(An Extremely Dramatized, barely Spell-Checked, Mind-Dump of Today's Events In Difficult to Understand Chapters)
Chapter Two: Into The Crevasse
Though I didn’t want to be in the auction, it would only last for 7 days and I would get in first right at the beginning to keep an eye on things. If I was outbid within a reasonable price, I would try my hand at it again. I then discovered how to set my Max Bid (the level-headed price a mentally stable adult would be willing to part with in order to procure the auction item in question) and then I would wait. If my maximum bid was surpassed I would bow out. It all seemed safe, sanitized and transparent.
“I know exactly what I’m getting into here.”
Even as a novice, that was the logic that lead me to take that first step, and with that first step give roots to the seed that would grow to occupy my every waking moment for the next week.
The first two days I checked the website hourly. Hourly. Common sense reigned briefly and I cut off my supply. I had set my Max Bid and that was that. I had set it right?
At the end of the third day I checked and realized to my near coronary that I had been outbid, but the highest bid was only at $1.80. I investigated further and determined what had likely happened was that I had entered my Max Bid and then, like failing to hit send on a text message, I must not have confirmed the action. Since no one had placed a higher bid until that day I still thought I was winning. This time, I made sure my bid was set. However, this moment of doubt, this misstep, allowed the paranoia that common sense had laid to rest to rise up again and begin doing the Macarena in my stomach.
I downloaded the eBay app to my iPhone.
Down I went. I had to make certain that I had cut myself off from all rational points of escape and that I could take this maddening frenzy with me wherever I went. We were bound one to the other.
Three more days passed and every time I looked at my phone I saw that reassuring green notification bar. “You’re the Highest Bidder!” it cheered, the only imaginary bystander in my corner.
“One more day of this,” I told myself. There had been 15 more bids and though the overall price had gone up I was still well within my Max Bid buffer. "Relax. People must be realizing by now that their bids keep getting rejected because they can’t win. It's mine and they can't take it from me.”
The water was stagnant. Comfort began to reach its arm out towards me. I still checked the status of my bid religiously. I only refrained from checking it while actually in church, as doing so seemed as though it would bring about some devastating blow of swift retribution and I would lose the auction some-crazy-how, just for my selfishness. We couldn’t risk that. I, that is, couldn't risk it.
Chapter Three: The Last Day
This morning when I awoke I knew, before looking at any timepiece, that there were four hours left in the auction and I was right.
I couldn’t trust the fact that I had been the unchallenged victor for almost the entire duration of the auction’s lifespan. This last day, these final hours, put a knot in my stomach that should have served as fair warning for what lay ahead—and it did—but it couldn't prepare me.
When one hour became 59 minutes I took a screen shot of my browser. It was happening, I was really going to win and come in way under what I was willing to pay. I made some tea, busied myself and when I returned to my computer, less than twenty minutes remained. I checked my Internet connection. It had been known to fade in recent days and I wasn’t going to take that risk of not being able to see my win in real time.
Five minutes to the end of the auction. The countdown clock's numbers turned red because it felt my heart wasn’t far enough up my throat. I was beginning to show what appeared to be physical signs of anxiety and possibly dehydration, but that had nothing to do with the auction.
At sixty seconds I felt hope nudge me in the ribcage. Could I begin to smile now? Was the first time bidder about to come away with her prize unchallenged?
It was twenty-four seconds to the close of the auction when my green notification bar turned a damning red. I read the words while swallowing my small intestine.
“You have been outbid.”