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Forget your best friend; we’ll get back to him in Stage 5 (You, Your Friend, and the Future). Also, I guess we’re going to repeat the phrase “your best friend’s girlfriend” a couple hundred more times as is expected at this point of this endeavor. Also, it’ll be kind of hard to forget somebody you’ve made so many memories with.

Still, forget this buttfucker.

The FORGE Stage is all about your plan coming together, both as planned and on her face as planned. Now you’ll ignore phone calls from your best friend and you’re going to have to up your texting game with his ex. You still want to stay off of her facebook because displaying any sort of affection on a public forum right now is like twisting the knife before actually getting a stab in.

Text his ex or call her asking if she’s doing anything for lunch tomorrow. It doesn’t matter if she can do it or not—this lunch ain’t happenin’.

See, either she’ll say “yes” or she’ll say “no”. If she says “yes” then whoopty fuckin’ doo for you. But if she says “no” it’s either because of a scheduling conflict (in which case you should at least attempt to reschedule) or because she’s worried about what your best friend would think.

Now, should she be “OK” or “down” for lunch tomorrow, you gotta cancel it by 10:30 AM. Call her—don’t text (it’s evidence!) and tell that you feel pressured by Charlie to not go to lunch with her. She’ll interpret this as Charlie having told you not to have lunch with her even though you have cut off all contact with him. After all, what a motherfuck that Charlie is. Not a fan, at all.

All of this will increase her dislike for Charlie even more as it will seem he is continuing his attempts to control her life. And as we all know, the worse Charlie looks the better you look.

With lunch plans cancelled, you’re left with making your next move: you are going to orchestrate a “like old times” event with your best friend’s ex girlfriend. She’s going to miss all the fun times you used to have together so now’s the time to bring out your greatest hits of tactics—and break out the liquor and DVD’s. One Guide writer even swears that jacuzzis have magical properties during this stage. All of us think that, actually.

At the immediate outset of FORGE you will want your best friend’s ex-girlfriend to think you’re still in contact with him. But at some point she is going to find out you are no longer talking to him. Do your best to not lie about Charlie—that is, hanging out with him or talking about recent conversations you haven’t even had with him since you’re not supposed to be talking to him because we said so.

This doesn’t mean you can’t recall times when Charlie was being a complete douche bag or dimwit. His ex will probably talk about him and—thanks to your conditioning—none of her ex boyfriend babble will be very positive. So you’ll be able to talk shit on Charlie freely and give no frame of reference for all of Charlie’s follies; she can think they were recent if you let her. Not your fault if she does, after all.

But this can only last for so long. By the fourth time you’ve met with Charlie’s ex-girlfriend alone you will probably not want to bullshit your shit-slinging anymore. This does give you the opportunity to explain to her that you’ve burned an important bridge in your life too—don’t we have so much in common? “And it’s the same bridge, girl,” you’ll probably say.

By now she’s already thinking about dating you. Well, you did plant the seeds of doubt long ago but now they have fully sprouted and with those seeds of doubt came unwanted feelings for you. The feelings were only unwanted before because she was dating Charlie but now that those feelings have been cultured and manifested into something that—for her—it may be OK to actually act upon for once.

All of your hard work has involved you showing her you’re the best person for her to be dating. A lot of hard work a lot of guys would have to do to win her affection has already been done for you, by you, over the last 12 months.

She may still be having doubts, however, because of a sort of woman’s bro code sort of understandment. Women know that guys don’t like it when they sleep with our best friends. However, some women use this knowledge to spite their ex boyfriends and will sleep with their friends as a sort of act of revenge.

We’re going to tap into that well of hatred.

The best way to initiate hormones of hatred in your best friend’s ex-girlfriend and get her to at least consider sleeping with you as a sliver of revenge in the entire pie of your ensuing relationship with her:

She may still be depressed about the crash and burn nature of her relationship with Charlie. When she’s acting down tell her to do something that she always wanted to but couldn’t because of her controlling ex-boyfriend. Suggest painting or one of the arts, or exercise if she’s getting a tad portly. What’s important is you choose what that something is for her and you choose something that you can do or at least help her do. Again, painting, photography, and learning an instrument are the easiest activities to go with because the first two only take speaking confidently and having skimmed a couple Wikipedia pages on the subject. If this bitch wants to rock climb she can do that on some other sucker’s time. Red flag, motherfucker.

Another suggested activity that is especially effective is the quitting smoking maneuver. Basically, you get her to quit smoking and hate her old smoking self. You know, that self that used to date that controlling asshole Charlie. And you won’t even have to quit smoking because you never really have to quit if you’re a man. Drinking works the same way but women are more liable to break up with you for lying about drinking but that’s mostly because it’s harder to hide and enjoy getting away with drinking rather than smoking. That’s cigarettes, too, not crack.

After she has painted for the first time or she has uploaded her picture album to facebook for the first time or she played “Smoke on the Water”, tell her “[you] look so happy and, if you don’t mind [me/you] saying, you seem a lot better now that you’re doing what makes you happy, you know?” Saying “you know” is a weasel word-like phrase—that is, when you say “you know” to a person they are inclined to not ask too many questions because they are so eager to agree with somebody acknowledging that they at least know something for once—not matter what the knowledge is. You shoulda been using this since the ASSESS Stage, you know?

