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Sad Fiction Romance

The canister had always been there, rolling around at the bottom of his duffle bag. Whenever he packed, his fingers would graze over the smooth, gray top, but he’d never take it out, never look directly at it. Sometimes when he unpacked, the canister would get wound up in a dirty sock or wedged inside a pocket, and it would come up with a handful of laundry as he went to chuck it into the machine. Whenever this happened, Jake would carefully retrieve the black cylinder and tuck it back into the bottom corner of his bag. 

That’s where it belonged. That’s where it stayed. For years. 

It had been so long, he no longer remembered what was on the film, what pictures could be frozen there on the tiny strip of celluloid. 

When Maggie died, Jake was lost. He left his job, gave up their apartment, packed a few things into his duffle bag, and left town. He gave up on himself, letting his hair grow long and his beard grow white.

He drove the highways aimlessly, stoic behind the wheel of their beloved ‘69 Charger. Maggie loved that car more than most things and having her gone, looking to his right and seeing her seat empty was like a dagger to the side every time he looked. In the late afternoons, he could imagine her there; small hand hanging out of the window, fingers surfing on the wind. He could see the golden light of sunset in her fiery hair, illuminating her pale, beautiful face like an angel. If he wanted it badly enough, Jake could reach across the seats and take her hand, close his fingers around the apparition, feel her close. 

But when reality returned, it hit hard. 

His tears never seemed to stop, falling hard like a downpour on the windshield. The back of his hand wasn’t as efficient as the wipers to blast the drops of salty pain away, but it was all he had. When it was bad, he pulled over, caution lights blinking on the side of the road until the worst was over.  

Jake stuck to the smaller towns, enjoying the feel of an old-timey Main Street. He liked to see the houses built close together, their covered porches inviting neighbors and strangers alike to sit and talk. He loved the old mom and pop stores, their windows filled with enticing seasonal displays. He told the time by these windows, counting months with glittered paper shamrocks or tiny American flags. 

Mostly he floated. There was nowhere to be, no destination waiting for him at the end of the road. He slept in the car, stretching his long legs across the backseat and using her old gray hoodie as a pillow. Her smell had long ago faded, but if he tried hard enough, Jake could remember the faint hint of coconut that always seemed to spring from her skin. She liked to tease him saying that being from Florida meant that everything about her was tropical, even her scent. He didn’t care why she smelled like she did, what shampoo or lotion combination made her so delicious, he just knew that she was. 

Maggie had been the light of and in his life and now he wandered in the shadows without her. 

At night, with passing headlights rolling across the roof, Jake would conjure up a dream of her. It was routine now. He started with her hair, that flaming red mess of curls that tangled between his fingers, catching even when he tried to be smooth with his touches. Her eyes came next, faded denim blue beneath pale lashes that were almost blonde in the sunlight. They were his favorite; clear and true and filled with nothing but love when they lingered on his face. 

He’d fall asleep like that, imagining her features, recreating her in his mind. Some nights she would sneak into his dreams and he’d curl in on himself, loving the fantasy. Other times there was nothing behind his eyes, no comforting smile, no warm laugh, no touch from her delicate hand. 

Those nights were cold and sleep was far from his grasp. The worst part was, those nights were coming more often lately. It seemed harder for him to invoke her spirit, to remember the curve of her cheek, the pitch of her nose. 

Maggie was fading away. 

He worked odd jobs when he felt like it or when his wallet was empty and the gas tank was low. He was strong and tall, and construction work came easy to him, though there was no passion in it for him. It was just a day or two out in the sun, tanning his big arms and filling the car back up. A few bosses would ask him to stay on, but he never accepted. There were roads left to travel, stars yet to sleep beneath. He made a few friends along the way, but none would ever stick; it wasn’t worth the effort anyway. He knew he wasn’t good for anything without her, wasn’t someone anyone would want to know. He was just a traveler now, a ghost like her.

