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Drama Romance

2 AM by Laura Pamenter


“What’s up, kid?”

“Don’t call me that.”




“It’s patronizing, condescending…”


“No. It makes me feel like a child.”

“I don’t think that’s my fault.”

“Fuck off.”

“I was joking, chill.”


“Oh my god; typical.”

“What the hell is that supposed to mean?”

“You never could take a joke, could you?”

“I can take a joke… but only when they’re actually funny.”

“Good one!”

“Shut up.”

“Two strikes! I’m almost out, haha.”


“Fine, it’s typical of us. We always did fight, didn’t we?”

“Constant combat.”

“Mario kart!”

“That was the fun type of fighting.”

“I don’t know… I think there were other types of fun fighting—”

“You don’t get to make those jokes anymore.”

“Excuse me?”

“You lost that privilege when you didn’t speak to me for two months.”

“Oh man, if only I’d known I had such a luxury!”

“This was a mistake.”

“What was? This? Us?”

“No. Me. You. Talking. It was a bad idea.”

“Hey, you called me.”

“I know…”

“Are you drunk?”


“It’s two AM on a Saturday and you called me…”


“‘Oh,’ she says.”

“Oh. No. I am sober. I just…”

“Missed me?”



“No, not no, but…”


“No. Yes. I don’t know. That doesn’t matter.”

“You’re allowed to miss me.”


“Stop that.”


“Saying, ‘Okay.’ It’s so passive-aggressive.”

“Where do you think I learned it? You literally do it all the time.”




“Never mind… do you miss me?”

“I miss what that mouth did.”

“Okay, bye.”

“I’m joking! Well, I’m not lying. But yes, I miss you, stinky.”

“You do?”


“Is that why you like my Instagram stories all the time and comment when you’re not warranted?”

“I’m just being friendly.”

“You didn’t interact with my social media that much when we actually were whatever we were.”

“Fine… I just couldn’t have you forgetting about me.”

“I won’t. I’m not that forgetful.”


“You’re the one who ended things. You’re the one who tried to forget me.”

“I didn’t forget you. And I believe you’re the one who said, ‘fuck off and not talk to me again.’ I was just respecting your boundaries.”

“I never said that.”

“I have receipts.”

“Show me.”

“I cleared our iMessage conversation, sorry.”


“…I did? I just saved the spicy pics you sent me first.”

“Oh my god.”

“Sorry, I’m not that sentimental.”

“Fuck off.”

“There ya go again!”

“I’m gonna go now.”

“No, wait…”

“No, you can’t take anything seriously.”

“Well, that’s incredibly rude. I’m pretty sure I helped you deal with a lot of quite serious issues. I’m pretty sure the stress you put me through was goddamn serious.”



“No, are you really suggesting I was the stressful one?”

“Yeah. Very.”

“Well, that’s bullshit. All I ever did was apologize to you and beg for your forgiveness even when I did nothing to lose it in the first place.”

“Well, that isn’t entirely true. You can’t tell me you never did anything wrong.”

“Nobody’s perfect. But at least I didn’t gaslight and manipulate you.”

“Woah, woah, woah, big words. I never did either of those things.”

“Oh, and you lied to me.”

“Once. Only once. And that was because we were already mid-fight. I was angry.”

“Fine. But you were always so mean to me, so controlling, easily annoyed… I felt like I was walking on eggshells constantly, I felt like—"

“You, you, you…You’re always the victim, aren’t you? I know I’m not Clark Kent but I sure as hell ain’t the Joker.”

“Close enough.”

“Yeah, well, you know what? The joker wasn’t always like that. He was driven mad.”

“Oh yes, by my constant love and affection and showering of gifts.”

“Are you serious?”

“As can be.”

“Are you blind?”

“Twenty-twenty vision, actually.”

“You haunted me.”

“Excuse me?”

“God, you’re so selfish.”


“Have you ever considered things from my perspective?”

“Of course. I’m very empathetic ya know.”

