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An Impossible Conversation

“Well, that was dramatic,” Luke said after Diane, his sister, disconnected the call with her boyfriend.

“He’s been such a pain lately,” Diane said.

“I don’t understand why you are still with him,” Luke commented. Luke’s short black hair partly covered his dark brown eyes as the wind blew it back and forth.

“You don’t just trash a six-month relationship,” Diane countered.

“You do it when the guy is an asshole. You deserve better, Diane.”

Diane looked down at the sidewalk and kicked at a pebble. The wind was tossing Diane’s short, curly red hair back and forth.

“I hate to give up,” she said.

“It’s not giving up.” Luke placed his hand gently under her chin and tilted her head up so he could look into her green eyes. “It’s called realizing you’re worth better.”

“You’re right. When I see him again, I’ll break up with him.”

Luke smiled. “Now, let’s find Mom something for her birthday.”

Their mother’s birthday was tomorrow, and they had yet to find a gift they both liked. Luke and Diane visited several specialty shops before finding something they agreed on.

“It’s perfect,” Diane said, holding a beautifully sculpted backflow waterfall incense burner. “She’s always burning incense.”

“Yep, I agree,” Luke said, happy they finally found a gift they agreed on.

The next day was their mother’s birthday party. They arranged for only her closest friends to attend, but that still meant they would fill the house with people, since everyone liked her.

The party was being held in the evening and started at 6 pm. People started streaming in at a quarter ’til six. They set the dining room table with delicious homemade snacks. They filled the liquor cabinet with drinks, both alcoholic and non-alcoholic.

The wall separating the dining room and living room only went halfway up. The rest of the wall was open, with a post dividing the two transoms. It gave the rooms a feeling of openness and made them brighter.

All was well until Diane heard the doorbell and opened the door to find Jeremy, her boyfriend, standing there. Diane purposefully neglected to invite Jeremy since the party was for her mother, and Diane wanted a drama-free evening. She wondered if Jeremy had just coincidentally shown up at the party or if he had heard about it.

“Jeremy,” Diane said after opening the door.

“Having a party without me?” Jeremy looked angry.

“It’s my mom’s birthday. It’s her party, her friends.”

“Oh, so I don’t count as one of her friends?”

“Look around, Jeremy. Do you see one other teenager here other than Luke and me?”

Jeremy stepped inside and walked past the staircase landing. The landing stopped just short of the front door, making a small foyer. He looked around the spacious living room. Everyone there except Luke and Diane was in their thirties and forties.

“Still, you didn’t even tell me about it.”

“Everything isn’t about you.” Diane stepped outside. “Come outside. I need to talk to you.”

Jeremy followed her outside. “What?”

“I think we should see other people.”

Jeremy’s eyes widened. “What? Why?”

“I’m not happy in this relationship, Jeremy.”

“Why?”

“All the drama, Jeremy. Everything with you is always drama. I can’t go one day where you don’t have a dramatic episode. It’s always something. It’s exhausting. I can’t take it anymore.”

“What drama?”

“You get a stain on your shirt, drama. If the server at a restaurant does not immediately fill up your drink, drama. You’re not invited to my mom’s birthday party because it’s just for her and her friends, drama. I can’t take it anymore.”

Tears filled Jeremy’s eyes. “I didn’t know you felt like that?”

“I don’t want to see you anymore.” Diane turned and walked back inside, leaving Jeremy alone.

Luke stood in the dining room doorway as Diane entered from outside. He could tell by the look on her face that Diane felt upset. Worried about her, he followed her as she went upstairs. As Diane was about to shut her bedroom door, Luke caught the door with his hand.

“Talk to me,” Luke said, stepping into Diane’s bedroom.

“I did it. I broke up with Jeremy.”

“How did he take it?”

“He cried. He looked so hurt.” Diane’s eyes welled up with tears as she sat down on her bed. Luke went over, sat down beside her, and put his arm around her.

“He’ll live,” Luke said, gently stroking Diane’s shoulder. “I’m going to go see if Mom needs anything. Keep the party going smoothly and all.” Luke stood and walked to the door.

“I’ll be down in a minute,” said Diane.

“Take your time.”

The party was a hit. Everyone seemed to have a great time. The last of the guests left just before midnight. Luke, Diane, and their mother cleaned up the worst of the mess from the party and put the leftovers away.

When Diane put the used cups and plates in the garbage bag, it quickly filled up. As she carried the garbage out to the trash can, she noticed Jeremy standing in the driveway.

“Jeremy, what are you doing here?” she asked.

“I had to see you one last time,” he answered.

“Okay, what’s so important it can’t wait until tomorrow?”

“It’s not your fault.”

“What’s not my fault?”

“I was going too fast.”

“What are you talking about?”

“Just remember, it wasn’t your fault.”

Diane turned and dumped the garbage bag into the trash can. Upon turning around to talk to Jeremy further, she saw he had disappeared. Diane looked around but didn’t see any sign of him. She passed it off, went inside, and went to bed.

The following morning, while Diane was descending the stairs, she heard her mother talking. After reaching the landing, Diane saw her mother was on the phone. Diane listened to her mother’s part of the conversation. It sounded like something bad had happened. Her mother ended the call and turned to see Diane standing on the landing.

“Oh, Diane,” her mother said in a strained voice.

“Mom, what happened?” Diane’s heart started racing, and she found it difficult to breathe.

“It’s Jeremy. He wrecked his car last night.”

“How bad was he hurt?”

“He died, sweetie.”

“He’s dead?”

“His mother said his car dialed 911 around 9 o’clock last night, but he died on the way to the hospital.”

“That’s not possible. I saw him when I took out the garbage.”

Recommend0 Simily SnapsPublished in Contemporary Fiction

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