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American Drama Romance

This story contains themes or mentions of mental health issues.

You’re gonna carry that weight.


I always loved November rain. Its light, gentle and cold touch.

I don’t really know why I am thinking about it now but, it somehow brings me some peace of mind. After all…it was a long day. I was run over, chased by the police, oh, and I was shot by my best friend. But; I won’t lie, I deserved that last one.

Details might be a bit fuzzy but I think it all started about a year ago.

I was a lawyer, working at my friend’s firm. “Robert & Richards”. It's a decent firm downtown New Orleans. I used to have a nice office on the 34th floor. It had a great

view of the city and now that I think of it…I kind of wish I was watching the city lights flicker.

Back then, I suffered a lot from a heavy insomnia, so I used to work till 1 or 2 in the morning and watched the city until dawn. That night wasn’t different. I worked until late in the night and didn’t see the need to go home, so I pulled out my cigarettes and the flask I had on my desk. I turned my chair around and I simply watched the city breathe under the night sky.

After a few minutes, I lit another cigarette and I suddenly heard a voice ask me from the door:

-James? –

I was really confused, I mean, it was like 2 in the morning and the office was completely closed by then, so I turned my chair around and saw Isabella, standing by the door. Tall, brunette, freckles, honeyed colored eyes and a body that could tempt the Lord himself. We never talked much, I mean, after all, she was Aldo’s wife. My best friend’s and boss’s wife.

I had never talked to her without Aldo being present and when I did, only thing I said was ‘Hi’ but I kind of knew her nonetheless. Not because of the sick obsession of a psychopath, hell no, I kind of knew her because Aldo used to talk about here all the time. The man was in love and I mean sick with love. They had been married for 15 years and he was still as crazy in love as the first time he told me about her.

He was so observant, so carrying he knew every little detail, no matter how trivial one could possibly know about someone else. And every time he discovered something like, how she smacked her lips before a deep breath when she was tired or how she looked down at her shoes whenever she was worried. He knew it all and whether I wanted to or not…I did too.

-What are you doing? –

She asked.

-Relaxing. And you? –

I took a puff of my cigarette while she answered.

-I saw a light on and I thought…I thought that maybe Aldo was here. –

I looked down at my watch and said:

-You’re late. Like 5 hours late. He already left. –

-Do you know where did he go? –

She asked me with a worried tone to her sweet voice.

-Sure. He took a plane to Chicago couple of hours ago. Why? –

She sighed very gently, tilted her head right and fix her hair a little and I immediately knew she was sad. I don’t know how. I didn’t even think about it but I knew it. A sane man would have simply waited for her answer and let her go but…I don’t think I was thinking then and there.

-You, ok? –

That was one hell of a mistake. Asking.

-I…We had a bit of a fight last night and…he didn’t come home and…-

She suddenly looked down at her shoes and again, instead of keeping my mouth shut and ending the conversation, I grabbed my cigarettes and asked her:

-Want one? –

Now that I think of it, I don’t even know why I did it. I was clearly not thinking straight but other than that…I think I only wanted someone to talk to. To make me company.

She walked inside my office and I stood up. I offered her my chair while I sat on the desk.

-Oh, thanks. –

 She took a cigarette and I lit it up and we both sat down for a brief moment in complete silence. Just us, watching the city lights. I took a puff out of my cigarette and my eyes turned to see her. She was wearing a beautiful leather jacket and a yellow tank top that…you get the idea. I shook my head and took a deep breath as I turned to look the other way around when I suddenly heard her ask:

-Are you angry with me or something? –

The question was so weird and it caught me so off guard that I chocked on my cigarette.

-What? No, no way. Why? Why you ask? –

I said while I coughed.

-It’s because every time I come by, you talk a lot and fool around with everyone but all I always get is a plain and simple ‘Hi.’ I thought that maybe you were angry with me or maybe I did something that bothered you but I couldn’t think of anything so…that’s why I ask.

I even tried asking Aldo but he didn’t know either. –

-No, it’s nothing personal. That’s how I am with people I don’t know much. –

-But; we do know each other. –

She said; I turned around and looked at her with the face of a confused idiot and asked:

-We do? –

-Of course. Aldo has told me everything about you. He’s really observant, you know? I know that you like your coffee black and that you don’t like raw tomato on your sandwich and that you play the piano even though you’ve never let Aldo hear you play and…oh! And that you keep a flask with rum somewhere in this desk. –

She said as she pointed at my desk. I turned and saw her smiling. It was the smile you give an old friend when you remember something from your past and that smile…was more than enough reason for me to do what I did.

