A WIZENED EGG whispers in the voice of Alan Alda. A boy writhes helplessly on the back of a bull. Two Jews reach through time, sepia fingers scrabbling at the locked window of the Now. A girl tosses her yellow hair and laughs.
The boy places a cowboy hat on the girl's head. Hand in hand, they regard the audience. Their eyes are hungry. "Love requires sacrifice," says the egg.
The Jews are still scratching at the window. "Hush, Jews," says the girl. She loves art. She extends her pale hand to you. You notice her nail polish. "Clear," she says, like you're a fucking idiot. You laugh, because you are.
And so you give her what she wants. You pour everything you have into The Longest Ride. You fill it with your hopes and dreams, your failures and successes. Your eighth grade dance. Your plans to go to the gym once in a goddamn while. Those books you used to like, about the horse—Flicka. She was a nice horse.
The boy and girl ripen before your eyes. They grow bigger and bigger, swelling with everything you have to offer, and soon they're big enough—but to your horror you can't stop. Their skin is starting to stretch and tear. They can't possibly contain it all—
No. Of course they can't.
A figure sits alone in the corner of the theater, holding a goblet. The sad remains of everything you gave so willingly dribble into the cup, and when it is full, the figure takes a long draught. For a brief moment, a warm light throbs in its chest. The goblet catches the flickering light, revealing two letters cast in gold: N.S.
And then it all goes dark again.
(We think this is Alison's way of telling us she didn't like the new Nicholas Sparks movie. Maybe rewatch The Notebook instead?—Eds.)