stutter stories

A conversation between Allison and Claire

“Which The Breakfast Club character are you?” I asked. It was meant to be a light question, one that was meant to keep the mood easy. After all, it had been a tough week for us both, and all we wanted was to relax and knock back some beers under the night sky.
“I’m Allison, of course,” I droned on, lighting a cigarette. “I always was a freak.”

You scoffed and leaned back into the wicker chair. “You’re really not. The weirdest thing about you is how you think you’re a loser.”

“How am I not?” I demanded, gesticulating wildly towards myself. “Look at me. I’m an overweight, socially-awkward loser with bad skin and unfashionable clothes. Everyone says I’m weird. Hell, even when they don’t say it, I can feel them thinking it.” It used to hurt to think of myself in such awful terms, but I’m slowly embracing the fact. I pressed on, “Plus, in high school, I was always that girl, the one everyone thought was a bit off. I’m goddamned Allison, and that’s the end of it.”
“Fine, okay! Jesus.” You gave a short laugh, sipping from your glass. “I’d have to say, I’m Allison, too.”
“The fuck you are!” I cried. My head was getting foggy, and I wanted to scream out into the stars that you, dear sir, were far too lovely to be Allison.
“What? I’m Allison. I’m as weird as you! That’s probably why we’re friends! Unless—” Your eyes widened. “Shit, I’m Claire.”
My laughter was a mix of amusement and disdain. “God, you’re right! You’re Claire! I mean, look at you!” I jabbed my cigarette at the air. “Well-off family, lots of friends, expensive clothes, nice things, basically everything you could ask for—and still unhappy! God!”
After another round of laughter, you adopted a more somber look. “Seriously, though. It’s pretty sad that no matter how lucky Claire—and I,” you hastily added, seeing my death stare, “No matter how lucky Claire and I are, we’re still miserable with our completely empty lives.” Reaching over, you plucked the cigarette from my fingers and crushed it on the table, your brows furrowed in thought.
I sighed deeply and brushed some ash from your hair. We’ve been through this conversation many times before, and never did it end up neatly. A few minutes passed, both of us looking out at the city lights, lost in thoughts never to reach our lips. Finally, I broke the silence.
“Do you think we’d still be friends on Monday?” I teased, referencing one of my favorite lines from the movie.
Your answer sounded hesitant and a little sad. “I don’t think so.”
“Typical Claire,” I said, and we started laughing again.
I refilled my glass and drank as quickly as I could. I wanted the truth, and I got it. The truth was, we never could tell how The Breakfast Club ended. For all we know, Allison and Claire passed each other in the halls many times, and never acknowledged each other again. After all, despite all their similarities, they were far too different, from separate cliques, lives, and worlds.
How many times have we talked about this? For that matter, how many times have we watched The Breakfast Club? We know how it goes: our favorite fivesome will never have that moment of openness, ever again. They will ignore each other in the hallways, and laugh at each other’s backs. They go back to being strangers.
But it wasn’t what either of us wants to hear. The best we could do is hope that Monday would never come.
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