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  • Writer's pictureGabriel Berm

Little Thomas Parker

short story


Woman drawing by Gabriel Berm
Little Thomas Parker by Gabriel Berm

“Anna! What exactly are you waiting for?” My friend Amy asked staring at my now awake face.

“I was asleep Ames,” I replied rubbing my eyeballs as if that made the exhaustion leave my body.

“We have a train to catch,” Amy said tapping on her wrist as if there was a watch there.

I put on some outside clothes, packed my backpack, and left for the station.

“Are the Brits like the Japanese?” She asked.

“Huh?” I replied, still half-asleep.

“You know, punctual,” She continued.

“I have no idea,” I replied as we both saw a bright blue train arrive at our platform. We rushed to it and got in with little trouble. The train was quite empty, perhaps it wasn’t the best time to visit Edinburgh. The train started moving under the rain.

“This is pretty cool, we don’t have these in Tennessee,” she said while looking at the trees rapidly passing by.

And it was true, we don’t.

“I’m so glad you came with me on this trip A, sometimes I do think what it would’ve been if Tom were here,” Amy said with a somewhat melancholic look on her face.

“Well, screw Tom! It’s his loss really. Not being here on this train headed to Edinburgh with you, the hottest piece of American ass this side of the Atlantic Ocean must hurt him. But it’s well deserved,” I replied.

“It’s just…I don’t know… why didn’t he say why he was breaking up with me?” She continued, her eyes were watery.

Tom and Amy started going out when they were in high school, we’ve been friends since before that. I actually orchestrated the whole thing. Tom was my best friend when we were kids, we were both six or seven at the time. I must admit I had a little crush on him, he did his hair like Joe Jonas. We stopped being actual friends around sixth grade, but have been friendly since.

“I hate men,” I replied.

“Amen,” she said.

“I second that,” one of the train workers said while looking at us.

“Can I scan your tickets please,” she continued.

Amy took out her phone and showed her the tickets.

“Ames. Was that Tom on your lock screen?” I asked.

“It’s little Tom, he didn’t hurt anyone,” she replied showing me a six-year-old Tom with a Yankees hat on.

A part of me wanted to tell Amy why Tom broke up with her, but I had no idea how she would react. A month ago Tom went to visit our campus, he usually came once every two weeks or so. He had been texting me in a weird way, like borderline flirty but not there yet. The last time he visited, he told me he was in love with me. I couldn’t believe it, I felt bad but not because I was disgusted but because I didn’t hate the idea of him liking me. I love Amy, and I would never be with Tom, but it was one of those situations when the heart and the mind are not on the same page.

“Don’t tell me that,” I told Tom.

“I love you. I’ve loved you since we were six and you came to my house every week to make mini pizzas with me and my brothers, I’m the biggest idiot in the world for not telling you before,” Tom said, it felt sincere.

“Look, Tom, that ship has sailed. You’re with MY BEST FRIEND, are you insane? Do you honestly think I’ll backstab Amy like that just because of you? I could be head over heels in love with you and never do that to Amy,” I replied.

“I’m not asking you to do that, I’m just telling you,” Tom said.

“Exactly why? Why are you telling me this, now? Why not a month ago, a year ago, seven years ago?” I replied.

“You don’t think I feel like absolute crap too? Amy is the sweetest girl in the world, any guy would be so lucky to have her—“ He said before I interrupted him.

“Any guy but you? What a coincidence,” I replied.

“—Yes. I’m breaking up with her,” Tom said.

A part of me felt relieved that at least he wasn’t going to be with her even though he didn’t love her, but I knew how devastated Amy would’ve felt.

“Fine,” I told him, the smallest teardrop started sliding from my cheek.

Tom leaned closer to me, I felt paralyzed. My brain was Short-circuiting. He kissed me for what felt like a quarter of a second. I pushed him back. I would be lying if I said I didn’t like it, that’s the worst part.

“I’m sorry,” He said.

“Please just leave,” I told him.

That night he broke up with Amy.

“Anna Hastings! Are you even here?” Amy said.

I snapped back into reality.

“Yes. Yes. I’m just tired Ames,” I replied.

I couldn’t take it any longer, my heart was tuned into a knot.

“Ames?” I said.

“Yes?” She replied.

“Tom broke up with you because he said he was in love with me,” I said very quickly.

“What?” She replied with her eyes looking like they were about to cry.

“And that night, when he broke up with you, he… he kissed me for like a second, and I pushed him back, I’m so so sorry Ames, I’m a horrible friend,” I said, again very quickly.

“I always felt it, the way he looked at you every time we were all together,” she said sadly but containing herself.

“I’m so so sorry Ames,” I said with tears in my eyes.

“Do you love him?” She asked without looking at me.

“Do I…? What? It doesn’t matter, but no. He’s an asshole,” I replied.

“You can be with him if you want you know,” She said while playing with a piece of bubblegum wrap.

“Ames, I wouldn’t do that to you, you’re the best thing in my life,” I said.

Amy started sobbing, almost silently. I went to hug her. I started crying too.

“Screw Thomas Parker,” I said while hugging her.

“And screw little Thomas Parker too,” Amy replied.

© Gabriel Berm

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