I Just Wanted You to Know (Nostalgia Column - 2)

It’s this thing I have. I’m sorry if it scared you. I feel other people’s feelings. I imagine crumbling insides and splitting hearts, goodbyes that hang in the air before they break into tiny pieces. I hear words that aren’t said, the echoes of lonely hallways and hollow footsteps. I hear sobs that soak pillowcases when all the lights are out and the world is sleeping. I carry this inside of me, all of it. I knew you paced the floor at night, trying to walk over all the things you didn’t want me to know. But I felt every wound you ever endured when I rested against you. I felt the ache that I have, deep inside of me, on your lips. Every time we kissed, I tasted a lifetime of tangled paths and bumpy roads woven with joined hands. Love isn’t blind, you see. I felt everything you were and could be if only you stopped hiding in the same darkness you sheltered me from. I knew who you could become if someone loved you just right.

I’m sorry if that scared you.

Just in case you were wondering, I still love you and I’ll keep the lights dim.

 Come home.

© jacqueline simon gunn

Welcome to the second nostalgia column, a place for all of those words we never got to say. The inspiration for this column came from the plot of one of current WIP’s, called The Crooked Path, which is currently with my beta-readers. My next book is called, Where You’ll Land, and is scheduled for release in January. It’s a romantic psychological fiction. I will be posting the synopsis shortly.

If you want to read a little more about the inspiration behind the nostalgia column, please see the previous post for details. Nostalgia is something we all experience. We remember things as we are in the present and therefore, the past is constantly changing. I hope this provides a place for people to write in what they only understood they wanted to say in retrospect and that readers will find pieces that resonate.

*Thank you to all of the wonderful writers who contributed to this edition of I Just Wanted You to Know. If you would like to contribute a piece for the next blog, please message me through the website or through Facebook or Instagram. Thank you all for reading.

In retrospect, I find that in my search for love. it is that very search that destroyed me. My self-destruction has become exhausting. The warmth of another no longer keeps me safe or calm, but rather, shakes me to my very core. I, and only I, have made myself fear what should be one of the most cherished feelings in this world. What is a beacon of hope for others now drives me to a catatonic and catathymic state that while I wish didn't exist, I hope to never awaken from.

The issue with burning bridges is not the lost connection or solitude, for those are easily surmountable. It is the fact that sooner or later, you are not only burned, but you are engulfed in the flames. The ensuing somnambulism is a fate worse than death, because in my most subconscious of thoughts, I will forever be seeking a treatment for wounds that can never be healed.

So this is how it ends. I can still smell the metaphorical burning flesh of the anthropomorphic conceptualization of our love. A plane ride to a distant land where the search begins again, when I already found that love here. In my heart of hearts, at least what is left of the one I destroyed myself, knows that everything I needed was in some southern sandbox, in a sunburned country, in the foothills of what is now a personal hell ablaze with hatred. The worst kind of pain, what cuts the deepest and twists its serrated blade in the cavity where the remnants of a functional heart used to be, is the pain one has inflicted upon themselves. The self destruction due to a contrived messiah complex, where the dichotomy dictates that I was the villain. I am fueled by my disdain for myself, and it has given birth to a sick form of a hopeful misanthrope. For the first time, I feel alive- but you're not here. For the rest of my days, I will sit here by my wishing well, throwing in my coins, hearing the hollow "plonk" as they hit the water as your return, my last wish, is never to be fulfilled.

© Philip Raus @theory.of.sisyphus

Part of me wishes we could go back. Wishes we could go back to those two people who didn't know any different. Who only had eyes for each other and nothing else seemed to matter. I wish we could go back to your bed, lock the door, and throw away the key. But life doesn't happen behind doorways in the bedroom—its everything on the outside, the living room, the kitchen, the front of the house where strangers pass us by. Life is in the moments we can't take back. It's the line drawn in the sand and everything on one side as after the fact and everything on the other as before. There is no going back, only forward. 

~ Naomi Boshari, @naomiboshari 

an evanescent memory skitters across my mental screen
of a day that still tints my cheeks blush pink
the sky had peeled of all its blues that day
adorned in an ombre of spun sugar, honey and molasses
kindling a yearning to meld together as one ,
as a breeze scented with aphrodisia
incited our senses into a fervor of emotions
the sun caressing me warm on bare gold shoulders
the sand crisp and crunchy beneath my soles
sending frissons of anticipation up each nerve ending
our intense unbroken gaze locked across the crowd
a red velvet ribbon of passion connecting my heart to yours
as languid  waves of desire danced between us, both by design and default
and you slowly reeled me in closer, closer, closer, closer .....

