Fiction : Our Old To-Do List

Our old to-do list remains stagnant.

Written inside the pages of my small, blue leather journal, it sits on the far end of my bookshelf, in a forgotten corner, covered in dust.

Do you remember those times? When we sat together and wrote down our to-do lists? The things we wanted to see, the places we wanted to go, the things we wanted to achieve in life – together?

Do you remember?

I close my eyes tightly and my mind takes me to our distant past; the scent of your perfume as it permeated throughout our beautiful 2-storey home. Red concrete floors, white walls and the jet black staircase that led up to the bedrooms that had beautiful timber wood floors.

I’d pen our plans underneath the comfort of our warm blanket, as I rested my chin on one hand, while my other hand kept busy writing. The dim lights from our favorite lampshade we bought during our travels in Asia gave a romantic ambiance to our bedroom that had red satin curtains. I remember our life all so well.

A longing stabs through my heart every now and then. I still miss you. And I still miss us. And I still miss the life we had. A bitter truth that I have long denied because I no longer want to miss you. And yet I can’t fight what the core of me feels whenever I hear your name, whenever I see your face and whenever the slightest memory of you invades my consciousness until I weep for what seems to be a thousand years, writhing in agony, as I remain in the stillness of my solitude.

And then I wonder. What have I done wrong? Why are you so bitter and cruel? Does it please you to know that you break my heart?

I sigh until my chest starts to heave and tears stream down my face. I can no longer contain them. I can no longer fight.

For the longest time I have tried so hard not to break. I keep telling myself that it would all be okay and that things will work out as it should. And yet time after time, you continue to hurt in me in ways that I never thought you would. And in ways I never imagined you would, either. It just wasn’t enough for you to break my heart.

The truth is, I love you but I resent all the pain you are causing me. And yet somehow, I can’t bring myself to resent you. What, after all, is the meaning of love, if it is not to be patient and understanding, among other things?

No, I am no martyr. But I do not believe that hate is the only end to a decade in this life spent with you. I do not wish to believe it. And I am fearful of that growing resentment I have inside of me. I fear that I may one day resent you. And I don’t want to.

Sometimes I stare at your photo and I wonder where you’ve gone. Where is that person I had fallen head over heels in love with? That person whom I would have happily spent the rest of my days with? That person who once promised to love me for always? I stare at your photo with hurt in my heart because you are no longer there.

Maybe you never were after all.

I reach for my small, blue leather journal. My fingertip lightly brushes its side. And then I stop.

I stare up at my bookshelf. And I remember our to-do list. An overwhelming sadness overcomes me. There, it will remain while I learn to live my life, without you.









  1. C.M. Albert says:

    I’m so proud of you. Beautiful. Painful. But full of depth and heart poured into this piece. I can see the house, the journal, the heart breaking. Excellent work =)

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