83 comments

Submitted on 11/14/2020

Categories: Drama Romance Speculative

This was supposed to be the happiest day of their lives. 

Isn’t it funny how, when you put emphasis on certain words, it can change the meaning of the sentence entirely? 

This was supposed to be the happiest day of their lives, meaning that out of all days in their (whoever they may be) lives, this one particular day was destined to be the happiest. 

This was supposed to be the happiest day of their lives. You could take that one in the way of something happened to make it the opposite of happy; something irrevocable and unwonted. Then again, it could be proving someone right, too. It could be following the description of people twirling in fields with daisy chains, not a care in the world. That would be a rather happy interpretation of the sentence, right? 

This was supposed to be the happiest day of their lives. 

There. That one. It’s the kicker. Hits you right below the rib cage and leaves you leaning on your bedpost, sinking to the soft carpet and curling into your heated blanket. Because your dream day has turned to a nightmare, blurry with falling ash instead of blooming roses. Because the happiest day of your life, the day when everything finally clicked together, is now the day when everything falls apart. 

This was supposed to be the happiest day of their lives; that one makes me think of a ruined wedding day, of broken vows, of someone proposing to their own partner in the middle of your reserved courtyard, of flying cake and no one knocking before they open the door. A stolen day. What was supposed to be for them now taken or, maybe, given to them. 

Really, the emphasis changes everything. 

What’ll this story be, though? A chosen happy day out of many others, or a day proven to be the best/worst? A day gone horribly wrong or a day gone well for the wrong people? 

None of the above. 

All of the above. 


It was different things for different people, as most things tend to be, and the beginning went like this: 


“Good morning!” 

A girl in a bright red jumpsuit greeted the people below, standing on her balcony and waving. Her dark hair was pulled back with a yellow ribbon and to one person on the streets, her outfit appeared to be a perfect ad for McDonald’s. He waved up to her and smiled, returning the hellos. 

“How are you today, Evangeline?” He knew he wasn’t supposed to talk to her until five o’clock, but it was easy to confuse the lines of what he could and couldn’t do all the time. He let things slip, now and then, and he had to hope that in the end it wouldn't mess him up. Evangeline smiled back and turned around to go back inside because she, unlike Sebastian, was much more careful in her ways. 

Things had to go well, you see, because this was the day when they would finally run off together. They had planned for months that seemed like years, every hour bleeding into centuries apart from each other. Silly, yeah, but also… what was there to fight for if not for love? Nothing was worth giving up the fireworks, the butterflies, the long walks and silent, not saying anything at all talks. 

To Sebastian, Evangeline was the only time he wanted to follow. 

To Evangeline, Sebastian was the clock ticking to match her own heartbeats. 

They’d been planning this, okay? 

This was supposed to be the happiest day of their lives. 


On the other side of town, however, in a coffee shop by the littered ocean shore, the beginning went like this: 


She misses the way he used to be 

He misses the way she used to smile

They aren’t sure what’s broken

But maybe it’s been that way for a while.

The shock of it all is messy 

Has them spinning circles in the sand

Where do you go in the dark

With no one to hold your hand? 

Staring at the clouds 

Making shapes when nothing’s there 

Take the soft light away 

Love looks different when stripped bare. 

Pink smiles hide blue days 

Close hands hide far minds

And the cars on the street 

Keep crossing blurred lines. 

She misses the way he used to be

Gave her baskets full of flowers 

He misses the way she used to smile 

To know they had more hours 

To sit together, do nothing at all 

To be the world and to see it 

To have a universe together 

Then to watch it burn and have to admit 

That it wasn’t a one side arson 

You helped to set it aflame 

He knows this and she hates the fact 

That though they’ve played it well

It was all a game. 

It’s not fair 

How they ended up 

An empty bowl

From filling cups. 

She misses the way he used to be

He misses the way she used to smile 

Neither of them can see the door

So I guess they’ll be here for a while. 


This was supposed to be the happiest day of their lives, and instead it seemed like they didn’t know why they were still having a day in their collective lives at all. 


