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While I have been absent, I have been thinking about what to base my next blog on. I got the idea while I was on holiday. I just haven’t had a chance to write it before now.

Before I continue I would like to remind my readers that this blog is based purely on my own opinions. It’s obvious really and you might wonder why I’ve said that. Well the thing is there came a point when I was worried about what I blogged in fear of upsetting people. That was why I was absent for so long. All my blog ideas were somewhat controversial. But then just recently I felt like a downright dweeb as I realised that this is my blog and I can blog about whatever the hell I want.

With that said, I am blogging about something I am very passionate about:

Children in child care.

Now let me start off by saying this: I have nothing against child care at all. I think it’s a great idea. There are times when parents need to have a break and in this day and age, both parents are working. That’s fine, no worries at all. What I have a problem with is how often child care is used and for what reason.

I know people who use child care because they can’t be bothered with their kids. they throw them in four or five days a week so that they’re not an inconvenience to them. Um hello? They’re your kids! You chose to have them so you have to take responsibility for them. Don’t just palm them off on to someone else just because you can’t be bothered. Then to top it off, when these people finally have the kids (usually only the weekends) they don’t spend time with them anyway. Think of the poor children. Their parents are strangers to them.

Here’s something to think about: Do both parents need to work? Are you working just because you want to be rich and have the best of everything? If that’s the case I think it’s time you re-evaluated your life. Put your kids first for once. If one person can work and still provide the income you need, maybe you should do that. How important are material possessions to you? You don’t need to follow the fashion. You don’t need to have the best in technology. You don’t need the biggest house or the flashiest car. Every child doesn’t need to have a phone or tablet.

There is nothing wrong with wanting to work. It’s good to keep your skills up to date for when your children go to school. But why don’t you think about reducing the hours you work so you can be with them more often? Parents often forget how vulnerable children are. They need attention…they need family. If they don’t have that, they’re going to grow up being lonely and who knows what else they’ll become.

Child care is a great thing to have. It’s important to have a break, it’s important to work and support the family and it’s a good way for kids to get to know other kids their age. But don’t do it because you don’t want your kids around. It happens too often and it breaks my heart.

Just something to think about.

I hope to blog more often from now on. 🙂

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First off, for those who made it to round three congratulations. For those, like me, who didn’t don’t give up hope. The truth is, I wasn’t expecting to get through. I had mentally prepared myself for it so when I found out I didn’t make it, it wouldn’t be such a huge disappointment.

Of course there is was that little part of me that was hopeful. So when the quarter-finalists were announced and I scanned through the names once, twice, three times and I didn’t see my name, I did get a little jab of disappointment. It wasn’t enough to have me crying my heart out. It was a simple ‘oh that’s a shame’ and then it was gone.

The truth is, it’s just a competition. It’s not the be all and end all of your writing career. The only thing I’m a little tiny bit peeved about is not getting my feedback until 23rd May. I’m eager to read it now so that if there are major problems I can fix them before sending my manuscrip tot publishers. I guess I have to be patient. 🙂

I was on the ABNA forums after the announcement and it was nice to see most people congratluating those who made it. However, I was quite surprised to see some really cut up about it and were even being nasty to others. If you ask me, that’s uncalled for. Why can’t people be happy for everyone else? It’s okay to be disapppointed and it’s okay to voice it to others but there is no excuse for being nasty.

Anyway, that’s my rant for the day. 🙂

But once again, I’d wish to wholeheartedly congratulate everyone who made it to the third round. Great work! And remember those who ddin’t make it, it’s not the end of the world. Keep writing and try again next year. For now, remember there are so many other ways to get published. Why don’t you start submitting some query letters to literary agents and publishers?

Bye for now and I hope to blog more often from now on.

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ABNA Outcomes

I was quite excited when I checked the ABNA results for the Romance category and saw my name there. I think I’m still on cloud nine.

So it’s now two years straight I’ve made it to the second round. Last time I didn’t make the third round but the feedback I got was good. I entered the same story and have made some major improvements. Hopefully these improvements will be enough to move me forward. If not, I won’t be disapointed. I really feel that getting to the second round is a great achievement. When you think about it, out of 10,000 entries only 2000 get chosen. It’s a very small number.

Whatever happens, I will be happy with how far I’ve come. I basically said the same thing last year too and I mean it. If I don’t proceed, I’ll just continue writing and improving. One day I might just make it.