Luckey
@myriadmadmusings


wading through my father's phone book
as I help him sort his contacts...

a random name whisks my breath away,
and my heart decides to abandon my chest,

a hollow ache resurging from deep within,
an ache I haven't been able to numb,
in a quarter of a century.....

and in all probability will never be able to...

this name reminds me of a soul that felt like home,

a love that bloomed though for one tenth of a season..
but its fragrance nourishes my breath for the rest of my life..

The chrysalis of words never fully dispelled from the the tips of our tongues, swirled, swallowed and sometimes ingested whole to cocoon a love we never gave a fair chance to.

The crippling fear of failure impeding our optimistic stance.
The ugly truth of our ineludible aloneness
sugarcoated with enchanting lies,
we indulge in a fantasy compromised.

Each day henceforth, poised on a fulcrum of infinite possibility, we evade being impaled by the trenchant hands of hounding inevitability, braced with mouths agape concealing our only route of escape.

Luckey
@myriadmadmusings

&
Ambica Gossain
@tryst_with_fiction

I miss this human, he was taken from me too soon. He was an amazing man, one of the best men who has ever walked this planet, and he was mine, then.

My soul bleeds at times, the pain is so bad I can't run away from it; it lays on me like a blanket of steel. Only darkness can fill the space between the sky and me, it hurts.

I try and breathe in the light, for now. I try and put it away, for now. I go on with life without you, for now. I will keep you tight inside my bleeding soul because for now, I'm here and you’re there. Until I lay in your loving warm strong arms again, I'll stay here, but, just for now. I love you then, now and always, but it hurts.

 © denise demartine

 

Thank you again for reading.

I Just Wanted You to Know (Nostalgia Column - 1)

I wish I could hold time in my hands. I wish I could talk to it. Oh, how I would ask it to give me just a few more increments of its elusive power. How can something we can’t touch or see have so much control over our lives. It was time that took you too soon, too young, before I got to say all of the things I wanted to, needed to. Things you will never know. And I carry them like a weight, these words, these sentences, right in the middle of my chest, because they have nowhere else to go.

If only time had allowed me to understand the things I would want to say after you were gone. That’s the thing. They told me “don’t leave anything unsaid.” But I didn’t know what I wanted to say until it was too late, until you were gone. It was the time afterward that held all the wisdom.

© jacqueline simon gunn

 I wrote this piece for my mother, who died within one month of a pancreatic cancer diagnosis. There were so many things I wanted to say but didn’t, because I didn’t want to scare her; she, being a stoic person and always more concerned with everyone else’s needs, didn’t share what her emotions were. She was dying and we never really talked about it. I carry this with me every day, all the time, even when I’m not thinking about it.

As time has gone on, I’ve found that what I would have wanted to say (or would say), keeps changing. There are so many things now, almost twelve years later, that I understand through life experience that I didn’t understand then. The more I thought about this, the more I realized that there are many people I have things to say to, things I only realized in retrospect.  

When someone impacts our life, there will always be more to say. Some piece of them is always with us. And with each movement forward that piece shifts around and becomes something different; some new way of understanding the past and ourselves. In this way, the past is as influenced by the present as the present is by the past.

If you follow my writing, you know that I explore emotions and complex psychological processes through my characters. After years of academic and narrative nonfiction writing, I felt that I could explore deeper aspects of motivation and emotions if I shed the layer of distance in nonfiction writing and immersed myself directly into the hearts and minds of my characters.  

In Forever and One Day, I explore enduring love, betrayal, forgiveness, redemption and loss. My next book, scheduled for release in January, is called, Where You’ll Land. It’s romantic fiction, taking place in Miami. The characters come together, in a tangled web, when they enter a clinical psychology graduate school program. I will post a synopsis and teaser as the release gets closer.

I’m now working on rewrites for a spin-off from Forever and One Day. For readers who asked for more at the end of Forever and One Day, there will be more, but it will also read as a standalone.

It’s romantic fiction, but like Forever and One Day, there are philosophical questions posed through the narrative, places for readers, who are interested in introspective reflections, to pause and think about life. For those who are looking to be whisked away, there is a tangled love story filled with drama and complex family dynamics.

Amanda Wilcox is my protagonist and she is a nostalgia columnist. Her column, I Just Wanted You to Know, is woven into the plot of the story. I decided to start a blog that will run while I’m doing the rewrites on the book. I’m opening submissions to anyone. You don’t have to be a writer. We all have things we’d like to say or wish we had said. We carry these words deep inside of us and they influence our present, whether we are conscious of them or not. I'd like to open a dialogue for this. I’d like people to use this blog as a place to put those words and for others to read pieces that may resonate.  

