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General

"Not every mistake deserves a consequence. Sometimes the only thing it deserves is forgiveness-" Colleen Hoover.

"Would you like to tell me why you're here, Miss Valencia?"

Try therapy, they said. It would help, they said. I didn't need therapy; I needed to talk to someone.

It was sad that I had to pay someone to listen to me.

People suck.

"Can you keep a secret, Doc?"

I expect her to look intrigued. Sadly, it doesn't seem like it's the first time she's heard that line. She gives me a blank look and I roll my eyes. She could have at least tried to humor me.

"You're not funny, Val. You think you are, but you're not." Someone told me that once.

I don't think I'm funny, but having a sense of humor prevents people from trying to pry into my life.

A ripple in time,

A cause and effect,

One thing you wish you could change but you can't,

We take things for granted,

Without realizing how important they are.

"Her life was important. But I didn't want her to feel like she was living for me."

She doesn't ask me who I'm referring to, she just waits for me to continue. I don't know why but this makes me feel oddly comfortable like I can take my time with this.

Suzy smiles,

Not because she means it,

It barely ever reaches her eyes,

She realizes she doesn't want to get away for a bit,

She doesn't ever want to come back.

"Most of her smiles were fake, but her real smile was breathtaking. I wanted her to smile that way all the time. Wherever she is, I hope she smiles that way."

She drinks,

Not because she wants to feel high,

But because she wants to get away,

It's funny how she thinks it's different,

It isn't, but she doesn't know that.

"She called me all the time when things went wrong. I don't think life is fair to anyone, but I don't think it was particularly fair to her. Usually she was drunk, and when that happened, there were two ways it could go, the upbeat drunk or the sulky drunk. It just mattered what day you caught her. I knew it had been a horrible day, I just didn't have the strength to be around her. I know how horrible it sounds, but I really needed a break. I needed to let go of her just for the night and then I'd call her the next day. But she wasn't there the next day."

She drinks a little at first,

One more glass and she'll stop,

That's what she tells herself,

It's not the truth,

She knows saying it's a lie will be a big understatement.

"I lied. It wasn't usually. It was always. She was always drunk. But things weren't always like that. My mother used to tell me no one could make me inferior without my consent. I don't think that's true. I think we all have our moments of weakness and that we contribute to the way other people feel about themselves. What do you think?" I ask her.

She looks at me and says, "I think we're also responsible for the way we feel."

Of course, I know that! That just wasn't the question. But since I have no one else to talk to, I continue.

She drowns in it,

A glass after another,

Her resistance is wearing thin,

But she won't stop,

She keeps going.

"I need to let her out because she's at the back of my mind. I hear her voice every time I do something. 'Can you keep a secret?' she asked over the phone. I could hear the noises in the background and the slur in her voice. She was at a bar, and she was drunk.

I think of all the things she would have said if I didn't say, 'Go home, Suzy. We'll talk tomorrow.'

When she said, 'What if we can't?' I thought she was being dramatic and I wasn't in the mood. I wanted one night to not have to clean up after her."

She knows she shouldn't,

But she doesn't care,

It's helping her so the consequences don't matter,

She solves the problem,

But she doesn't think.

"She didn't solve the problem though. I don't think she meant for it to get that far. I don't think things would have gotten that far if I had taken her home. What if it's because of the mistake I made that she's gone? What if these are the consequences of what I've done?"

I don't ask for her input here, but she gives it to me anyway.

"Not every mistake deserves a consequence. Sometimes, the only thing it deserves is forgiveness. Forgive yourself, Valencia."

Forgive myself? How could I?

Life is funny that way,

No one remembers her as anything more than an alcoholic,

That's if they remember her at all,

Many people don't,

But life still goes on.

"She wasn't just an alcoholic though. She was so much more than that, but we broke her. Her parents abandoned her and I left her when she needed me the most.

I remember her though, the real her. She drank a lot, practically all the time, but while everyone saw 'Suzy the broken girl' or 'Suzy the alcoholic', she was always 'Suzy, the girl with a storm in her eyes and the most beautiful smile on her face' to me.

I promised myself that as long as I was on this earth, she'd always have someone to remember her."

Everything mocked me,

The sun seemed to shine brighter,

The stars seemed to sparkle more,

And the flowers bloomed brilliantly,

But she wasn't here to see it.

"What if you made a new promise to yourself today?" She asks. I wait for her to elaborate because I finally feel lighter. I've gotten everything out.

"What if you promised to move on."

The idea seemed absurd and way too easy. It didn't get to be so easy when it was a problem I had been tackling for so long.

I don't believe we save each other as human beings,

I'd like to believe we do,

But that doesn't make things easier,

Because it puts more pressure on us,

I wasn't able to save her.

"Moving on doesn't mean you let go of her. It means you accept that she's gone and it wasn't your fault. Sometimes we worry over things that are out of our control when we could leave it up to God."

