Sunlight filtered through the antique-gold voile curtains, casting a warm glow over my bedroom.  A glorious dawn had broken.  A new day… a new beginning.

Slipping silently out of bed, I tiptoed to the spare room and peered through the gap in the door.  How peaceful you looked.  How tranquil.  While I was in turmoil.

We’d talked long into the night and I should be sleeping as soundly as you, but wounds heal slowly and scars may never.

How remorseful you’d been.  How sorry.  How determined to make things right.

How different, your words, from those spoken… 6 months earlier.

 

“I do love you Claire,” the prelude to my world falling to pieces.  “But I’m in love with someone else.”

I think I stopped breathing but you continued just the same.

“I don’t want to hurt you but I can’t live a lie.”

I’m sure you said more but all I remember is retreating to the kitchen and pouring myself a large glass of red… silently drowning while you packed.

Over the next few weeks, I barely functioned.  I’d no intention of stalking you but you’d left a forwarding address and I was curious.  Curious of a woman I’d never met… a woman my husband was in love with.

She was tall, slim and attractive of course, exactly how I’d imagined her to be.  I thought you’d spot me, observing from across the street, but you were too wrapped up in each other to notice.

I didn’t go into the office that day.  I stopped off at the supermarket, on my way home, and re-stocked the wine rack.

 

You stirred and I drew back; nowhere near ready to give you my answer.  Not while my heart was still doing battle with my head.

My heart… making a strong case for love.  In the belief that it really did conquer all.

My head countering… recalling dark days of pain and despair.  Calling into question my capacity to forgive and forget.

I returned to my bed to listen to their closing arguments.

Would today be our new dawn?  Or our last sunset.

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Carrie OLeary
Carrie OLeary (@carrie-oleary)
7 months ago

Nicely written story, Linda. it’s a situation many people have probably been in throughout the years, and such a hard decision to make. Can you trust the person not to hurt you again, or will he just run off with the next pretty face. Very thought prevoking.

Genya Johnson
Genya Johnson (@genya-johnson)
7 months ago

This was thought provoking and you could feel all the emotions. It is an horrendous situation to be in. Once trust is broken it is hard to repair.

Eric Radcliffe
Eric Radcliffe (@eric-radcliffe)
7 months ago

Hello again Linda, you captured the emotion of being rejected, one of the strongest emotions, probably the the most hurtful. As a writer Linda, trying to capture ”Emotion” must be one of the writer’s biggest tests. Well you did just that! A really excellent write.

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Christer Norrlof
Christer Norrlof (@christer-norrlof)
7 months ago

It’s amazing how you manage, in this little space, to capture so much, Linda. You take the reader by their hand to tiptoe together through the woman’s bedroom, peek into the spare room, and think back at what happened. As a reader, I feel that I am part of the jury when the heart and the brain start the process to find out who is right. Very nice work!

Christer Norrlof
Christer Norrlof (@christer-norrlof)
7 months ago
Reply to  Linda Rock

Before my encounter with Voice.club, I was writing very long tales from my life (for myself only). With this format, I have discovered that it is possible to concentrate and narrow down the number of words until it becomes better, more efficient and more poetry-ish. Last time, I started out with 1,500 words so, of course, it was a challenge to bring it down to 350. The weekly challenge you mention with a maximum of 100 words sounds interesting. Is it open to the general public? Would you like to share?

Voice-Team
Admin
Voice-Team (@voice-team)
7 months ago

Hi Christer and Linda- Your idea above of the 100 word challenge sounds very interesting and may be a good fit for the Voice.club team. If we have enough interest, we could launch it soon! What do you think, Avatar Eric Radcliffe, Avatar Carrie OLeary, Avatar Susan Dawson ?

If we offer this hundred-word challenge, would you be interested in entering?

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Susan Dawson
Susan Dawson (@susan-dawson)
7 months ago
Reply to  Voice-Team

I have quite a job on sometimes cutting an initial draft down to 350, but, having said that, a month seems a long time between competition themes, so I would probably have a go at an extra challenge.

