To my reviewers: Thank you for your patience, your replies will be arriving shortly.
Chapter 14: Minutes to Midnight
"Your lips say that you love,
Your eyes say that you hate.
There's truth in your lies,
Doubt in your faith.
What you build you lay to waste."
Linkin Park, "In Pieces"
In movies, it all works out in the end. Real life isn't nearly so neat.
I shouldn't have been surprised that Mary Jane told me she was breaking up for good this time. She told me I couldn't tell love from a self-delusion. Everything that I thought was romantic love was just people using each other and lying to each other. Mary Jane knew it, knew it all along, but I lied to her up until circumstances forced me to come clean. "Why didn't you tell me sooner?" she asked. "I was at my house when your uncle was murdered. I saw you enter your room in a sweater and exit on a web in your costume. You should have trusted me."
I thought Felicia loved me, but she lied to me until circumstances forced her to confess she was working for Norman Osborn. May thought Otto loved her, but he lied to her until he was forced to confess he was out for her uranium mine and reactor. I thought Mary Jane didn't love me anymore, but she lied until she confessed yesterday that Goblin forced her to, the better to leave me open for Felicia's highly suggestive feminine wiles.
The truth only came to light until the battle at the reactor, but it would have come out anyway. It just took the fusion reaction to do it in this case. Lies shrink from the light. Vampires cower before mirrors. Apollo, Greek god of the sun, is also the god of truth. But every time I look at my aunt, I am reminded that I had to revive my archenemy from a concussion with a bucket of water during a battle because I was unable to avert a nuclear disaster without his assistance.
What a tangled, tangled, web we weave indeed.
I'm sure all you bloggers have enjoyed this little story, but I must log off at this point; right now someone's calling me and it seems that Dr. Connors had an unfortunate accident with his lizards.
I pull on my costume. It's hero time...
"For I have sworn thee fair, and thought thee bright,
Who art as black as hell, as dark as night."
William Shakespeare, Sonnet 147
"Let me apologize to begin with.
Let me apologize for what I'm about to say.
But trying to be someone else was harder than it seemed,
And somehow I got caught up in between.
Between my pride and my promise
Between my lies and how the truth gets in the way
The things I want to say to you get lost before they come
The only thing that's worse than one is none."
Linkin Park, "In Between"
I fiddle with my wedding ring. I had taken it off when I started dating May. I place it on my finger now. The ring reflects more of Rosie's heritage than mine; it is a claddaugh, an Irish design of two hands holding a crowned heart, symbolizing love, loyalty, and friendship. I cradle in my hand Rosie's identical ring, the ring I offered to May, two hands holding a gold-crowned heart-shaped diamond. I wondered then whether I should have left it to rot with Rosie's body. I decided not to. I was right then.
In retrospect, it wasn't my identity after all. It wasn't even the issue of the nuclear reactor, now destroyed. It was my lies, my cover-ups, the time when my lies were laid bare when Doctor Octopus was unleashed to defend May from a psychopathic blonde in a catsuit.
It was me. It was all me, all along. My lies made what could have been a wonderful romance into a large gray fog.
And some things should remain black and white.
But for now, there is a scientific conference at Empire State University I would dearly like to visit, and some state-of-the-art equipment I would dearly like to see...
"The evil that men do lives after them;
The good is oft interred with their bones."
William Shakespeare, Julius Caesar
Hope you all enjoyed reading this at least as much as I enjoyed writing it. Until the next thrilling story, Sayonara!