Ugh…this is it. I mean Karlie told me she’d call me today. RING RING! Here we go…I press send on my cell phone, my hand shaking. “H-h-hello?” I say. Real smooth, genius.
“Hey, is this Eddie?” she replies in her energetic, bubbly voice.
“HEY! It’s Karlie! How are you doing?”
“I’m fine. A-and you…?”
“Good. So, it’s been years since we saw each other last. What’chu been up to?”
“I… got a new job. I’m a paid intern at KSAT-12.”
“GET! OUT! That’s awesome! You told me that you were trying to get out of the food business.”
“Yeah, plus it wasn’t like the managers were giving me any chance to progress.”
“Haha! Yeah, that’s when restaurant totalitarianism sets in.” Still a joker…
“What about you, what have you been up to? I never asked the other day.”
“Oh, I’m working as a manager for a designer clothing store. Takes up a lotta time, but I work with really great people.”
“I see…” I take a pause. What to say next?
“Eddie, do you have a girlfriend at the moment?”
Did she really just…?! Wait! It could be nothing. “Um…no. Why do you ask?”
“I was just wondering. You seemed really happy talking online.”
“Ah…well, no I don’t. Most times I’m ‘Captain Save-a-ho’, as my sister calls me.”
“Oh, that sucks. I’m sorry to hear that.”
“And I get the ones who say they’re not ready for a relationship, but then they fall for the next person they see, and I’m like ‘What am I, chopped liver?!’”
“No, I understand that…”
Another pause. “What about you? Got someone in your life?”
“Did? What do you mean?”
“He told me weeks ago that the spark had diminished, which I couldn’t understand because we had gone on many wonderful trips together.”
“Sounds like fun. I can only wish to take those kind of trips myself.”
She sighs. “They were fun. So that’s why I’m so confused as to why he felt the spark had diminished.”
“Do you guys always tell each other if y’all said something wrong?”
“Yeah, at least I always do. With him, it was somewhat sporadically.”
“I guess he didn’t want to start a fight or something?”
“He shouldn’t have been afraid to, though…” She pauses again, then chuckles.
“Something funny?” I ask.
“I just thought it was funny that I was telling you my relationship problems…”
“I’ll always listen…for anyone.”
“That’s a great trait to have.” She chuckles. “Eddie…do you still like me…?”
What’d she say?! “W-why are you asking me this?”
“Just wondering. I mean, I knew that you liked me for the longest time in grade school. I was just wondering if you still do.”
I took a deep breath, heart pounding out of my chest. Now or never… “I think you were the first person I ever truly loved.”
“Oh? what do you like about me?”
Here we go… “I like your cheerfulness, always making people laugh. I like your smile. But mostly, that you befriended me, that you cared about me when it seemed like no one did.”
She chuckles again. “That’s very sweet, Eddie.”
“Yeah…” Another pause. “Karlie, why did you really ask me that?”
“I wanted to say I’m sorry.”
“I didn’t even try to be your friend back then. I was afraid they’d go after me, too. I mean, I remember when you would send me those drawings and notes…” Oh, geez. She had to bring that up. “…I honestly thought they were sweet, but my friends were making fun of them. It made me feel ashamed, and I feel so stupid now because I left you when you needed me the most. I’m so sorry, Eddie.”
“Do you like me?” DING DONG! Ugh, seriously?! “Hey, Karlie, could you give me a second?”
“Ok. I’ll hold.”
Of all the times…! I stomped to the door and opened it, my eyes growing wide at the blonde-haired, brown-eyed woman in front of me.
“I don’t know if I like you, Eduardo,” she says softly. “But I want to find out…”