The desert was dry and sweat was beading on his chest and brow. He beat the drops away but they came right back, teasing him like some wicked dream. With the sun bright in the distance, he squinted at the road ahead and marveled at the steam coming up from the pavement. Heat lines danced before his eyes and the white lines blurred. His vision was glossy; his eyes were stinging. 

Reaching into the backseat, Jake dug into the duffle bag and fished around for a clean shirt. He needed something to wipe the day away, to clear his head once more before the mirage on the side of the road took over. 

Fumbling, his fingers chanced upon the canister and Jake recoiled. He never pulled it out, never looked at it lest it disappear forever. His heart was racing, head pounding from the heat. He reached again and the film can slipped into his palm. His fingers closed around it and Jake brought it out for the first time, holding it tight and pressing his fist to his chest. 

Maggie was inside, he knew. 

Maggie’s gorgeous smile. Her big front teeth and ears that stuck out just a bit too much on the tops. Her freckles, her spirit, her love. 

He clutched the can and chewed his lip, biting back the tears, fighting the sweat and pain. 

Two towns later he found a place to develop the film and he sat outside on a weather-worn bench, counting down the hour in his mind. The street was like a hundred he’d seen; people milling about under the mid-morning sky, small storefronts crowded together, their colorful awnings shading the sidewalk. 

It seemed nice, yet like every other place: empty without her.

When time was up, Jake went back inside, ducking beneath the bells that jingled on the door. He thanked the clerk and held the envelope tight in his hand. 

It sat on the passenger's seat as he drove away, unopened, the photos unseen. 

It leaned up against the ketchup bottle at the diner as Jake ate his burger, the pictures still a mystery.  

Jake stared at the packet as he sipped his coffee, dragging up the will to set the images free. He’d been running from them for so long, from the ache of whatever was inside, he was terrified now to open it. Afraid he would break down when he saw her face, that he would scream at the world around him when her ghost returned, crisp and beautiful, solid in his hands. 

He’d been running too long. He was tired. 

Jake took a breath and opened the envelope, tipping it over to let the photographs spill out onto the tabletop. 

When he looked down, his eyes blurred behind thick tears. Every photo was of him. Every snapshot was a random moment he’d shared with Maggie, but all from her point of view; all an angle of him. His smile, his crooked nose, his shaggy blond hair, his hands, his lips. It was all him. 

For so long, he’d been holding onto her, and all along she’d been holding onto him. 

May 03, 2022 16:51

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382 comments

Juliana Divas
17:50 Nov 19, 2023

I want to testify what Dr Ughulu did for me. I did everything I could do to bring my partner back but he didn't come back he was with someone else luckily I saw a comment which directed me to a very good powerful and kind man called Dr Ughulu that helped me bring my partner back and now he loves me so much more than ever i am so happy with life now thank you so much Dr Ughulu, I'm really appreciate you for bringing back my partner to me in my life, all these years has been very sad for me now I have been the most happiest woman in this worl...

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Juliana Divas
17:50 Nov 19, 2023

I want to testify what Dr Ughulu did for me. I did everything I could do to bring my partner back but he didn't come back he was with someone else luckily I saw a comment which directed me to a very good powerful and kind man called Dr Ughulu that helped me bring my partner back and now he loves me so much more than ever i am so happy with life now thank you so much Dr Ughulu, I'm really appreciate you for bringing back my partner to me in my life, all these years has been very sad for me now I have been the most happiest woman in this wo...

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Rose Vicki
11:53 Nov 18, 2023

My boyfriend broke up with me 7 months ago, because he felt i was cheating on him with a male friend of mine, i tried all i could to explain to him but he paid deaf ears, i was emotionally devastated because i really loved him until i saw a post on the internet about PRIEST OSAS who helps people gain back their lost lover, at first i doubted if it was real because i never believed in such things but i decided to give him a try, I contacted him and he told me what to do and i did it then he did a Love spell for me The process of the spell to ...

