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American Romance Sad

June 6th 2000. Tomorrow is the day.


I can’t believe it. I knew the day would come eventually but it’s actually here.  

A new chapter, a new last name, the unknown, an end and a beginning.  

I can’t imagine my life without him. 

I’m nervous and a little scared.  

I wonder what he’s thinking now. 

Does he have any regrets or cold feet?  

Will he sleep a wink tonight? I know I won’t. 

I want to call him but I know I shouldn’t. 

True love is rare, more so than I could ever have imagined.  

Will I cry? Probably, I usually do. 

Ok, enough stalling. Lights off, time for bed.  

Tomorrow is almost here.


June 6th 2001. One Year.


We made it through the first year.  

It was wonderful and magical and sometimes awful. Can I say that?  

Waking up next to him every day is a dream come true.  

The feel of his skin against mine makes my heart race and my mind wander. 

I didn’t expect the fights but I should have. The make up sex is electric. 

He is my best friend, I could talk to him for hours about everything and nothing just to hear the sound of his voice. 

I love him with all my heart. I can’t wait for the rest of my life. 

Oh, and I think I may be pregnant. Fingers crossed.


December 7th 2001. A new bird in the nest.


It’s a girl!  

We don't have a name yet, we were expecting a boy. 

Maybe Grace or Joy or Hope.  

He says I’ve never been more beautiful, but I don’t feel that way.  

He kissed me and then he kissed her too, on the forehead.  

I’m not the only girl in his life anymore. Is that a silly thought? Am I jealous? 

I just breastfed for the first time.  

It was awkward and a little painful.  

She’s sleeping now on my chest.

This is what true joy feels like.  

That settles it—we’ll name her Joy. 

I think I’ll sleep while I can. I’m so tired already.


December 7th 2002. Joy to the world!


We had the most beautiful birthday party today.

He took care of everything. He's my hero.

Joy stuck her foot in the cake.

He ate that piece. It’s what dads do.

I miss my dad. He would have loved my Joy so.

I'm still tired but it's a good tired.

Days go by slowly but this year flew by fast.

I miss working. Maybe this year I'll go back.


January 1st 2006. The first fight.


He was drinking last night—we all were.  

I could tell he was mad. 

I asked him what was wrong. He said it was nothing.  

We didn’t talk the whole way home. 

I don’t understand. We’ve always been able to talk.  

I asked again and he exploded.  

I thought we had fights before, but I was wrong. This was what a fight really feels like.  

He yelled. He said I spent too much on Christmas and Joy’s birthday.  

He said yes to everything, but he didn’t mean it.  

I was supposed to know.  

I believed him when he said we had enough money.

I want to work, but he thinks I should be home with Joy.

Is this my fault? 

Joy heard us yelling.

My heart is broken for her.

I love him so much I can’t stand the separation.  

I’m so confused I don’t know what to do. 

I can’t call my mom. She’ll say she warned me.

I’ll call his mom, she’ll know what to do.


May 24th 2010. Lost.


We watched the series finale of Lost last night. What a disappointment.  

We watch a lot of TV now, also a disappointment.  

We used to talk about love and sex, now we just talk about his job and the bills.  

I still love the sound of his voice. I just don’t love the reasons I hear it.

I miss the fights. Is that weird?

I miss the make up sex.

Now it’s just on birthdays and anniversaries.  

It’s not his fault, at least not all his fault. I’m busy and tired.  

I’m not so sure I want to have sex.

I think I just want to feel desired.

I feel lost.


April 21st 2012. What’s wrong with me?


He works late all the time.

When he’s home I don’t know what to say.  

We don’t even watch TV together anymore. 

He watches sports. I watch sitcoms and movies.

I miss kissing. He used to say our “tongues danced,” but now our lips barely touch. 

The other day I flirted with Scott, an old boyfriend on Facebook.

Is he interested in someone else, too? 

I went to his work last night unannounced.  

He was there, all alone, working, just like he said.  

Is this a phase?  

When does marriage get good again?  

I think I’ll reach out to Scott.  

What‘s wrong with me?


June 7th 2015. Hope.


He surprised me today.

15 years of marriage.

A pearl necklace.

A horse drawn carriage.

A babysitter I didn't have to schedule.

A candlelight dinner for two.

He reminded me why he's my hero.

I felt beautiful and hopeful. I've missed that.