It's easier to believe God doesn't exist,

Especially when you're going through pain,

But what's wrong with hope,

What's wrong with a little bit of light,

When you're surrounded by darkness.

"I didn't want her to live for me. She's not here, but I know she would want me to live. She would want me to live for me; she wouldn't want me to just exist."

August 21, 2020 21:28

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98 comments

Deborah Angevin
23:47 Aug 24, 2020

A powerful story about forgiveness and addiction. I really like the italicised part throughout the story, Doubra; it adds so much more emotion to the plotline! Great job!

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Doubra Akika
23:49 Aug 24, 2020

Thank you so much!

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Kristin Neubauer
19:34 Aug 24, 2020

This is AMAZING, Doubra! On every level. The story itself, your subtlety and nuance in writing about such sensitive topics, the contrast between the inner dialogue (which was so beautiful that it was a poem!) .... and I loved the humor at the beginning. I'm studying to be a therapist myself now, and the first exchange made me smile. Oh, and also opening with a quote. I'm a sucker for quotes and this one will go straight into my quote book. This story was so powerful - I loved it!

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Doubra Akika
20:16 Aug 24, 2020

Thank you so much, Kristin! Your comment made my day! I’m so happy you liked it!

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Amogh Kasat
12:42 Aug 24, 2020

It's a wonderful story! Please read my latest story The Secret Organisation { Part 2 }

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Doubra Akika
12:42 Aug 24, 2020

Thanks and sure when I’m free!

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Amogh Kasat
12:43 Aug 24, 2020

thanks

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Amogh Kasat
12:44 Aug 24, 2020

I would be waiting for your like and comment

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Doubra Akika
13:16 Aug 24, 2020

I have!

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Amogh Kasat
13:48 Aug 24, 2020

मज़े मिला

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Pragya Rathore
05:58 Aug 22, 2020

Beautifully written! I loved it. The last line reminded me of a lovely quote. Anyway, your story was amazing! I'm glad you wrote one this week :) Please check out my stories too, if you get the time :p

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Doubra Akika
10:08 Aug 22, 2020

I’ll definitely have a look later today! Still trying to wake up 😂.

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Pragya Rathore
10:19 Aug 22, 2020

Thanks! :) It's actually 4 PM in India :p... It must be really early morning there!

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Doubra Akika
11:56 Aug 22, 2020

It's not that early. I'm just not a morning person, lol. But I have checked it out now. Loved it!

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Pragya Rathore
11:59 Aug 22, 2020

Thanks a lot! Yours is pretty amazing too :)

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Doubra Akika
12:09 Aug 22, 2020

Thanks!

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Lee Jay
14:39 Aug 26, 2020

Very powerful story! It has a healing message for everyone who has dealt with addiction. I needed this today.

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Doubra Akika
15:18 Aug 26, 2020

I’m really happy you feel that way😊. And that I was able to help. Your comment means a lot.

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D. Jaymz
04:10 Aug 26, 2020

I loved this story. The structure of using italics worked well here by varying the pace throughout the story. It was a potent tale of introspection, of guilt scarring, unable to heal. Very well-written. Well done 👏 I look forward to more of your stories 😊

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Doubra Akika
06:57 Aug 26, 2020

Thank you so much 😊! Your comment means a lot.

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D. Jaymz
18:30 Aug 26, 2020

You're welcome 😊

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Miss Tee
18:17 Aug 25, 2020

Wow, I loved reading this story very much, I totally relate with Valencia because I had been in a place I would have paid someone to listen to me, I did find someone though and it was just the healing balm I wanted. And I love the poetic element attached, Keep up the good work.

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Doubra Akika
20:30 Aug 25, 2020

Thanks so much! And I’m so happy you found someone to listen. Sometimes we really just need to talk to someone. I really appreciate you taking time to read this.

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13:59 Aug 25, 2020

Wow, Doubra! This story was deep and beautiful. The guilt that Valencia feels is described so well that I can practically feel it myself. I enjoyed the italicized words, and the quote at the very beginning. These were nice touches that added even more to the story. Amazing. Keep writing and stay healthy, Your Reedsy Friend/Fan - Brooke

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Doubra Akika
15:12 Aug 25, 2020

Thank you so much! Your comment means a lot! Take care of yourself too!

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20:21 Aug 25, 2020

You're so welcome! :D

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Hey there! You asked me to check this out, and woah Doubra, that was powerful. I absolutely loved the poems in this - it really added more to the story. Great great great job. I look forward to reading more of your stories!

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Doubra Akika
12:41 Aug 24, 2020

Thank you so much! And same! I look forward to reading more of your work as well!

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Maya W.
13:58 Aug 23, 2020

Woah, I love this story! I liked the poetry parts best :)

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Doubra Akika
14:08 Aug 23, 2020

Thanks! Happy you liked it!

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Jamela Faye
12:53 Aug 23, 2020

I love the idea of the italic sentences, it flowed like a poem! Not much to critique, really! If you had the time, can you read my new submission?

