We've been together quite a while now, and I truly believe that if our relationship is going to last—if we're really going to commit to a future together—we need to communicate as openly and honestly as possible. I know it's difficult to reveal private aspects of your life to another person, but it's time we took that step. People who love each other like we do should have no secrets excluding what happened on Mar. 2, 2004.

Are you ready to share almost everything?

It may be a cliché, but it's true: A relationship is all about trust. It's the foundation upon which all else is built. That's why from now on, with the single exception of Mar. 2, 2004, I will be an open book. I want to know who you really are, imperfections and all. I want you to pour your life into mine and allow me to do the same with the minor stipulation that the incidents occurring between 1:30 a.m. and 5:30 a.m. on the aforementioned date, as well as their attendant aftermath, remain forever unexplored.

There is nothing that should go unsaid between us besides that one unspeakable thing.

I don't want us to be one of those miserable couples who stays together for decades without ever really knowing each other. When we're old and gray, I want you to look over at me—having been very, very careful never to have investigated, nor even wondered if there was anything to investigate, a tiny block of time from late winter six years ago—and know you made the right choice with the right guy.

Look, we're both adults who've done our share of living, and the mistakes we've made have shaped us into the people we are today. Your past missteps, whatever they might have been, helped make you into the wonderful woman I love. And I'd like to think that my blunders were somehow responsible for making me into the man you love. Please note that by "blunders," I'm referring to character-building lapses of judgment occurring before or after the date I am designating as functionally nonexistent, and not to any acts occurring on that date in a motel off the turnpike, in a back room of a Chinatown fish market, or anyplace else.

In other words, if you ever want me to sit down and open up—really open up like you never thought possible—about, say, Mar. 1, 2004, or possibly Mar. 3, 2004, I'd be happy to. Whenever, wherever.

Hey, for all I know, you might not have any big secrets. To be honest, if you omit the specific date in 2004 that we shall henceforth pretend never even existed, you'll find that I'm a pretty boring guy who never once frantically stuffed engraving plates into an old leather briefcase. But the important thing is that we can talk about anything unpleasant if and when we need to, presuming, of course, that the date I have placed into a kind of permanent temporal quarantine and my present-day ban on coming within 500 feet of the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Cincinnati remain utterly beyond inquiry.

And know that anything you say will stay between you, me, and the walls, oh, God, those dreary, wood-paneled walls and that sickly yellow light that hung there like death itself.

There's actually something I want to get off my chest right now if I could. Given our mutual understanding that the events of Mar. 2, 2004, including but not limited to what was done with the Serb and what ultimately got the screaming to stop, are to remain unexamined for as long as you live, I should probably confess that I once ran over a deer without stopping to check on it. For all I know, it was really hurt…and I just kept right on driving. That might not be a big deal to a lot of people, but I still feel horrible about it.

You know what? Telling you that felt really good. I knew it would. Wow, it's almost like there's nothing, with one crucial and nonnegotiable exception, that I can't share with you. I'm so glad we had this talk. I love you, honey.

Oh, and, by the way, don't tell anyone we had this conversation, you understand? No one. I can't be held responsible for the actions of† Psycho Vince or the knife men if you do.