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Love Spell
05:50 Nov 18, 2023

I can’t believe that with just a contact to Dr. Salem, I got my ex husband back. I had read some stuff about Manifest Temple before I contacted him but I didn’t know that all those stuff were so accurate until I got my husband back, After getting my ex husband back I taught it wise to share my testimony with everyone on this website that how Dr. Salem was able to get my husband back with his powerful reunion love spell. That rebuild my broken marriage. All my hope has been fully restored and am happy to share my experience to everyone. Do fe...

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Love Spell
05:49 Nov 18, 2023

I can’t believe that with just a contact to Dr. Salem, I got my ex husband back. I had read some stuff about Manifest Temple before I contacted him but I didn’t know that all those stuff were so accurate until I got my husband back, After getting my ex husband back I taught it wise to share my testimony with everyone on this website that how Dr. Salem was able to get my husband back with his powerful reunion love spell. That rebuild my broken marriage. All my hope has been fully restored and am happy to share my experience to everyone. Do fe...

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Titus Cabido
01:10 Nov 17, 2023

I`m happy sharing this experiences to testify about a great and powerful spell caster, my husband left me and the kids for 2 weeks when I called him he didn’t pick up when he came back home the 3rd week he told me he wanted a divorce I was so sad I cried all night he left again I was so lonely the next day I was searching for something online when I found a spell caster called DR PETER who have helped so many people with their problems so I contacted him with my problems he told me it will take 24 hours and my husband will be back to me I di...

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Titus Cabido
01:10 Nov 17, 2023

I`m happy sharing this experiences to testify about a great and powerful spell caster, my husband left me and the kids for 2 weeks when I called him he didn’t pick up when he came back home the 3rd week he told me he wanted a divorce I was so sad I cried all night he left again I was so lonely the next day I was searching for something online when I found a spell caster called DR PETER who have helped so many people with their problems so I contacted him with my problems he told me it will take 24 hours and my husband will be back to me I di...

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Titus Cabido
01:10 Nov 17, 2023

I`m happy sharing this experiences to testify about a great and powerful spell caster, my husband left me and the kids for 2 weeks when I called him he didn’t pick up when he came back home the 3rd week he told me he wanted a divorce I was so sad I cried all night he left again I was so lonely the next day I was searching for something online when I found a spell caster called DR PETER who have helped so many people with their problems so I contacted him with my problems he told me it will take 24 hours and my husband will be back to me I di...

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Tina Edd
12:47 Nov 16, 2023

I want to tell the world about the great and mighty spell caster called Priest Osas my husband was cheating on me and no longer committed to me and our kids when i asked him what the problem was he told me he has fell out of love for me and wanted a divorce i was so heart broken i cried all day and night but he left home i was looking for something online when i saw an article how the great and powerful Priest Osas have helped so many in similar situation like mine he email address was there so i sent him an email telling him about my proble...

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Tina Edd
12:47 Nov 16, 2023

I want to tell the world about the great and mighty spell caster called Priest Osas my husband was cheating on me and no longer committed to me and our kids when i asked him what the problem was he told me he has fell out of love for me and wanted a divorce i was so heart broken i cried all day and night but he left home i was looking for something online when i saw an article how the great and powerful Priest Osas have helped so many in similar situation like mine he email address was there so i sent him an email telling him about my proble...

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Tina Edd
12:47 Nov 16, 2023

I want to tell the world about the great and mighty spell caster called Priest Osas my husband was cheating on me and no longer committed to me and our kids when i asked him what the problem was he told me he has fell out of love for me and wanted a divorce i was so heart broken i cried all day and night but he left home i was looking for something online when i saw an article how the great and powerful Priest Osas have helped so many in similar situation like mine he email address was there so i sent him an email telling him about my proble...

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Tina Edd
12:47 Nov 16, 2023

I want to tell the world about the great and mighty spell caster called Priest Osas my husband was cheating on me and no longer committed to me and our kids when i asked him what the problem was he told me he has fell out of love for me and wanted a divorce i was so heart broken i cried all day and night but he left home i was looking for something online when i saw an article how the great and powerful Priest Osas have helped so many in similar situation like mine he email address was there so i sent him an email telling him about my proble...

