Inebriated Past (820 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. Girl 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—and that accent was just plain bad.
“You really need to stop that.”

“Seriously, though. Why not Davie? He was adorable.” Sam puffed out her cheeks like a stuffed 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. 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 I broke up with my recent bf a month ago.

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

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

My face dropped.

“Come again?”

“I Facebook 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 single 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 trying to sell their batteries and cheap toys. Each stop they get off and on, trying to make a sale. Out the windows, at the cement blocks 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…”

I remember him collapsing by the front door.

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

Sometimes I still do.

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“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.

“By the Snow” (749 words)

“Sometimes I think I see it in slow motion.” I say as I lie on Maggie’s bed. We’re just two eleven year old lying on a Queen-sized mattress fitting like newborn puppies in a backyard.
“In one window I’ll see the snow flowing with the wind, fast and wild. The other it goes down slowly, flowing gently like a bird caught in a strong winds. Like waiting for a drop of water to fall out of the faucet.”
“Why would you watch a drop of water fall out of a faucet?” Maggie lies beside me in the opposite direction, both our heads are touching.
“Boredom, I guess.”
“Future conservationist in the making,” Maggie giggles.
Last week Maggie finished reading the Encyclopedia Britannica. She loves to read books. And when I stay over we watch the History channel on her parents fifty inch screen TV for the fun of it. The Great Depression is my favorite topic, Maggie’s is World War II.
Disney is vastly overrated.
My mom was a college professor before she retired, so Maggie’s mom would pay her to tutor her. We hang out in Maggie’s house because of that. That’s how we met.
“I do enjoy hugging trees on occasion,” I reply in all seriousness. I look up at the ceiling and use my fingers to draw an imaginary tree. I’m not very good, but she gets the idea.
“Marcus?”
I turn over onto my stomach, my face resting on my hands. Maggie does the same. She looks at me straight in the eyes, unwavering. I know what she wants to say.
“Am I ever going to see you again?”
I look at Maggie for a moment, and look back at the window. The snowflakes are falling fast and I can’t really decide what to say to her.
“My mom said that Dad lost his job and we have to move far away, so he can get a new one. She said it just like that, like I wouldn’t understand.” I sit up, legs crossed and tap Maggie on the head with my fist. “I have your phone number in my notebook, though. And we can write letters to each other like your grandma said she used to with her friends, okay?”
When I turn back from staring at the window, I see Maggie holding back tears.
“It’s not the same,” she mutters. She rubs her eyes with the back of her hand, making them turn red.
I take Maggie’s hand away from her face and smile. “Maggie and Marcus, forever. That’s a promise.”
Maggie sticks out her pinky finger and frowns dramatically. “Pinky promise?”
***
“Pinky Promise.” I whisper to Maggie as she lies naked in my bed beside me twenty-five years later. I get up, slipping into my white bed robe and walk to the balcony outside my hotel room.
I touch the glass of the cold window, watching the snowflakes outside fall. They’re suspended in time, moving slowly, turning, drifting. Like I did for twenty-some years.
We hadn’t seen each other in so long, losing contact maybe five or six years after I moved away. I stopped answering phone calls because we always seemed to move to a new area, like gypsies from town to town. I grew up, forgot about the phone number in that notebook, lost it maybe between moves, and I never saw Maggie again. Until last night.
I remember the way she looked when she found me in the hotel lobby. I’m staying in New York for a couple of weeks to attend a work conference. She stood at my door in tight blue jeans and a white sweater, blond hair flowing and disheveled. There were tears in her eyes, that same bright smile when she saw my face. It was the kind of smile where all her white teeth showed perfectly, behind bright red lips. She had changed, I almost didn’t recognize her.
It was when she held up her pinky finger and looked me square in the eyes that I knew.

I look back at Maggie as she lies in my bed. She rolls over and wraps the sheets tightly around her, the cold air seeping into the room. I look back out to the balcony. The snow falls slowly but surely begins to pick up. Reality is coming back, but I shed my robe, slip back into the bed, wrapping my arms around Maggie.