-I do like rum too, you know? –

In that precise moment, my mind went blank and I chuckled like a total idiot.

-What? –

She asked. I couldn’t believe my ears. I knew her and she knew me so well, it was like being with someone you have spoken for a lifetime without ever sharing a word. It was weird. Sweet but weird nonetheless.

I jumped off the desk and stood in front of her. I grabbed my chair by the armrests and I moved her to the opposite end of the desk. I opened the drawer and pulled my flask and a glass. I poured her a drink and she asked:

-What about you? –

Referring to me only having one glass.

-I’ll just go for my coffee cup. Be right back. –

-No, no. We can share this one, if you want. –

I should have gone for my cup but then again, I wasn’t thinking clearly. I walked back to my desk and leaned on it, I lit another cigarette and we both shared the night together. Some rum, a pack of cigarettes and a long talk. That was all I needed for a fool like me to fall for her.


In the following months, we became a bit closer and closer. At the beginning we both joked in the halls of the office every time she came by. And Aldo was really happy we both were getting along now and he was always happy to have us both close to him. Parties, reunions, he was always dragging me about and Isabella was there. All the time.

I don’t know for sure when I knew I was in love with her. I remember that, at nights I used to say: “Nah. We’re just friends.” Trying to convince myself that my feelings were not true but you can imagine by now how wrong I was.

One day, while I was at the office, Aldo called me. Told me he was on a plane on his way to Kansas and he wanted to surprise Isa with some flowers. It wasn’t a “special occasion”, it wasn’t her birthday, nor their anniversary. He was just like that. “The details, Jimmy.” He used to say. “The details are the little things that keep love alive. You cannot keep a fire burning on ashes. You must feed it, watch it and take care of it. That’s how love lasts.”

He asked me to go for some flowers and some beignets from a store close by. I didn’t have much to do after work so I did as he told me. I drove to her house and when she opened the door, my mind went blank. So bad, my heart skipped a beat and my breath stopped for a second.

-James? –

She asked with a smile as bright and as warm as a star and a sweetness to her voice that sent shivers down my back. She was wearing an oversized hoodie that went barely under her hips. I remember that my eyes strayed away from her face and I saw her long legs. I shook my head as I turned tried to control myself.

-What’s all this? –

And before I could say anything…her face lit up as a child on Christmas day. I wish I could explain how beautiful she looked. She was genuinely surprised.

-Oh, James! They’re beautiful. You shouldn’t have. Thank you. –

I don’t know why I didn’t tell her that Aldo was the one who sent them. Maybe I didn’t want her to stop smiling or maybe I was just too dumbstruck to say otherwise.

-Want to come in? –

She asked me as she opened the door a bit more. I should have simply said: “No, thanks.” And left…but I didn’t. That was my second mistake. She was incredibly stoked about the flowers and the pastries and she came and went to and from the kitchen bringing plates, a vase and a cup of coffee for both of us. I tried my best to help her but she turned it down every time.

-I hope you like it. Aldo always says its too strong for him. –

I took a sip of the coffee and I don’t know what it was but it was the sweetest coffee I had ever tasted, even though…it was darker than me.

When I opened my eyes, she was looking at me with big anxious eyes. Her left leg bounced up and down, her left hand over her right fist and her hair over her right ear. That’s when I remembered that Aldo said that she did it when she was incredibly nervous.

-So? Do you like it? –

-It’s the best coffee I’ve ever had, Isabella. Thank you. –

I can still remember the face she did when I said that. The way she closed her eyes and the way her nose wrinkled. I didn’t know a simple smile could bring such warmth to someone’s heart.

After a little while, I knew I needed to get out of there. Not because I wanted to but because it was the right thing to do. After all, she wasn’t mine to take, however, she insisted in me staying a bit longer and I swear I tried my best to say ‘no’ but…I was weak.

She pulled out a bottle of rum and we talked and drank and laughed for hours. I remember that after drinking almost the whole bottle, I saw my watch, it was almost 3 in the morning and I said:

-I must go. It’s already too late. -

But when I stood up…I felt her hand holding mine.

