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Black Box

by JenTep


I feel so helpless with her in my arms. Stroking lines up and down her arm with her breath. Light kisses on her head as the minutes pass. The beat of her heart was close to matching mine, just a fraction off. I feel it find its rhythm. I feel my own ache. My charm culls her closer, perhaps I hope it smothers out this pain. Her reciprocating words draw a deep sigh, those are not her words to say to me and the guilt squeezes around me. She mistakes it for affection as my body tightens, enveloping her. My eyes follow the blue string lights above the bed, half listening to her mumbles of anything but remorse. Other guys are the worst, unlike me, I was better than the rest and she never wants to let go. Even as she falls asleep, I kiss her head and start to trace different shapes on her arm with a fingertip. There is much I have done and want to do, I do them still but they feel empty. I close my eyes and the swelling remorse reaches through me, her hair is not blond, her eyes are not blue, she laughs at my jokes but not the right ones. I couldn't compare them, I shouldn't but I long for someone else in my arms. If things had been different, if I had a different heart I might have been able to remember this moment for what it is instead of what I want it to be.

Her and I have something, I convince myself of that every day because she deserves a chance. As do I. I convince myself of that too. How do I move on if I don’t move on? Yet, year after year, woman after woman, I find myself yenning for what never was or will be. So many hurt faces haunt me from when I tell them I cannot continue what we have. They saw everything as perfect and going places while I feel stagnant and guilty. I take myself away from them. No one deserves to be under this pain of being someone they’re not.

Then I meet another perfect woman later, if only I was ready but why not give it a shot? Another hurt face. They are great in so many ways, better in some ways yet it is not what I want. I want her familiar touch that makes everyone else's feel hollow, the warmth her embrace built deep in the well of my heart, and how the world felt right whenever she was around.  

It was another six months since the last attempt and here was another, different yet I suspect it will end the same. Except for one thing: I tell her everything. I hold my eyes on my drink through every word, uncertain why I was telling her what I have never told a soul. Her response catches me off guard and I look into her eyes, her hand cupping the outside of me. Instinct tell me to put walls up.

“You’ve lost someone Important to you and you won’t be able to get her back, I can’t begin to imagine how that feels but I know how I feel about you. I want to work with you through this, you don’t have to suffer alone anymore or pretend, I’ll be real and I can acknowledge her presence in your life. If you miss her, tell me about her and I’ll listen.”

It feels like a decade of built up tension is released in a moment, along with the tears. I refuse to put up any walls, I let everything out and everything in. Whatever the future holds, I think I will be okay and already I don’t care that her eyes are not blue and her hair isn’t the right shade of blond. I’m living in this moment with her. I want it to be her.  


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Points: 228
Reviews: 3

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Sat Apr 25, 2020 7:59 pm
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CassieList wrote a review...



Hey its LP!

First off wow this hit hard but in a great way! The reader wants to know what happened and how it'll end just from reading the beginning! This can relate to people or show others a different pov which is needed in a good story. I hope to be able to write like you as i improve. A couple grammar mistakes but everyone does so its fine.

Hope to see more like this from chu uvu
~LP




JenTep says...


I appreciate your kind words! I have always disliked formulaic stories so mine tend to be unorthodox somehow. Unfortunately, this is a one off piece. I like to write moments, because much like real life, no one but the characters will ever understand the beginning or ending, we can only imagine... Good luck with your own pieces! Thank you again!

-J.T.



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23 Reviews


Points: 405
Reviews: 23

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Sat Apr 25, 2020 2:28 pm
ShallowHouse wrote a review...



Hellllooooooo, Jen!

Okay. First of all, wow. Second, I'm like... This is relatable- like, Very relatable. For me, at least (been through so many breakups and even recently got cheated on), so great job!

Your short story is already so great but you can improve more upon your work! I see some pairs of independent clauses there that don't need no comma, but a period! Now, I'm confused who the speaker of the dialogue here is. Is it the narrator talking to themselves? Is it someone else? Is it some random girl the narrator has been with? Who knows! Well, you know, so it's up to you to make us, the readers, understand what we need to understand!

Seriously, this is some good good piece of work! It managed to provoke a lot of nasty thoughts but it's alright! Mistakes are meant to be learned from and sometimes, relationships can be mistakes. We all can't have our blond and blue-eyed romantic partner. Love it! Keep on improving! I can't wait to see more from you!

Wishing you the best,
ShallowHouse




JenTep says...


It's nice to see it resonate with someone, reminds us we're not alone in these hardships. We all have our stories to tell and keep hidden away, I hope you're doing better!

As for my writing, I greatly appreciate the specific feedback! I didn't have the best writing education and I still have a lot of basics to learn. Thanks to you, I now comprehend what a independent clause is! I altered the story to better signify who was speaking, I know I can be confusing sometimes because you're right, I know who's always talking and forget you're not in my head.

Hopefully I can throw more on here, I figured out how to use the work computer for personal use. Now I have something to do on these 12 hour shifts! I'll try to balance the nasty thoughts, I don't like putting bad out into the world but sometimes I need to get these thoughts out.

I do like my bittersweet moments.

Thank you for everything, peace and blessings!
-J.T.




Education is education. We should learn everything and then choose which path to follow. Education is neither Eastern or Western; it is human.
— Malala