 

Thank you to all of the people who contributed pieces for the first blog in the I Just Wanted You to Know series.

I couldn't forgive you, not back then. I hadn't sinned enough myself. I hadn't told enough lies to understand why people lie. I hadn't felt enough pain to know how much pain takes out of a person. I hadn't been alone long enough to know what loneliness can drive a person to do.

Now I've lived, I can see why you chose not to. I won't follow you, not into the dark. Not today. The truth is, what you did still hurts and I bet it always will. Compassion is hardest to attain for those who have hurt us. But here we are, twenty years further down the road, and I'm starting to get a sense of that compassion.

I wish I could have said all this back then, but I didn't know it then, and we didn't talk. Not like this. If we had... No, forget "if we had." Neither of us could, so life is as it is.

-JED

One more minute on your rosary and you'll dispose of me and the things that I did to your soul.

- Chris Iorio

I think you might have been the love of my life. The way we fell right into each other’s life and how you consumed my every thought. It was just as if my heart had been saving a space just for you to fill it and take your rightful place all along. I just couldn’t tell you, I don’t think my husband would have approved.


- Anonymous

It wouldn’t be fair to say we didn’t lead each other on, all those late nights swirled in hot chocolate, your head nestled in my lap, my fingers kneading trails and tribulations out of each sinew extending from your hairline, down your nape, to the musculature that spanned your broad shoulders. Our platonic exchanges, nothing more than narratives of our romantic strifes and betrayals, salved by the gentle caress of each other’s hushed tones. Pheromones charged the oxygen we refused to inhale, despite our futile attempt to halt the revolution that had been brewing under our skins from the get go.

 

But we’d made our choices, or at least, I’d made them for the both of us when I laid down the ground rules in cement I wouldn’t let dry, in the vain hope that you would surrender your chivalry to the attraction we could no longer deny. I was already in love with the man I knew I’d spend the rest of my life with and I had made it clear that I had nothing to offer you so what would we call what we had or more accurately what we didn’t have? We wouldn’t diminish its value by wrapping it up in a cheap affair, but we couldn’t strip it down to reveal the the truth either. Was it actually possible for me to love two men at the same time? And would your lack of admission to the heinous crime of falling for a taken woman disarm the combustible tension that threatened to capsize our already precarious intentions? 

 I knew I had to let you go, but for that, I had to let you in first and I wasn’t confident I could come back up for air after being submerged by the full extent and depth of everything we felt for each other. It broke me into more pieces than I knew how to put back together, but the pieces I’m missing were your chance at being loved back the way you deserved, with every cell in someone else’s being and I couldn’t take them back because I could never be that person. I often stare into space and find myself in an out of body, hovering over the earth, with a telescopic view state, where I see us with our respective families, eyes radiant with joy and imagine you looking up at me, grateful that we took the high road. Is there a part of me that wonders what could have been? Yes, there will always be, but it looks smaller each time I check and I’m reassured that we ended up where we were meant to be.

- Ambica Gossain, @tryst_with_fiction

I miss the guy who used to call me beautiful 500 different ways. Who called just to say that he was thinking of me and that he missed me. Can you tell him I miss him too? That I need him.

-Anonymous

It was late In March of 2018 When I heard the news About Devin McQueen A friend who had served Our great nation so well And had feared not one man Here on Earth nor in Hell But that afternoon On a Tuesday at 2 He drove himself home He had something to do He was there to confront His much younger lover Angry, they quarreled Over something or other The next thing he knew She was lying there dead Then he silently raised His own gun to his head The crying of his 6 month-old Son went unheard From the next room as Devin Departed our world. While everyone weighs The pros and cons Of freedoms and rights And the bearing of arms My nights have been restless With thoughts of you, friend How you brought yourself To your own grisly end For what it costs In human lives At the hands of The emotionally compromised Is it worth the weight You felt on your hip That this tragedy had to Go down like this My brain is hamstrung My heart aches for you But they now call you “coward” And I know that it’s true. And I’m sad that your boy Will grow up with no dad And will never know The good friend I once had.