November 15th 2017. The word.


I used the word tonight. The D word.  

I always wondered how does that conversation start?

How do two people pledge their lives to each other and then change their minds?  

It felt true.

I hurt him. I could see it immediately.

I said I was sorry.  

We had make up sex, the electric kind, for the first time in years.  

Is this a turning point, a new beginning or the beginning of the end?  

Does he still love me? Do I still love him? Does it even matter?  

He doesn’t drink anymore but now I do.  

Who am I?


September 1st 2019. No Joy.


Joy left for college today.  

I cried, so did he. 

He held me close for the first time in years. 

It was wonderful and terrible at the same time.  

It felt as if I were saying goodbye to him as well.  

I’m not in love. He says he is.  

Is he just trying to do what he’s always done? Be my hero.  

I admire him for trying but it’s too late.  

Today we were a team one last time, but the end is near.

We rode home in silence.


July 29th 2020. Alone.


He moved out today.  

We didn’t fight. We even laughed a little. 

I helped him pack, I made him lunch.  

I carried the small boxes to the moving van he rented.  

We have to wait a year for it to be final. It’s the law.

I can’t help feeling so alone. I’ve felt alone for as long as I can remember but not like this.  

I miss him already and yet I’m glad he’s gone.  

I don’t understand it all.  

I have no one to talk to anymore.  

I’m sad.


July 28th 2021. Tomorrow is the day.



I can’t believe it. I knew the day would come eventually but it’s actually here.  

A new chapter, a new last name, the unknown, an end and a beginning.  

I can’t imagine my life without him. 

I’m nervous and a little scared.  

I wonder what he’s thinking now. 

Does he have any regrets or cold feet?  

Will he sleep a wink tonight? I know I won’t. 

I want to call him but I know I shouldn’t. 

True love is rare, more so than I could ever have imagined.  

Will I cry? Probably, I usually do. 

Ok, enough stalling. Lights off, time for bed.  

Tomorrow is almost here.


October 20, 2022 22:36

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27 comments

Michał Przywara
21:08 Oct 21, 2022

I like the duality between the end and the beginning. But I wonder, is it truly sad? Sure, there are sad moments, especially throughout 20 years, and perhaps a marriage falling apart is intrinsically a sad thing, especially compared to the hopes and dreams they had for it in their earlier years. But they part amicably, and maybe that parting opens the door to a better future for both of them, where they don't have to maintain something that not longer works. Or, maybe it is a sad ending. Maybe it is a heartbreaking story after all. The end...

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Thom Brodkin
21:19 Oct 21, 2022

The best feedback on this site every time. Now you force me to consider writing his diary entries. I think there is genius in the thought. I chose sad because there is always a sadness when that which we thought was forever isn't but I think you're right that a new beginning brings hope as well. Maybe I should add happy. Anyway, great feedback as always. Thanks for being a big part of what makes Reedsy great.

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Aeris Walker
01:16 Oct 26, 2022

This is one of those stories you read and go, “wait, how did he just do that?” It felt more like I read a saga vs. a thousand words of one-liners. There were so many perfectly concise and emotionally dense lines in here, but these were some of my favorites: “It was wonderful and magical and sometimes awful. Can I say that?” —so much truth in this. “I just breastfed for the first time. It was awkward and a little painful.”—mmm, yep, that’s about right. “He doesn’t drink anymore but now I do. Who am I?“ —this line just made me think...

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Thom Brodkin
01:41 Oct 26, 2022

Thom’s dictionary Aeris Walker - Fantastic writer who gives the best feedback. See also writer’s best friend.

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Aeris Walker
11:17 Oct 26, 2022

☺️

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Remus Sutherland
21:48 Oct 24, 2022

Really love the journal formatting here to carry the story. Makes for easy reading and stops the keeps the chronology simple. I did a bit of a journal thing in my entry too, something about trains and journals lol.

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Thom Brodkin
21:51 Oct 24, 2022

I’m so glad you got that. I’ve always said train trips are like life. We have periods of mundane interrupted by scheduled stops. The journal format fit that perfectly. Thanks for seeing where I was going.

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Madison Barlow
21:03 Oct 24, 2022

Beautifully written. Love this format. It's simple but straight to the point. Well done

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Thom Brodkin
21:53 Oct 24, 2022

Welcome to Reedsy Maddie and thank you for your kind feedback. You’re going to do well in this community.

