65 comments

Submitted on 07/11/2020

Categories: General

My head spins in the cold, as I sit on the steps in front of the restaurant. I refused to wear a coat, even if I died in the chilly December air.

I'd come out as soon as possible, in case she came early. Maybe she'd need my jacket.

I put my arm around it reassuringly.

My heart pounds against my chest, as I close my eyes, shaking away the image of the last time I'd seen her. She'd be mad if I thought about it now.

Rubbing my fingers against each other, I watch my breaths come out in puffs of white. She'd come today. She'd come to me.

I imagine her hands, soft against the glass she'd put it upon.

We'd be together today.

Please come quick. I need you here.

I wish I was there when you needed me the most. I wish I would have been able to see you then.

It’s fine. I’ll be there today.

“One, two, three, four,” I mumble to myself. She’ll come. Of course, she’ll come. “One, two, three.”

I remember the first time I’d glimpsed her face, as she danced across the room. I’d seen her feet first.

And then I’d laughed, thinking it was the stupidest thing in the world.

My mind flashes back to something more recent. It feels like pieces of white light, carrying me away, into the deep depths of the dark.

“Look into the mirror, Jack!” Arthur had pleaded, as I stared at my hollowed-out eyes. “She’s not coming back here! Try to understand!”

She’s coming today, though. I’m going to prove him wrong. 

But even as I think that, her face blurs in my vision, just like it had when I’d read her letter to me. 

Dear Jack, 

I’m sorry. I’m so sorry. Please forgive me.

It was a mistake.

A tear had stained the bottom corner. My tear.

She’d sent it exactly one year ago. December ninth, 1997. My birthday.

And the moment I’d read it, my arms went limp, letting the piece of paper float to the floor, a gust of wind pushing it toward the fire, where it lay to rest, burning away slowly, until there was nothing left.

“I don’t forgive you!” I shouted, my nails digging into my skin. “I’ll never forgive you!”

My arms slashed across the table, accidentally knocking off her picture, as it crashed down onto the rough carpet, the glass cracking into a thousand shards.

I don’t remember if they were the shards that broke this heart, or if they were pieces that grew apart, fighting and failing, to find the hope that they’d lost.

“I hate you!” I screamed. “I hate you! You-”

Stop. Don’t go there. Don’t go there now, Jack.

But I can’t stop myself, as I replay the scene, and again and again, and again.

I see myself as a scared boy, crying for the first time in fifteen years. I see my broken eyes, searching for another answer. And then I see my expression.

Hate. I looked like a monster. 

I sit on my bed, head in hands. “One, two, three, four. One, two, three,” I had whispered to myself. The words always soothed the buzz that the quiet tended to have. But today, they only angered me more. 

“One, two, three, four. One, two, three,” to them she danced. Leaping and dipping, running and skipping, with a grace that only very few could summon. 

She swept through it all, a smile plastered across her face all the way. But there was also something pained behind it.

Something only a fool would ignore. 

Something I didn’t see.

All of a sudden, I realize that I’m standing, squeezing the denim of my jacket against my chest, threateningly. I don’t know when it had happened.

Stop, Jack. Don’t. 

Breathing heavily, I sit back down. 

Turning around, I notice the restaurant lights closed. But it's only eight-thirty.

How could Larry have locked up already? I lift my wrist to my face, squinting to make sure I’m seeing clearly. 

It’s half-past eleven.

I groan, the empty feeling in my chest arisen once again.

Grabbing my key, I shove it into the lock, waiting to hear the satisfying click of the door.

As I enter the room, I feel the wind rush in, prompting the song of the tiny bells that hung above the entrance. The microwave growls, the red light still blinking. 

I walk over to it, about to shut it off when I hear the stairs creak.

The owner walks down the steps. 

“Reese,” he calls to me. I look at my shoes. My boss had been having a bad day, and I didn’t want his frustration directed at me. I didn’t have the time for it. “What’re ye still doin’ here?”

“Erm… well I noticed the microwave on, so I thought-”

“That you’d switch it off,” he finishes. I sigh in relief. “Ye couldn’ be a worse liar, son.”

Glancing up at him, I notice the slight smile on his face. “I d-don’t know what you’re talking about, s-sir.”

He plonks down onto a bench set on the edge of the room, his fingers tapping against the light wood. “Come sit here.”

“I think your mistaken, s-sir-”

He cuts me off. “But I know I’m not.”

My mouth opens, ready to argue, until I think the better of it. I rub my eyes, resisting the urge to yawn.

It’s late. But it doesn't matter. She would be here any minute now. Any second now. 

“She’s not gonna come, kid,” he says, his eyes softening. His smile was gone.

I shake my head, rapidly, looking anywhere but him. No one believes me. No one at all.

I’ve heard this same conversation too many times to count, and I’m tired. So very tired. 

Something sad floods his eyes. Worry. Hopelessness. Fear. 

It isn’t a look that one usually sees. And it’s the look that makes my head spin, as I question everything I’ve done so far. I slam my hand against the wall. 

I don’t see Howard trying to stop me, as he pulls at my shoulders. 

“She will come,” I mutter. She will.

He stops, pulling me back, gently. Letting me lean against the wall, he looks me in the eye and says the words I dread the most. “She’s dead, Jack. Sadie is dead.”

I cried that night. I cried for someone who could never come. I cried for someone who’d gone too far for me to catch up. 

And the tears I cried never dried out.