~ Victor Ferrara Jr.

 the past that lies behind me
i often think i romanticize
that maybe some of those
moments are over fantasized
but i as i gloss over the rare
black splotches of my childhood
i admit i wish my children
had a different world, that they could
be in a time when it was safe to
say hello to strangers & go outside to play
when girls weren’t obsessed with
their selfies, bodies, or social media page
when boys weren’t afraid to be themselves
& weren’t forced into some certain box
when parents didn’t have to be
called or texted just to have a talk
when nights meant sitting together
family meals, laughter & hugging
not all this distance, these voids
these fractures we are creating
i miss back porches, camping trips
board game nights & counting fireflies
making brownies with mom, playing tag with dad
reading real books, going on bike rides
i never knew what this world would become
as i grew up & saw so much change
why do we not ever realize when
we are truly living in the good old days?

by: august bones - @august_bones7

*If you're interested in submitting a piece for the next nostalgia blog, please contact me through my website, Facebook page, or Instagram page.

Thank you!

Forever and One Day - available February 6th

Forever and One Day will be available in print on February 6th! The Kindle version will be available for $0.99 on pre-order for a week following the print release. Here is the synopsis and a long teaser.

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Synopsis:

Everyone has wondered “what if?” But how many get a chance to live it?

Seventeen years ago, Olivia Watson’s world was turned upside down when she discovered Justin, her high-school sweetheart turned fiancé, having sex with her best friend, Petal. Unable to muster up any forgiveness, she turns her back on him and every friend connected to that part of her life, leaving many questions about the details of the betrayal unanswered.

When Olivia receives an invitation for her twenty-year high school reunion, she decides that she’s been avoiding the past for too long. It’s time to go back and revisit that part of her life, her old friends, and the betrayal that created the wedge between them.

As soon as she and Justin lay eyes on each other at the reunion, they immediately sense the vibrant remains of their unbreakable connection. The spark between them never faded. However, Justin is now married to Petal and Olivia is involved with Adam, her handsome, best-selling-author boyfriend. But is healing old wounds enough for Olivia and Justin to move forward together, or will it help them make peace with the new lives they have chosen?

Each of the four main characters remain bound to their past by unresolved issues, demonstrating that sometimes we can’t find our future until we settle our past. But, most importantly, Olivia learns that forever isn’t time eternal; rather, forever is a place we share with the people we love the most — even when they’re gone.

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Teaser:

“Have you thought of me at all? Was there ever a time when you wondered ‘what if’? I have been driving myself nuts thinking what if.”

“There was never a ‘what if’ for me. You slept with my best friend. I’m not upset about it anymore, but it’s the reality. I did think about you. I missed you, but I wouldn’t let myself feel it, not deeply, at least. The pain. When it came on, I pushed it aside. Then ten years passed. And I find out you married her. Married. If there was ever a ‘what if,’ it was taken away when I found out that you were married.” She put her hand over her mouth. That last sentence spilled out. She didn’t even know that she thought it until it slipped past her lips. Would there have been a second chance if he hadn’t married Petal?

And for the first time, she admitted to herself, perhaps, yes.

Now she looked at him and felt the what if washing over her. The desire to touch him, to remember how his lips felt kissing her mouth, her skin, her hair, felt irresistible. She gulped.

He stared into her eyes and she felt a kiss coming. Their faces hovered in an awkward dance as their mouths drew closer. She could feel the warmth of his breath against her lips. My gosh, she shivered, leaned in, then quickly pulled back. She broke the eye contact. Trying to shake the sensation, she gulped down some wine. “Justin. We can’t.”

“I know.” He responded. But she could see the longing in his eyes. And the love, she could feel it, enveloping, like she was immersed in a deep sea surrounded by Justin’s feelings, by their feelings. She ached for him to touch her. As much as her words said we can’t, and as much as she was saying no in her head, her heart was saying please kiss me.

Please just grab me and kiss me before I can say no.

 

 Thank you for reading. I’ll be giving away some signed copies. If you’d like to be entered to win, please sign up for my newsletter at the top of the page.

 

   

 

 

She wasn't broken

She wasn’t broken.
She was made up of a thousand tiny little cracks.
She was always trying to keep herself glued together.
But it was hard, she felt too much.
No matter what she did, her emotions seeped through,
sometimes in drips, other times in floods,
She felt everything,
the heaviness of the clouds right before rain,
the rush of the subway cars as they left the station,
the feeling of goodbye as she watched someone walk away,
wondering if it was the last time she would see them,
the feeling of a kiss lingering on her cheek for hours.
She felt the loneliness of the sun as it hung in the sky,
shedding light on the day,
without companion.

And she longed to give as much as the sun.
If she could brighten someone’s day,
bestow warmth were there was cold,
make someone smile, give someone hope,
then for a minute, an hour, maybe even a day,
the cracks would fill with love
and the pain would become only a voice,
reminding her that her pain was important.
She knew how fragile life was, how hard,
and how precious.

She wanted to feel it all.

- Jacqueline Simon Gunn