Unrequited love
There’s never enough
To bring our hearts and minds to sorrow
To make us long for what might’ve been
For making us cry for what never was
Hoping for the solitude to come to pass
Thinking that we belong in someone’s arms
For misery and hope
are both sides of the same coin
It’s only dark because dawn is close

© Gabriel Berm

Short Stories

Auld Lang Syne | Short Story

I picked up Marie at her dad’s house, as soon as I was taking out my phone to call her she came out of the front —and only— door. I greeted Mr. Steele from my car, he was wearing a bright pink mask that he bought on amazon thinking it was red. Marie got into the car, as usual, she sanitized her hands using the last drops of Germ-X left in the bottle, and we kissed. Who would’ve thought that in these modern times kissing was capable of such harm?

“How’s your dad?” I asked, diverging my thought from the constant reminder of death.

“Alright, I don’t think he’ll ever get used to living by himself,” she replied while texting her mom we were on our way.

We were throwing a “massive” three-people New Year celebration, Marie, Kate, and I. Kate, Marie’s mom had the tradition of cooking military-level amounts of food and inviting every living soul she knew in town. Completely the opposite of my parents, who don’t really believe in celebrating the New Year. The past two new year celebrations had been great with Marie, before that, I barely cared about our little blue dot completing a circle around the sun. We got to Marie’s home, I parked, and took out a pair of party-sized Doritos bags, and went inside. Kate sprayed us both with 90-degree alcohol. Kate was surprisingly cheery even though her dad died back in august because of Covid. Those last three words defined the year. Anything bad that happened was —is— almost certainly followed by: “because of Covid.” The clock marked 9:30 PM Kate took out leftover decorations from past years, she gave us party hats that said “2010,” and “2015,” respectively.

“I threw away the 2020 ones,” Kate said.

“I wouldn’t expect less, Mom,” Marie said.

Marie and I giggled. I looked at Marie and couldn’t believe this would be our third new year together. I always thought new year’s kisses were overrated but with two —almost three— years of experience I can certify that I was wrong.

“Why are you looking at me?” Marie said probably thinking she had a spider on her head.

“I can’t look at you? Look at yourself! You’re adorable,” I said while squeezing her cheeks.

It was 11:25 PM. Kate said we should pray and thank God for getting to the finish line and pray for those who didn’t. A few tears slid down her face after saying that. Marie hugged her, I hugged Marie, we were all hugging. Hugging: another beautiful thing 2020 managed to turn into an almost biological weapon.

It was 11:45 PM. Marie and I were playing Plants vs Zombies on my phone, Kate was looking for “New year music” on YouTube. A Geico ad blasted through a massive sound system Marie’s dad didn’t manage to get after the divorce. New year’s always make me nervous, they didn’t use to since I went to sleep at 10 PM back when I spent the holiday with my parents, but now, being awake is nerve-wracking. There’s this feeling that everything will be fine and big things are going to change, the amount of weight we put on the new year is abysmal. I’m just thankful for what I have, especially Marie. It was 11:59 PM. Auld lang syne started playing, I grabbed Marie’s hand. The fireworks started to sound in the distance.

It was Midnight. I kissed Marie, Marie hugged Kate. Kate forgot about Covid protocols and hugged me as well. I could feel my shirt getting wet from her tears. It was a rough year for virtually everybody. I kissed Marie again, and we started dancing to the rhythm of Auld Lang Syne, hoping the rest of the year will be as good as the first three minutes.

© Gabriel Berm

Author’s Note:

I highly recommend this version of Auld Lang Syne, they’re great.

Short Stories


Walking toward a hot dog joint nearby campus, I saw Andrea running toward the bus stop. The bus was already leaving, and she knew it. Once, the bus left without her, I walked fast towards her. 

“Andrea?” I said.

“Craig! It’s been ages! How are you?” She said, surprised.

“Right now, probably better than you,” I joked.

She laughed a bit. She was holding three heavy-looking biology textbooks, and her glasses were barely touching the tip of her nose.

“This is the second time this week. Now I have to wait 45 minutes to an hour for the next one,” Andrea said rather annoyed.