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65 comments

Laura Clark
06:30 Jul 12, 2020

Hi Eve! Here as requested! I really enjoyed this - love the ending and the heartbreak that it reveals. For next time, just keep an eye on your tenses as there were parts that I wasn’t sure about when bits were happening. I love the repeated number sequence to calm the protagonist down and I really liked the interaction between him and his boss. That gave really great insight into both characters. Great job- keep writing!

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Eve Falls
06:32 Jul 12, 2020

Thank you! I'll make sure to look out for my tenses in future stories!

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M K
17:26 Jul 13, 2020

Emotional and heartbreaking, loved it.

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Eve Falls
00:35 Jul 14, 2020

Thank you so much!

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Grace Jarvis
16:28 Jul 13, 2020

Dang.. that was a great read. I kinda thought she was dead and it sounded like a suicide note, but I kept reading. I wanted to. Then, the ending omgoodness my heart 😭 ♥️ Could you possibly provide me some feedback??

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Eve Falls
00:35 Jul 14, 2020

Thank you and sure!

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Courtney Stuart
15:11 Jul 13, 2020

this was such a heart-breaking story. i loved all the small details you put in that made this story more emotional, like how he wasn't wearing his jacket because he wanted to give it to her just in case, as well as the counting. i especially loved your last two lines! very sad :( but i think it was still a very good way to end the story. great job!

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Eve Falls
00:33 Jul 14, 2020

Thank you so much!

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Jessie Nice
13:17 Jul 13, 2020

How tragic yet beautifully written. I throughly enjoyed this piece. Well done, the suspense gripped me until the end.

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Eve Falls
13:29 Jul 13, 2020

Thank you!

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Khizra Aslam
11:30 Jul 13, 2020

Hey, i saw that you followed me so I decided to read your story as well. A poignant piece of writing. Especially the ending was too emotional. Loved it ❤

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Eve Falls
11:48 Jul 13, 2020

Thank you! That's so kind of you!

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Sophia Rose
10:25 Jul 11, 2020

This is amazing and so beautifully written. I don't usually like sad endings but I like this one.

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Eve Falls
11:22 Jul 11, 2020

Thank you! Comments like these always make my day!

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Nandan Prasad
08:39 Jul 11, 2020

Wow, this is such a wonderful story! So beautifully moving. The narration is fabulous and really tugs at the heartstrings. The ending is so sad and good, especially the last few lines. Very well-written! Also, would you mind checking out my stories if it's not too much trouble? Thanks and good luck!

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Eve Falls
11:21 Jul 11, 2020

Thank you so much! Of course, I don't mind!

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08:00 Jul 11, 2020

Very good story

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Eve Falls
11:20 Jul 11, 2020

Thanks!

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Batool Hussain
04:16 Jul 11, 2020

Oh my God! This is both so beautiful and heartbreaking at the same time. I love it:)

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Eve Falls
04:18 Jul 11, 2020

Thank you so much! That means a lot to me!

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Batool Hussain
13:08 Jul 12, 2020

You're welcome! Mind checking out my new story and giving your views on it? Thanks.

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Deborah Angevin
07:11 Jul 17, 2020

Hi Eve, turns out I have read your story but for some reason forgot to comment on it! This is such a well-written piece; I dig the ending!

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Eve Falls
09:14 Jul 17, 2020

Thank you!

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16:41 Jul 16, 2020

"I cried for someone who would never come" that's just sad and heartbreaking. Great story

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Eve Falls
01:35 Jul 17, 2020

Thank you so much!

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This is sooo amazing!! The end was so sad; you are so good at this!I got kind of confused here and there, but then I am more used to reading on a page than on a screen.. Could you check mine out...I'm new to Reedsy and I'm hoping to get some feedback ASAP.

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Eve Falls
12:28 Jul 16, 2020

Thank you!!! Sure, I'll check it out!

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Sav G
02:44 Jul 16, 2020

Love the emotions through the story. The characters were portrayed very well and I loved the repeated counting! Please feel free to check out my story as well as I am new to Reedsy:) No pressure

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Eve Falls
04:39 Jul 16, 2020

Thank you so much! I would love to check out your stories!

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Daisy Bazeley
00:26 Jul 15, 2020

the heartbreak in this is real, my lord. good job!

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Eve Falls
02:31 Jul 15, 2020

Thaaank you!

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T.m. Kay
18:34 Jul 14, 2020

Such an emotional story. Great job!

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Quill Porter
13:08 Jul 14, 2020

I love how you wrote his denial and thoughts. Do check on your tenses but I think you're good to go. Great job!

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Eve Falls
13:13 Jul 14, 2020

Thank you!

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Adah M.m
09:38 Jul 14, 2020

You do know how to break a heart. This is an amazing story, you had my heart going through a rollercoaster of emotions

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Eve Falls
11:31 Jul 14, 2020

Thank you!

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Elsa jude Gazzea
08:14 Jul 14, 2020

Hi Eve, What a gorgeous story. Your narration was pure class and the characters were fabulous. What a vividly heartbreaking and beautiful tale! Well done! I would love it if you could check out my stories too!!! XElsa.

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Eve Falls
11:31 Jul 14, 2020

Thank you, Elsa! Sure, I'll check out yours!

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Jn Park
08:25 Jul 13, 2020

Oh, no! Every 'she will come' sentences made my heart ache. I feel bad for him. This story is short and simple but I can never be impressed more. Wish I can write like you! :D

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Eve Falls
10:24 Jul 13, 2020

Awwww, thank you!

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