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  • Writer's pictureGabriel Berm

Close your eyes

short story

I was finishing a can of cheap beer when the doorbell rang. I knew it was her, she always arrived ten minutes late to everything, after some time I simply learned to adjust my schedule ten minutes past the agreed-upon time. I opened the door. “Hi,” Miranda said while waving her hand nervously. We sat on the living room sofa. The lights were dimmed, the TV was off, it felt as if nothing bad could ever happen. “Are your parents home?” She asked. “Pediatricians summit,” I replied. “So?” I asked curtly. “So what?” She replied. “So why did you want to see me?” I asked dryly. “I can’t see my boyfriend now?” She replied. “Your boyfriend? I’m glad I still am, it doesn’t look like it,” I replied. “What the hell are you talking about?” She asked, annoyed. “Miranda, I know why you’re here, Josh heard it from principal Jenkins,” I said with a soft trembling voice. My eyes started to get wet, I could feel my eyelids doing their best to prevent a single tear from escaping. Miranda’s eyes looked exactly how I thought mine did. “Charlie,” she said hardly being able to speak. “I’m happy for you, you know that, you deserve that and more, you deserve the world Mimi, every single fucking inch of every good thing out there,” I said, now being able to feel some teardrops sliding down my cheeks. “I lov-“ she said but I interrupted her. “Don’t. Don’t say it, not now,” I said while placing my hand on her thigh. “I don’t even know if I’ll succeed, it’s still a one a million chance,” she said. “If there’s someone that will make it, that’s you, LA is going to love you,” I said with a smile. She jumped and hugged me, her tears started wetting my shirt. “So, who’s this big shot producer?” I said trying to delay the inevitable. “I’m not really sure, I mean, he’s legit and all, he said something about a teen’s show or something, he liked my voice after watching an Instagram post,” she replied wiping her tears, her eyes now visibly red. “Charlie, we could…I don’t know…try long-distance? Maybe?” Miranda said. “Mimi, I don’t want to distract you from your dreams, and let’s face it, you’ll have no problem finding a better-looking guy than me in LA,” I said. “But I want you, Charlie, I don’t know why you don’t even want to try,” she said, crying a little. “Because you deserve better, LA or not, you deserve a guy who drives you to Target to buy some weird kitchen contraption to make an Instagram recipe or goes to your house in the middle of the night because you feel lonely, or…or,” I said, then stopped to take a deep breath. “Or, tells you how beautiful you are every single fucking day because you’re and I just want to kiss your face and tell you how much I love you but I’m not that guy, I’m not,” I finished, crying. “Charlie….,” she said and kissed me. “I don’t want to see you leave,” I said. “I have to go,” she replied. “I know, I literally don’t want to see you leave, I’ll close my eyes and then you can go. Good luck Mimi, I’m proud of you,” I said as I slowly closed my eyes, seeing her face less and less with every fraction of an inch my eyelids got closer to each other. I waited for a second or two and said with a soft voice “I love you,” not knowing if she heard me or not.

© Gabriel Berm

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