"What are you playing?" I asked her.

"Götterdammerung," she said.

"What?" I asked.

"Götterdammerung, Ragnarøkkr... The Twilight of the Gods. Ragnarok Online," she replied.

"Oh, is it any good?" I asked.

"Mmm..." she sighed a bit.

I laid back on the comforter she had thrown on the floor of her two room apartment for me.

I turned my head to the side and stared down the blanket's blue-green ripples. It was old, very old. Her grandparents may have owned it, though I would guess she simply bought it on a cold day at the Salvation Army.

It had a blood-stain here and a coffee stain there.

I thought it looked sort of like an ocean, like waves.

"Hey," I said. "Did you know that everything is just waves? Even you and I."

"Oh?" she said, not taking her eyes from the screen.

"Yes, but for objects as large as us, the waves are so large, they cannot be measured."

"No," she said.

"Hmm?" I asked.

"You're wrong. Divide by mass. The wavelength is too small to measure."


"Mmm..." she said and never stopped clicking the mouse or hitting the keys.

I turned my head to the right and looked out her window, the only window.

I could only see the dreary dusk skies and the snow building up against the foggy glass.

"If the oceans all evaporated and came down as snow... how deep do you think it would be?" I asked her.

"Don't know." She said, "Don't really care."

I sighed and wrapped myself up in the blanket. It smelled like her. The whole thing smelled like her. I closed my eyes and let it ease my soul. She had a nice smell. Not the flowery perfume that many girls wore, though neither was it an unclean smell. It was very subtle and silent, but it was there and it was nice. It was soft like the first autumn breeze or the warmth of a night by the fire.

I could just imagine her, curled up under this same blanket...

"You have a nice smell..." I said without opening my eyes, wondering if it would elicit some response.

"Do I?" she asked with no discernible emotion.

"Yes," I said.

"Mmm..." she said. I knew without looking at her that her eyes never left the screen.

I reached for the dial on the kerosene heater that was a couple of feet away from me, wanting a bit more warmth.

"Don't kill us both from carbon monoxide poisoning..." she muttered.

"Ah, I do feel unusually sleepy all of a sudden..." I said, joking with her.

"I might check on you after I level up," she said.

I sighed and rolled over and stared at the ceiling above me. There was a pipe running across it, carrying water to her sink, her toilet, her shower.

I liked her showers. She'd take a long shower, completely killing the water bill, then she'd open the door to the bathroom, the only other room she had, and she'd just stand there, losing herself in the endless drying and brushing of her long dark hair. She really was a beautiful girl to everyone except herself.

"Why don't you have a boyfriend yet?" I asked her. "And I don't count as one."

"I don't want one," she said.

Her personality usually killed her relationships.

I tried counting the dots on the ceiling, there were hundreds, thousands, millions, billions, trillions. It was finished almost before it had begun, my eyes lost in the vast number of them. Like cells, the cells of the house, the cells of our bodies.

"How many cells are in our bodies?" I asked.

"I don't do biology," she said.

"Did you know," I said. "That every few years all of the cells in your body replace themselves. So are you still the same person as you were when you were born?"

"No one changes," she said, still pointing and clicking and double-clicking.

I glanced over at her low table and at the unopened bottle of wine that I brought her. It was a sweet wine this time. The last wine I brought had been very very dry and she refused to drink any more after taking a few sips.

"Tomorrow is Christmas, you know," I said.

"That so?" she asked, her dead-pan gaze fixed straight ahead. "Happy Christmas."

"You're supposed to say 'Merry Christmas' and wait until tomorrow to do it, it isn't Christmas yet."

"Whatever..." she muttered.

"Ah well," I said. "I should be heading to bed, you should too."

"Turn off the heater," she said.

I did as I was told, as I had no intention of dying from carbon monoxide poisoning as I slept. The nights were cold here, but then again, so were the days.

"Can I turn out the light?" I asked.

"Go for it," she said, without looking at me.

I stood up and pulled the string. It clicked and the bulb went off.

"Good night," I said.

She said nothing.

I sighed and wrapped myself up to stay warm, she'd probably go to bed in the early hours of morning, as the sun was just barely rising. She was like that. No school, no work, she could do as she pleased. For better or for worse, she did not lead an interesting life... and yet...

I yawned and closed my eyes. I drifted off to sleep amidst that incessant clicking noise.

I slept with no dreams that night, somehow I never dreamed while I was with her.

I opened my eyes the next morning a little past eight. eight seventeen according to the tiny red LCD clock she kept by her bed.

I stretched and stood up, and then I stopped.

On the table next to the bottle of wine, there was a single Hershey's kiss. It was wrapped in cheap silver foil and sitting on a tiny slip of paper. I bent over and picked it up. Scrawled on the inside of the paper were the words "Happy Christmas."

I looked over at the girl asleep on her bed.

I smiled to myself.

She was a girl worth keeping.