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The Miles Separate

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Views 1.2k
Read Time 11 min
Published 10 years ago
For all intents and purposes this story is not attempt to think you know anything more about me after reading it...the characters are all fictional (and please disregard grammar...I'm drunk)

September 9th, 2009:

I was reading a book for my “Children's Literature” class when the same girl who was playing that song on guitar that I loved, and which I thought only I knew existed, came up and sat at the same picnic table as me.

Bold move.

All I could think of saying was 'I ain't much of a talker sweetheart...I'm afraid all's I got for you is an infinite amount of boredom, and frivolous cries for help.' 

Of course I didn't say it...9 out of 10 things that come into my head I don't end up saying...wise me.

Anyway, all of a sudden, this girl asks me...with no fear at all...“What are you reading?”

I looked at her in disbelief. I shit you not, I must have looked at her for what was 5 minutes...the last time a girl had talked to me out of her own free will was previous girlfriend. I wanted to say to this girl: ' you really care?'

Or perhaps: "Where the cameras at?"--get up, start to search

But of course you suck it up, and I sucked it up, and I never personally let people know how far gone I am...that's for the computer screen.

Instead I quietly said, “At The Back of The North Wind” to her and continued to look down at the book. That's it...concentrate on the book.

Eye looks slightly to the right...glimpses her fingers.

Damn...she has nice fingers...musician fingers.

It was my rule for the years prior to this moment to avoid eye contact with fellow human beings.

“Shy,” was an understatement.

---“ that for a class?"-- continues bold young Mrs.

“'s for a children's lit. class I'm taking--” Continues Pariah

“Children's Lit...?”

I laugh for a second and closed the book.

“Yeah like...we read 'Little Red Riding Hood' and 'Hansel and Gretel;' then we get real deep into it”

“Like how deep?”

“I don't Little Red Riding Hood' red because it's a metaphor for period blood...which is a loss of innocence for a woman. So the “wolf” represents a man in her grandmother's bed trying to rid her of her virginity and innocence...”

Long pause...that's it...ruin the conversation with ridiculous English-Class talk involving menstrual cycles and a story made for 8 year olds

“Don't ya think that's a bit much?”

I laughed a little

“Yeah but...that's what Lit majors do”

“ you're a Lit major?”

“ about you?”


“ . Don't you wish you could be reading Little Red-Riding Hood?”

She laughs


Slight pause as she lights up a cigarette

“You got a spare?”


He takes one and lights it.

“I'm Peter”

“I'm Heather”

We smiled at each other.

For a few minutes, neither of us spoke. I mean, I wanted to say something to her (all signs pointed to: this girl is not the norm...please pursue) but I was trying to figure out what sort of girl she really was.

I mean, maybe she just came over for a cigarette

Was she like all my other shit girlfriends? Or was she different?

For whatever reason, I felt like I knew her from somewhere...even though we never actually met before...just eye glances. For my entire life...I felt comfortable around her from the start. So I went out on a whim and just said:

“ like (Insert Band)?”

Immediately I could see I blew it usual...strike 2 in the span of 2 minutes.

Her cheeks turned a slight shade of pink and she looked down at the table. She was embarrassed, and it was because of me.

Fucking moron

As I began to get up and say that I had to go to class, (an obvious lie if you don't already have a judge on my character) she looked up suddenly and said:

“I've noticed you do too”

-Imagine the surprise on my face. I didn't think anyone ever noticed...even when I blasted music from my dorm room...I didn't think anyone, truly, ever stopped to listen.

Now it was my cheeks turn to become pink.

“I've just heard it playing from your room. I'm friends with Eli”

Eli was the kid who lived across the hall from me...

“Oh...yeah...I do. You uh, have a really pretty voice”

She looks down in embarrassment

“Wow, pretty huh? Most guys don't use that word anymore."

Look of horror on my face

She sees it

"No no, don't worry that's a good thing. Thank you for saying it"

“You're welcome...I'm, uh, sorry I was listening”


“Don't be”

Well, this is certainly awkward

I was just about to chalk up the whole conversation as another one I had blown with my inability to keep conversation in the first place, when she spoke:

“We should play some songs together sometime...when you have the time?”

Quickly erase the look of shock on the depressed as I was I still knew the mannerisms of never showing full emotions to a person you have just met

I looked up at her face....I mean truly looked, for the first time in the conversation. She was UN-expectantly cute. What I mean is, she wasn't somebody you would pick out at a party from a mile away (And I don't mean that in a bad way...I mean that in the best way possible without using big elegant words that will throw any reader of 2011 off immediately).