But I don’t want to jump the gun, I won’t know anything until after the 11th April 2014. So for now I’m just going to focus on my other writing and not stress about ABNA.

To those that didn’t make it, don’t let it deter you. There’s always next year. 🙂 And when you think about it, it is only a competition. There are tons of them around so you can always look for others you can enter. And what’s stopping you from publishing anyway? It’s not all about competitions.

To those that did make it, good luck!

Whatever happens, keep moving forward. 🙂

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Plot holes. They’re wonderful things aren’t they? *note sarcasm* Your story is flowing really well, you’re so close to completion then suddenly… plot hole! You can’t finish the story because you realise there’s this big gaping hole that doesn’t let the story tie together.

Have you ever had that? I’m sure most of us have.

So what is the best way to avoid plot holes? This is what I’m here to tell you. Please remember this is just my opinion and not how it must be done. We all have our own ways of avoiding plot holes and this is just one way I find really helpful.

The simple answer is this: planning. That’s right, plan your story out from beginning to end and have a set idea of where you want it to go. To me, this is a foolproof way of avoiding plot holes. I’m not saying they will be avoided all together because that’s impossible. We’re still going to fall into that trap from time to time but it will certainly limit it from happening.

Basically what planning does is it allows you to see where your story progressing and will have you asking questions much earlier. If there’s going to be a plot hole you’ll notice it in the planning stage rather than toward the end when you’re tying everything together.

Trust me, there is nothing worse than getting to the end of a story and seeing that plot hole that changes the entire story.

Yes I speak from experience, and that’s what encouraged me to write this blog.

You see, the story I wrote for the ABNA had a massive plot hole, which I totally missed. Why? Because I didn’t plan the story out. This is a story I wrote when I was in my late teens. I was still learning how to write and I told myself planning was for people who couldn’t write. Oh how wrong I was.

What happened is I decided I really liked the concept of the story but it needed a lot of work so I recently decided to rewrite it. During my rewrite, I didn’t question the goings on of certain events, I just let them take place. Once the rewrite was done and I sent it to my critique partner to read, she brought up the major plot hole.

I was devastated because it turned out I had to rewrite the entire story again. Still, it was a good pick up by her and I will be forever grateful. If I sent it to a publisher with that plot hole, I would definitely not be considered for publishing. So now with that sorted I can happily send it in to the ABNA and to publishers knowing all major plot holes have been fixed.

So it’s essential to have a clear idea of where you want your story to go and how your events will unfold. It will mean you won’t have so much rework later.

I understand planning isn’t for everyone and that’s fine. However, before you say it’s not for you, I would encourage you to at least try it. You can’t say you it’s not for you if you’ve never tried it. But if you don’t want to then that’s fine also. 🙂

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I wish to apologise for no blogs in 2014 yet. It’s been a pretty full on start to this year and time has escaped me.

On saying that, it has not been in vain. Apart from my usual day job, I have been keeping busy with my writing. And it’s the usual topic of writing that inspired me to write this blog.

You see, just last night I did something extremely reckless…I submitted a manuscript to Harper Collins. Yes that’s right…Harper Collins. One of the biggest named publishers I know. Usually they don’t accept unsolicited manuscripts but a writer friend of mine provided me a link which allowed us to submit unsolicited manuscripts every Wednesday. Exciting, right?

You may be asking why it’s reckless. After all, I’m an aspiring author and getting my name in print is my biggest dream. Well the answer is this: I wasn’t intending on submitting my manuscript for a few weeks yet. That’s why it’s reckless of me. I’m the sort of person that always plans things out. I decide I’m going to do something in two weeks and I do it in two weeks. So when I said I would submit in a few weeks, I intended to stick to it.

Although after some contemplation I realise now there was no point in me waiting. The manuscript was completed, it had been critiqued and I was happy with it. I’m never going to get anywhere if I don’t start submitting to publishers and literary agents.

Hmmm. The more I think about it, the more I realise that’s what compelled me in the first place. My subconscious was giving my backside a good kicking for procrastinating and so I did it.

That doesn’t mean I’m relaxed though. If anything I’m halfway between excited and terrified. I know sending off a manuscript for publication isn’t a big thing. After all there are no guarantees they’ll even want to publish it. But that’s just it. It’s the fear of the unknown. I can handle rejection, no worries. What scares me most is being accepted. Silly, huh? But if I’m accepted, I’m going to be achieving a goal I never thought possible. This is what petrifies me.

