Author's Chapter Notes:
This is the revised version of a story I wrote under the penname rubygoddess, which still has stories archived on However, I can no longer log in to that penname, so here is the revised version I started writing again, some four years later. Hope you enjoy!
My entire life, I’ve been told I’m a shitty, useless prat. Family, friends, ex-lovers, and strangers have relentlessly pounded this sentiment into my head for years.

But most humbly, I beg to fuckin’ differ.

Certain unsavory qualities about myself notwithstanding, I’d say I’m a bloke with plenty to offer. There are redeeming and (I think) profound aspects about me that people are just too bloody dense to recognize. For instance, I possess the ability to do the following:

1) Beat any video game in under six hours, tops. Not kidding. Don’t try throwing one of those nancy-boy RPGs in my face, though. I’m not an orc-oogler.
2) Give you a heavily annotated and comprehensive history on the following subjects: punk music, football hooliganism in the UK, Manchester United (Arsenal can suck a dead rat’s nutsac if you ask me) and English poets from the Romantic Period (that’s right, I’ve got layers).
3) Cook up the best plate of bangers and mash from here to Wales.
4) Keep a clean house. A proclivity towards hooliganism and overall violence aside, I am a well-kept man with well-kept things. I never leave those bloody glass rings on the coffee table or litter skid-marked underwear about the flat.
5) Compile everything significant in my life into lists. You might call it compartmentalizing, I call it bloody succinct.

Uh. I guess that’s it.

Still, I think all that makes me a decent fellow. At least far better than say, pedophiles, rapists and Trekkies. But no, my loved ones and contemporaries, seemingly oblivious to these admirable traits, still deem me the dreaded shitty, useless prat. What’s their reasoning, you ask?

Well. I just happen to be afflicted with a typical male disease. Disease being “can’t-keep-a-girlfriend-itis”.

I suppose the fact that my most recent love of two years just left doesn’t do much to disprove this theory. But in my defense, all I can say is . . .

It’s not my fault, you fucks.

Yes, I can be domineering, reckless, cynical, insecure, arrogant, cocky, non-committal, devious, stubborn and at times, all-out moronic, but thing is – I didn’t get like this on my own. I had a little help along the way to start me down this bitter path. It might sound churlish, but this all their fault. Women, that is. They started it. I could have been Mr. Right Ten Times Over if it wasn’t for the years of degradation at their hands.

Take my list of all-time greatest and most heart-wrenching breakups. These are the ones who’ve really nailed it for me. They have made it apparent why I am the way I am. They have shamed me to point where there is nothing to do but utter a rallying cry against the whole lot of womankind.

1. Age 13, Cecily Hallows

Typical juvenile infatuation. She was, in my naïve and adoring eyes, exquisite and everything a hopeless crush was supposed to be: beautiful, popular, mysterious, unattainable. But by some grace of God, she wasn’t so unattainable, or so I thought the night of Marcy Krakowski’s party. It was the usual prepubescent affair. Bad music swirling around a wood-paneled basement, a variety of snack foods, the awkward mingling of zitty boys and acorn-chested girls who’d just discovered something as scary as hormones. I was sitting sulkily on a beanbag chair when Cecily looked at me from across the room and did the one thing that made my world stop: she smiled and crooked her finger at me. I happily and hastily obliged her. The rest of the night was spent kissing and groping so badly that it still makes me blush to think of it.

Anyway, I figured this made Cecily and me an item. I spent the next day at school in a state of rapt euphoria. I paid utterly no attention in class (which wasn't so unusual) and instead wrote horrible and profusely romantic poetry (which was unusual). The whole day was leading up to lunch hour when I would seek her out and proclaim my love for all to see.

So I did. Like the stupid git I was, I got down on one knee and read her this abominable poem in which I actually rhymed "effulgent" and "bulge’t". Needless to say, it did not go over well. She was disgusted, as was the rest of the cafeteria, and she uttered the one thing that made my heart seize together into broken beats.

"You’re beneath me, William."