-Could you stay with me until morning? Please. –

I should have said something…but I simply sighed and sat down next to her. She leaned her head on my shoulder. I took a deep breath and closed my eyes, when I heard her say faintly:

-I am sorry. –

I suddenly felt her lips, so warm and tender over mine and…I lost myself. Her silk-like skin, her warm and gentle caresses, her smell, so sweet and hypnotizing. We both ached for the other and we didn’t care about the consequences our love could bring. It was me and her and that tender moment just for us.


After that night, every time Aldo went on a trip, we spent the nights together. Every time Aldo asked me to take her flowers or jewels, presents and details, I all said they were from me. I was sick in love. Blinded with love, so much…that I couldn’t see how much it was destroying Aldo. They started fighting for days, over and over; and I just couldn't see how much it hurt him to see her stray away from him, regardless of everything he did.

A couple of months ago, as we spoke, he finally said it. “I think she might be cheating on me, Jimmy. I feel it. I know it.” I should have told him then and there but I simply played the part and acted as if I wasn’t the one stealing his wife.

I genuinely thought we two could be together but those were the hopes of a fool in love. I didn’t, no, I couldn’t see the damage I did to Aldo until yesterday, when my pink bubble exploded right in my dumb face.

Yesterday, he called me to his office and when he showed me the pictures his private investigator got of his last business trip. I thought he had me dead to rights but…I think he simply didn’t want to accept the truth. He began mumbling about saying that he knew who the fucker was. I should have stopped him and told him everything but…again…I didn’t. I saw him grab his coat and he turned around and as he looked at me in the eyes, said: “Thanks for being my friend, Jimmy. I know I’ve been acting weird these days but everything is about to go back the way it was. I promise.” And he shut the door.

If I knew what he was about to do…this could have been a whole different story.

As I was going home, Isa called me. She was crying, worried, saying that I had to stop Aldo because he was going to do something stupid. I couldn’t call the cops because I didn’t know what he was about to do but I knew where he was going to do it. I went to the docks, at our old poker house. It was a small apartment we both bought in our university years. I don’t know how, but I knew he was going to be there.

As I turned around the corner, I saw Aldo’s car parked in front of the old place. Trunk wide open and his door as well. I rushed through the street and a car ran me over. I broke the windshield and flew a bit further away but I didn’t even stop to think about it. I needed to stop Aldo. I rushed into the apartment and when I opened the door, I saw Aldo, holding a gun to the head of a poor bastard that looked a lot like me.

-Jimmy? What…what are you doing here? –

-Aldo, I need you to drop the gun. –

He looked at me with confused eyes and said:

-No. No, this…this is the motherfucker that’s been stealing Isa from me. I saw him on the pictures! –

-Aldo, he’s not the one you’re looking for. I swear it on my life. –

-But…how do you know? I mean, you saw him too! On the pictures! –

I was about to answer when the cops pulled over. I couldn’t leave Aldo there. Holding a gun, a kidnapped man, probably some pills on his car. 20 years. Minimum. I couldn’t do that to my friend. I ran to him and I grabbed him by the arm, pulling him through the apartment. And we went out through the back door.

-Hey! Stop! Police! –

When I saw the cops, the only thing I could do was run. I pushed Aldo around and we both ran away. We knew the docks pretty well so we lost them quite easily. We were taking a moment to catch our breaths when I suddenly heard him say:

-You said you know the guy who’s been stealing Isa from me. Who is it? And why didn’t you tell me before? –

I turned to look at him and…I couldn’t see Aldo in those eyes. All I saw was hate.

-Who is it, Jimmy? Who is it?! –

His eyes broke me. I couldn’t lie to him anymore.

-It’s me. –

-What? –

-It’s me. I am the one who’s been stealing Isa. –

His eyes sunk in disbelief and utter confusion when I told him.

-But…you’re my friend. You’re my friend, Jimmy. Why? –

-I didn’t plan to, Aldo. I…It just…happened. I’m sorry. –

I swear that when I saw him in the eyes…I saw something break. I suddenly saw a flash of light and my body went weak. I fell to the floor as I lost my breath and the cold November rain began to pour down. He walked to me and shedding tears, said to me:

-You’re gonna carry that weight. –

And left.

I don’t blame him. I would’ve done the same. But; now that I think of it…I don’t really regret nothing. Maybe…not telling Aldo beforehand but…as he said it:

“I’m going to carry that weight.”

September 25, 2022 23:24

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1 comment

Haydee Melendez
03:48 Sep 29, 2022

excellent story, that catches and attracts you easily, easy to read, clear language and very good writing


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