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Vee Lavinia
05:21 Nov 11, 2023

I can’t believe that with just a contact to Dr. Salem, I got my ex husband back. I had read some stuff about Manifest Temple before I contacted him but I didn’t know that all those stuff were so accurate until I got my husband back, After getting my ex husband back I taught it wise to share my testimony with everyone on this website that how Dr. Salem was able to get my husband back with his powerful reunion love spell. That rebuild my broken marriage. All my hope has been fully restored and am happy to share my experience to everyone. Do fe...

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Olivia Bolton
12:39 Nov 07, 2023

GREAT NEWS... This testimony is worth sharing to the world. I am here to tell the world of the good works of Dr BALBOSA. My name is Olivia Bolton and I am from the UK.. My man left me and my kids for another older woman. It was not so easy for me...I love my husband so much and I did not lose hope and I kept praying and believing. Finally, my prayers were answered…i searched online for a spell caster to help me unite me and my lover back forever and I saw so many testimonies of how DR BALBOSA has helped so many people online and I decided t...

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Olivia Bolton
13:07 Nov 03, 2023

GREAT NEWS... This testimony is worth sharing to the world. I am here to tell the world of the good works of Dr BALBOSA. My name is Olivia Bolton and I am from the UK.. My man left me and my kids for another older woman. It was not so easy for me...I love my husband so much and I did not lose hope and I kept praying and believing. Finally, my prayers were answered…i searched online for a spell caster to help me unite me and my lover back forever and I saw so many testimonies of how DR BALBOSA has helped so many people online and I decided t...

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Love Spell
14:26 Nov 01, 2023

Dr Salem I want to start first by saying a big “thank you” to you . There are a bunch of nuts out there just trying to make a fast buck, but you are genuine! I prayed before I went online that God would send me exactly where I needed to go to find help for my problems concerning my love life.. And I mean I went directly to your site and felt it was the place I needed to be. now my family is reunited and my lover is back to me with masses of love. I’m forever grateful! Dr. Salem is legitimate and his gift is for real. Of that I am certain, Th...

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Love Spell
14:26 Nov 01, 2023

Dr Salem I want to start first by saying a big “thank you” to you . There are a bunch of nuts out there just trying to make a fast buck, but you are genuine! I prayed before I went online that God would send me exactly where I needed to go to find help for my problems concerning my love life.. And I mean I went directly to your site and felt it was the place I needed to be. now my family is reunited and my lover is back to me with masses of love. I’m forever grateful! Dr. Salem is legitimate and his gift is for real. Of that I am certain, Th...

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Tineka Howell
08:06 Oct 27, 2023

I can’t believe that with just a contact to Dr. Salem, I got my ex husband back. I had read some stuff about Manifest Temple before I contacted him but I didn’t know that all those stuff were so accurate until I got my husband back, After getting my ex husband back I taught it wise to share my testimony with everyone on this website that how Dr. Salem was able to get my husband back with his powerful reunion love spell. That rebuild my broken marriage. All my hope has been fully restored and am happy to share my experience to everyone. Do fe...

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Tineka Howell
05:22 Oct 22, 2023

I can’t believe that with just a contact to Dr. Salem, I got my ex husband back. I had read some stuff about Manifest Temple before I contacted him but I didn’t know that all those stuff were so accurate until I got my husband back, After getting my ex husband back I taught it wise to share my testimony with everyone on this website that how Dr. Salem was able to get my husband back with his powerful reunion love spell. That rebuild my broken marriage. All my hope has been fully restored and am happy to share my experience to everyone. Do fe...

Reply

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Tina Edd
21:55 Oct 04, 2023

I want to tell the world about the great and mighty spell caster called Priest Osas my husband was cheating on me and no longer committed to me and our kids when i asked him what the problem was he told me he has fell out of love for me and wanted a divorce i was so heart broken i cried all day and night but he left home i was looking for something online when i saw an article how the great and powerful Priest Osas have helped so many in similar situation like mine he email address was there so i sent him an email telling him about my proble...

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