“I’ll keep you company if you want,” I said, begging every deity for her to say yes.

“You don’t have to,” she said, embarrassed.

I was starving, but something inside me was telling me to stay. In all fairness, it might’ve been the three coffees I had in the morning.

We sat on the bus stop’s bench.

“How’s been everything? How’s Michael?” I asked.

“Alright, I guess…and we broke up a few weeks ago,” She replied with a sudden sense of disappointment filling her face.

“I’m sorry,” I said, feeling bad for the fact that I was sort of happy because of that.

“Yeah, It sucks people still can’t break up before they cheat,” Andrea said now with a lower voice.

“I know, right? What’s the need for being in a relationship if you’re gonna cheat anyway?” I said, thinking about my ex-girlfriend Claire.

“It’s going to sound like a cliché, but I don’t know if I want to be in a relationship again,” she said without looking at me.

I was starring at her face, so beautiful. I couldn’t help but think who in their right mind would cheat on her. She was not just extraordinarily beautiful, but smart, perhaps the smartest person I knew.

“We all say that,” I replied.

Her eyes were slightly red, and a couple of tears were sliding down her cheeks. I dried them with my thumb wrapped around the end of my hoodie’s sleeve. She looked at me. I slowly took my hand away from her face. 

“Perhaps it would’ve been different if we…” She said without finishing.

“Perhaps,” I said.

My eyes were lost in hers and hers in mine. I moved my body closer toward hers. She smiled. Andrea started moving her hands toward my chest and leveled my hoodie strings.

“You’ve always worn them unevenly,” she said and smiled.

She got closer to me. Our heads were inches apart. Then a hideous rumbling noise and the smell of diesel became part of the scene. Andrea did the longest blink ever. The bus’ door opened with a creaking sound. We stood up. I helped her pick up her books and handed them to her, our hands touched for a second. She looked at me, and I looked at her, we stood there for what felt like an hour. Our heads were as close as they have ever been, then we hugged. She got on the bus, and as the bus’s awful sounds were less and less present, I kept thinking what would’ve happened if we kissed.

Author’s Note:

According to Wikipedia, Mamihlapinatapai is a word derived from the Yaghan language from Tierra del Fuego. The word is listed by The Guinness Book of World Records as the “most succinct word.” The general understanding of the word is “A look that without words is shared by two people who want to initiate something, but neither start” or “looking at each other hoping that either will offer to do something which both parties desire but are unwilling to do.”

