Nowforruin agreed to beta this. THANK you.

The prologue is set in 2008. The next chapter will be E reminiscing about his past - starting in the summer of 2007.

Once & for all – I don't own Twilight. Claro que no!


September 15, 2008

I used to be King.

Repackaging, rebranding and reselling it – I was the master of it. I was the fucking king of trading the shit.

And I knew it was shit. Three times repackaged with a triple-A rating, but underneath it all – worthless waste. Nothing real, nothing valuable.

Everybody with half a brain knew it. From government officials to financial reporters, who now all pretend that they didn't see the crash coming, that nobody could have predicted it – the tragic dip the Dow took ... the sub-prime mortgage mess – but it's bullshit – they all knew.

After all, what goes up must come down, and every bubble bursts sooner or later. It's an ancient rule or some shit. Even my dad, who didn't graduate high school and picks up garbage for a living, knows that.

But at the end of the day, sincerity is a low-priced commodity in the twenty-first century and humility an undervalued currency. Certainly nobody offered to pay me for telling the truth.

So we played along, downing bottles of Cristal, buying overvalued apartments, driving luxury cars useless in the crowded streets of Manhattan, laughing at the poor slobs who were working in some pathetic nine to five gig making a pittance, while we gambled with millions, billions, trillions, hauling in more cash than we could spend in the process.

It was a hoax. Nothing more.

But fuck it; I'd be a liar if I didn't admit I had fun while it lasted.

Now that I'm standing here – in the middle of Times Square – with a generic brown box full of useless items and my jacket under my arm, I know, with dead certainty, that I can start from scratch again. I came from nothing and I've started with less, so this – this massive crash – as the pundits now call it, would be nothing but a diversion, an unexpected detour, for me.

If it weren't for that one last sale that I have to make I'd be okay. But without that sale, you see, picking up the pieces and starting over would be pointless. I might as well join the homeless guy at the corner and beg for scraps to get by instead.

I have to sell her that the penthouse, the BMW 750 Li, the reservation of the mansion in the Hamptons for the reception, and even the Harry Winston five-carat princess cut diamond ring are all superfluous because no matter what happens we have each other. We have love.

It is a fair trade? Even if it isn't, can I sell it to her? Can I seal the most important deal of my life?

Thank you for reading. And September 15, 2008 – is an important date in the annals of finance. Google it, if you want to.