His bag was packed and stashed inside the hallway cupboard.

Standing by the bed, he watched her sleep.  He did love her… just not enough.

Not enough to compete with the constant feeling of being stifled, trapped and robbed of his freedom.  Feelings that were just too strong.

It was better this way.  No lingering, sad goodbyes.  He couldn’t bear to witness the pain in her eyes.  The pain he’d seen in others… too many times.  Those he’d loved and left.

When that midnight train called, he always answered.

Maybe one day its call would go unheeded.  But not tonight.

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Marianna Pieterse
Marianna Pieterse(@marianna-pieterse)
5 months ago

Linda, this is so sad. I hope your protagonist would find the one person who would make him stay. This sounds like a great start to a longer story!

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

A well written story, Linda but, unlike Marianna, I feel so sorry for the girl he’s leaving behind. She may feel that she has the perfect man, but to wake up and find he’s done a flit in the night, well, I can’t imagine anything more selfish. Perhaps if you… Read more »

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

? I’m very much for woman power at the moment! I have no problem with them leaving if they’re not happy, but I feel so sorry for the woman who wakes up to find herself alone! I think she’ll feel very let down not to be told to her face.… Read more »

Allan Neil
Allan Neil(@allan-neil)
5 months ago

Lovely emotional story, Linda. It immediately reminded me of the Matt Munro ballad, ‘Softly, as I leave you.’ Pushed me to the teary border! Had to read it a couple of times more. First class work!

Allan Neil
Allan Neil(@allan-neil)
Reply to  Linda Rock
5 months ago

For those who don’t know the song.. Softly, I will leave you softly For my heart would break if you should wake and see me go So I leave you softly, long before you miss me Long before your arms can beg me stay For one more hour Or one… Read more »

Thompson Emate
Thompson Emate(@thompson-emate)
Reply to  Allan Neil
5 months ago

An emotional song, Allan. What year was it sung? I’ve never come across it before.

Allan Neil
Allan Neil(@allan-neil)
Reply to  Thompson Emate
5 months ago

Hi Thompson. 1962 was the year this song came out. Matt Monro had a very difficult life, sometimes, so the emotions in many of his songs came from deep within.

Margarida Brei
Margarida Brei(@margarida-brei)
5 months ago

The protagonist is rather fickle and selfish in his collection of love them and leave them. Good story, Linda.

Thompson Emate
Thompson Emate(@thompson-emate)
Reply to  Linda Rock
5 months ago

Hmmm.

Thompson Emate
Thompson Emate(@thompson-emate)
5 months ago

Linda, this is an interesting one and emotional also. Why did he always leave? Is there anything about him that he is trying to enshroud? It seems there’s something dark about him.

Juma
Juma(@juma)
Reply to  Linda Rock
5 months ago

I don’t think you failed at all, Linda. You tried to portray the man in a favorable, or at least understandable light – I got that. But I think too many of us women have been on the receiving end of similar experiences to be objective. Times are changing now,… Read more »

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

Oh! That is a too emotional read, Linda. Honestly, I have a deep sigh when I reach the last sentence of your story. Like Carrie, I also feel sorry for the girl he left behind but as I read your reply to Carrie I also understand his reason. Very well-written,… Read more »

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

You are most welcome, Linda.

Emily O'Leary
Emily O'Leary(@emily-oleary)
5 months ago

Very emotional story Linda! I think the fact he’s left behind a string of women this way is a definite indicator that he’s suffering his own kind of trauma. I hope the woman he left behind understands his reasons, and the way he left. Perhaps she finds a letter he… Read more »

Preston Randall
Preston Randall(@preston-randall)
Reply to  Linda Rock
5 months ago

As others have said, perhaps a measure of success here is the amount of discussion this story is generating. I too thought it was another well-constructed and emotional piece (as are all of your stories, it appears!). I also thought about how you might have reinforced some sympathy for your… Read more »

Preston Randall
Preston Randall(@preston-randall)
Reply to  Linda Rock
5 months ago

Linda, I was sad to read that some of the comments have left you feeling low, as everyone here recognizes the excellence of your writing and this is no exception. I think we all interpret stories based on our own knowledge and experiences, and I don’t believe there is any… Read more »

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

I agree with Juma, Linda. A good story triggers different reactions and responses, and this definitely is a very good story! My take on it is that you are describing a man who has problems with receiving love because he isn’t used to it and doesn’t feel worthy of it.… Read more »

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