Turning over a new leaf

Submitted into Contest #89 in response to: Start your story with an ending and work backward toward the beginning.... view prompt


Fiction Romance Inspirational

Molly closed the apartment door behind her and turned the key twice in the keyhole. Then she left it under the mat for the landlady. All her belongings were on the truck. She was about to turn over a new leaf in her life’s book once more. And she was ready to live again.

Packing her belongings had been easy, since she possessed so few things: a few clothes, a few pairs of shoes, a few books and a laptop. Packing her memories had been the hardest part: the fights, the arguments, the fits of jealousy. Tom had proven to be a difficult man to live with, let alone to have a relationship with. Little did she know that when she would get her promotion, he would make her choose; either him or the job. For Molly, leaving her work was out of the question, even if that meant sacrificing her personal life. For Tom, having a girlfriend who earned more than him was a shame and meant the end of the relationship. He packed his things and left from the apartment first, leaving her with a pack of unpaid bills and a broken heart.

Of course, there had been good times, as well. Tom, when he was in a good mood, was funny, talkative, caring. But when he wasn’t, and that happened quite often, he was irritable, stubborn and selfish. It took her almost a year to discover his two sides, his two faces. But now she knew him well, and knew full well that he wasn’t willing to change for anybody, not even for her. Very often she caught herself wondering what had made her fall for him in the first place and why she had overlooked all the signs. She didn’t hate him for being who he was, she just couldn’t sacrifice her life and future for him. She found it too much. It should be nobody’s right to ask or demand from people to abandon their dreams and stay with them, simply because they have no dreams themselves. And it is unthinkable for people to abandon their dreams for the sake of other people. No, Molly wasn’t this kind of person and would never let her life, dreams and ambitions disintegrate, wither and die in a man’s apartment.

When they decided to share his apartment, Molly thought that it would be a good idea, since they would share all the expenses and they would be together more. Initially, he got the big bedroom and she got the smaller one. Within a few weeks, she cleaned and cooked, while he watched TV or read the paper. They ended up seeing less and less of each other when he started working shifts and leaving post-it notes on the fridge. He took things one step further when he started coming late smelling booze, cigarette and female perfume. It was then that she realized she was taken for granted, and she didn’t like the feel of it. But the last straw came when Molly got promoted. That meant a better position in the company, more working hours and a better salary. She was over the moon until the moment she discovered that she and Tom didn’t share the same feelings. It was the moment she had to make important decisions for her life. And it was apparent he didn’t want to be part of it.

She kept thinking how she had met Tom. He was on the beach, alone, somehow lost in thoughts. She felt sorry for him and talked to him first. “A penny for your thoughts,” she had told him. It was the boldest thing she had ever done in her life. Tom smiled at her and gave her an astonishing reply: “In love, everything is pricey.” She had found him witty and handsome then. She loved his green eyes and dark hair which was meticulously gelled back. Within minutes, they were lost in conversation about his divorce. Of course she couldn’t realise then that Tom wasn’t a man to trust, when it came to a commitment. She had to learn the hard way.

Until then, Molly lived in a wonderful studio apartment that overlooked the beach. She loved to get up early to see the sunrise and drink hot chocolate on the veranda. Then she would get ready for work. She would come back from work just in time to enjoy the sunset. In the summer, she would take a rejuvenating swim in the sea and sunbathe under the sun. And in the winter, she would stay in and enjoy the waves and the clouds in the sky from her bay window; the nature’s outburst, as she liked to call it. She loved her apartment, it was her inspiration, her safe haven, her refuge, It knew all her intimate thoughts and dreams. It felt like home to her.

Molly wasn’t used to this kind of people. In fact, she didn’t know they existed. She came from a small quiet town, where people left their doors open all day and welcomed strangers with open arms. They were simple and kind with everyone. She had no intention of leaving her city, but the chances of finding a decent job there were limited. So when the newspaper ad for a job in the big city caught her eye, she didn’t give it a second thought and applied for it. It was a secretarial position in a big company. She went for an interview and got really excited when she was accepted.  Her life was about to change, and she was ready to live it to the full.

Molly was a kind, outgoing, sociable girl. She didn’t come from a rich family, but they had provided her with everything she needed in order to have a wonderful upbringing. Like every girl, she had dreams; a handsome man, a good job, a warm place to call her home. She was determined to have it all. But she wanted a meaningful life, like every girl, and was willing to make sacrifices. What she wasn’t willing to do was sacrifice her life for a man, especially for one who didn’t deserve it, or her. Life had tested her ambition and determination. And she had passed the test with flying colours.  

April 11, 2021 12:01

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Cathryn V
20:36 Apr 20, 2021

Hi Vanessa, good story about women’s strength! I had the same prompt and found it so hard to write end to beginning and make sense. Good job!


Vanessa Queens
05:46 Apr 21, 2021

Thank u Cathryn.


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