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The break-up

An excerpt

By Emmy BPublished 4 months ago 4 min read
The break-up
Photo by Jackson Simmer on Unsplash

Hi everyone - sharing a quick excerpt of the book I'm writing here. I would love to hear critiques, ways to improve, what you liked or enjoyed about my writing style - anything is helpful! Part of my book is written from one of my character's POV - first person. This is a reflection following the end of her relationship. Does it make you want to read more? What broke the flow? Let me know your thoughts!

It’s really over. How did this happen? Yesterday I was in a committed relationship with someone that I loved. I suppose that’s the catch though isn’t it - someone I loved. Not love. Loved. Where did we go wrong? I remember the first time I met Tam. It was after a hard day’s work, I needed to grab a drink, and was on my own. There she was, sitting with her friends in the bar, laughing. I remember that twinkle in her eyes, the way she shone so bright in a room filled with people forgetting their days, much as I was. Her hair was longer then, a copper cascade down her back, shifting and swaying with her shoulders. She looked like a fairy. Straight from one of those bedtime stories my mother used to tell me - the fey are too beautiful to be trusted.

But still I fell, and I fell hard. It was with her I first travelled to El Lago, I first saw the abundant green lining the edge of their deadly lake. We used to joke about monsters living in its depths. The first time I said I love you - and I said it first, of course - was after meeting her family. Seeing her in her safe space, being the exact same person she had been with me, was a confirmation. I knew the person I fell in love with was genuine, cared about people, was spontaneous and intelligent.

Oh, where did it all go wrong? It started small, as do all things in life. The way she dismissed me when I wanted love and attention. Tam's eyes, once warm and inviting, grew distant when I reached out for affection. I started thinking I was too much.

"Tam," I said hesitantly, “can we talk about what happened yesterday?”

"Not now," she replied, scrolling through her phone. "I'm tired."

This way she told me “not now” when I brought up situations that bothered me, compounded my feeling unheard and unseen. Somehow it grew, this sensation of being not enough and too much at the same time. I stopped telling her my worries, my concerns, my hopes. And yet we still held on to the foolish hope of a life together.

Someone told me about co-dependence once, and it rang so true my heart stung. We loved each other but stopped liking each other. It was like watching a car crash in slow motion. The day to day stopped being enjoyable, it became a game, a game to show each other just enough to keep the link but not enough to truly connect. We both saw the spark fading, but our joint intention to focus on an imagined future kept us together - after all, we were together against the world. The mere thought of being without each other was too hard, forcing us to ignore the cracks in our foundation.

"We can make it work, right?" I asked, a hint of uncertainty in my voice.

"We just need to get through this rough patch," she replied, her tone strained.

How was I supposed to know how dangerous this way of thinking was? We had stopped sleeping together pretty early on - I dismissed it as a normal facet of long-term couples, despite what my friends told me. Never compare my relationship to others they said - everyone is different. And it was, different, I mean. Every shared glance, every touch, held a unique magic. But as time wore on, the spark dimmed, and what once felt extraordinary became ordinary. The specialness we once created with shared laughter and stolen glances became a sour reminder of the disingenuous nature of our relationship. Love became a currency exchanged for compliance; affection given when I played the expected role, withheld when I dared to assert my own needs.

I realised that special is what you give it, not what it is. Giving our time, our attention, ourself to another person, that is special. But who you are giving it to might be the wrong direction entirely. Despite how wonderful that person might be.

Our conversations, once filled with shared dreams, now stung with unspoken resentment. Arguments, like storms brewing on the horizon, cast shadows over our connection, leaving us stranded in a sea of unresolved tension. It became more and more common to argue - but never over things that mattered. That hurt too much and drenched us in the reality of separating, something that could never happen. That never felt like it could be possible. Because how could we ever survive in this world without each other?

And yet it was over, and I had never felt so free.


About the Creator

Emmy B

I write some of my truths, and use words to weave stories and ideas together. Writing is a passion and an outlet for me and I hope to inspire, challenge, or simply be a reflection of others's experiences - to make people feel seen!

Reader insights


Excellent work. Looking forward to reading more!

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  1. Easy to read and follow

    Well-structured & engaging content

  2. Heartfelt and relatable

    The story invoked strong personal emotions

  3. Masterful proofreading

    Zero grammar & spelling mistakes

  1. On-point and relevant

    Writing reflected the title & theme

  2. Eye opening

    Niche topic & fresh perspectives

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    Original narrative & well developed characters

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Comments (2)

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  • Joe O’Connor3 months ago

    I like the quick summary of the speaker falling for Tam, as we get little clues about her falling harder or maybe wanting it more? Maybe you could have a little more in between this paragraph and the next one, so that the change doesn’t seem so quick? Like a few more sentences showing Tam falling out of love perhaps. “ Somehow it grew, this sensation of being not enough and too much at the same time” is a great sentence 👏. Maybe “The way she told me” would work better than “This way that she told me”? The last line is excellent, but perhaps feels too soon considering how the speaker feels about the relationship ending at the start of the chapter. Interested to see where this goes Em!

  • sleepy drafts4 months ago

    Ouuuu, this is super intriguing! I am definitely curious, especially about the other POV you mentioned. You can see the beginnings of an engaging back-and-forth that will end up weaving together but leave enough tension and mystery to keep the reader hooked. Lastly, I like that this character has a clear and organic narrative voice - it makes me even more curious to keep reading to learn about Tam and what she thinks. Awesome work! I'm excited to read more.

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