So anyway, that’s what I’ve done. I will know in three weeks if they want to proceed further. If I don’t hear back then I’ll assume I’ve been rejected. And that’s okay because I’m going to keep trying. Now that I’ve jumped the first hurdle, future submissions won’t be so hard.

That’s all from me, I’ll try and be a bit more frequent from now on.

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Today I read an article on news.com.au about breakup texts. You can see the article here:

Breakup Texts to Finish a Relationship For Good

After reading this, it inspired me to write this blog. My question to you is, is it wrong or is it okay to break up over text?

My opinion is this: I think it’s the cowardly way out. Many people today don’t like confrontation so rather than facing someone and saying ‘sorry this isn’t working out, I want to break up’ they go to other extremes to do it. It’s not just text messages either. Here are some other ways of breaking up that I’ve either witnessed or heard of:

 – Get a friend to tell your boyfriend / girlfriend instead then go into hiding.

 – Just stop talking to the person you want to break up with and ignore them all together.

 – Sleep with someone else and get purposely found out

Okay, seriously people it’s time to stop being such a wuss. If you’re really that disinterested in someone and want to end the relationship, do the decent thing and tell them to their face. There is nothing worse than going out with someone then they suddenly stop talking to you. You’re left confused and wondering what went wrong. Not to mention the confidence you once had being totally squashed.

This happened to me when I was 17. I was going out with a guy from school. He was my first ‘official’ boyfriend. I thought things were going well but then suddenly one day he just stopped talkingto me. If I tried to call around, his parents would say he wasn’t home. If I tried to phone him he wouldn’t answer. When I saw him at school, he ignored me. I had become nobody to him. And it bloody hurt. Then one day I heard he had another girlfriend. Yeah real smooth. It was like being kicked in the nuts… not that I have any but you get my gist.

And the worst part is, I never found out what went wrong. We did start talking again about six months later and I questioned him but he pretended to not hear me and it was never discussed. I gave up asking in the end, knowing full well I wouldn’t get an answer.

The same thing happened a few years later when I was around 21.

I wanted to know what went wrong. There is nothing worse than not knowing. I mean, what if I was a bad kisser or I just sucked at relationships? If I’m not told, how can I improve it for the next poor soul I go out with? Needless to say, I didn’t have another boyfriend after the last one at 21, until I was around 25. That was when I met the man who is now my husband. Somehow I did something right with him. But my confidence in relationships and with the opposite sex was low and I was petrified of doing something wrong. Even now, we’ve been married for nearly 5 years, I’m still petrified of doing something wrong because in the back of my mind I fear I’m going to make the same mistake I did all those years ago. Even though I don’t know what that mistake was.

But all I’m saying is, do the decent thing and break up properly. Talk about it, tell them what’s bothering you and what’s not working. Otherwise the other person is going to be left wondering what they did wrong and it is going to destroy every inch of their confidence.

Please don’t think I’m being sexist and writing this purely from a woman’s perspective. Yes I’m a woman and yes women react differently to this sort of thing. However, I know this sort of thing does happen to men and belive it or not, it ruins their confidence too. They just don’t tend to express their emotions as much.

All I’m saying is personally I don’t think it’s okay to break up over text. Nor do I think it’s okay to just suddenly ignore that person and never give answers. Men and women should all do the right thing and talk about what went wrong so they can both learn what not to do next time.

Does anyone else have opinions on this?

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Before I start, this is not a dig at anyone in particular. Everything in this is my personal opinion and I am not intending to cause offense to anyone.

Everyone has their own beliefs about Christmas. Some people celebrate it, others don’t. I fall into the latter and never have since I was born. I don’t miss it, if anything I’m relieved I don’t have the stress of it. That said, I don’t go around telling people they shouldn’t celebrate it just because I don’t. What they do is up to them and I respect that.

However, there are things that really annoy me about the Christmas season. And you know what? I’ve spoken to many people who are really into celebrating it and they agree with me.

Here are five things that annoy me about the Christmas season:

1. The stress of having to buy presents for everyone you know, friends, family, other long-distance relatives etc.

Even though I don’t celebrate Christmas, this is one thing that bugs me. I watch how stressed people get having to buy so many gifts, and in my eyes it defeats the purpose. After all, isn’t Christmas supposed to be about giving? If you really want to give people something, why stress about it? Relish in the happiness you get from buying them something you know they’re going to love. After all, ‘there’s more happiness in giving than in receiving’, right?