And when you say “better” in that all-star sentence up there…pause before you say it. The word itself isn’t the best choice to describe how she is doing and even she knows that. But she wants to feel better and your support of that is just as important as her own worm-like need for self-improvement.

This is going to be something she thinks about every time she paints a picture or takes a photo. Every time she loses ten pounds, fifteen pounds, or even thirty pounds. The weight lost could be endless!

If you manage to lay that one on her and it’s 4:30 in the afternoon then you’re in luck: time to suggest an early dinner together. “Why the hell not!” you will posit.

“Lets be adventurous for once,” they always say back.

Now here’s yet another chance for you to capitalize on the nonlinear aspects of The Guide. You can either choose to split up and get ready for the “nicer” (as you will explain) dinner or you can both hop in the car now and start your ride to your meal destination. This isn’t the time for you to try something new—but it is for her (as you’ve previously orchestrated before).

The best option when going together is to get her to drive so you can play passenger. Kind of dangerous if she had to lug her old trash around all the time but the pay-off greatly outweighs the risk. If you’re the passenger that means you won’t have to devote any of your brain power to make sure you don’t crash that faggot Jetta of yours. With all that extra brain power you’ll be able to make jokes and provide the paint for the picture perfect masterpiece you will paint on the inside of her eyelids.

You’re a much more charming and engaging person as a passenger, trust me.

Regardless of your status as the passenger or as the loser, my son, riding in her car with her is considered a critical hit.

Should you not end up in the car with her, agree to meet up at a three and a half star restaurant. Try to pick somewhere that she doesn’t go to often (ASSESS) and try to choose a place either you know well enough on your own or you know well enough because you scoped the place out. Once you’re there take the opportunity to be rude to your server—then apologize to your date but not to that slave who will bring you your food. This will show that you are willing to acknowledge your mistake as well as correct them for the person that matters most.

During dinner you are going to double-up on talking about money, her interests, and as little about your ex-best friend as you can possibly muster. Let her bring up Charlie; after all, Charlie has never hurt you. What a kindly social stepping stone, that Charlie.

Expert players already took one car to the restaurant—Expert players will also drink enough at the restaurant with their dates. No, we’re not going down date-rape road. What we are doing is ensuring you both end up at the same place tonight still possibly in a state of inebriation. The best place to end up is where your car isn’t. This may seem detrimental to getting everybody home but, we assure you: that’s the point.

Ending up back at your place is the best case scenario (with your car at her place). Next best case is being at your place and your car being there (that possibly puts you on the hook for getting her home later if you both sober up…so have liquors you’re ready to sacrifice at home). The next shitty-case scenario is being at her place with her car there as well. Then she could drive you back to your place and leave you with getting your car tomorrow. The absolute worst case leaves you with you and your car at her place because man, fuck driving.

Once back at your place it’s time to remind her of the “like old times” hang-out you had once before. “It was nice still spending time with you, watching movies and…painting with you really inspired me to make some necessary changes in my life”. Here you’ll be taking advantage of two positive moments involving you in her life and—if you’re lucky—there will be a mirror nearby to amplify the positivity in the room that should be coursing through her veins. Or maybe that’s the liquor.

Suggest putting something in the oven. Turn on a movie or television show that neither of you will have much interest in watching past the ten second mark. Do not pick That 70’s Show, Scrubs, or Spice World as a joke. These choices melt bitches’ brains: you’re now in a competition with Zach Braff and Wilder Valderamma. It’s an unwinnable competition and you can ask Oscar Pistorius what happens to you after you win an unwinnable competition.

Now, you know which light you look best in, so lower all of them. Make sure you set the timer on those Dino Nuggets. You don’t want to burn this place down. No, not yet, my friend.

Example dialogue: “I had such a good time with you today, cuidado because these Dino Nuggets are hot; they may burn the roof of your mouth. No, Charlie Sheen’s funny, I just think the whole quitting your job publicly thing and doing all those drugs with diseased porn stars was kinda gross. God, I love looking into your eyes.”

If you need a little help with getting this started…how did you make it this far? My God, you’ve cut the brakes on your best friend’s car, potentially shot at at least one other person, and you’ve been living a sham of a life for the past year. You can’t fucking move your leg next to hers or something, man? I mean, come on. We’ve made it this far for Christ’s sake—beyondwhat Christ would have ever done for a woman, by the way.

“Hey, you know what? I don’t think I actually have ever gone skinny-dipping before. Sure, I guess I could play a little guitar. I only know a little though.”

“Oh, this chinchilla? I’ve had it for years. His name is Pikachu. I know, they’re adorable but they take a lot of work. And they’re allergic to water. It’s just like the movie Gremlins, you’re right. I haven’t thought of that before. That’s hilarious. Lets go smoke some weed.”

And you’ll know you’ve succeeded once she excuses herself to the bathroom. Cha-ching. Now’s the time to switch on some Sinatra and turn down the tube—we’ll catch up with you two in the morning.