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Dear John

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==> Enter name.

 

Your name is DAVE STRIDER and you have fucking had it with this shit.

You have been dating a one JOHN EGBERT for roughly two years, now. After Sburb was over, and you were all able to get back to living “normal” lives (with guardians, surprisingly, returning intact; when you saw Bro and started to cry from shock and happiness—in your defense, you were 16 for fucks sake, not exactly the pinnacle age of emotional stability—Bro had raised his eyebrow at you and asked, “Did ya seriously think some lame ass game could keep me out of the running forever? I gotta lot to teach ya, kid,” but something you’ve never discussed with anyone is the fact that shortly thereafter, he gave you the most awkward of all bro-hugs to end all bro-hugs and said “I missed ya too, kid,” and you’re pretty sure he felt feelings, too—

 

==> Dave.

 

==> Dave, you’re babbling. Get back to the story. No one wants to hear about your sadstuck reuinion with Bro. They came here to read some, ahem, what are the kids calling it these days? Pepsi cola? Not Stridercest. Give them what they want.

 

The humor in the narrator’s comments is lost to you because you’re not omniscient, for fucks sake.

But, yes, you digress.

After Sburb was over, the four of you stuck together like glue. Even though you all returned home, you agreed to attend the same college, because that’s what real best friends do, right?

When you were all seniors, John sent you the most adorable, bumbling pesterlog where he tried to imply that he wanted you to ask him out. You had been expecting this to happen for quite some time (after all, you’re Dave fuckin’ Strider, you’re the master of relationships and coolness, of course you knew you’re what got John’s dick up, let’s be real here), and as a result you totally tortured the poor nerd. You would not give him a chance. At every opportunity, you played stupid and made him spell out everything in painful, bumbling steps. It was like watching a baby learn how to walk. Except that baby was trying to run (because dating you isn’t just walking, it’s like running a fuckin’ marathon, when you date a Strider you are officially entered into the Olympics of Dating) and was just falling on its little ass every time it got too excited because it would forget that feet are a thing and would accidentally kick its own calves and just go sprawling everywhere. It was quite amusing. Eventually, though, you got him to break. “WILL YOU STOP FUCKING AROUND AND JUST TELL ME WHETHER YOU LIKE ME BACK AND WHETHER YOU’LL DATE ME!”

You were both 17.

Don’t tell anyone, but you were so giddy with excitement that night that you couldn’t sleep. You were too busy thinking about the first time you were going to be able to kiss John, and how awesome the experience would be to finally get to relieve all of that unwanted sexual tension that you’ve had for John since you were preteens. And the worst part of it, is that that night, you didn’t have a single ironic thought. It was all genuine.

You would never admit that to anyone, though.

So, at the age of 18, you moved out of Bro’s shitty apartment and moved to New England to attend a dime-a-dozen liberal arts school where you could study photography and shit, where Rose could study creative writing, and where John and Jade could study their science bullshit with the twisted flare of their individual interests. (Ectobiology? Academia hasn’t seen nothin’ yet. Those bucked-tooth kids have a whole repertoire of science up their goofy buckteeth.)

While you and John had been separated by about 1500 miles, the relationship had been pretty sweet, in a few senses of the phrase. You guys were disgusting at times, what with the cuddly sappy shit you engaged in with each other.

John wrote you poetry.

What the fuck.

But you weren’t exactly innocent, either. It wasn’t chaste. Not at all. Let’s just say that whoever invented the webcam is a sick, twisted genius.

When you got to school, however, that changed. John…well. John was John. And that means that John was kind of an idiot.

Sometimes, you’d have a really bad day, and all you’d want to do was be alone with your turntables, or with your camera, or honestly just with your computer so that you could lazily message Terezi and babble about your lives together while momentarily forgetting that other people existed, and John would just not let you have that time to yourself. He’d either pester you incessantly, or he’d show up at your dorm room and demand to play video games, or he’d ask you something stupid like “How are your classes going?” and when you admitted that you hadn’t written a single paper all term he’d get all indignant and pissed off with you and would make you feel even shittier about yourself and about everything surrounding you. He was good at that, actually—making you feel worse when you were sad.

And, like, no one would have guessed it, but John is a fucking stud muffin. Muscles wrap around his arms and legs, and his limbs seem to stretch into infinity. Girls practically swoon when they see the two of you walking around campus together holding hands. They can’t handle the two identifiable forms of hot in the form of a homosexual couple. You’re literally the quintessential gay couple that teen girls fantasize about. Which is great when it’s just you and John, but John isn’t gay. And sometimes he responds to the girls’ affections. Like when he’s drunk.

