Facebook took my memories and won’t give them back. He marched into my room in the darkness as I slept. He was a beautiful man in a hazelnut cable knit with a face one might expect of a model, a few years before their prime. He was wearing a chiselled frown with cheeks that curved like sickles. Smoke bellowed out of his ears, from which the earlobes dangled, large and seductive. When he opened his mouth, partially digested chicken feet fell onto my eyes. It was raw and bloodied. He got on top of me. “Download data?” he said, nonchalant. It was not a request. I nodded anyway before I realised my mistake and screamed. “Stop!” The beautiful man halted. My twelfth friendaversary with Corinna. The blue glow on the side of my bed welcomed me back into its embrace, I typed a short post for her wall. She’d see it in the morning. “Shall we continue?” I asked.
The transaction took a little less than four hours in total. I gave him the goofy ones first: The photos from graduation, the night of my 23rd, and all the fads I had picked up in high school. There were a few precious ones too: the date at Dinkies and my last talk with dad around when mum moved back to Forster. “You’ll want these too” I stated.
“They are part of the contract,” the beautiful man squeaked back. And the deed was done. “You’ll feel a little light-headed for a few days,” he said, and then added as an afterthought, “Maybe rest. You’re entitled to a refund during the next 30 days.” His voice sounded like a thin man trying to suck air from behind a thick, oily paste.
I slept until the house was empty of his scent, and dreamt of nothing. The next day was not unkind to me. The damage to the cottage was obvious in the daylight even to a person who could not recall its previous grandeur. There were scrape marks left on the walls and flooring where things had been forcibly ripped. The lights were not working, and the skeletal remains of furniture sat in the largest room — a collapsed table, supporting a mouldy teapot and a few unbranded teabags. I boiled the tea and sipped only a little amount before spitting out the concoction. I wasn’t a tea person.
The other end of the bargain took two weeks to be delivered. Through the front door it came on a rainy afternoon, a brown box the size of a small car, with “Fragile” and “Reconstruction” marked upon it in auspicious red text. Finally.
Inside were the ingredients of a first home: a sofa bed, coffee table, indoor plants, the lot. Some of it needed assembly so I set aside the afternoon. Nothing was in my calendar anyway. As the lounge room took shape, I drifted back into the bedroom. The blue glow in the corner was humming with excitement. “Did you like your Home Brand Green Tea?” It prompted me with a pop-up and a picture. The same tea I had steeped earlier. I responded. A box of Chinese Tieguanyin arrived the next day, along with a curated collection of coffee capsules and the latest model of the Nespresso Delonghi.
As I fell asleep one night — my belly stuffed with the sashimi I had prepared earlier — the beautiful man paid me a visit. He sat in the massage chair which had arrived that morning, glaring at me for a while without saying anything. I yawned. “Are you satisfied with our service?” he eventually asked. I got out of bed gently. “I could do with a few more samples of the Tieguanyin,” I responded before putting a knife into his neck, and he slumped over in shock.
The blue glow whirred into life in a flurry of action. “Did you like your Stainless Steel Santoku Knife?”
Facebook took my memories, and I didn’t care.