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Madison Barlow
19:34 Oct 25, 2022

thank you for the kind welcome Thom! much appreciated

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Naomi Onyeanakwe
15:03 Oct 23, 2022

I liked this. I thought it was good, and I really liked the format. I also liked how the ending kind of mirrors the beginning. Bonus points for Joy and I sharing a birthday :-)

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Thom Brodkin
15:49 Oct 23, 2022

You, Joy, and my best friend Jason. 😀Happy early birthday and thanks for the kind words.

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Naomi Onyeanakwe
16:35 Oct 23, 2022

Say hi to your best friend Jason! Thank you and you're welcome.

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Rebecca Miles
05:12 Oct 23, 2022

Well done on taking the plunge and writing from the different gender perspective. So much in life can be universal and your story, with its hopes, joys but increasing doubts, relays that well, it doesn't matter if it's a man or woman. I thought the decision to dominate the diary entries with questions was a good one and the circular structure was thought provoking. Good job.

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Thom Brodkin
13:16 Oct 23, 2022

Rebecca you are a gifted writer. It means so much to get reassuring feedback about my choices. I find women so much more complex then men which makes writing from their perspective both challenging and rewarding. Thanks for taking the time to read and comment.

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Caroline Conner
00:13 Oct 23, 2022

This really held my attention. I loved how the beginning circles back to the end. The story flowed perfectly in my opinion. Thank you for a good read!

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Thom Brodkin
00:47 Oct 23, 2022

You are so kind. I read and enjoyed your story from last week. You are a talented writer which makes your words even more impactful. I very rarely write from the perspective of a woman. I’m always afraid I won’t capture the emotions correctly. You’ve made me feel as if I wasn’t too far off. Thank you.

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Zelda C. Thorne
17:43 Oct 22, 2022

Hi Thom, I enjoyed the format you went for with this. I especially liked the mirroring of the end and the beginning because marriage and divorce are intrinsically both ends and beginnings. The end of your single life, the beginning of a life shared - and divorce the reverse. I felt sad and happy, there was a feeling of hope in spite of it all, and I liked that. Good luck in the contest 🙂 This line stood out to me and made me smile - "Joy stuck her foot in the cake. He ate that piece. It’s what dads do." (it's my daughter's 3rd birthday t...

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Naomi Onyeanakwe
15:06 Oct 23, 2022

Happy Birthday to your daughter!🥳🥳

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Zelda C. Thorne
04:32 Oct 24, 2022

Thanks! It was so cute, lots of little people running around and giggling

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Naomi Onyeanakwe
10:44 Oct 24, 2022

Glad to hear. You're welcome!

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Jexica Marcell
16:30 Nov 03, 2022

This story made me cry, just the feeling of a relationship dying out - the light of your life, almost - made me feel horrible. It was a really good story, and then plot was amazing. I have a favor to ask...if you aren't busy, could you read my new story "gravity when will you learn?" I just need some feedback or comments on it. Thank you, and keep up the good work! :)

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Tanya Humphreys
20:41 Oct 27, 2022

The interesting format made this story interesting to read. It is a story everyone can relate to, whether in a relationship for a long time and shluffing along unhappily day in or day out... or moving on as the protagonist does. While somewhat predictable, the little phrases like, "he doesn't drink anymore but now I do" keep the reader interested in reading more such lines- lines that help establish personality as opposed to being just a cliche cut-out. The writing itself is well done, which makes it flow easily, thank you for that. I w...

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Rylan Cordova
14:02 Oct 24, 2022

I enjoyed reading this a lot, it's a bit poetic and I love that. It made me happy then sad but at the same time a bit hopeful. The D word, as it was said, can be best for either person in a marriage. I would like to think it brings good things for the main character

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Marty B
06:33 Oct 24, 2022

Good way to describe the momentous feelings of life adventures, and big events. I disagree with the 'sad' as story type. Seems a positive (I ve read on this site about many worse 'divorces) I liked this line as a kernel of the story 'Does he still love me? Do I still love him? Does it even matter?'

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Brenda Wilson
21:16 Oct 23, 2022

Oh man. This is so real. Put me in my feels. The format was different but interesting. The pace was great. Nicely done.

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Eliza Troy
16:06 Oct 23, 2022

Loved the format and how it came full circle.

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