“Back then” (747 words)

“So, Davie’s going to the karaoke bar.” Sam slurped spaghetti from her giant plate.

“Davie?” I frowned at the name, before it hit me. I slammed my hands on the table. David’s back?! I haven’t seen him since that party two semesters ago at ΑΣΚ.” 

“Yeah, well…” Sam shoved a meatball into her mouth, swallowing hard. Girls loved her spaghetti. “Are you gonna be okay? I mean, that whole stink with his ex was the epitome of ridiculous.”

“That had nothing to do with me.” I held my hands up, the proverbial ‘my hands are clean’ sign. “Whatever happened was between them. She did seem like the jealous type, but damn.”

“Come on, you never thought of dating good old country boy Davie? He had a bunch of girlfriends for a reason—showin’ ’em that good ol’ country lovin’ and all.”

I laughed at Sam’s bad attempt at a southern accent. We were city girls through and through—boogie down Bronx was the only way to be. 

“You really need to stop that.”

“Seriously, though. Why not Davie? He was adorable.” Sam puffed out her cheeks like a fat chipmunk and poked them.

I laughed again. “He was adorable, yeah, but Davie always had a girlfriend.”

“You could’ve had him.” Sam pointed her fork full of meatball and pasta at me.

I didn’t smile back. “We both know I would never do that.”

Sam stared back. “I know, but—”

“No.” I said firmly. “I wouldn’t do that to someone else. Besides, in the end I never saw David like that. He was like my—like my Anakin to my Obi-won.”

Sam choked on her spaghetti, spitting up her food. “Never, ever say that again,” she gasped. 

We both laughed at my stupidity. Dating a guy who made at least thirty star wars references in a single night probably wasn’t the best idea. Sam was really glad when we broke up a month ago. 

As we walked out the restaurant after eating, on our way to the train station I asked Sam, “How did you know David is gonna be at the bar tonight?”

“Uh…” Sam puffed out her cheeks again. “I…in-vi-ted him?”

“Come again?”

“I Facebook-ed him all the events we go to.”

“He has a Facebook?! Why didn’t you tell me about this before?”

“He asked…me not to.” She shrugged.

My eyes bulged.

“He said he wanted to do some things before seeing you again. I don’t know, maybe that crap with Ana, he really took to heart or something.”

“That’s a long time to reflect on something don’t you think. A whole year! Best friends since junior year of high school and not even a text!”

“Look I don’t actually talk to him, so don’t take it out on me, okay?” Sam put her hands up and ran towards the train station.”I’ll see you tonight. Don’t be late.”

I sighed as I headed across the street towards downtown. As I got on the next train I watched the vendors walk by with their batteries and cheap toys. Each stop they get off and on, trying to make a sale. I looked out the windows, at the cement blocks that made up the underground. All I could think about was the last time I saw David. He was drunk as hell, and clinging to me.

“I don’t feel good.”

“No shit David, you’re drunk.” I laughed.

“With you I feel, but she doesn’t make me feel. Amy!” David cried out, and hugged my hips. I looked down concerned. 

“David.” He looked up at me drooling. “Awe, come on man.” I grabbed him and pulled him off my pants. He suddenly wrapped his arms around me, dropping his drink. “I love you so much, I can’t believe I’m with you now.”

I sigh. “I’m sure Ana would love to hear that David, as soon as you’re sober.” I tried to loosen his grip, but he held tight.

“I love you.” 

I froze. My lips twitched at the corners. “Davie, I’m not Ana.”

After a while David blushed, finally understanding, and let go, slowly sauntering off in a drunken haze. He shouted, “If only. Then—then I would…”

He collapsed by the front door. 

I wish he had been serious—that he hadn’t been drunk. And for just that second I remember wishing I had been Ana.

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