For a second I didn’t get it. I thought it was a terribly obvious thing to say since I was down on one knee, prostrate before her. But she couldn't leave it off there. She had to repeat it viciously and vindictively, as if to show the rest of the school that that night at Marcy’s had meant nothing. It dashed my innocent hopes of flowers and puppies and walking-in-the-park kind of love in one fatal second. I honestly thought I loved the girl, and as a result of her rebuke, I fell into a headlong depression that still seems to influence me to this day in its surliness. Now I can’t even remember what the girl looks like, or why I even liked her. It was the glamour of the first kiss and the first heartbreak that did me in. It is something I’ve never fully recovered from.

2. Age 16, Darla Jacobs

The problem with Cecily was her icy, untouchable persona. She was like Mount Everest in her cold, unmountable reservation. I needed someone from the other extreme. I needed someone bouncy and alive and very mountable. Word went round the boys’ locker room that Darla Jacobs was more than willfully mountable, so I decided to make my move. It wasn’t a hard seduction. My Cecily episode had not deterred me so much that girls found me completely undesirable.

After being so callously rejected, I bounced back and reinvented myself. I created the ultimate illusion of being a "bad boy". I had the look and name after dying my hair a freakish hue of platinum blonde and informing everyone my new moniker was “Spike” inspired by my new shock-end hairstyle, I had the long leather duster (nicked from my father’s old wardrobe--I shall never dare ask what it was doing there), and most importantly, I had the punk-ass swagger and perfected smirking snarl. I successfully deceived all into thinking I was hot shit.

Anyway, Darla didn’t need much in the way of seducing; she was extremely "responsive" if you know what I mean. She was a touchy-feely creature and the contrast between her and Cecily was like night and day. She practically attacked me the first time I introduced myself and I was more than grateful. We got along splendidly from the start. We were both looking for companionship, so we weren’t exactly picky. I guess she was easy that way.

But, as I later found out and to my dismay, not in other ways. She was a catty and confusing girl, that one. One minute she’d be whispering dirty, heavenly things to me in a hushed, thick voice as we fell over onto her bed, the next, she’d be fighting my hands as they made the elusive trek up her legs, edging towards her skivvies.

It’s not like I pushed her. I just thought it was something we mutually wanted. She seemed to indicate that she wanted it and I knew I did. So why all this difficulty? Why all these games that left me bubbling under the surface like a champagne bottle about to pop?

It’s not really fair to her, I suppose. I’m painting her to be a silly pseudo-slut-prude, but in actuality, she was really a nice girl. She was just insecure and lonely and yielding, as is usually the case with girls of her ilk, but at the time, I really didn’t care how nice she was. All I could see was a case of flagrant misrepresentation that was not leading to the desired goal of a nice shag.

So I broke it off. It may sound harsh, but what do you expect from a horny teenager who saw all girls as walking, faceless purveyors of the ever-wonderful tit? I didn’t think I was out of line when I dumped her. I thought it was clear that we were only having a bit of fun that would inevitably lead to nowhere. But she obviously didn’t. She cried when it ended and told me she "really liked" me, but it was too late. I’d moved to another girl who wasn’t so misrepresentative, lucky for my loins, and Darla was left to be passed on to the next unfulfilled gent. I didn’t think of it much until that day in history when Football Player Larry lumbered into class and grunted triumphantly, "Hey Spike! Yeah Spike! You pussy! That Darla chick you’ve been buttering up to the last two months? I popped her cherry last night!"

My cheeks stung red at the vulgar remark, but I remained aloof. "What are you talking about, beefstick?"

"Went on one date with her. Got into her pants when you couldn’t even venture past third base." He laughed snidely. "She told me."

It was humiliating. Darla had chosen this thick waste of space over me? I had been rejected by Darla the same way I had been rejected by Cecily. Even with a different type of girl, I still got the same shitty deal.

3. Age 21, Drusilla Cartwright

This one was it. The Big Kahuna. The one that endowed me with my shitty prat tendencies forever. If it weren’t for Dru, who’s to say I wouldn’t be a happily married man with a gaggle of fat babies and diaper coupons today?

I met Dru at UC Sunnydale my junior year of college. She immediately struck me as exotic, enigmatic, sweet and gorgeous in a withering Victorian kind of way. I fell hard for her quixotic mannerisms and tastes. Even her eccentric choice of study impressed and appealed to me: Feminist Gothic Literature.

