RANDOM LOVE STORIES

This is a collection of love stories. Stories that I heard from other people, some, I've experienced, and others I've imagined. The first one is about falling in love with your best friend's girl. Not a unique story, it happened before, but we read them anyway. So, this is a story that involves three people who love each other so much that love itself becomes the problem. The Second story is about a girl who finds the perfect love story through a series of letters. It helped her discover what love is all about, but will it lead her to a place where she will be happy? The Third is a story that evolved from anger. Two single parents work in the same company find themselves locked in an emotional tug of war. Do you go for the guy whom everybody likes, or settle for someone who everybody hates?

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3. An Officer and a Friend

 

Joe didn’t see the damn thing until he hit it.  The impact brought him to his knees and no amount of alcohol could hide the throbbing pain on his forehead. He tried to scream profane words at it, but his tongue wouldn’t work.  I’m drunk!

“Hey, man, you okay?” came a strange voice, and then hands were upon him. “Can you get up?”

He groaned.  He clung to the man’s arm, thick as a tree trunk, and tried to get himself up.  He dropped on the pavement again, plopping like a heavy thing on the ground.  He could swear he bounced a little or maybe it was nausea.  A cool breeze swept through and refreshed his burning face. 

“Hey!  You can’t undress here!” said the same strange voice.  “You’re not at home, buddy. Here, let me help you.”

Joe felt something pulling him up and imagined a forklift was behind him.  He hit his head against something again before his face landed on soft cushions.  Then movement; he knew he was inside a car. The sensation of motion lulled him to sleep, but before his mind went totally blank, he heard sirens.

When he woke up he was in jail.  “What the hell happened?” His mouth was dry and he wanted to vomit so badly. 

“Oh, you’re awake!”

Joe looked up and saw a blond-haired officer smiling down at him.

“What am I doing here?”

“I had to take you in,” said the officer. “You were undressing yourself in the middle of the street.  I didn’t know where you lived, either; or your name.”

He could have searched him for his wallet and found out.  This man was testing him and he wasn’t in the mood for twenty questions.  He stood, and had to reach for the bars and rest his head on them. “Joe.  Joseph Vitelli.”

“Vitelli? Itallian?”

“Yeah.  My father was.  My mother’s Irish.”

“Ah, explains the hair.”

Joe always heard that from people.  His hair wasn’t as red as his mother’s, which was a brilliant red—almost orange, in fact. His was a deep auburn.  Not really that Irish, but it betrayed him to those who could tell the difference. 

“My mother was Irish, too.  I got mine from her side of the family,”  said the officer, pointing to his blond, curly hair.  “My father’s American.  The name’s Harris.”

“Oh, well, nice to meet you, Officer Harris.”

“You can call me Eric.”

 “Right.  Eric.”  He reached out a hand and they shook.  “Did I… break the law?”

“Well, no.  You were about to,” Eric said, he took out a jingling set of keys.  “I had to make sure you were safe, though.  You were walking all over the place, and you looked like you were about to cross the street.” He opened the jail cell door.  “Like I said, I didn’t know where you lived.”

Joe reached for his wallet and it wasn’t there.  Was I robbed?  “I usually have my wallet with me.”

“Yeah, I actually searched for any form of identification before bringing you in, but you had nothing on you.  Looks like you were robbed.”

Joe tried to remember what had happened.  He remembered going to Jerry’s, Charlie was there and he had a few drinks.  He was supposed to meet Karen at seven. Damn it! Karen!

“I was supposed to meet someone,” he said.  “I went for a drink.”

“Looks like you had one too many.”

“Yeah, I… I’m sorry.  Can I use the phone?”

“Sure.”

“Thanks.” He dialed the number of Russell’s apartment.  The phone rang three times before she picked up.  “Karen?”

“Joe?” said her voice.  “Where the hell are you?”

“Don’t shout!  You’re making my head ache,” he said.  “I’m sorry I didn’t make it.”

“We thought you were dead!” Her voice was shaking now.  “I was so worried!”

“I’m fine.  I’m in jail,” he said.

“Jail?”

“Yeah, the ah—“ He looked up and Eric pointed the station address.  “The one on 25th street.”

“ What the hell did you do last night? Did you do something—why are you in jail?”

She was shouting again and it made his head throb.  He massaged his temples, and tried to explain. “I had a few drinks, I’m not sure what happened, but I was taken in by an officer.”

“I’m coming down there,” she said.

Then Joe heard another voice in the background. “Wait; is there someone there with you?”

“Just wait there, okay?”

“Wait!  Are you coming here alone?”

 “Russell’s here and we are coming down there. We have to talk.  We’re coming over there to pick you up.”

Great. “Karen, does he know?  Karen! Karen!”  But she hung the phone.  “Fuck!”

“What happened?” said Eric.  He gave Joe a cup of hot coffee. 

“Thanks,” he said.  He was grateful for his kindness, but it also made him wonder why Eric was so nice to him when they hardly knew each other. His homophobia was beginning to kick in, when he realized he had a bigger problem to face.  He wasn’t sure whether he should stay there and wait for them to come, or should he just leave and lock himself at home.  He decided to ask this nice officer for advice. “Eric, thank you for taking me in.”

“It’s nothing.  I just wanted to avoid adding another person in our homicide cases.”

“I was actually drinking the whole day yesterday,” he said.  “I think that did me in.”

“The whole day? What kind of mess are you in?”

He decided to come clean.  “I kissed my best friend’s girl.”

“Oh, shit!”

“Yeah! I mean, he doesn’t know.  I think he knows now.”

“Oh, shit.”

“I know. Tell me about it.”

“Is that the guy you called just now?”

“Actually, I called the girl.” He took a sip of the hot coffee and the caffeine did wonders for his aching head.  “Oh, this is good coffee.”

“No, it ain’t. You’re hung over; any coffee would taste good to you.”

Joe smiled.  “I was supposed to meet here last night… to end things.”

“You chickened out.”

“Yes.” 

Eric sighed.  “You know, you remind me a lot of my brother.  I think that’s why I couldn’t resist helping. You need my advice?”

Joe nodded; the homophobia disappearing rapidly.

“Face the music,” Eric said.  “Let them both know—if he’s your best friend, he’ll forgive you. Maybe not right away, but eventually, he will.”

And there it was—the reality of the situation he got himself into.  He was going to lose one of them, or both.  He knew he had to end things with Karen and he prepared for the pain of losing her. What he didn’t expect and prepare for was ending his friendship with Russell.  They had gone through so much together and though his scholarship separated them after High School, they never lost touch.  He knew about Karen, about how much Russell loved her.  She wasn’t photogenic, so it shocked him when he finally met her in person.  The words of Russell’s letters were empty adjectives of how perfect she was, any guy in love would use those words to describe their girl.  When he finally met her, she all those adjectives came to life and he found himself wanting her for himself. 

Eric was right, though.  He had to tell Russell.  He’d probably hit me, he thought, but he knew he deserved it.  I’d take it, but after that will things go back to the way they were?

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