The idea was simple really.

I knew what to get you instantly, like a flash of lightning. I’d had it all planned out, every tiny detail. It would have been perfect. I would have called you Christmas day, your birthday, to tell you your gift will be coming late. That you will get it later when I came to see you again in January. I would have built up your curiosity, the suspense. I would have wished you merry Christmas.

I would have said happy birthday.

I would have talked to you for as long as you wanted that day, be it five minutes or five hours. I loved talking with you, I loved it so much.

I still do.

I had it all planned out.

It wouldn’t have been a physical item; I know you don’t value materialistic things as highly as most other people.

No, it would have been an experience.

It would have been a memory, a day you would never forget.

You already said you loved me, but I was going to make you fall in love with me all over again, to remember why you fell in love with me in the first place.

I was going to treat you like the most important person in the world that day, because to me you were.

You still are.

Getting the idea was simple. Even the execution of that idea was simple really, but then a spanner was thrown in the works.

Things become complicated.

Things got hard.

Things ended.

Now it is an almost impossible feat to achieve.

It is, to put it bluntly, an impossible feat to achieve.

I need to accept that, but the wound is still too fresh.

The day, the gift, the memory I had been planning for weeks is now up in the air.

All the research, bookings, time spent on Google was wasted.

For nothing.

The time I spent thinking back about us.

About you, truly delving into the person I thought you were, what makes you tick, what makes you smile and what brings out your irresistible, heart fluttering laugh.

Is all time wasted. Those weeks made me fall in love with you again. But for you they did the opposite.

This gift is now impossible to give. But it’s something I can’t throw away; I can’t return it to sender. It’s something that will be forever haunting me. Those memories I had stored in the back of my mind, neglected over time, were all brought front and Centre.

They made me smile at the time, yes.

But now they cause an insufferable heartache.

For me distance made my heart grow fonder. For me distance made me realise how lucky I was to have you.

To remember why I was so madly in love with you.

For me distance made me cling onto you. Perhaps it made me cling to you too tightly.

Because for you it didn’t do any of these things.

Distance made you grow cold towards me.

Distance made you realise you could do better.

It caused you to pull yourself away from me emotionally.

It made you realise; you wanted it to stay like that forever.

Distance made you want to forget me.

That gift for you now will never happen. I almost wish you were materialistic. I wish I could have simply bought you some fancy jewellery.

That could have been returned.

It could be something I could simply give away and forget.

I could throw it away.

That wouldn’t have torn a void in my chest.

I almost wish you were materialistic.

But you weren’t.

That is part of the reason I fell in love with you.

If you were materialistic, there never would have been an us.

If you were materialistic, this problem, this unwanted gift that can never be returned.

This gift that I can never lay my hands on, would never have existed.

If you were materialistic, you wouldn’t have made me the happiest person in the world, even if it was for a limited amount of time.

It has been two weeks now since I last heard from you.

It has been even longer since I last heard your beautiful voice.

I often think about you.

I think about you every day if I were to be completely honest.

Memories of you are constantly bombarding my thoughts.

Ideas, fantasies about what could have been still torment me.

I wonder if you still think about me.

If you regret your time with me.

If you have any good memories about me.

If you ever wonder what could have been if you stayed.

If you ever regret your choice, spending those years with me.

I can never be rid of this gift.

As much as I try, it is something that will remain with me forever.

The missed opportunity.

The memories we could have made.

Your smile.

Those beautiful, loving eyes.

I try desperately to be rid of it, to forget.

But it’s hard to return something that holds only sentimental value.

It’s hard to return something I never had.

It’s hard to forget you.

I know you aren’t a fan of large, flamboyant displays of love.

This was all accounted for. It would have been small, private. The way you liked it.

I knew who you were.

I knew how to make you smile.

I knew what to do to make you happy.

At least I thought I did.

These days everything is a blur.

I am confused. I am a shell of who I once was.

I find myself scouring my mind, my memories for where it went wrong. For any signs of your displeasure in me. For any signs of you being unhappy.

I know I should give up.

That I should accept this gift to you is a lost cause.

But I can’t. Not yet.

I still believe I can give you this gift.

I still need to believe that you will forgive me.

That you will remember us.

That you still love me. That you will want me back one day.

That You will smile and laugh in my presence again.

That you will hold my arms like you once did.

That I can once more hold you.

I know these thoughts send me backwards.

It makes it harder to move on, to heal.

But I can’t. not yet.

But you can be assured I am trying.

I will give you space.

I will not contact you. It is the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do.

That self-control.

I am trying my best to be strong. To let you move on without me.

To forget me.

I’ve caught myself so often typing you a message, about the most mundane things and then remembering I can’t.

That I’m not allowed.


And then deleting it.

I never told you about this gift I had been planning.

I never told you about how easily the idea came, how easily it flowed.

How smoothly one aspect led to another.

How perfect a day it would have been.

You will never know because I will never tell you.

Ideas are easy.

Organisation is easy.

You, made everything easy.

Getting the chance to put those plans in motion however, that is something else entirely.

I will never get the chance to give you the gift I wanted to give you.

But I can give the gift you need. That you deserve.

The one thing I think will be truly meaningful to you. Something you wouldn’t expect from me.

I can give you distance.

November 19, 2022 02:27

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19:30 Nov 28, 2022

Hi N. Interesting concept. For me, this is more poetry than a short story, partly because: So. Many. New. Paragraphs. I found that okay, not too distracting. But a little. And I reckon it would be a lot more distracting to read in a book. At least reading it here on my computer there's a handy scroll wheel. Having said that, now I think about it, it is an interesting stylistic choice. All that white space on the page does give the reader certain 'feeling' while they're reading I guess (although it's possible some readers will find th...


N Martin
11:21 Nov 29, 2022

Thanks for the feedback! I of course understand, It was a style I was going for in this story, that much is true. Each paragraph was (at least in my head) the main character pausing as his thoughts raced around, as he tries to deal with with his emotions. (I probably could have found a better way to do that though I admit). I decided that the names weren't so important to the story. He never got to say these things to her, he never spoke them out loud. These are all just the thoughts he can't yet handle racing around, heartache being the ma...


21:22 Nov 29, 2022

Fair call on leaving the names and other details to the imagination of the reader. My feeling is that you don't want to do that with most stories, but I agree that in this one those things aren't vital, and leaving them out does lend an air of mystery to the tale.


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