She was the type of girl who would be standing in a circle with her friends... remaining completely unnoticed.

But...if one double glanced...looked really hard...they could see it...that hint of white; the cute cheeks which I had a sudden urge to lunge across the table and squeeze...cheeks that made her look like a Chipmunk.

“Yeah...I would love that.”

And so it began.

Those next 3 months were weird; perfect, really.

Eventually we started hanging out every night...we had an "every Friday" routine of getting Chinese food and watching The Office. We played music together...she was like...some sort of best friend I've never if I was an only child who was home-schooled his whole life (which I was neither). It was fucking weird. It was actually really, really horrifying being so vulnerable. I know that's cliche...I know it is. I couldn't help it...if she left my room I felt like literally part of me detached itself from my flesh and casually walked away..."see you later"

I wouldn't know what to do with myself. I would play with my fingers and bite the inside of my gums and casually plan what we would do when she got out of her class. It never occurred to me to ask myself if this girl, who I met 3 months ago, was feeling the same way...I sort of just felt that she was would do anything for me...that she would never cheat or that we would never possibly fight. Countless conversations:

"I can't picture us ever fighting"

And you really couldn't at the time. We were one building away from each any point in time, a text, a phone call away from seeing each other's faces. It was almost getting head on Ecstasy, or that feeling your body gets before it free falls suddenly downward. Ft apart...always, feet apart. Laughing while playing Mario Kart...Snowmen...3 Hour Talks...dinner...movies...parties...bars...everywhere..together.

And now, flash forward to both of us laying on my bed. Time- December

"Peter...what are we going to do when the semester ends"

That goddamn fucking piece of shit age difference

"I don't know...we're not that far away. You'll be in Conneticut, I'll be on the'll be fine...what's it, like, 3 hours distance"

Not so bad...3 hours...every other weekend if we took turns...not was doable...we wouldn't separate could we...we got along to the point of stirring others jealousy, or annoyance. 3 hours...not so bad

"2 hours I think, actually"

Even better

"See...only two hours. You have a car, I have a car...there are trains, buses"

"That's so expensive..."

****playing with each others hands...avoiding eye contact

"Well manage...I'm going to get a job soon as I get out and well be okay"

Eye contact...she's crying...why is she crying. Or better yet, why do I feel like I'm about to too? Girls don't make me cry...they never have...fucking suck it up.

"Do you promise me?"

Fuck...I'm not good with promises... and how could you possibly promise something this uncertain?

But there's really no question... tears make it clear to me there's only one answer to give:

"I promise"

Quickly look to the door as if I think someone is coming in the room to hide the one tear drop on the're the do not cry.


She smiles and lays back down on my stomach.

All I know is...I don't think I've ever felt a worse fear, and pain as I did during that car ride home after saying goodbye. We were no longer feet away...for the first time in months we were truly apart...and I couldn't handle it.


The next couple of months we tried our best. After the first bunch of car rides, train rides, ticket stubs broken, cash depleting, wallet thinning, conflicting schedules, and miles was clear deep down in my shitty, hopeless little heart I knew this couldn't keep up. Either, one of us would have to move to where the other one was (as 21 and 19 year old kids in 2011, this wasn't easy) or we would have to take a break...for months...or years...fucking years...until we both had the... resources to be together.

I just know that I've never felt hurt such as that since I witnessed a couple of deaths in the family. It was literally, pathetically, that much to me. We loved each other...but we were always miles away...always had a job to go to...always had to break plans...always had to go weeks without seeing each others faces again..stopping and starting, and stopping and starting.

 You love somebody so much that it kind of makes you feel like you are going to throw up when they leave every time they say goodbye it could be the last time...they're leaving you for good.

What if she leaves...and I'll never be able to feel this way about someone again.

"What's going to happen to us?"- she asked me that time

Well, if I could answer her now I would just say:

"Nothing...we're just a candle...moonlight.... a sparkler...euphoric energy, warmth, heat, light...that will always, eventually...just...go out"

Instead I said:

"We're going to die together"

*******"What's the point of this story, dude?"

My friend asked me that the other day after I told him this

"What's my point? Are you serious?"


"You told me you were going to stay with Jamie after she left..."

"Yeah I am..."

"If there's anything that story was supposed to teach you it's this: Don't."

"Don't....that's it?"


Long Pause

Friend- "I mean, do you ever think about her?"

Really long pause...quietly:


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