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by Mark Budman

“Thanks for everything,” the fourth most intelligent woman in the world said to him. She was also the world’s third most beautiful. “But I’ve had enough. You’re a dork.”

The more beautiful and intelligent women have refused to date him.

“I’m a clown, actually,” he said. “The best clown there is,” he added. “And I love you.”

“Have a nice life. Don’t forget to erase all my selfies. And if you get on MyRevenge.com, I’d kill you.”

He watched her impossibly beautiful and unbearably intelligent derriere disappear around the corner. She may have meant it this time.

How about suicide? He decided to kill her first and then himself. He decided to kill himself first and then her. That would be a cool trick. That would be a great selfie.

He posted her naked selfie on MyRevenge.com, and bought a nickel-plated handgun. He already had enough pills. He made a noose, drove to the Golden Gate Bridge, the second-most-used suicide bridge in the world, and stared at the water 245 feet below. Then he emptied the pill bottle into the bay, threw down the noose, removed the bullets, pointed the empty gun at the water and said, “bang-bang.”

The words ricocheted from the surface and hit him back in the face full force.

Mark Budman was born in the former Soviet Union, and he speaks English with an accent. He is the publisher of the flash fiction magazine Vestal Review. His novel My Life at First Try was published by Counterpoint Press. He has co-edited flash fiction anthologies from Ooligan Press and Persea Books/Norton.