I was like you, once…. Or, how Evan, Jim, and Jack fucked my life up.

The two 20-something lovers watched ducks screw as they held one another on the park bench. They’d run out of bread hours ago, and were content to drink the warmth of the setting sun.

It’d been a perfect day so far; the kind that goes down in one’s memory to draw upon during turbulent times. Better yet, days like these are usually capped off with proposals– as this one almost was.

It started with a late breakfast, brunch really just sans-mimosas. Ed had gotten the number four: two eggs, cinnamon raisin toast, and three strips of bacon and Em, a bowl of oatmeal topped with cinnamon and fresh strawberries. The owner of the diner, Jenny, threw in an extra side of hashbrowns– the two had been so cute together that she wanted to do a lil’ something extra for them. They appreciated it, and showed it too– with a big tip left under Ed’s plate.

Full, the two walked through the park past the pond where they would later sit. Ed surprised Em with twin manni-petti’s. Ed had never had one before, but quickly came to like it. Em was in heaven. Pampered, hand in intertwined hand with her love. Later, at the bodega two doors down from the salon Em had the idea to relax a bit at the park. So the two bought some apples and a loaf of day-old bread and set back out to the pond.

Hours, two apples, and a loaf of bread later, they were still as stone feeling each other’s warmth, giggling about kinky things to do to one another later. Ed shifted in his seat a bit to adjust his pants when Tommy walked by.

Tommy, twice the age of both Ed and Em, saw the two lovers and briefly felt a spark of hope in his hollowed chest. Another sip of Evan Williams extinguished it quick enough. Evan said it was time to imbue some wisdom upon the youth– in Tommy’s eyes a charitable service. He stumbled over two left feet on his way to the couple’s bench.

“You two look so in love,” Tommy said, his face redder than the sunset sky. He wiped his mouth and burped silently. “It warms an ol’ man’s heart.”

Em looked to Ed, smiling. Ed squeezed her hand and looked at Tommy. “Thanks.” E said,  hoping that this strange drunk would move on.

“You remind me of me,” Tommy said, stepping closer. His shadow cut into the couple’s setting sun. A stench of piss and liquor wafted by. “I used to be in love once.” Tommy burped. “I was like you, once. Me and Jenny, but I fucked it up. Fucked it up bad.”

Tommy took another step closer. Ed tensed up and turned to whisper in Em’s ear. She nodded and the two stood up.

“Wait,” Tommy said, embarrassed. He felt the beginnings of tears push on the back of his eyes. “Don’t you two want to know what happened?”

Ed and Em hustled down the path, doing their best to ignore the drunk. Ed threw an arm around Em, half in lust, half in protection.

Tommy cursed them under his breath and sat down in Ed’s spot. Still warm he thought. He reached into his jacket for his flask and pulled long and hard on the bottle, his face contorting in hot relief when he was done. “I happened.” He sighed again and laid his head down where Em had sat and smiled. Still warm, he giggled.

The first stars started to twinkle as Tommy finished the last pull on the flask. Soon he was asleep, and across the city, Ed decided to make dinner reservations to propose to Em.

 

Prompt: “I was like you, once”

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