She had a way of talking in extraordinary, lilting accents and moving sensually, languidly and it all made her seem so glamorous. She'd put on little skits with herself and say what appeared to be abstruse, deep comments. Most of all, she was well liked amongst our group, especially by the males.

It never ceased to torture me.

I was taken with her, as if under some spell. The desire to keep her for myself was almost compulsive. I felt the desire to crack open the skull of any other guy she smiled lasciviously at. I was always too consumed by enormous madness to recognize that they only looked at her because she looked first, licking her lips like a snake in the grass. I was too blind with what I thought was love to see how flaky, needy and flighty she was. I was too concerned with the possibility of loosing her.

Which is why I finally did. About five seconds after telling me it was over , Dru took up with a real son-of-a-bitch named Liam Angel I mean, come on. The chuffer was named Angel. If that didn’t turn her off, what would? He was everything I was, or at least tried to be, but with more confidence. He was dark, he was broody, he was handsome, he was deep. Oh, and he was a real prick, too.

I couldn’t let it go. I practically stalked Dru and her boy-toy for a couple ugly months. I hovered outside their apartment in the middle of the night. I made random, repeated phone calls for hours on end and hang up after anyone said hello. I sent her roses and gifts nearly every day. It finally ended when Angel threatened to call the police.

By that time, I was too caught up in a horribly depressive muckfuck to care about anything, much less my academics. I flunked out of all my classes and lost the desire to complete my degree in English Literature, much to the squealing consternation of my parents. So I did what any reckless and self-professed suicidal failure would do: I dropped out and sauntered down the street to work at Sunnydale Record & Tape Exchange with no plans of doing anything else. For the rest of my life.

Eventually, I worked my way up in the store so high that one day five years later, I found myself its owner. Clem, the old owner and a former roadie for the Ramones (or so he said, quite frequently), took a liking to me and decided he didn’t want to deal with the financial quicksand that was Sunnydale Shithole Records anymore, so he handed off the burden to me. I was neither excited nor dubious about it. It seemed as good a career as any; I liked music enough and had no other plans, motivations or dreams after Dru left. She was the only dream I had for a long time.

4. Age 24, Harmony Kendall

Being with Dru was too complicated. With her, I was constantly swimming in a sea of paranoia and bloody angst-ridden love that never abated. Not only that, but we were never on equal footing. I either guarded over her with a paternal air, making sure she was always taken care of (for all of her ranting on and on about the relation between Gloria Steinam and the Bronte Sisters, Dru was never one to take care of herself; she’d leave the hair curler on all night, she’d cry and whimper when it rained, she’d scream bloody murder if a cricket found it’s way into the flat), or followed her around like true love’s bitch, trying desperately to appease her ever-changing moods. I needed someone who was on the same level as me. And the level I wanted to be on was sex without emotional attachments.

I thought I was on it when I met Harmony at the record store. The moment she handed me a Britney CD at the register, I knew with quite some relief that I’d never be emotionally attached to her. But judging from the saucy smirk she gave me, the sex wasn’t too far off. It seemed promising that I’d have a lot of that.

And so there was a lot of that. We shagged ourselves senseless for a good four weeks without the slightest mention of a relationship before things shifted and became less egalitarian than I thought.

She started calling me her Blondie Bear. And her Spikey. She even told me she loved me after the first five weeks.

On my part, I was nowhere near in love with her. She was a bit daft, for one thing. I mean, oi, she confused David Beckham for the prime minister. Still, I didn’t say anything. I liked her well enough – when she wasn’t talking. Besides, I was so exhausted by the emotional rollercoaster that was Dru that I preferred my distant affection for Harmony. I could be monogamous if it meant a steady supply of mindless sex. I just let all of her horrible, cutesy endearments ride because I figured . . . hey. Maybe this is the best I could do. Lovely, fun shags with a girl who seemed to like me a lot and honestly, what did it hurt if she liked me more than I liked her? At least I didn’t get hurt that way.