Carrie OLeary
Carrie OLeary (@carrie-oleary)
7 months ago
Reply to  Voice-Team

I love the 100 word challenges – I completed at least one every week last year. It’s a great exercise for the old grey matter! I’ve also found that it teaches you to be economical with the words that you use in your story, which can be very challenging sometimes.

Voice-Team
Admin
Voice-Team (@voice-team)
6 months ago
Reply to  Linda Rock

Hi all – Avatar Christer Norrlof Avatar Carrie OLeary Avatar Susan Dawson Avatar Eric Radcliffe

The 100-word challenge is indeed a great idea, and it has now been launched! Since this contest is brand new, if you find any minor glitches or if you have helpful feedback, please leave comments at the bottom of the contest post. You can find the new prompt on the regular contest page here:

https://voice.club/contest

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Carrie OLeary
Carrie OLeary (@carrie-oleary)
7 months ago
Reply to  Linda Rock

You can do the challenges if you’re enrolled in the course, you don’t have to be a Plus member. Emily isn’t.

Voice-Team
Admin
Voice-Team (@voice-team)
7 months ago

Hello all – Avatar Eric Radcliffe Avatar Carrie OLeary Avatar Susan Dawson

Thanks for your quick and helpful replies! Adding a regular 100-word challenge to Voice.club sounds like a fantastic idea. By the way, Linda, this will not replace our ongoing 350 word Flash contest.

You folks gave us great suggestions and ideas so that we can start the design. Hopefully our first Micro Fiction 100 word challenge will open soon. We will announce the new contest when it has launched!

Christer Norrlof
Christer Norrlof (@christer-norrlof)
7 months ago
Reply to  Voice-Team

Thank you very much for your openmindedness, Voice.club, and for your quick response. It sounds exiting!

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Carrie OLeary
Carrie OLeary (@carrie-oleary)
7 months ago
Reply to  Voice-Team

Sounds like fun. Love the added challenge that fewer words presents!

Eric Radcliffe
Eric Radcliffe (@eric-radcliffe)
6 months ago

Hi Christer, my internet has been down, so I have missed the boat on the 100 word challenge. I would be grateful if you could explain it a little more please/thanks, Eric.

Christer Norrlof
Christer Norrlof (@christer-norrlof)
6 months ago
Reply to  Eric Radcliffe

As is shown in the exchange of thoughts above, I commented on Linda’s excellent way of expressing lots of things in just a few words. In her answer, she told me that she has been participating in another literary online site, where the maximum number of words is only 100, which has been a good training for her. Since it seemed interesting to me, I inquired about it. Some attentive person at Voice.club noticed our conversation and jumped in, suggesting that Voice.club try it as a complement to what already exists. And that’s where we are. Since I personally have problems limiting my stories to 350 words, I see a limit of 100 words like an interesting challenge, like solving a cross word puzzle or writing a poem.

Sandra James
Sandra James (@sandra-james)
7 months ago

Well done, Linda. You have expressed the emotions, the indecision and that head/heart battle so well I find myself wondering what I would do if I were in her shoes. I especially liked the second last sentence ‘I returned to my bed to listen to their closing arguments’.

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Andrew Carter
Andrew Carter (@andrew-carter)
7 months ago

Hi Linda, you draw a neat picture of the most important principle of a relationship – ‘trust’ – summoned up wonderfully by these opposing sentences:
“My heart… making a strong case for love. In the belief that it really did conquer all.
My head countering… recalling dark days of pain and despair. Calling into question my capacity to forgive and forget.”
A heart-wrenching story, and well worth exploring further.

Lotchie Carmelo
Lotchie Carmelo (@lotchie-carmelo)
6 months ago

What a painful story, Linda. It is a problem of many relationships today – trust. Because once the trust is broken it is very hard to fix it. It is very challenging to decide whether to forgive or to forget.

Lotchie Carmelo
Lotchie Carmelo (@lotchie-carmelo)
6 months ago
Reply to  Linda Rock

You’re most welcome  ?  I enjoyed reading it.

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