by Rachael McDaniel, Age 16, Canada
Artwork by Katie King
MILES and ERIC, both 18, lie on the floor of ERIC’S room.
MILES: Is everyone else still downstairs? Have they left?
ERIC: I don’t even know. Or care. All I can see is myself, in the future, a few hours from now, probably comatose.
MILES: Mm. Same.
ERIC: I still look hot, though.
MILES: (turns over on his side to look at Eric) You mean now or in your vision?
ERIC: Why not both? I see me looking hot, forever and always unto eternity. (giggles)
MILES: You’re a prophet.
ERIC: Yeah, I know that.
MILES: And not just that.
ERIC: Yeah, I’m a prophet, and I’m hot, too. We said this already. Everyone says it all the time. I’m just that hot.
MILES: Yeah, you’re pretty…pretty. (more giggling)
ERIC: You think I’m pretty? Of course I’m pretty. I’m pretty like a pretty prince. Eric James, prettiest boy at the dance.
MILES: But not just that! You’re special. You’re, like, the only thing that matters.
ERIC: Aww, Miles.
MILES: I was so ugly and alone back when we met, and I felt like everyone was always leaving me, but somehow, after all these years and everything we’ve said, I still feel safe with you. Only you.
ERIC: The feeling is totally mutual.
MILES: Oh, my God.
ERIC: Don’t be sick. Are you gonna be sick?
MILES: Yes. Because I love you. So much.
ERIC: Hey, man, I love you too.
MILES: No, you don’t get it. I am so in love with you. You’re the only person I’ve ever been in love with.
ERIC: Yeah, I mean, that’s, like, friendship love. Like family love, except better.
MILES: No. You are so obtuse. No. I am in total love with you.
MILES begins laughing hysterically to the point of nearly sobbing.
ERIC: Hey, are you—are you good, man? Are you gonna be okay?
MILES: Are you kidding? Of course I’m okay! I am literally “okay” personified! Just like—I can’t believe this is really happening to me. I remember seeing some post on the computer, like, someone’s relationship status, and the girlfriend commented, “I love you,” and the boyfriend commented, “Okay,” and I just kept laughing because it was so hilarious! And now it’s my real life! Five years’ worth of the strongest feeling I’ve ever felt!
ERIC: I’m…Miles…Okay, just breathe deeply and calm down…
MILES: Five years! And I finally say everything that means anything and I get an “okay!”
ERIC: Please calm down.
MILES: I’m calm. I’m so calm.
ERIC: Are you sure?
MILES: Yeah. I just don’t know whether I should be laughing or crying. Maybe both.
ERIC: I’m sorry.
ERIC: You know, I—I might…Sometimes…You and me—
MILES: Eric. Stop.
MILES: Don’t say anything. Just—just—never mind. Never mind. It’s okay.
Rachael McDaniel is a 16 year old Canadian writer. She says, “I write for the same reasons others abuse psychoactive substances, or become hermits or write sad songs. In a word, love.”