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Letting Go
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TITLE (EDIT)
Letting Go
DESCRIPTION
A guy who has broke up with his girlfriend is writing her a letter to explain his actions.
[1,264 words]
AUTHOR
Paula M Shackleford
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
I am 21 years old and have just graduated from Glasgow Caledonian University with an honours degree in Marketing and Communication. What I really want to do though is write, that has been my lifelong dream. I am the kind of person who could happily spend my entire life sitting at a computer, writing story after story - of course, that doesn't mean they'll be any good, but practice makes perfect. . .supposedly. I would appreciate any feedback and criticism regarding this story, its not as if I'm going to see any of you face to face!
[July 2001]
AUTHOR'S E-MAIL ADDRESS
[email protected]
AUTHOR'S OTHER TITLES (12)
A Sinner (Short Stories) Janey feels smothered by the man in her life. Will He ever relinquish His hold on her? [1,432 words]
Almost There (Short Stories) An engaged girl runs into an old crush who once humiliated her, and is horrified to find herself still in lust with him. [2,520 words]
Crushed (Short Stories) The story of how a fulfilled crush doesn't necessarily make you happier. [2,005 words]
Cybertalk (Short Stories) Cassie, 20 years old and desperate for love, meets a guy on a chatroom who almost instantly claims to love her. Is he insane??? [4,606 words]
Cyn (Short Stories) Is Cynthia really cheating on Jerry? And, if she is, what is he going to do about it? [2,479 words]
Don't Bank On It (Short Stories) This is the story of how a petty argument can develop into a full-scale war, when it comes to couples living together! And then this silly squabble is put into perspective when the couple involved fin... [3,766 words]
His And Hers (Short Stories) The story of a girl and guy on the same course at university. They think that they hate each other - but is hate really the emotion they feel? [2,765 words]
Image Obsessed (Short Stories) A brief "Bridget Jones" moment. [816 words] [Humor]
Night Of Living Hell (Short Stories) This is a story I wrote a couple of years ago about a girl who is waiting outside the cinema for her date, and wondering if he is ever going to turn up. [1,227 words]
Please Sir (Short Stories) This is the first three chapters of a story I am trying to write, a sort of bonkbuster-cum-comedy about a gilr who seduces her English teacher. Note: As I am British, my spelling, grammar and dress ... [12,851 words]
Smothered (Short Stories) The story of a girl who drives away men without meaning to. Will she ever find true love? [3,970 words] [Romance]
Splitting (Short Stories) When Anna's boyfriend decides to break up with her, Anna is the one who ends up laughing. [1,001 words]
Letting Go
Paula M Shackleford

