"But it does," Kim said. "Everyone saw. What sort of boyfriend doesn't say 'hello' to his girlfriend?"
"One who doesn't live on Facebook, that's what. I saw you this morning, Kim. We live together. It's not like we hadn't just..."
"Ugh, you just don't get it, do you? It's not about what we do. It's about what my friends see us do."
"What the..." I stopped and took a long breath. Telling Kim she was being ridiculous was only going to wind up in one of those long stupid arguments that wound up with either her going home to her folks or with me sleeping on the couch. "Okay, honey, let's back up a bit here. I know our relationship is important to you and that you want your friends to see how happy we are. But I think this whole Facebook thing is getting a bit much. We..." And I gestured between us, to show I meant the relationship. "We're not going to disappear if we don't chronicle every single moment of it online."
She looked at me a long while, and I thought I was in trouble. Then she sighed. "Maybe you're right. Maybe I am taking this a bit too seriously."
"How about this," I suggested. "Shut it down for a week. Wean yourself off."
She looked doubtful.
"C'mon, for me? If it's no big deal, you can tell me you told me so after the week."
She gave me a short of half-smile and nodded. "And you owe me dinner."
Things got strange. Mail for this girl would turn up addressed to our address. People emailing me asking how "we" were doing. Random visits, from people saying they were friends of hers. Phone calls for her, messages, the whole deal.
Then one Tuesday night, I was home, doing my thing, when there was a knock on the door. When I opened it, there was a older Asian couple, standing on my doorstep.
The woman looked at me, all worried-like. "We're looking for Kim. Have you seen her? She hasn't been home for a week now."
Kim again? "Um, I'm sorry, ma'am..." Better to stay polite to the potentially crazy lady. "I don't know anyone by that name."
They looked at me like I'd killed their puppy. "But..." The man stuttered. "You're her boyfriend. You've been dating her for two years."
That got the slack-jawed stare. "I've been what?"
"Our daughter, Kim Chen. You met her in college and began dating two years ago." The woman started crying. "She moved in a month ago. You've been to our home, met her family, her friends..." She started sobbing, couldn't keep talking.
"Look, I'm really sorry, Mrs... Chen, is it? But I've never met your daughter. I've been single for the past three years. This place is a bachelor pad, come and see..." I held the door open so they could come in, even though the idea of letting two crazies into my place was crazy itself. "I mean, I've been getting weird calls for a Kim, but I swear, I don't know the girl."
The man put his arm around his wife, his face kind of closed off. "So sorry to disturb you," he said. "We'll be going."
I suppose I should have expected the next set of visitors, but hey, who ever expects a pair of cops on the doorstep. "We're here about a missing person," one of them told me. "A Ms Kim Chen. We've been told you were in a relationship with her?"
Again? "Look, I already told her parents, I've never heard of her. I'm sorry they've lost their daughter, but I seriously have nothing to do with her."
They exchanged a look. "I'm afraid you'll have to come with us to answer some questions."
Wait, what? "Um, what? I've already told you, I don't know the girl. Why the hell should I come with you?"
One of them pulled a photograph out of his jacket and showed me. There was me, or someone identical to me, and a girl, cute, Asian, tucked under my arm and laughing. She looked happy. Bright. The kind of girl I always wanted to meet.
The blood drained from my face. I looked from the photo, to the cops, and back again. I could swear on a stack of Bibles, on everything I held dear, with a lie detector strapped to each arm that I'd never seen her before. Except this photo said I had. And now she was missing.
I was so fucked.