2. The financial burden Christmas puts on people

People feel they should spend big and they get into bigger debt as a result of it every year. And believe it or not, many of the receivers expect to get expensive gifts – iPads, new cars, holidays – just to name a few. If it’s supposed to be about giving then the receivers should be happy with whatever they get. Why expect so much?

3. The selfish people

Need I say more? When I go shopping, the shops are choc-a-block full of people and the majority of them are so selfish. All they want is to get the best bargains they can and barge through as many people as they can, not caring if they hurt or frustrate anyone. Hello! It’s not all about you!

4. The crazy drivers

This ties in to number three. People just want to get from one place to another as quickly as possible and they care about no one but themselves. This causes accidents, which then means more expense. Then you get them trying to shift the blame even though they were the ones in the wrong.

5. My biggest peeve… those who try to force people like me to celebrate Christmas

Hey, mate I don’t say you should stop celebrating it so the least I expect is the same sort of treatment from you. Please, don’t tell me what you think I should be doing. I don’t celebrate it, it’s that simple, and I’m not bothered by it so don’t go forcing your opinion down my throat. You will never change my mind, I promise.

As I said, these are my opinions based on what I have observed and I know other people who feel the same way. I will reiterate once more… I am not out to cause offense.

So now that I’ve spoken my mind, tell me, whether you’re a celebrator or if you’re not, is there anything else that annoys you about this time of year?

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“If you live to be a hundred, I want to live to be a hundred minus one day so I never have to live without you”

A.A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh

This quote has always irked me. People send it around saying ‘OMG it’s so sweet’ but I don’t see it that way. I see it as saying he wants to die before you (whoever ‘you’ ends up being) so he doesn’t have to live without ‘you’.

Well, to me that’s a little selfish. What about the other person? They have to live without him, even if it is for a day. Where’s the fairness in that?

Am I reading too much into it? I’m renowned for doing that. 🙂 but I’m curious, what do other people think? Enlighten me in the comments below! 😀

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On Wednesday 4th December, me and my husband went to see the band, Muse live in concert.

Their opening act was Birds of Tokyo. I thought I didn’t know many of their songs but was surprised how many I did know. It turns out I’ve heard many of them but didn’t realise it was them. Anyway, they were a good opening act but not great. Their music is great, I can’t fault that. However, the performance of the front man (I don’t even know his name, shocking!) was much to be desired.

To put it bluntly, he danced about like a fairy. As he jiggled around on stave, waving his hands around like he was imitating an airplane, I found myself looking away, unable to stand watching him. As I said, the music was great but I was cringing every  time I saw him ‘dance’. I think Mr Bean would have been a better dancer than him.

So apart from that, great music and I would happily buy their albums now but I won’t see them live in concert again. I’m just glad they were a support act and I didn’t buy tickets just to see them.

On to Muse… well there is only one word that describes their performance. Incredible! The band knows how to put on a great show and front man, Matt Bellamy has so much charisma you can’t not like their performance. It was absolutely breathtaking.

At the end of 2010, I saw Bon Jovi live in Sydney. At the time I deemed that the best concert I had ever seen. He and the band are much like Muse, they just know how to do a great show and Jon’s charisma is on a par with Matt’s. But after seeing Muse, they have surpassed Bon Jovi. It kills me to say it, I’m a huge Bon Jovi fan, but seriously the Muse concert was just, dare I say it again, incredible.

When I say surpassed, it is only by a little bit. They are both brilliant and it is a hard choice. But Muse’s music is very different to Bon Jovi’s and their performance is different. But they definitely both know how to put on a show.

Although I’m very excited to say I”ll be seeing Bon Jovi live in Adelaide next week (Wednesday 11th December) so I will revisit my opinion and decide if I still think Muse are a little better. It’s a tough call!

Has anyone else been to any good concerts lately?

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I don’t usually do this, but today I am going to share with you a short story I wrote a while ago.

Just to give you some background information, this is set in the mid to late ’90s, when internet and mobile phones were around but were not as common as they are now. Hand written letters were still a common thing and communication in certain parts of the world was very limited.

I decided to write it as a reminder of how things once were. We are all guilty of forgetting how difficult it was to contact people in remote areas. Nowadays it’s easy as pie with international text messages, Skype, email etc. Sometimes it’s nice to reflect on the good ol’ days when technology wasn’t the be all and end all of everything.

This is a fuzzy, feel-good, romance but not the sappy and cringe worthy type like some romances. My husband, who is not a romance reader at all, enjoyed this.