Dear Jen,
Hey. Itís me. Thought Iíd write, let you know whatís happening.
Itís only fair. I guess by now you know the whole problem I was - we were - facing. That was the problem, I guess. I didnít want you to be involved. It just would have been impossible for you to try to comprehend - or to come to terms with.
I realise we were getting pretty serious and all - a year is a long time, especially in the life of two eighteen year olds - but it was just too hard. Such a strain, it couldnít go on. I needed to be left alone, without you there. I hope you understand that, and have got to grips with it.
I know this will probably sound lousy of me, dredging up old memories, but I still remember the day I realised I had a crush on you. I was thirteen years old and we were playing hide and seek with a bunch of other kids. And, as the two of us squashed together in my secret treehouse, I looked into those giant brown eyes of yours and, suddenly, I couldnít breathe. My heart started skipping erratically, totally out of control. I wanted to kiss you, then and there. But I was too shy, and too scared of rejection - I couldnít even look at you. You asked me what was wrong, and I muttered something unintelligible in reply. And you said ď`Farah Jaja Mera Cacha?` What the hell does that mean?Ē and then you laughed and put me right back at ease with you. But you couldnít erase my crush. It had been marked with indelible ink and a heavy hand for good measure. Permanently devoted to you.
On the day, four years later, that I finally gave into those inescapable feelings and kissed you, we were in the treehouse where it had all began for me. It was the most amazing, and memorable experience of my life, and I felt I was floating as your soft lips pressed against mine. When you finally pulled back from me, you touched your swollen lips and said, ďWhat was that for?Ē, your eyes wide with amazement.
I could barely tell the truth, I was so terrified that you might not feel the same way. But then it all came flowing out.
ďBecause I love you. I always have.Ē
ďGood.Ē You smiled at me, and took my hand in yours. ďBecause the feeling is most definitely mutual.Ē
So I guess youíre wondering how I could leave you, if I love you so much, huh? Fact is, I had to, and I guess now you must know that as well as I do. I always knew it would be virtually hell - but I had to do it, for both our sakes. I hope you have realised by now that I never really cheated on you, that it was just my way of forcing your hand, of making you break up with me. Or starting to heal the inevitable pain that was already beginning, that there was no way of halting.
Iíll never forget the way you looked at me that day. Your eyes were shooting violent, scorching sparks of molten fury and your cheeks were flushed an angry pink. Your voice - it was cool, and slightly detached, yet dripping with fatally poisonous acid.
ďYou go out with Nicola if you want,Ē you spat at me. ďJust donít expect me to be waiting around like a faithful puppy dog, ready to lick your shoes and heal your wounds.Ē
Youíve always been good at that - healing peopleís wounds. Itís your special gift, isnít it? You know exactly what to say in answer to someoneís problem, the comforting words, the correct advice, and all the other psychobabble stuff. I wish I could have confided in you but some problems are even beyond your ability. I hope you really will be a psychologist one day - it always seemed to be your God-given talent. Iíd hate for you to waste it. But, I know you, and I know youíve never been one to waste your talents. Itís not the kind of person you are.
I know this whole . . . experience has really upset you. It has devastated me, and I wish that the circumstances could have been different. Every night, Iíve been sitting here, thinking about you and how much I love you. Always will. I mean, I donít know whatís in store for me, but I know that my love for you will always be there. Donít ever forget that.
Obviously, Iím not bigheaded enough to think that you will pine after me forever. I donít expect you to, and I hope that one day youíll find happiness with someone who deserves you - someone who will always be there for you in a way that I canít possibly be.
   But please - donít let it be that jerk Alan Taylor! I saw you with him yesterday, and you looked happy for the first time since we broke up. But please, not him! You know that he is one of the few people that I could never even stomach being around. I know Iím not exactly in a position to ask favours of you, but that really is all that I want from you.
Remember the time I got in a fight with him because he was chatting you up in the pub? I was so angry with him and do you know what he said to me? ďOne day, Jennifer and I will be the couple, and youíll be the one on the outside looking in.Ē Well, he certainly got the second part right, but hopefully not the first. Anyway, when it comes down to it, itís your choice - and if he makes you happy, he canít be all bad.
Writing all this down right now . . . it is making me so depressed. There is this air of total finality about it all. I know that after you receive this letter, youíre never going to see me again. I canít really even think about that, because it scares me so much - I donít know where Iím going to be by then. I guess Iíll just have to go with the flow. But Iím concentrating on you and where you will be. Youíll be in your cosy little house, thatís where Iíve told my sister to take the letter, when the time comes. And when you read it, youíll probably already know whatís been going on with me all this time. Maybe youíll even realise that itís not my fault, that a lot of things that are flung at you in life are beyond your control, beyond anyoneís control. I know that you will understand in time, just as you will understand that I only broke up with you to lessen the pain. Although whether it worked or not - well, Iíll never know, will I?
I have to go now. I feel like Iíve said all that I really had to say, but there is so much else Iíd love to talk to you about, that couldnít even be condensed into your lifetime, which Iím sure will be long and productive. Iíd just like to tell you again that I really do love you more than life itself. And Iíll love you until eternity. And thatís pretty much it.
All my love forever,
Paul.
PS My mum tells me she is going to ask you to speak at my funeral. Please, for the sake of my immortal soul, donít tell too many embarrassing stories about my childhood!