Afternoon, back at the balcony apartment, Evangeline was getting ready to leave with Sebastian because unlike the couple at the coffee shop, she was so drawn into the idea of their future together that she couldn’t wait to leave. It was a ribbing curiosity, a marvelous and warm enchantment of body and mind. Evangeline knew in the back of her mind that she was essentially throwing one life down the toilet, but what did that matter when the new one was wild and free and brighter just because of one person? Who knew, she thought to herself as she pulled on her left boot, if Sebastian was such an influence in her reeducation could there be more lessons to be learned, taught by others along the road? 

She wanted out of:

 the house she’d grown up in. 

Off the:

 balcony that she had looked down off of, like a princess stuck in a castle, for too long. 

To be part of:

something bigger than herself. 

It was all close, too, closer than she had ever dreamed it would be. All the nights she spent staring at the posters in her room of people in her fairytale books were now rolled up, much like the posters themselves, and tucked away in memory lane. After all, what use was memory lane when soon enough she’d be skipping next to Sebastian down Making History Avenue? 

Evangeline pulled the suitcase out from under the dresser. It was full of clothes and notebooks and snacks she had taken from the kitchen because as much as she loved Sebastian, he wasn’t clothes or food or shelter, which was what she found in her writing. 

“To-day my prince will come,” she sang, “To-day we’ll meet again,” she picked up her bag and threw it gently onto her bed, “And away to his castle-” she stopped herself. “No, away to our castle, we’ll go.” 

“Evangeline!” There the prince was now! She grabbed the bag, draping the straps around her shoulders and pulling them tight. The balcony door squeaked as she opened it, her red and yellow outfit traded for a darker, more cohesive look. She was wanting to blend it with the shadows, not become one with the light. 

“Shh,” she began to slide through the bars of the balcony, “My aunts will hear you.” That was dumb because it was only five o’clock, not midnight, and everyone could hear everyone. For the sake of drama in a sleepy town, though, the neighbors feigned oblivion to the flight of Evangeline, lovebird extraordinaire. 


While one girl flew, the other fell. 

She was slipping and no one was there to catch her because in another world, not this one but another one, Sebastian had never come to meet Evangeline. He’d been smashed to smithereens by a semi truck and killed instantly, without a sound but a wordless scream escaping, vacuum-like, from his lastly parted lips. Evangeline had received the news from her Aunt Helen, one of the three sisters she lived with, who had swept upstairs and said, “That bloke you liked is dead, Leena. A big ole semi truck done come and whacked his head clear off. The paramedics called your phone, said you were the boy’s emergency contact or whatnot.” 

And Evangeline didn’t believe her aunt, in this other world. 

And Evangeline heard Sebastian’s voice calling her from outside the window, in this other world. 

And Evangeline was waiting for someone to catch her, in this other world. 

Only no one was there, and she met the sidewalk with a bone chilling kiss. 

It was supposed to be the happiest day of their lives. 


In this same world, mind you, this wild other dimension we know little and too much about, the coffee shop couple were not arguing. They were sleeping underneath the big tree down in the park, picnic blanket wrapped up around their shoulders like a cocoon. It was a happy day. Some might even call it the happiest because in this parallel place, they weren’t drifting apart, but instead realizing that the best kind of love was not always going to be fireworks. It could be the soft flickering of a home’s chimney, all lit up and beaming for the winter holidays. They realized love was not always going to be butterflies, either. It could be the way you look at someone while they do something simple, like watching the clouds or chopping up an onion. 


In this world, it was the happiest day of their lives. 


What’s the moral of this story, if you can call it that? Is it a testament to a scientific theory of multiple universes all bouncing around in the same heaven ordered chocolate box? Is it a warning, a history? 

No. 

It’s just a reminder that emphasis, 

Makes all the difference. 


One way, the story ended with a beginning, and the in the other: 

It was too late. 



