The story so far: In an attempt to make Brian jealous, Kate locked lips with Tom Meany, the school hottie she has a crush on. The plan worked, and they had a huge fight. Kate stormed out of Eric’s house and drove home alone. Making matters worse? Tom Meany is a total douche bag, and a terrible kisser. The year is 1987.


Berlin is playing. ”Take My Breath Away.”

Holed up in my bedroom with the lights off and the music on, there’s no way I’ll hear him if he rings my doorbell or knocks on the door. Not as long as Berlin is playing.

This is the song on the radio the night Brian first said that he loved me.

It was last August and we’d been at the drive-in with a group of friends. The movie we saw was awful, some raunchy comedy. It didn’t matter how crummy the film was, though, all of us were there to hang out. Brian and I shared a milkshake from Dairy King. He kept stealing glances of me throughout the night.

Around 11:30, he drove me home, cutting through the Metroparks along the way. The windows were rolled down and a warm summer breeze blew through our hair. I held his hand. The radio was tuned to one of those soft rock, late night request shows. The lady DJ spoke in a hushed voice, as if the fate of the world depended on every dedication.

”This one is for Kim. Jack says he’s so sorry. He hopes you can forgive him.” Or ”Ted, Mary says your night together was so special, she wants to make it last forever.”

When we arrived at my house, Brian parked the car and cut the engine. ”Take My Breath Away” began playing.

”I guess we should say goodnight,” Brian said.

”Yeah,” I replied.

”Kate, there’s something I want to tell you.”

”Okay,” I replied.”

He held his breath, gathering his courage.

”I love you,” he said.

I nearly exploded. I had told two other guys that I loved them, but it was puppy love. It wasn’t real. Not like how I felt for Brian. He loved me. I was the luckiest girl in Ohio that night.

”I love you, too,” I said to him.

Then he leaned across the seat. And we kissed. Nothing else. We kissed for the rest of the song. Afterward, I skipped to the front door and decided I was going to buy the Top Gun soundtrack the next day, just so I could listen to ”Take My Breath Away” whenever I wanted.

Lilo's Ch 28 artAnd now here I am, holed up in my room, listening to Berlin. Everything I felt that night is gone. The love is replaced with bitterness and heartbreak. I should have broken up with him after he kissed Allison. He’s right; I never forgave him for it. Even though he admitted it, I didn’t trust him the same. What’s that saying? ”Once a cheater, always a cheater.” That thought kept chirping in the back of my mind like an annoying little bird. So why didn’t I break up with him then?

I’ll tell you why. I still love him. I really do. And it hurts so damn much because he doesn’t love me anymore. I know it. He loves her. Just mention her name and he’s different. Whenever she’s in the same room his eyes drift to her. Any chance he has, he’s either studying or debating with her.

Her. Her. Her.


She’s won.

She’s won and she wasn’t even trying. She kept her distance. She was nice to me.

And then they kissed.

I don’t care that it was just one kiss, it was still cheating. And who looks like a fool? I do. I’ve been a fool for months and now I’m done. Through. No matter how much I love him, no matter how much it kills me when I think about never holding his hand again or kissing him again or hearing him tell me that he loves me, it has to be over.

For me.

I tried being a good girlfriend, an understanding girlfriend. The two of us are trains moving in opposite directions.

Headlights shine into my bedroom window. It’s him. I wipe tears from my eyes. I don’t want to face him with mascara streaks down my cheeks. I don’t want him to think that I’ve been crying over him.

I’m crying because he was my first real love, and I’ll never have that again.

A car door closes and Berlin keeps playing. The doorbell rings and Berlin keeps playing. He pounds on the front door and Berlin keeps playing. Then it’s just Berlin playing. For a moment, I pray that he’s gone.

Outside my window, a noise on the roof startles me. I forgot. This was the way he would always sneak into my house. He’d climb the tree next to the house and leap to our roof. Then he would climb through my window for a little rendezvous. I regret showing him this trick. It’ll be the last time he uses it.

Tap. Tap. Tap.


Tap. Tap. Tap.

”Kate, come on.”

”Go away!”

”Can we just talk?”

I refuse to look.

”Kate, open the win—AHHH!”

Thump. Thump. Thump.

Slowly I turn around. He’s not there. I rush to the window, throw it open and stick my head out. From down below I hear his groans.


I run down to see if he’s okay, just as Berlin finishes playing.


Today’s artwork was by Lilo Tauvao. Lilo is a Los Angeles based special effects make-up artist/photographer/concept designer, working in film & television. To see more of Lilo’s work, visit

Berlin’s song, ”Take My Breath Away” is found on the 1986 motion picture soundtrack to Top Gun.

Previous Chapters: Chapter 27, Chapter 26, Chapter 25, Chapter 24, Chapter 23, Chapter 22, Chapter 21, Chapter 20, Chapter 19,  Chapter 18,  Chapter 17, Chapter 16, Chapter 15, Chapter 14, Chapter 13, Chapter 12, Chapter 11, Chapter 10, Chapter 9, Chapter 8, Chapter 7, Chapter 6, Chapter 5, Chapter 4, Chapter 3, Chapter 2, Chapter 1, Introduction

Read Chapter 29 of Legendary.


Tagged in:


About the Author

Scott Malchus

Scott Malchus is a writer, filmmaker and die hard Cleveland Indians fan. His memoir, “Basement Songs,” is available in paperback and Kindle. He wrote and directed the film “King's Highway." His family is heavily involved in fund raising to find a cure for cystic fibrosis. Scott Malchus is an employee of Cartoon Network and Turner Broadcasting. The opinions expressed on Popdose are his own and do not reflect those of his employer. Email: Follow him @MrMalchus

View All Articles