 

READER'S REVIEWS (10)
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"That "throw the reader GOTCHA cookie-cutter surprise" at the end was so forced and unncecessary, it hurt...it really did. A few things: From what I understand, he's dead? So how is he writing a letter? Or talking to his mom/sister for that matter? Or maybe he's committing suicide...but then why would his mom be so nonchalant about the death? Eh, the "snapper" was stupid and ambiguous. Take it out, and the letter would actually be better." -- Tyrant.
"He has wrote it BEFORE he died, that's why he is talking about "when you get this letter". Thanks anyway." -- Paula.
"Well Paula, he doesn't call himself the Tyrant of the writing realm for nothing. I can root ya on, but where is our white knight EC Allen when we need him?" -- The Cheerleader.
"Riding up behind you my fair maiden, Cheeleader. I will dismount my steed and draw my blade to fend off the Tyrant if he looks to further attack the ladies of this glorious realm. Cheerleader, if you happen to read back through this to see my posting, I just wanted you to know that a lot of people have expressed interest in the "Advisor" here on Storymania to have a contest done whereby each writer is given the same guidelines whether they be into Romance, Mystery, Sword & Sorcery, Sci/Fi, etc., and for each of them to come up with a completely unique story based upon that for everyone who enters. That is a fascinating idea, very similar to what I'm trying to achieve." -- EC Allen.
"Geez! EC I can barely read you in all of that lime green! Anyhow, tell me what exactly you're wanting to do, and tell me who's also interested." -- The Cheerleader.
"Look who's talking, you're stuck in the greenery too. Well Cheerleader, for about a month now the "Advisor" column has been asking if the writers here would be interested in a friendly competition with one another. The Staff doesn't seem to be too quick to respond to the demand of people like: Glen Pearson (an excellent darkly humored writer on this board), That Other Guy (never seen his work, but from what I hear he's one step behind everybody else in a funny kind of way), Tootsie Man (???), Mr. Wal-Mart (I wonder if he works there just like me, guess I'll have to hunt him down and ask), Dick Koss (an excellent teacher in the grammatical arts), Little Sweet Thang (apparently has some strange preoccupation with something called sex-cake), Gorrell the Slayer (need I say more), Christy Mack (Songstress extraordinaire), and yourself Cheerleader, and so I've been trying with varying degrees of success to interest them in my project, whether they wish to do it here on Storymania, do it by way of e-mail by constantly forwarding the on-going story to one another, watching it grow as it's passed from one person's hands to another, or wait until I get my website up and running. I think it would be a great idea, we could even invite the Tyrant of the realm, because hey that fits in perfectly with the idea. Please e-mail me and let me know if you're interested Cheerleader, my fine maiden." -- EC Allen.
"Did someone call the name of Gorell the Slayer? Where is the Tyrant! If he fools around with my wenches he will be the fool, for I Gorell will bash his money-taking, land-stealing puny head in! Let him gloat upon his throne in his silken robes, but watch when you sleep at night, or you may not wake up! Do not mess with Gorell the Slayer!" -- Gorell the Slayer, Mortaban, East Fallow, Pollayasa.
"This Is emotion at its highest. Paula, you really have a unique style of writing. I have a quote from one of my poems that reminds me of this emotional path of letting go. "They say love hurts, and i agree I'm lost in loneliness i can't be free" " -- Amir.
"Coming back to your story once again, I didn't thin the ending was all that obscure or even sudden. He was writing a letter to someone with whom he had split up basically saying that he still loved her. Why had he split up from her? it needed some explanation, and in the last paragraph we were given the explanation. He was going to die. Presumably he had some incurable illness, and as soon as he had found out about this he had broken uo with his girlfriend, in a possibly misguided attempt to lessen her pain. I think it's a very well-written and touching piece. Perhaps "The Tyrant" needs to pay a bit more attention when he reads something? " -- David Gardiner, London, England.
"Thanks for the support David, I appreciate it!" -- Paula.

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COPYRIGHT NOTICE
© 2000 Paula M Shackleford
STORYMANIA PUBLICATION DATE
October 2000
NUMBER OF TIMES TITLE VIEWED
2258
 

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