Creative Writing

Heartbreakers #10

2016

Jamie x Sara

They met in daylight at a café. At the bar, Jamie ordered a coffee and Sara the beer on tap. They sat down at a small table opposite the bar. The place gave off a traditional sense with dark wood all around; from the panels on the walls, to the furniture, to the bar itself. At the back of the room stood two pool tables and by the corner shelves were filled with boardgames, most of them old and incomplete. Music played from their parents’ days. Sara hummed along while Jamie looked around. It was late afternoon, so the café was still quiet. She sipped her beer and smiled at him. He drew his attention away from the surroundings and looked back at her. “So,” she started. “It’s been a while since I heard from you,” she said in the same note that Macy had started. She sat relaxed, awaiting his answer. He nodded and bit his lip. “Yeah, ehh,” he moved to sit upright in his seat and tucked in closer to the table, his face nearer now. “I come with… news,” he went on. “Hmm?” she sounded in curiosity, her head tilted slightly to the right. “Well, the thing is,” he stammered, “I’ve got chlamydia”. A sweat had broken out on his back and under his arms. However, Sara kept on smiling. “Oh, is that your big news?” she said with a twinge of a Dutch accent. She looked at him expectantly still. He hadn’t yet gotten any less nervous. He rubbed his neck with his left hand and felt the nerves rising to his cheeks. “Yeah, well… I’ve got to inform all the… you know… I’ve got to let everyone know,” he answered uneasily. She laughed. “Jamie, it’s fine, I got tested a month ago.” She gave him a reassuring nod, at which he finally felt his body relax a little. He gave a nod back and picked up his coffee again. “You were really nervous, huh?” she gave him a playful look. She seemed to have enjoyed his discomfort. He exhaled all the tension he’d felt before. “Yeah, well, I hadn’t done it like this yet. The face-to-face thing.” He gestured the space between them and started to smile a little too. “That’s alright, you’re doing good. It’s nice to see you, anyway,” she replied. She tapped the side of her beer glass with three fingers, letting on a moment of hesitance. “Listen, I wanted to say sorry for the whole breakup thing. Not that I don’t stand by it, because I still do. It’s just… I want to enjoy my twenties to the fullest. I want to live my life, you know? Anyway, I’m sorry if I hurt you or anything, that was never my intention.” She moved her hands vibrantly as she spoke. At the end, she looked straight at him. Jamie sat a little awkwardly, his hands leaning on the edge of his seat with his legs spread out wide. “Wow, I wasn’t expecting a whole speech,” he grinned a crooked smile, his left cheek curling into two charming wrinkles. Sara gave a laugh and drank from her beer. “It’s alright though, I think we just wanted different things,” he continued. She nodded and muttered a soft “yeah…”. The bar was still quite empty. The hollow silence started to feel ever more present by the minute. He was looking for things to say when she broke out a new topic. “How are your friends?” she asked interestedly. “Oh, they’re fine,” Jamie answered surprised. His mind played flashbacks of the four of them hanging out together, hours of lazying about in the living room and fits of laughter at the bar. It had been of brief dure; he and Sara had only lasted a month or so. “How’s Rosie? Wasn’t she getting serious with that guy, around the time…?” Jamie knew she meant to say, “when we broke up”. He remembered how ironic it had felt to him that while Rosie and Gijs were having a talk about going steady, Sara was breaking up with him. She wasn’t ready for a relationship, she had said.

He snapped out of his memory. “Gijs? They dated for a while, yeah. They’re broken up now, though. But I think she’s okay, I think she’s getting over it,” he answered. He thought of Rosie in her chipper drunken mood at the bar last night.

“Ah, right. And how about you?” Sara asked.

“What about me?” Jamie replied, his mind still fixed on Rosie’s tipsy glaze.

“Are you seeing anyone?” she asked again.

“Oh! No, ha, I’m sort of busy figuring all this stuff out.” He gestured at the space between them again, referencing the awkward chlamydia talk they’d just had. “Doesn’t feel like the best time to start something new,” he expanded. She cocked her head and smiled. “Could be a real icebreaker! Hey, my name’s Jamie, I’ve got chlamydia and I’m catching up with all my exes. Nice to meet you,” she joked lively. Jamie laughed. “Sounds like a real catch,” he nodded.


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