She had an affair with a married man.
It was swift and passionate and gave her the confidence to leave an abusive partner.
The relationship fizzled after a torrid few months - he wasn’t ready to fully commit, she wanted to start a life with someone.
He stayed in an unhappy marriage. Had another kid, felt more and more suffocated but did what he thought was right and stayed.
She broke hearts and had hers broken.
She finds another safe guy and is ready to settle back down. But she can’t help thinking what if? What if all the stars aligned those years ago and it worked?
She picks up from her life in Vermont and goes to LA to see him.
The old feelings burst anew. She knows what she wants and it’s him. He’s left his wife and has worked out arrangements for the kids. He’s ready to jump with her.
She doesn’t make her return flight.
The first few months are passionate and better than she remembered. He seems to have aged a bit but then again, they both have.
They elope. Giddy like the kids they once were.
He sleeps more. She asks why, he says it’s just work and not to worry herself. They make love, they take trips, they live on.
They see a doctor - it isn’t good news. He has months at best.
She sits, at a crossroads again.
Is it really better to have loved and lost she thinks?
She reflects on her past 6 years living in Califronia married to this man. If that isn’t what living life to the fullest, what is?
An assignment from Writing Class. Take a location and build a short story around the setting.
She opened the window up wide. It was the darkest time of night, the moon shining down emitting a glow on the park outside.
She loved this time of year: the first snowfall. Although rare in London, it made it that much more special. You could almost smell the crispness in the air; and that cloak of silence that seemed to be draped over the city made everything feel like a fairytale.
She leaned her arms onto the windowsill and glanced around the park. Usually a busy spot with people rushing to and from meetings, or the hospital employees dashing out for a smoke break, loved ones taking a minute of solace outside Great Ormond Street Hospital. The complete quiet only interrupted by the hum of a bus passing by.
She couldn't believe it's been three years. Three years of restless sleep, of looking out that same window, of searching the park, trying to find answers.
It wasn't so long ago she was that person sneaking outside the hospital in the dead of night. Wrapping herself up in one of the overused thin hospital blankets and trying to catch her breath. She never realised how suffocating hospitals could be.
It all seemed so bittersweet really. Getting the call those years ago - her mother had been found. The mother they thought they had lost had been found: disoriented and unsure who she was or where she was from, but alive.
She’d always wanted that relationship with her mother that she saw in the movies. When the little girl is sad, the mom scoops her up in her arms, her soft jumper brushing against the little girls tears. The mom would wipe them away and as the little girl caught her breath, she’d breathe in that sweet perfume that smelt like home.
But she wasn’t that little girl. And her mother never comforted her when she was sad, or told her everything was going to be alright.
No, her mother left under the cloak of darkness one night, leaving them alone with their workaholic father. So upon getting that call, she thought there was a second chance for them.
But of course, this woman didn’t know who they were, or why they were here, and why the hell did they keep calling her mom?
Mother checked herself out the next day, snuck off when the doctor was on rotation.
So now, she still sits here, breathing in the crisp cool air, looking, searching, wondering.
I've always loved being on the water. Growing up, holidays were never very glamorous or involved flying off to far off places. In fact, I never even stepped foot on an airplane until I was 18 years old (something unheard of nowadays). But what we did do was sail. We spent every summer making the most of Canada's Great Lakes and sea ways. I can remember spending summer vacations at anchor in the middle of nowhere, water lapping gently against the hull, family all crammed together down below.
As I grew up, sailing took on different meanings - it wasn't just the summer excitement, but the hours of work in the spring and autumn we had to contend with. Having to give up sleepovers and high school parties because I had to get up and help my dad wax the boat or help put the mast up, just didn't sound as glamorous to those outside of the yachting world.
But I secretly loved all the maintenance work as well. I loved the time we were all (forced) to spend together, or the solidarity that comes with having to give up a weekend with friends to spend it with your parents at a yacht club doing manual labour. I loved that I knew it meant in the summer we could bring friends on board, pack the 3 B's - bikini, beer and BBQ, and answer the only two important questions - should we go for a sail now and swim later or vice versa?
I loved that feeling of your hair flying in the wind when you finally catch yourself going more than 8 knots, or the excitement that comes with chasing down the breeze as you tack one way and then the next. The satisfaction that comes with making your way between two dots on a map and being able to beat your personal records. I love the camaraderie that you only seem to get when out on the water - everyone waves, everyone has time to sit and chat about their great little finds in quiet bays and undisturbed harbours. Or the friendly waves from someone you just met who scraped some of the best clams off those rocks over there so invite you over for dinner on their boat.
No it wasn't the glamorous family vacations that so many friends of mine took, but I wouldn't trade those hours of fresh sea air for anything. I've always loved a life on the water.