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"BTW, it's Brook"
by Samuel Cole

According to her voice message, we haven’t talked or lunched for over four years and that’s just not fine cuz I miss you, girl. I didn’t recognize her voice, but I wasn’t surprised by the message. I’m not good at sustaining friendships. I’m loyal to my cashmere sweaters and a couple pairs of shoes; the kind of girl who appreciates the efficiency of revolving doors.

She phoned again on a Wednesday. It could have been an important call. “This is Holly,” I said, using my usual business voice.

“Before you hang up,” she said. “I just want to say something.”

I tried to remember the exact reason we stopped being friends. She probably said something cruel or lied about some guy. “It’s so good to hear your voice,” I said. “What’s up?” I am amazing at carrying on especially euphemistic conversations: I’m fine. You’re fine. Everything’s perfectly fine. “Hell, yeah, we should stay connected this time,” I said. “Absolutely, I want to keep in touch. Let’s talk soon. Oh, it really has been fun catching up.”

Who in the hell are you?

A couple of weeks flew by before a sturdy cream-colored envelope showed up in the mailbox, my address handwritten in Christmas green. I set it in the laundry room, as I wasn’t feeling a bit jolly. Minnesota electric bills have a way of zapping out all the holiday cheer from any room.

A couple days later, tired of passing it up, I sliced open the envelope and instinctively knew we could never be friends. Standing in matching green Jerseys, holding hands in front of an electric scoreboard, smiling with their heads together, they looked like an ugly 1980’s haircut and a silly goateed fish. I felt sick to my stomach as I was drawn to their big, dopy, droopy red ears. I laughed out loud. What a crazy looking pair of mother something’s. I threw the card into the trashcan and dusted off my hands. Besides, what type of idiot sends out a Christmas card two days after Thanksgiving? Way to jump the gun, whatever your name is. Jeez.

The following Saturday, unable to get their faces out of head, I trawled them out of the trash can:


Holly and Brad,

Happy ho-ho-holidays to you!

We were:

a) Sad to hear of the diagnosis and everything you guys went through

b) Surprised that we went through a very similar life-changing ordeal.

c) Glad things are much better for all of us!!

d) Glad that we are reconnected!

We’ll have to make up for lost time in the coming year!


Shandra and Dale


a) I don’t talk to anyone about my personal life.

b) I loathe emoticons.

c) I’ve been divorced for two years now, which, if we were half the friends she claims, she would have at least had the decency to ask about Brook.

d) Whoever you are, I’m sorry,

Holly and Brad