 

==> Oh, no! Your reminiscing about the times John has cheated are upsetting you. Do you wish to continue?

 

Fuck, yes. It’s this type of self-indulgent sappy shit that is the whole reason you’re here today.

Look. Somewhere over the past two years, you’ve kind of fallen in love with John. Okay? It’s not something you’re proud of, but it’s a fact nonetheless. What can you say. All that poetry, all those apologies, and all those awesome make out sessions got the better of you.

You love John. But sometimes, you gotta knock around the one you love. To teach them a lesson.

About how incredibly fucking stupid they are.

 

==> So where are you right now, Dave?

 

You have signed up for your colleges’ open mic night. You told John that you wanted to go as a date, and he had agreed enthusiastically (bringing a soda with 3/4ths soda and 1/4ths vodka with him, of course).

He had no idea what was coming to him.

Jade, who was working on a research paper about canine consciousness, promised to show up after she had completed an acceptable amount of the paper. She didn’t know what you were planning, but knew something was up.

Rose, however, promised to come as soon as her work shift at the campus library was over. She knew what you were planning. While she didn’t exactly agree with the morality issues in your plan, she did agree that it was highly ironic and appropriate, and that it would get the message through to John. That was all the affirmation that your plan was brilliant and perfect that you really needed. It was like a proverbial seal of approval from the resident therapist.

 

==> Will the real Dave Strider, please stand up?

 

“Our next performance is going to be by Dave Strider,” the host called over the microphone. John looks at you and raises his eyebrow at you. You return his gaze with a well leveled stare that he can’t appreciate through your shades.

You strut up to the stage and take a seat on the stool, pulling the microphone closer to you. Rose steps out of the shadows and hands you a guitar, and you’re finding it hard not to grin with excitement over the sick smackdown you’re about to lay down to your asshole boyfriend. You learned how to play the song on the fuckin’ guitar for the asshole. He’s not worth it. (Except he totally is.)

 

==> Hold your breath.

 

==> Count to three.

 

==> This has to be perfect.

 

Then, with the perfect southern twang, you call into the microphone, “This one’s fo’ ma boyfrien’.”

You play the first chord and look out into the crowd, trying to lock in on John’s face. He looks excited.

Oh, you naïve, idiotic, adorable fool.

Long were tha nights when my days once revolved aroun’ you,” you sing, keeping your twang as strong and pronounced as possible. “Countin’ my footseps, prayin’ the floor won’t fall through—again. Ma brotha accused me of losin’ my mind, but I swore, I was fine,

The look on John’s face is priceless.

The roars of laughter from the crowd make it all worth it.

The real crowd stopper, though, is when you shout into the microphone, pretending to be choked up like a true country star, “Dear Jo-oh-on, I see it all now, it was wro-o-ong, don’t ya think nine-teeeen’s too young to be messed with!?” The crowd hollers in agreement, catcalling and whooping in support of your heartfelt rendition of one of Taylor Swift’s whiniest, most adolescent songs ever recorded.

(Hey. That’s just your opinion.)

 

==> End the song with a flourish, tipping your glasses at the crowd.

 

==> Place the guitar against the stool.

 

==> Walk off the stage to a standing ovation and calls of laughter and shouts of support.

 

You return by John’s side, forcing your demeanor to be as nonchalant as you can. The open mic night continues, the host smirking as he introduces the next star of the night. But everyone knows that no one will beat your performance.

John sort of just stares at you, jaw hanging open, his face a confused mask of hurt and sadness. “Am I really that awful?” he asks after a moment of slack-jawed staring at you.

“Yeah, sometimes,” you say with a shrug.

“Why didn’t you say anything!?”

You exhale a puff of irritated breath and cross your arms across your chest. Man, the fact that John isn’t melting under your judgmental stare is amazing. “I did. I have. You didn’t pay attention. Seriously. Go check your pesterlogs, if you don’t believe me. I’ve tried to talk to you about this shit online, in person, over text, even through Rose, but nothing has gotten through to you.”

He looks so taken aback and sad. The next performer starts—a slam poetry thing—and you gesture towards the door while raising an eyebrow. He nods, and the two of you leave the building and stand outside, the sudden silence and lack of people rather deafening. “Okay. So is this a break up thing? I’m sorry.”

You shake your head. “No, you idiot. It’s a ‘get your shit together’ thing. We have a lot to talk about. Are you ready to listen?”

He nods again, looking down at his feet before mumbling, “your place or mine?”

As you guys walk across campus to the dorms, you find yourself smiling to yourself. He’s an idiot, but he’s your idiot, and nothing can change that.