were in danger, to test me?”
“So that’s why your questions and the voice went so well together, like a recorded conversation.”
“How did you get the arch to shake and the spikes to start lowering?”
“Do you think this arch is really sturdy?”
“And what would happen if someone were to climb on it and sit on the top we were screaming?”
“We wouldn’t hear that person and it would look like those spikes were going to kill us. But who?”
“Jade? Where is she?”
“I don’t know. She was hiding on the playground while we were walking here.”
“She’s probably there now.”
“Oh well. All’s well that ends well, right?”
“I still can’t believe you have the Unconditional Love Disorder too. How did it start?”
“I have this fetish for romance novels, especially the paperbacks.”
“Really? Then why did I find you in the Philosophy section?”
“I already read all the the ones in the Romance section of that small store. I figured the book I bought was the next best thing.”
I was absolutely amazed, almost speechless. Almost. “Me too. I mean, I love paperback romance novels and I had already read them all too.”
“Yeah.” I put my arms around him. “I guess we really are a match made in Heaven.”
In the following silence it finally dawned on me that I never really tested Eric since he’d known about the whole thing. Maybe I would test him nest week. And I knew exactly who to call for an idea.
But for now, that had to wait. Eric and I went to the school and permanently borrowed the sky charts. We made complete fools of ourselves trying to find the constellations.
ns. We didn’t find even one. I felt really dumb after Eric pointed out that the problem might be that the sky was completely blocked by a thick layer of clouds. We soon went home.
The nest day, when I called Jade, she said she really wasn’t interested in helping me with another plan to test Eric. “Besides,” she added,” I’m a little busy. I think I made a breakthrough on my frog experiments.”
I sighed. Some thing never change.
However, one thing did. I decided to drop the whole test idea. After all, I really did trust him. I knew he loved me. Maybe one day we’d get married, start a family and read romance novels together. What a thrill that would be! Also, I realized I did not need to test him because I already had proof that we were the perfect couple.