This is a short story about making friends.
I was daydreaming, sitting there at my desk, watching the other students, and imagining what their words meant beyond the words themselves. That was my typical day in middle school. I was the odd one out, because I wasn’t the same as everybody else — a social in-adept — a stranger in the ways of my age.
That’s when I saw her. It wasn’t like she was the most beautiful or the most popular. It felt like I knew her from across the room though. We had gone to the same schools for years. There wasn’t any back and forth — we’d never talked. I wanted to be right there, in the thick of that conversation. It should’ve been easy, but they were talking about baseball.
I was out of place. I never fit in anywhere, because I was scared to be myself. That ruined me from the start. And it would take years of course correcting to change things.
That was the first of many encounters. In hallways, across the cafeteria, at football games, and the one class we had together — memories that haunted me and missed opportunities I’d never have back. If I wasn’t anti-social to the extreme, I had an in. I was smart — not study group smart. I was still a weirdo that couldn’t meet muster. The sidelines was where I would remain years on down the line.
Then things started to change. See, I had a few friends. I joined their study group. The hand of fate smiled on me, and I was in the study group with that girl the week after next.
Leaving things to fate was how I survived being my own man in a sea of conformity.
I hid from the world, never allowing even those I knew best backstage passes.
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This is a short love story.
It was a party in the City. Some miracle got me invited. It was one of those rooftop affairs, not that I’d ever been. Strings of mini-lights hung overhead. Music tickled our ears like the cool night. It was me and a few girlfriends in the middle of the roving throng.
That’s when he came over. Tina knew him. He smiled like a dozen stars, and I was seeing spots. Brad. Somehow the minutes ticked by, and we were alone surrounded by strangers.
“You look sexy as hell. Megan was it?”
A splash of heat rose to my face with my laugh and how he made me feel. His words would’ve been awkward, if I didn’t like him already. There I was, alone with the honest, handsome fellow. My yes was meek as a field mouse in the general din.
“Want to dance?”
“Anytime.” We laughed. Everyone was dancing, so why shouldn’t we?
How did I know Tina? What a wonderful party? What a night? It was quite something.
My girlfriends were absent or giggling at our flirtations. But it wasn’t bad in the hands of handsome Brad. It was something great.
We danced and danced, then drinks on the rooftop. It was the perfect night up there, above the bustling street. Our hands met after signaling back and forth. We turned to each other minutes later and tilted our heads. As our lips met, possibilities flashed before my eyes.
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This is a short love story.
The snow drifted down — mini lanterns adrift on the wind, falling all around them until a fateful landing on the ice below. Glowing electricity cast light as well as shadow into the night where they stood on a frozen pond.
Her laughter filled the silent night muffled around them. Ronnie made her laugh like so few could. She could see it. A life filled with joy at every moment. But that wasn’t them yet. They were gliding along, holding hands, but apart — minutes away instead of a reach most nights.
The wind tore at them like the expectations of others — the pressure of ticking towards a happy life. Everything was chaos except the world created between them. Everything was simple inside their bubble of ebullient, jubilant love.
The darkness didn’t matter as they provided the light.
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This is a short love/loss story.
We used to be friends, but then we were together. Best friends knew each other like few others ever could. Crossing the line from friendship to love is a dangerous journey. But it worked. The fireworks of us together sparkled and shined bright like no other.
It wasn’t the same as it once was, now that the novelty of buried treasure was dug away. Being together is more than loving. Then the day when the truth fell from heaven — secrets that made love cleaven.
We once loved the other, but pursuing it a step further, ended in heartbreak ever after.
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