© Gabriel Berm

Short Stories Spanish (Español) Uncategorized

Tiempos Modernos | Cuento Corto

Sofía me abrió la puerta del vestíbulo de su edificio, me acerqué a darle un beso en los labios pero ella lo desvió a su mejilla. Deja la puerta entre abierta y puedo jurar que escucho el golpeteo de esta por el particularmente fuerte viento de esa tarde. Nos subimos al elevador sin decir una palabra, el recorrido se me hace infinito. Sofía se queda viendo lo que parece ser un insecto muerto dentro de una lámpara en el techo. Me le quedo viendo con la esperanza de que hagamos contacto visual pero esto nunca sucede. Finalmente se abren las puertas y caminamos a su departamento. Mientras ella saca la llave de su bolsillo escucho el llanto de un bebé en el departamento de al lado. Los vecinos tuvieron un bebé, las últimas noches han sido de pesadilla, me dijo dirigiéndome la palabra por primera vez en el día. Entramos y pone la llave sobre la mesa. Siéntate por allá, lo dijo como si yo nunca hubiera estado por ahí un centenar de veces en el pasado. Me siento en el sofá donde estaba acostado su perro salchicha (mismo que se fue en el instante siguiente en que me senté) y me quedo esperando a que ella me diga algo. Se amarra el pelo con una cola y se sienta a mi lado, a unos escasos 40 centímetros. Noto un libro sobre una pequeña mesa y alcanzo a leer “Romeo y Julieta,” me extraña porque Sofía odiaba cualquier tipo de obra romántica.
—Es patético —me dice con un aire de intelectualidad.
—¿El libro?
—Sí. Se matan porque uno no podía vivir sin el otro, y que supuestamente estaban destinados a estar juntos y que nadie los separaría. Yo no me mataría porque el otro tipo se mata. Todos dicen que quieren una historia como la de Romeo y Julieta pero nadie analiza que él era un indeciso que se enamoraba rápido de todas. Él le dice “Te juro por la luna” y ella le dice que no jure en lo absoluto. Pero que si tiene que jurar, que jure por su maravilloso ser, que es el dios que ella adora como un ídolo, y luego le creerá. ¿Qué clase de persona enferma piensa así?
—No sé que me estás tratando de decir, Sofía. En todo caso, Shakespeare ni siquiera me parece la gran cosa —le respondo con la intención de hablar de lo que ella tan desesperadamente necesitaba.
—Respóndeme —me dice cortantemente.
—Todo me parece bien excepto la parte del ídolo. ¿Feliz?
—¡No! Todo está mal. ¿No entiendes? —responde, a nada de ponerse a llorar.
—¡Maldita sea! ¿Ahora qué? No te entiendo nada. Un día quieres que sea como Romeo y otros como quién sabe cuál personaje de algún libro de hace siglos. Es que no te entiendo de verdad. Me llamas acá para hablar, yo vengo que me cago del miedo y de la incertidumbre, no pude ni almorzar porque se me fue el apetito y ahora me pones a analizar un texto trillado que pone falsas expectativas en las mentes de los adolescentes que todavía no saben que carajos es el amor.

Sofía comienza a llorar y no sé que decir o hacer. Pasan unos minutos y su mirada se pierde en las luces de Boston. A ella le encantaba ver por la ventana los domingos cómo llegaban personas a la Trinity Church y escuchar desde lejos al coro. Decido servirnos a ambos una copa de vino, voy al refrigerador y solo veo media sandía, una caja de mantequilla y tres rebanadas de queso amarillo.
—¿Hay algo de tomar? —le pregunto.
—Tengo un licor vencido en la gaveta de abajo, no sabe tan mal —me responde con un tono de voz muy bajo.
Sirvo el licor en una copa y el mío en un vaso porque la otra copa estaba quebrada. Se lo doy y sin verme a los ojos comienza a tomar, igual con la mirada firme en la cruz sobre la iglesia.

—Yo sé lo de ella — me dijo con la voz entrecortada.
—Y yo sé lo de él también —le respondo con lo que parece ser dolor.
—¿Y por qué seguimos entonces? ¿Amor?
—Amor se llama el juego en el que un par de ciegos juegan a hacerse daño.
—No cites a Sabina y respóndeme algo tú —me dijo sonriendo un poco.
—Yo no sé por qué seguimos en esto, lo único que sé es que no quiero saber cómo va a ser el después.
Sofía me vuelve a ver y asienta levemente con la cabeza. Nos quedamos viendo el paisaje por unos minutos, su mirada en los edificios y en alguno que otro transeúnte que vagaba por las calles, la mía en la luna llena de esa noche que me rogaba que jurara amor eterno por ella.

