The Internal Ramblings of an Evil Witch

Part 1

Once upon a time there was a beautiful princess. She met a handsome prince, fell in love, and lived happily ever after. Yeah, right. In my story, it doesn't work like that. I completely forgot to mention the part about the evil witch/stepmother who tries to ruin the princess's life.

See, in my story, there is no princess. There's just me, and I have a major suspicion that I am actually the evil witch. So I can't do magic, and I'm not terribly mean, but I can screw up with romance in ways that could only be caused by evil. What am I talking about? You'll see...

It's Saturday night, and I'm spending it exactly the same way as I spend all other Saturday nights. Hanging out with friends? At the movies? Laughing it up at a party? On a romantic date with my boyfriend? No. Any of those would indicate that I actually have friends. Or a boyfriend who pays attention to me. Which I don't.

Instead, I'm at Ryan's house, sitting in front of the television, yet again watching Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore fall in love in a comedic way. Where is Ryan? Why, he's sitting at his computer, as usual, playing World of Warcraft. He technically didn't invite me over this weekend, just like he didn't invite me over last weekend or the weekend before that, but I came anyway. It's less difficult for him to ignore me if I'm in the same room with him.

But only slightly less difficult.

That's right. My boyfriend, whom I've been dating for over two years, barely knows I exist any more. In fact, he only acknowledges me when I bring him some food. Things were good in the beginning—we stayed up talking about everything under the sun until the wee hours of the morning; he took me to nice places and introduced me to his friends—but that was a long time ago. That was before World of Warcraft was discovered. But ever since that game came along, he seems to have forgotten who I am.

I plot an evil scheme to destroy the maker of that game. If I get in trouble, I have a solid defense that it destroys relationships and lives. Surely I am not the only girl in the world who is going through this.

I put my evil plot on hold for a few minutes. Perhaps I should try something slightly less subtle instead. I pull myself up from the couch and approach Ryan at his computer.

"Hey, how's your game going?" I ask him, sounding extremely interested, as I tenderly wrap my arm around his shoulder. I twist one lock of his curly brown hair around my little finger.

"Good," he grunts, never looking up from the twenty-one inch screen that's half a foot from his face.

"Are you doing a raid?" I continue. For days and days and days, not all in a row (thank god), I've been in the same room with him while he's played this game, so I've picked up a little about what's going on.

"Yep," he replies, deadpan. No surprise that he still doesn't pull his eyes away from the computer.

I stare at the screen with him, trying to see it in the same mesmerizing way that he does. All I see are computer animated idiots running around in stupid looking outfits. One of them is dancing like Michael Jackson.

Oh my god. My boyfriend finds fruity dancing computer characters more entertaining than me. I want to cry. Now. But I don't. I somehow keep it together.

"Are you winning?" I squeak out.

He sighs, like I'm obviously annoying him. "I don't know. We haven't made it to the boss yet."

Now I'm annoyed that he's annoyed. I'm just trying to show some interest in what he's doing, but he acts like I'm a nuisance. "Oh, okay," I snap, not bothering to hide the slight anger in my voice. "Well, I'll be over on the couch watching TV, in case you've forgotten that I'm here again."

Ryan doesn't even seem phased by my outburst. Maybe he didn't notice. I don't doubt that possibility. This isn't the first time I've said something like that to him. Last weekend, I actually started crying as I told him that it upset me when I came over and he didn't hang out with me. He had apologized and promised that we would do something together the next time I stayed over. Well, that never happened, as he had a raid to do with his WoW buddies.

I fall asleep on the couch, and Ryan wakes me up at approximately four in the morning. "Come on, let's go to bed."

"Oh, you're talking to me? You must have finished with your raid," I grumble through my sleepiness. Ryan doesn't say anything in reply. He just leads me to his bedroom where we both fall asleep immediately.

It's just another Saturday night, exactly like the one before it.

On Sunday, Ryan takes me out for lunch—after I accidentally on purpose wake him up at eleven—and I bask in the moment of actually having him away from his computer and in a setting where it's just to two of us (well, plus all the other people at the restaurant).

Unfortunately, Ryan is so out of it from having stayed up until so late with his face glued to a computer monitor that he doesn't voluntarily say a word to me during the meal. I try to make small talk, but he only mumbles back one-word answers.

After lunch, when we get back to Ryan's house, I'm almost in tears again. Surprisingly, Ryan actually notices.

"What's wrong?"

I shake my head, pretending like I haven't been crying. "I just wish I were as fun as World of Warcraft," I claim.

"What are you talking about?"

"Nothing."

"Tina, are you upset because I've been playing World of Warcraft?"

"No, I'm not upset because you play it. I'm upset because you like it more than you like me."

Ryan wraps his arms around me in a move that highly resembles affection. "I don't like World of Warcraft more than I like you. I love you."

Somehow, hearing these words makes me feel better. I really do love him, which is the only reason why I have tolerated all his indifference toward me during the past few months.

I sniff, willing the tears not to come. "I love you too. I just wish you would pay attention to me sometimes. I don't drive all the way out here to stay with you on the weekends just to be ignored."

Ryan frowns. "I know. I'm sorry. I'll pay more attention to you. If I don't, you have my permission to slap me around."

I hug him tightly, glad to at least have this moment where he notices me. "I'll remember that promise."

"And, hey, maybe you could try to come up with something new we could go out and do together, instead of just sitting here watching movies like we always do," Ryan suggests.

I nod, agreeing. A few weeks ago I asked him to go ice skating with me, but he said no. I decide not to mention that right now.

I leave right after that, feeling like Ryan and I have parted on good terms. It feels nice to be able to drive home without wiping tears from my eyes. It's a 45 minute drive back home, to the house where I live out in the boonies with my parents. My dear parents, who have no idea that their daughter is going through a crisis with her boyfriend, are completely clueless to my frustration about being invisible. They love Ryan, and I don't want them to start thinking bad things about him. I just keep this minor rough patch in our relationship to myself.

But maybe, just maybe, if they looked a little more closely, they would see that something is wrong. I can. Why can't anyone else?