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83 comments

I LOVED this story Rhondalise! I think you did a great job, and this doesn't seem like a brain-fried story to me! XD

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Rhondalise Mitza
02:39 Nov 15, 2020

Oh awesome, thanks for reading!

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Rhondalise Mitza
05:45 Nov 14, 2020

Warning: this may be a brain-fried edition of the story I wanted.

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Zilla Babbitt
15:28 Nov 14, 2020

I love how you define the different meanings of the prompt's sentence and then go on and use them all! This is a really beautiful creation, Rhonda. I enjoyed this part: "She wanted out of: the house she’d grown up in. Off the: balcony that she had looked down off of, like a princess stuck in a castle, for too long. To be part of: something bigger than herself." I'd suggest making your section breaks a little clearer, by indenting more or using asterisks or something. And you know I love the incorporation of lyrics or po...

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Rhondalise Mitza
16:40 Nov 14, 2020

Hi! Thanks for the feedback! So you'd just cut the poetry line entirely, correct? And I think it makes total sense to do that, like I said, this was the "hey, let's dump everything in one" cake of a story and too much sugar in a cake is GROSS! How would I tell the story of the coffee couple in place of the poem, though? Any suggestions are welcome and if not, I'll figure it out. :D

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Zilla Babbitt
16:39 Nov 15, 2020

I would, yeah. Well, you could write a scene of dialogue where they sit at a table and drink maple lattes and talk about love.

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Zilla Babbitt
14:10 Nov 14, 2020

FINALLY. I'm going to read this thoroughly in a few minutes :)

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Rhondalise Mitza
14:39 Nov 14, 2020

Awesome blossom don’t eat possum! :)

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13:23 Nov 14, 2020

First story in a while Rhonda! "unwonted." minor typo here--in the third paragraph. "Nothing was worth giving up the fireworks, the butterflies, the long walks and silent, not saying anything at all talks." Might want to consider hyphenating that last clause to fix the flow; "and silent not-saying-anything-at-all talks." "No more just king and queen" Try out "the" instead of "just"--it should clarify the meaning while holding rhythm scheme. "Restless parties They visit with hopes Of finding something To cut the uneasy ropes...

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Rhondalise Mitza
14:37 Nov 14, 2020

Hi, Leo! Yeah, thanks for pointing out the specific things that weren’t working because I wasn’t sure myself and now I can get to editing! Glad you liked... parts of it 😂 and soon you’ll like it as a whole. P.S Unwonted is a word of its own.

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14:43 Nov 14, 2020

Unwonted is a word??? No! I was not aware of this! I must add it to my vocabulary! *dictionary noises*

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Rhondalise Mitza
15:06 Nov 14, 2020

Yeah! So it means unprecedented or literally unwanted, can also mean weird and out of the ordinary. If you read any Charles Dickens books, you’ll see a lot of “unwonted circumstances.”

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15:16 Nov 14, 2020

Oh nice! I'm familiar with "wont" but not it's more advanced form. I've actually never read anything by Charles Dickens... ;)

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Rhondalise Mitza
18:04 Nov 14, 2020

Oh boy, well, I recommend you do!

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A.dot Ram
19:45 Nov 25, 2020

This line is its own universe: Close hands hide far minds. Very interesting exploration, says someone who likes when things get meta, and peaking into parallel universes.

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Amaya 🦋
02:48 Nov 17, 2020

the inside of being buried alive? (from ur bio) alise, maybe I'm stupid but i don't understand?

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Rhondalise Mitza
03:03 Nov 17, 2020

It's just a really dumb metaphor, don't worry about it!

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Amaya 🦋
03:36 Nov 17, 2020

okay :)

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Scout Tahoe
22:44 Nov 15, 2020

Poetry, it is. Loved this so much. It's formatted creatively. I never thought about the emphasis of that one little sentence. Also, the rhyming poetry part was lovely. Probably my favorite part. :) This was fabulous.

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15:58 Nov 15, 2020

Hiyee, Rhonda, I have a feeling you might specialise in this profession. So, any tips on how to irritate your elder brother to death?