© Gabriel Berm

Short Stories

That Night In Rotorua | Short Story

After driving for hours we finally got to the camping park, we barely got to see Rotorua, it was starting to get dark. Emma doesn’t really like to go out at night, she likes to rest and read rather than going out for a drink. I parked the camping van — which was more like a repurposed Toyota SUV than an actual camper — near to a beautiful clear lake. I went to pay for the night and then came back. Emma was asleep, she didn’t even notice we were at the park already. When I came back Emma was taking photos of the lake.
“Nice place, huh?” I said with some pride in myself for picking the best spot there.
“It’s so pretty,” she replied without looking at me.
“Wanna eat something? We can have chicken-flavored instant noodles or chicken flavored instant noodles from another brand,” I said somewhat joking.
“Surprise me,” she said smiling.
As I was boiling the water at the “kitchen,” Emma grabbed my ukulele and attempted to play it.
“Why is it so hard to play? It’s just four strings!” She said now looking at me.
“You’ll get the hang of it, we still have a month left from our trip,” I replied.
“Yeah, it ended up not being as awkward as I thought,” Emma said while “tuning” the instrument.
I poured the boiling water inside each noodle container and placed a plate on top of their lids.
“Awkward?” I asked.
“My sister said going halfway across of the world with a friend, alone, would be awkward,” she replied.
“I knew you would come, you tend not to care what other people think,” I replied.
“I don’t. It’s just, everyone back home thinks we’re having sex all day long but in reality, we just eat instant noodles and you sing me songs with this thing,” she said tapping the ukulele.
“Do you wanna have sex all day long?” I asked jokingly.
“Shut up! I’m being serious,” she said hiding the giggle.
The noodles were ready, I gave one to Emma and we started eating. Emma couldn’t eat without listening to music and since no one has yet discovered how to sing and eat simultaneously she hummed. Desire from Ryan Adams was playing, she loved Ryan Adams.
As I was opening the lid I noticed how clear the sky was. You don’t see that many stars in San Francisco. You’re more likely to bump into a Hollywood star than seeing an actual star. I told Emma to get out and check the sky. As her eyes were hooked on constellations which names I’m too ignorant to know. I could see a perfect reflection of each and every star on her deep brown eyes.
“Wanna stay out for a while?” I asked her.
“Sure,” she replied.
I took out a pair of foldable chairs and placed the two next to each other. I also took out a can of mosquito repellent and sprayed both of us. Now we both smelled like what Off thinks eucalyptus smells like.
“Do you ever think about that day?” She said not looking at me but the sky.
“What day? The day?” I said.
“Yeah, at Patrick’s house” she replied.
“We were drunk it was just a kiss,” I said. “Or, was it?” I continued.
“Yeah yeah, just a kiss,” she said softly.
“We could kiss now,” I said regretting it as I finished the sentence.
“I mean if we kissed at that party at Patrick’s house which had nothing special… I’d say this view demands a kiss,” she said, also seemingly regretting saying it.
I looked at her, our chairs were less than 2 inches apart, now she was looking at me. We kissed. Then as I was starting to go back to my original position, she held my hand. We were holding hands. And we fell asleep while listening from the distance “Just in Time” by Nina Simone playing on Emma’s phone inside the van.

© Gabriel Berm

poesia Spanish (Español)

Relojes sin Paz

Que bailen al compás de los relojes 

Los hombres sin rencores 

Que se nos acabe la luna llena

Cuando ya no vale más la pena

Que no se rompan los corazones

De adolescentes enamorados

Que cada lagrima que se llore

Venga con una sonrisa

Que nos de una acotación el tiempo

Para no perderlo sino verlo

Pues la vida se nos está yendo

Y no podemos detenerlo

© Gabriel Berm



May the pains of today

Be the joys of tomorrow

May the life that you long

Be better than you thought of

May your smile

Shine brighter every night

And may your heart

Be cherished as it must

© Gabriel Berm

poesia Spanish (Español)

Su Guitarra

Ella tocando su guitarra

Yo le prestaba atención


Regalarle mi corazón

Ella me miraba

Mientras yo me enamoraba

Sus palabras tejían oraciones

Para salir de mal de amores

Su voz

De otro universo

La canción

Llenándome de vida

Con cada verso

© Gabriel Berm

poesia Spanish (Español)


Tus besos me conmueven

Tus abrazos me entretienen

Tu mirada me guía

Tu piel hace juego junto a la mía

Tu corazón, late a todo vapor

Tus piernas brillantes

Tus manos agobiantes

El futuro claro como un susurro

La verdad 

Ni tu

Ni yo

Ni nosotros 

Nos debemos

Una explicación

© Gabriel Berm

poesia Spanish (Español)

Ojos color luna

Su lugar favorito eran otros brazos

El mío las botellas y los vasos

Su corazón 

Latía sin cuestionar

El mío

A duras penas daba para más

Sus ojos 

Brillantes como la luna

Los míos

Buscando una fuente de luz pura

© Gabriel Berm