The Day Joy Left My Life

This is based upon a prompt from The Red Dress Club. This week’s prompt is about forgiveness. Forgiving others, forgiving yourself. Write about a time of forgiveness. The word count is 600 words. This is fiction and is tied into a longer story.

I remember the day that joy left my life. It was the day that you said that you couldn’t see me any longer. I don’t think that you ever realized just how much you mean and meant to me. It wasn’t for lack of my trying to tell you. I did. I truly did. The problem wasn’t the effort, it was the means.

I failed.

You left.

I cried.

It hurt.

It still hurts.

Now I sit here in the dark. I can’t tell you what time or what day it is. Aside from a couple of trips to the bathroom I haven’t left this room. Not to eat and not to shower.

What is my purpose. Was I not given a heart to love you. Was I not given a soul to share with you. Without you I haven’t any reason for being. I feel empty. Fragments of who I was are floating around my head. I get brief glimpses of the person I was.

Sometimes I try to grab them. Sometimes I try to snatch them out of the air so that just for one more moment I might feel something, some sort of warmth. I hold the pillow close and pray that your scent never leaves it.

I am not supposed to be like this. I am not supposed to be so dependent upon another. I used to be strong. I used to be happy. I knew joy and I knew bliss. And now they are gone. It is hard to breathe. It feels so cold. The tears roll down my face in silent testimony to my loss. There is nothing left to do. No reason to be.

All I can do is type this letter and hope that I wake up. I pinch myself over and over wishing that I’d just wake up. But I don’t.

I can’t.

I won’t.

Move on. Get up. Try to live my life. These are things that whole people do. They do not belong to me. I claim no ownership over them.

I am shamed and ashamed. I am weak and cowardly. I am so frail. I can’t bring myself to do anything.

Your sister tried to hug me and I collapsed. I cannot bear to be touched. The touch just reminds me that the world has ended and I have been left behind. Pain is my sole companion.

She tried to speak, tried to explain. You cannot console me. There are no words. The love that we shared is shattered. The hope is gone and so are you. You cannot help and I cannot hope. Joy has left my life and I cannot forgive myself for my role in losing it.

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Comments

  1. You always read like poetry to me. Powerful emotions.

    If you could give me action, words and events along with these flourishes you could elevate this story telling.

    Well done. Stopping by from the red dress club.

  2. gah.
    ouch.
    palpable pain.

    Shattered is right.

    Well done, and I’m glad to have read it on the memoir link up.. agreeing with Renee that there is so much vivid emotion in there, that there IS memoir somewhere inside this.

  3. This captures the feeling of heartbreak so vividly. If it is fiction, I have to wonder, was it based on some time in your life. You bring it across so well.

  4. This sounded really real. I absolutely love it when a writer gets so into their character that they “become one”. I enjoyed the single lines as well. Each sentence had its own punch, it was felt.

  5. Actually, I think I missed in the beginning this is fiction. Duh.

    This prompt/link up is for memoir. Not fiction. Please save fiction for Fridays!

  6. Very powerful, Jack. To risk redundancy, I fully endorse the above comments. The lines they mentioned, each one hit me too, with the final line packing a huge punch.

    “Fragments of who I was are floating around my head. I get brief glimpses of the person I was.
    Sometimes I try to grab them. Sometimes I try to snatch them out of the air so that just for one more moment I might feel something, some sort of warmth.”

    This passage screamed to me for an example, an actual memory, not just a feeling. Something as a reader I could hold onto and go “to lose that would kill me”.

    Brilliant job describing heartbreak and how it affects us.

    “These are things that whole people do. They do not belong to me.” Amen.

    • I struggle with brevity. I think that you are right about the example, I just didn’t know how to do it and hit the wordcount.

  7. Really raw, Jack. And as I’ve said before, it’s amazing men even think this way. But I’m glad they do. Not that I’m glad yo went through this, though!

    My concrit: you use the word “that” a lot. You don’t need them. It’ll help make it a little tighter.

  8. Been there. Done that. And, yes, love and loss gets easier. When you have less of a heart.

  9. Mmm, this was a beautiful, but tough read for me right now. I’m kind of there. And you definitely captured it.

    Those five lines: I failed. You left. I cried. It hurt. It still hurts. They’re really perfect – a cut and dry look at what happened, through the eyes of depression. And the thought of his scent on the pillow really got to me. That was well done.

    “All I can do is type this letter and hope that I wake up. I pinch myself over and over wishing that I’d just wake up. But I don’t.” These first two lines seem a bit repetitive, as they both end with wake up.

    Outside of that, really solid work. Love it!

    Bobbi

  10. I love the visual of you trying to “snatch” fragments of yourself out of the air. I could feel your pain in each sentence.

    Great writing.

  11. Jack, this post was so heart-wrenching and raw!

    I loved the short paragraphs, single lines. I stayed with you through it all.

    Wording such as: “Your sister tried to hug me and I collapsed. I cannot bear to be touched.” are so poignant, so vulnerable. They reflect the emotion in this piece perfectly.

  12. How honest and full of heartache.
    This is very raw Jack.
    The last line, “Joy has left my life and I cannot forgive myself for my role in losing it.”
    So sad.

  13. this made me so sad, which I suppose is the point. so well done there! this line: “Move on. Get up. Try to live my life. These are things that whole people do. They do not belong to me. I claim no ownership over them.” that was so poignant and raw. and then at the end, I expected you to forgive (or not) her and you couldn’t forgive yourself. that broke my heart. so sad. well done!

    • I tapped into old feelings and remembered what life once felt like. Real heartbreak makes you wonder if you’ll ever smile again. Thank you for coming by.

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  1. […] I adapted a fictional piece for The Red Dress Club. It originally appeared on the old blog as part of Fragments of Fiction. My […]

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