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Rhondalise Mitza
16:06 Nov 15, 2020

Oi, well, I just have a younger brother but let's see. You could... does he have a girlfriend? You could tell her (little, not offensive) secrets every time she comes over to the house.

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17:24 Nov 15, 2020

🤣🤣 I wish!! Lol, I do see him texting someone on Instance all the time, lol

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Rhondalise Mitza
17:30 Nov 15, 2020

.... hmmm, that could work. My brother had an imaginary girlfriend from Canada and we set up this whole thing to trick his friends into thinking she was real.

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17:31 Nov 15, 2020

Lolllll, nice! Did it work?

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Rhondalise Mitza
17:38 Nov 15, 2020

Yeah, for a while!

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R. K.
01:39 Nov 15, 2020

Okay so, this took the chocolate cake! Your writing style is the distinctiest of distinct and it's so poetic yet also so realistic and heart-touching. Hands down, so many authors have been coming up with unique elements lately so I loved your emphasis concept, one of my favourites. This is looking to me like a shortlist.

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Rhondalise Mitza
02:38 Nov 15, 2020

Ahh thank you so much! I cut down part of the story after several people recommended doing so I'm glad it still was the same story without the extra parts! I was worried it wouldn't be cohesive/coherent the way I'd written it but yay, it made some sense!

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Amany ✍🏻
17:40 Nov 14, 2020

Wow wow WOW. No matter how many times I read your AMAZING AND BEAUTIFUL AND POETIC (even without the poetry) stories, I'm always pleasantly surprised when I come onto your page. I mean to interpret the prompt like this, to simply write this amazingly...Wow. Rhondalise, you've captured love and tragedy, happiness and heartbreak, and all in the same story. You are the next Shakespeare-no the FIRST Rhondalise Mitza. I don't think I can write on this prompt anymore. There's nothing I didn't like about this. Keep writing please, your stories alwa...

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Rhondalise Mitza
18:05 Nov 14, 2020

💖💖💖💖💖💖💖thank you, Amany!!

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07:16 Nov 14, 2020

Wow!!! This Story was exceptional!. I just joined Reedsy and I have to say, I'm glad I did. I didn't want this story to end, I wanted to keep on reading, I was addicted. I was so beautiful and so thought provoking. Happiness and Sadness graceful displayed, through a view of what could happen, or what might happen. I am definitely going to be reading your other stories. Great!, Great! Great Piece of writing Rhondalise. Thank you so much for sharing.

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Rhondalise Mitza
14:39 Nov 14, 2020

Hi Don! Welcome to Reedsy and thank you so much for reading, I’m glad you liked this one, it was on the rocks whether I should post or not!

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14:51 Nov 14, 2020

I'm so glad you posted it!! It was so great. I honestly felt so much joy reading it ( the kind of excitement that makes you wish it was a book). Your writing is really good! :)

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Kathrin Meeuwsen
17:05 Nov 29, 2020

Woooow! I love this so much! This is awesome! This is a very descriptive story that draws you in instantly! Thanks for writing! :D

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Keerththan 😀
09:07 Nov 29, 2020

Awesome story. I really loved the short lines in the middle. They made they story move more faster and interesting. Amazingly done. Enjoyed reading it. Keep writing. Would you mind reading my new story “Childish dream?”

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I enjoyed very much, cant wait to see the next story! :)

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Claire Wingfield
18:35 Nov 25, 2020

I like it! It's dark, but in a good way, a fun way.

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Amazing story!!! The structure is so unique and I love how you show that an emphasis on one word of a sentence can change its meaning entirely. I'm excited to see what you write next!

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Lawrence Nkwazi
05:18 Nov 23, 2020

I like the fusion of thought and grammar. Advanced. Poetic and flowing.

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Kylie Rudolf
03:17 Nov 23, 2020

I love this story and how it brings up all matters of love. Amazing!

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Adrian Solorio
18:44 Nov 22, 2020

Super creative! I really liked the poetic elements in the cafe. Bravo!

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