Or so I thought. After awhile, once she sensed that her feelings weren’t reciprocated to the fullest, she started messing around with some poncy nerd named Warren, a loaded wanker who worked for some IT tech thing. The real irony of it is, when she finally packed me in for Warren, she informed me with some subdued venom that she didn’t really like him all that much. Still, being with him was better than pining away for me.

"Loving someone like you is too draining," she sniffled during an unusual moment of clarity. "I just want to be involved in something easier."

And that’s when it really hurt. Not only was it ego-crushing – her picking this droid-loving, Magic-the-Gathering-playing arsehole over me – but it was ridiculous that she was dumping me for the same exact reason I wanted to pursue a relationship with her. “This could be easy too!” I wanted to yell at the dumb bint. “I’ve wanted easy this whole time!”

But in retrospect, it’d never work. I understood where she came from. It was a pain to be with someone who’d never quite love you the way you needed to be loved. I was starting to think the very idea of mutual love wasn’t possible at all. In fact, I was ready to sod the whole relationship thing every time it came ‘round the bend. Love ‘em, don’t love ‘em, bloody women were impossible to deal with either way.

Then Buffy happened.

You’ll notice that I haven’t included her in the list of all-time greatest break-ups, though she has only left me last night. That’s because the situation is still new, my feelings still hazy and unclear, as if I’m still in that state of shock. Or maybe I’m just can’t get fired up about shit like this anymore.

But before I tell you the end, let me tell you the beginning.

It started two years ago, when I spun records at a club in Sunnydale called the Bronze to cover some additional bills the shop couldn’t. It was nothing big, just an occasional gig that I enjoyed despite the sickening sight of smarmy males and females playing out the mating game every night. Though girls usually gravitated towards me, lingering by the stage and turntables, I ignored them. It’s not like I didn’t appreciate them as fine-looking human beings, but I was scared that one of the harlots would trap me again and leave me once more. I didn’t even fancy a mindless fuck, which should tell you how far-gone I was.

I don’t know why I was never scared of Buffy. She’s one of those amazingly stunning girls that just ooze intimidation. She’s all long legs and blonde hair and honeyed skin and in short, very, very Hollywood. Yet she never gave off an icy impression.

In fact, the first impression she gave off was bitchy. One night while spinning, I was getting a drink from the bar and she was climbing out of a barstool when we collided into each other. She tore me a new arsehole when I doused her silk blouse in Scotch and I was too gloomy to be polite. So we yelled and bitched and screamed at each other and eventually I stomped off stormily, glad to be rid of her.

Yet the entire night, my mind kept turning to her. Couldn't stop it, couldn't help it. I struggled hard to concentrate on anything else, but that all went out the window when she finally came up to the stage by the end of the evening to apologize.

"I’ve just been touchy, lately," she admitted with a shrug. "Bad breakup, heartbreak galore . . . I’m kind of burned out and I’ve been taking it out on random strangers."

Needless to say, I could more than relate. I told her about Dru and my string of exes (probably more about them then she wanted to hear), but then she told me about her ex, a real arsehole named Parker, so an hour of drunken sympathy followed.

And it’s not like we spent the whole night in commiseration. I found out a lot about her. I found out how witty and funny she was and how she was studying Art History at UC Sunnydale. I found out how her parents divorced when she was younger and how she thought that affected her adult relationships. Soon, I’d forgotten about all the vows I made about distancing myself from women and went home with her. We had a mind-blowing night of sex and we’ve been together ever since.

Past tense. I keep forgetting to refer to that in the past tense. We were together.

Maybe I took it for granted how easy it was with her. It wasn’t like any of my other relationships where I had to constantly be aware of every single detail to make sure I didn’t fuck anything up. Buffy and I simply fit and flowed with ease. We fought like mad, made up and shagged like bunnies. I could see no glitch in the system.

But she apparently did. Which is why she marched out of our flat last night after a long and bitter argument about the status of our relationship. She said it was going nowhere. I saw nothing wrong with that. So she left, but not before screeching that I was a “shitty, useless prat.” I didn’t even think she knew what prat meant.

Anyway. It’s nothing I haven’t dealt with before. She thinks the words, the door slamming, the rages, hysterics and shrieks will really make an impact after all these years?

God. Maybe she's right. Maybe I am just a shitty, useless prat after all.

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