“You’ve said that, but rarely actually prove it.”

“Forget it.”

“Forget what?”

“Forget this. Me. Tonight. I called you to clear things up, but I see now that what’s done is dead and gone. I’m sorry for bothering you.”

“Stop that, you know I hate self-pity.”

“I don’t do that anymore.”

“Is that so?”

“A lot of things are different now.”

“Well, you sound better off without me.”

“Hypocrite; you can cut the self-deprecation.”

“You’re right, I’ll leave insulting me to you.”

“I never tried to insult you. I fucking loved you.”

“You say that like it should earn you points.”

“At least I’m brave enough to say it.”

“Maybe you’d have heard me if you were ever listening.”

“…Yeah. Maybe.”


“I didn’t listen. I didn’t want to hear you. It was my way or no way. And I’m sorry for that.”

You’re sorry?”

“Not for everything. But I know I am also in the wrong. I didn’t listen. I complained a lot. I was so goddamn negative all the time.”

“It was killing me; watching you fall apart like that.”

“You tried to tell me how much it hurt you, watching me hurt myself, but I shut your words out and kept doing it anyways.”

“I felt helpless… and that night… when you hit rock bottom… you called me, out of everyone, and I didn’t pick up. I cried all day. I hated myself. I felt personally responsible; if something worse had happened, it would be all my fault. But all you did was continue to crack jokes, rubbing goddamn salt in the wound while you laughed right in my face.”

“It took me a while to consider what I was doing to everyone. I was okay with going off the deep end, but I didn’t realize that everyone I loved would be pushed in too.”

“And yet, all you ever talked about was romance and titles.”

“Because you were scared to commit. And you’d never tell me why. I feel like there’s a chunk of your history missing like a vacuumed-up puzzle piece.”

“There’s no missing link; no big traumatic secret…I was just terrified you were going to leave me. How could I focus on frivolous titles when you were breaking into a million little pieces? Nothing I did was good enough if I wasn’t ‘yours.’”

“It was enough. I see that now.”

“It was?”

“Your priorities were me; not us, but me, as a human being trying to survive. You didn’t have to say the words to show how you felt. I should have told you that.”

“Well… I wouldn’t say I never felt good enough… there were times when I felt like I was invincible. And you made me feel that way.”

“So, I guess it wasn’t all bad?”

“Nothing is ever all bad.”

“I’ll admit, I do miss you. And I think about you a lot.”


“Every day. I think of you when I wake up and when I go to sleep. And whenever I hear half the songs on my playlist, I picture you doing your stupid dances with that childish little grin on your face. And it makes me sick to my stomach.”

“So, does this mean I might see you again now?”

“No. I know toxic when I taste it, and no matter how delicious it is, I can’t: I am a different person after everything that’s happened, and I cannot jeopardize losing her.”

“I’m glad you’re finally putting yourself first. It was hard to watch you lose.”

“Thank you, I guess, is why I called you. You broke my heart a million times, but I’m alive. And my head is infinitely clear.”

“You’re welcome, I suppose.”

“But now is the hard part.”

“What’s that?”

“I must pick up my phone and call you. I have to get this conversation out of my head. The words need to rush off my chest and I need to get closure.”

           “This isn’t real?”

“My thoughts are, but I’m conversing with a ghost.”

“Well, then call me…for real. And maybe, I’ll finally stop haunting you.”

“Okay…deep breath…One, two, three; dial…”




February 24, 2023 21:36

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1 comment

Amanda Lieser
06:29 Mar 05, 2023

Hey Laura, Oh wow! This one was extremely clever. I loved how I could feel the tone of these characters so well. I really liked that it had that rust at the end. I think we as writers frequently find ourselves imagining conversations, moments in time, scenes-because we need to write them. I loved the way this story had moments of nods to social media. It adds this whole other layer to life that I love unpacking. I also picked a favorite line: I know toxic when I taste it, and no matter how delicious it is, I can’t…what a beautiful thing to s...


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