Thursday, June 30, 2011


The pain shrieking from her heart made her think she should be dialing 911, but she had just spoken with the lab, confirming what that damn little white stick told her two days ago.  The vice grip she had on the phone wouldn’t allow her to dial the doctor to set up an appointment, let alone...him.

Once vibrant visions of their life together streaked by, the ones she had created when she thought he was hers.  She had mapped out a future with him by her side; a future full of travel to exotic destinations, adventures to journey on together, and though she wasn’t sold on the idea, his idea, even a family…down the road, later.

Her girlfriends told her not to.  They told her so many times, in so many ways that eventually, she stopped sharing her plans.  She told herself not sharing with the women she called sisters, was the only piece of the puzzle that didn’t fit.

It didn’t take long before her girlfriends were all proven right and she knew what she had created weren’t plans for the future, but simply fantasies.  Why hadn’t she seen this coming?  Where exactly did she leave her common sense behind?  It was as if inhaling one fantastically soul penetrating breath of him sent every bit of what made her who she was flying off a jagged cliff.

She didn’t recognize who she had become and is completely unsure of what she is now.  Stripped bare, she had nothing left inside - nothing - except some small being growing that was to forever remind her of when she completely took leave of herself.

Will this little being remind her of him?  Every day?  Will it remind her of herself?  How can that even be a possibility.  She has no idea who she is, barely remembers who she was before.

As fast as she had breathed him in, she saw herself at the lake with her girlfriends.  Fifteen years old and unabashed, fearless, completely free, jumping off the rocky cliffs into the water below, smiles never leaving their faces.

With whatever strength her cells still harbored, she grasped and held on.

Extricating herself from the crumpled mess she had become on the floor, she pries the phone from her clenched hand, grabs the paper she had scribbled the recommended obstetrician’s number on, and a pen.

A few deep, ragged breaths drawn in and she boldly marks Decline with Regret.  Regret doesn’t begin to cover it, but there’s no way she’s going to finish sacrificing herself by watching him walk down the aisle to marry her.

She shoves the R.S.V.P. card from the scathing invitation into its stamped envelope.  Carrying it out to the nearest mail drop, she pulls out her cell and dials the obstetrician, taking the first step of this next journey in this unfamiliar new life.

I haven't posted any fiction in a couple months and decided to dive back in with The Red Dress Club this week.  One of my favorite writers, Mandy and new to me, Elena are guest hosting this week and prompted us with:  "You or your character find a forgotten letter or card from someone important in your life--whether good or bad.  What does it say?  How does it affect you or your character?  What is done with it?"

600 words or less, I came in at 477.


  1. That was completely NOT the ending I was expecting and I loved it!

    Writing for TRDC at

  2. I enjoyed this! I was pulled into your character's self torment. I had one piece of criticism. This line: "She didn’t recognize who she had become and completely unsure of what she is now". You change tense. It threw me. I had to read it twice. I would change it to unsure of what she "was" now. Very minor but enough to pull me out of the story. Great job. You do fiction well!

  3. Love the RSVP decline at the end. This was such a unique way to handle the prompt. And the line about the child being a forever reminder of "HIM" was pretty chilling. Well done!

  4. I agree with the first commenter, not the ending I expected. I love how you incorporated the letter as an rsvp. My favorite line: "Stripped bare, she had nothing left inside - nothing - except some small being growing that was to forever remind her of when she completely took leave of herself." Very powerful!

  5. Oh so, so good!

    I'm so sad for her- but seriously so good!

    I love this line -was the only piece of the puzzle that didn’t fit- it reads like poetry.

    Also? Boys can be so rotten, can't they?! :)

  6. This is worthy of a part two. I finished this wanting to know more.

    Stopping by from TRDC.

  7. Definitely not the ending I was expecting. She's pretty brave to go through with what is obviously a horrible reminder of her past.

  8. I wondered at the title, and I like how you delivered it at the end. Added to all the uncertainty of a pregnancy about which she's ambivalent, the ex getting married just hits so hard.

  9. You are such a talented writer! It left me wanting more than 477 words. I hope you write fiction again! :)

  10. Yes, and then what, we need to know!!!
    Great writing, loved it all.

  11. So sad. Also loved the idea of the rsvp for the wedding. You really used this detail perfectly.

  12. This was fantastic! I love it. You totally have to give us more. More fiction, you're great at it. I could feel her turmoil and get what she was experiencing. Decline with regrets. Perfect wording for a way to describe some of what she was feeling. Well done!

  13. DAGGERS in my heart! This was gripping and MASTERFUL in its description of this raw conflict. Makes me WONDER - WHAT next!

    {GREAT work, Kare! When's the rest of it coming out!?!}


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