Coke Bubbles

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Sitting in the diner, on the red leather seats that are digging into my legs, we watch each other. I'm not sure why we are here, only you called and told me to meet you here, at the Bluebell cafe, where we came every date, until you got a car and we could drive somewhere else.
You fidle with your straw wrapper, twisting it into a tiny, tight, ball, and I remember all the summers of blowing the straw wrappers at each other. All the summers before our kiss.
I remember all the times, when we ran across the rough brown grass of Farmer Macintosh's field, chasing his dogs. I remember summers of swimming in the lake, and tromping through the marsh, looking for bugs. I remember winters, too, how we bundled into heavy coats to roll down the hill in the thick powder.
You are hiding your eyes now, and it is making me nervous. I wish you would just look at me and laugh, and order Pepsis, like always. why, why are you not looking at me? I love you, Robert Johnson, but if you don't look at me, I will be afraid. I am never afraid, not of dark or hights, or bugs, although you've dropped plenty down my back when we were kids.
I watch you, more and more, until, finally you look up. I watch your mouth move, but don't hear anything. You are gesturing and making faces and I am getting frantic, because I can't hear you and I need to, need to hear you.

"what" I say, moving my lips as though I haven't talk in 15 years.

"Jamie, listen, I know this is going to be hard on you, because we've been friends so long. But my family is moving and I dont think we should keep dating. it will just be too hard."

I stare at him like he has become a fish and is flapping around on the table.

"what?"I ask again, sounding as stupid as I feel. He could not have just said that, he must be lieing, it can't be!

"Jamie, you heard me, I'm not going to say this again. It hurts me just as much as it hurts you" But I can tell by his eyes that he is lieing. He doesn't feel the absolute pain I feel, the shock, like iceicles down your back, the fear of what my life will be like without him.

"No." I say.

"Yes" he says.

He stands, leaves some money on the table, and begins to walk away. Then, as if changing his mind, he turns. Leaning towards me, he plants a kiss, perfectly on my lips.

Its all a joke! I think. He's just teasing me! But then he really walks away, leaving me sitting at the table with the plastic seat cushion hot under my legs.

I take a sip of my coke, but its gone flat, flat like our last kiss, flat like our love.





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