A Conditional Romance- Free Choice

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If you are triggered by abuse or suicide, please do not read this. I’m making it sound way worse than it actually is but I just don’t wanna freak anyone out but I’m pretty sure this will freak some of you out. Viewer discretion is advised.

Her breathing kept me awake. A methodical lullaby that wouldn’t summon me to sleep. As she clung onto my arm and nuzzled into my chest, inhaling me, I laid motionless; daydreaming along the ceiling. Recollections of university life and buying our house riddled my mind. Every time, I go through these memories I get more and more exhausted-




I held my breathe.










“Hold me, please”


A sigh sailed out of my lungs as I squeezed my eyes shut. She wrapped her right leg around my left and moved her entire body on top of me. The feeling of her breasts pressed into my chest caused me to squeeze my eyes tighter and I just wanted her to


“Get. Off. Me.”


“What did you say, Dave?”


Now, I’ve triggered the coldness in her voice. The same coldness that I imitated whenever I ticked her off in the car. It used to be enduring but now it made me so damn angry. All the traits and quirks that made me fall in love with her were the very faults that made me fall out of love with her.  Her body became loose and weightless as I pushed her off of me and onto the other side of the bed.


She started to cry.



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Blueberry pancakes. Rubbing crust from my eyes, I sat up in bed and inhaled the smell of blueberry pancakes. Sunlight shone in stripes of orange and yellow along the walls of our bedroom which encouraged me to completely get out of bed. I felt the scruff along my neck and face and after contemplating in the mirror, I decided not to shave it.


She hates it when I don’t shave.



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“sweet little light of mine”

“I’m gonna let it shine”

“sweet little little of mi-”


Hey! Why’d you turn that off? I liked that song”


“I didn’t”


“ Where are you going? I already made breakfast. Please have breakfast with me, Dave! Hey! I said get back here! Don’t walk away from me when I’m talking to you! I can’t do this anymore. Please Dave!”



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October was our favourite month.  It was never too hot or never too cold. We met in October. I got into Princeton with a football scholarship and she got accepted for an English major. Typical love story.  She loved my charm and I loved her words. We quickly fell into a relationship and after school we moved in with each other. It was fun at first. Watching her fingers dance over a keyboard as she wrote her novel while we sat on the porch, curled up next to each other.


“ I’m pregnant”


“ You’re what?”


“ I’m pregnant, Dave! We’re going to be parents! I’m terrified. I’ve been waiting to tell you but I wasn’t sure how you would react.”


“That’s impossible.”


“What do you mean?”


“ I’ve been checked there is no way in hell that I could have gotten you pregnant.”


“ But…Dave…I am. You never told me…”


“I wasn’t going to tell you until you asked for kids. Have you….. have you slept with someone else?”



“ I can’t believe you”




“ I thought you loved me.”


“ I do. I do. I just… I….”


“ I’m not going to raise someone else’s kid. If you think that I am going to do that then you’re dead wrong, you hear me?”


“ You can’t leave me. And you’re not. If you do I’m going to tell everyone that you forced me to get pregnant. I made a mistake and I won’t do it again. But you are not leaving me”


“ But that’s a lie. I haven’t forced you to do shit. I have been so good to you. You’re the one that cheated. You’re the one who got pregnant with someone else’s baby. There is no way you are going to get away with this”


“ Dave. I’m a writer. I can get away with anything”


And she did.



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I arrived home at 6. I fumbled through the darkness, hoping to catch her sleeping so I don’t have to talk to her. It was quiet. A deafening silence. Goosebumps burst from my skin as I looked into each room.


She wasn’t in the bedroom.


She wasn’t in the kitchen.


She wasn’t in the living room.


She wasn’t in the bathro-


There she was. Floating face down in the pink water. Waxy candles sunk, causing her hair to look as if a pen had exploded in the bath tub. I turned on the light and stared at her.I scanned the space.


God, I hate the wallpaper in this bathroom.
She wasn’t breathing.








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2 thoughts on “A Conditional Romance- Free Choice

  1. Dear Liza,

    To be quite honest, the trigger warning that you had written before the piece is what drew me to read what you have written. I am sure that you know that I have a love for the dark, the twisted, and the macabre. And I have to say that I am not disappointed. When I read stories, I read them in colours ( if that makes any sense ) and all I could see in my mind’s eye was black and orange flickering candles that seemed to be choked by the shadows. This story was so deliciously dark and it did not go to the point where it got gorey, but it displayed the darkness behind domesticity and how it can quickly go wrong.

    The narrator spoke so frankly and it added to the atmosphere of the piece. But what amazed me more is how normal the two characters were. In published novels, we are exposed to these same sort of problems , but with twisted individuals who clearly belong in either jail or in an asylum. However, you entwined normalcy within the dismal mood.
    And the twist about Dave being tested, I honestly got chills all over because WOW! I really was not expecting that!

    Through this piece, I clearly heard your voice and I have to say that it is a truly beautiful voice. You write your characters with so much life and vibrancy that it makes me feel like they are truly living people instead of characters from a blog post.

    I sincerely hope that you continue to write and I am excited to see you grow further!

    With much love,
    Bryna Anne

  2. Dear Liza,

    WOW!!! I loved your style of writing within this peace, and I appreciated the spaces between your lines because they almost allowed the reader to pause for a breath before the profoundness of the words began to present themselves. What I mean is that your simple diction was what made your writing beautiful here because of the depth of emotion it represented, and the spaces between these lines allowed the reader to momentary reflect rather than skim the lines. It is almost as if you are able to effortlessly tie your words together, for the mental musings of the male character trickle into his speech when he says “Get. Off. Me.” This created such a unified flow, and I literally could not stop reading, as the next line was so important to the previous one in the message you were trying to convey.

    Overall, your diction is simply precise in how you have used it, and I am in awe of it. The precision is present when the narrator decides not to shave his facial hair and then afterwards he mentions how is significant other “hates it when (he) (doesn’t) shave.” The order of these lines allows us to understand the emotion conveyed through the simple diction present. It represents the man’s harshness and how he could care less to please his significant other. There is a distance present within this relationship, and he is not suffering because of it, but rather acknowledging it to remind himself almost of the uselessness of this daily routine or cycle he resides within. To me, this also conveyed the loss of what he had, and just how much this relationship has broken.

    Your unification of the past and present is evident within this peace and this constant back and forth is not confusing but allows the readers to understand the significance of your piece; the significance of what this relationship was and what it now has become. But within the man’s remembrance of how they met and calling it “ a typical love story” it almost represents the insignificance of the relationship itself, but through the woman becoming pregnant there is this significance assigned to the relationship, one that is out of his control, unlike the reflection of his past.

    I just really wanted to mention some lines I really loved within this piece:

    “ ‘Dave. I’m a writer. I can get away with anything.’ ”

    “And she did.”

    I feel this really represented how Dave was constantly in a state of imbalance within this relationship, and the control of this relationship belonged to his significant other. But I don’t think he was ever really weakened by this loss of control. To me, you have created a realness within Dave’s reaction to the reality he was almost tired of being part of.

    “God, I hate the wallpaper in this room.”

    “She wasn’t breathing.”

    Dave’s immediate recognition of the surroundings and his emotional reaction to them is what comes before the recognition of his significant other’s death, which to me, represents the true brokenness of this relationship. I cannot rave enough about the order of these lines and the reality they present, because if you were to change the order the meaning would be completely different in association to what is true to Dave’s nature.

    Loved it!


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