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Doubra Akika
13:05 Aug 23, 2020

Sure! Glad you got motivated! And thanks!

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20:34 Aug 22, 2020

Wow this is a powerful story. Everyone can probably relate to this one way or another with the blame and forgiveness and the power and complexity of addiction. Sad but hopeful. Well done

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Doubra Akika
20:49 Aug 22, 2020

Thanks so much for checking this out! Your comment means a lot! I’m happy you liked it! Wrote the poem (or what I think is a poem😂) a long time ago but decided to change some things and use it for the prompt!

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Saron Mengistu
16:06 Aug 22, 2020

Lively tale, Doubra. A real heartthrob. I love it!! Descriptions are fantastic. Italics are captivating. Introduction well structured. I am in love with this story. Good job, darling!! 'The Sun seemed to shine brighter,' Was sun supposed to be capital?? I don't think so. Conclusion needs a little work, too much repetition of 'she', 'live' and 'want'. Replacing or restructuring the last few sentences can make the story better. Also, can I mention something to the final sentence? '... she wouldn't want me to just exist, she'd want me to ...

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Doubra Akika
18:33 Aug 22, 2020

Thanks so much for checking it out, Saron! I can’t make the changes on Reedsy but I’ll make them on the document saved on my laptop later. Thanks again!

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Saron Mengistu
06:17 Aug 23, 2020

Your most welcome, Doubra, anytime!!

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Roshna Rusiniya
06:46 Aug 22, 2020

This was very touching! Some beautiful descriptions too. Loved how it started with a quote.

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Doubra Akika
10:09 Aug 22, 2020

Thank you so much for checking it out Roshna!

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Roshna Rusiniya
10:21 Aug 22, 2020

You are welcome Doubra. If you have time, please check out mine too. Thanks! :)

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Doubra Akika
11:41 Aug 22, 2020

Of course!

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Lori Colt
03:25 Aug 22, 2020

I like it. It's unusual but it challenged me as a reader. The back story of Suzy and her addiction as the main character tries to move forward after her death. She's grappling with the loss and self-blame and trying to make sense of it all while still honoring herself and her friend. Good job.

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Doubra Akika
10:05 Aug 22, 2020

Thank you so much! I’m happy you liked it.

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Yolanda Wu
06:24 Aug 28, 2020

This was such a heartbreaking story coupled with your amazing writing. I loved the bits of verse throughout, they shed so much light on the character even though they were so sad to read. You just captured the character really well, and really made me feel for her. Amazing work!

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Doubra Akika
08:01 Aug 28, 2020

Thank you so much😊! I’m so happy you enjoyed it!

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R.L. Holland
01:38 Aug 28, 2020

Hey, you asked me to come over and read some. And I am so glad you did. Your character development is strong, and so very real - i wonder, how much of your stories are based on things that have happened in your own life - any of it? You did a great job. As per any kind of suggestions- always reread and reread. But don't write just to submit something. Write to share. Write to express. Write for you. i think I told someone that today. You have a gift. Good job! Keep writing, and hey, if you have time will you come read my most recent "T...

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Doubra Akika
07:57 Aug 28, 2020

Thanks so much! Your comment means a lot! Yeah, I write for me most of the time. My stories have things that are personal to me. Stories that I feel need to be told. I’ll definitely come read yours later today and I’m sure I’ll love it!

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R.L. Holland
14:04 Aug 28, 2020

Not sure if you will love but I would love for some feedback - that is how we learn. keep posted on our writings for I would love to read more!

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Doubra Akika
15:35 Aug 28, 2020

Of course! I'll definitely check more of your stories out later today!

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Valencia is a very relatable character. I myself, feel like people have listened to me but not really at the same time. Paying someone would probably be the result which is sad. I do have my friends tho so that's good. I can find so many similarites between Valenica and though which just makes her just as awesome as me. Btw that name is so pretty, I like it alot. Anyways, swell job on this Doubra.

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Doubra Akika
22:13 Aug 27, 2020

Thank you so much😊! I’m really happy you liked it! Yeah Good friends are really important. And yeah, I love the name Valencia 😂. Your comment means a lot, honestly!

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I'm glad. You did an awesome job.

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Doubra Akika
08:01 Aug 28, 2020

😊

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Maria Campos
19:22 Aug 27, 2020

This story got me thinking of my patients as a therapist. It is both interesting and emotional to see what they might be thinking. It is always a struggle between listening and being able to give useful input at the right moment. Great story!

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Doubra Akika
20:12 Aug 27, 2020

Thank you so much! I'm so happy you could relate! Your comment means a lot!

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Hannah B
01:27 Aug 27, 2020

Very interesting and engaging story. It was a quick read and held my attention. The writing is so personal and unique, l really get the feeling of being in the character's head, hearing the thoughts and feeling the emotions. Very well done!

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Doubra Akika
06:47 Aug 27, 2020

Thank you so much! I’m so happy you feel this way.

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