So sit back and continue reading. I hope this puts a smile on your face. 🙂

***

Holding On

“He’s never coming back.”

Yvonne ignored the comment and proceeded to make her morning trip to the letterbox. The postman arrived right on time. Exchanging their usual morning greetings, he handed her the mail and sped away with a friendly wave. Holding her breath, Yvonne sifted through it.

They were all window letters—in other words, bills.

In frustration, Yvonne spun on her heel and stormed inside. The door slammed shut behind her causing a picture on the wall to come crashing down. She threw the mail on the side cupboard.

“When will you ever believe me?” the voice taunted. “He’s never coming back.”

“Nina, shut up!” Yvonne glared at her sister. Nina leaned carelessly against the wall in the hallway, her arms folded across her chest. “What do you know?”

“What I just said. He’s not—”

“Alright! Enough already!”

Pushing past her, Yvonne entered the kitchen and retrieved the milk from the fridge. Tears burned her eyes as she made herself a cup of coffee. Two heaped teaspoons of extra-strength coffee. No sugar. A dash of milk. It was the only thing that got her through the mornings.

A few minutes later, she heard her sister enter. The fridge door opened then closed again. When Yvonne turned around a few seconds later, Nina sat at the table with a glass of juice. She was glaring at Yvonne.

“Why are you looking at me like that?” Yvonne asked, feeling uneasy under her gaze.

Shrugging, Nina picked at her nails. “No reason…” she trailed off then looked up at Yvonne and said, “well, actually I was thinking that maybe you should see a doctor. I mean, it’s been six months and—”

“Nina!” Yvonne ran her hand through her short brown hair in frustration. “Why do you keep going on at me about depression? I am not depressed!”

“You can’t blame me for wondering. You’re like this every morning. And for what? All because you didn’t get a letter from Sean.”

“Be quiet, Nina.”

“No I won’t be quiet. When will you ever learn that Sean is gone? He’s never going to send you a letter begging you to come back. He broke up with you.

Yvonne bristled at the comment. Setting her mug in the sink with more force than intended she said, “This subject is officially closed.”

“No it’s not.” Nina’s hazel eyes were dark with anger. “You change the subject every morning!”

“Well, can you blame me? You bring it up every morning!”

“Maybe I wouldn’t if you would listen to me!”

“I always listen! I’m sick of you repeating yourself!” Taking a deep breath, Yvonne said in a calmer tone, “I just want you to drop it. Please.”

“Fine,” Nina said. Standing up she turned to Yvonne and in a cold, hard tone said, “But I am going to say this. It’s time you got over Sean. You saw the letter. Get it through your thick skull once and for all: he is not coming back.”

Before Yvonne could respond, Nina turned and stormed out of the kitchen. The mornings never changed. Once upon a time, she and Nina had a close relationship. Two years earlier something changed and they grew apart. Yvonne never knew what caused it.

As she got ready for work, Yvonne caught her reflection in the mirror. It had been a long time since she took a long, hard look at herself. She was shocked at what she saw. Her once shiny, happy, brown eyes were now sad and empty. Her face, which used to always have a smile, now wore a frown.

Perhaps I am depressed?

Shaking her head, Yvonne pushed the thoughts away. It wasn’t true. The truth was: getting over Sean wasn’t easy. Before she received his break up letter, they had been steadily dating for a year and a half. They had long term plans. His sudden disappearance had shocked her. He offered no explanation.

How could one recover from that?

She didn’t know what it was but deep down she knew there was a missing link. That was what she clung on to—a glimmer of hope that he would come back.

An hour later she arrived at work. The moment she walked in the door, she was greeted with an overpowering fragrance. As she looked around all she saw was an array of red roses, fluffy teddy bears and romantic cards. Valentine’s Day. Her heart ached as she was reminded of Sean.

Approaching her desk the ache in her heart grew. It was still the same. Plain and boring. She had no flowers from that special someone.

Sitting down, she placed her head in her hands and groaned. If she had remembered what day it was, she would have called in sick.

The temptation to order herself a dozen red roses was overwhelming. Of course she didn’t. Naomi, her desk neighbour, who happened to be single more often than not, did that every year. Yvonne refused to stoop to her level.

As if on cue, Naomi arrived with a vase of red roses. Two dozen red roses. She smiled brightly at Yvonne and proudly put them on display.

“Aren’t I a lucky girl?” Naomi cooed, lovingly running her finger across a rose petal. “Liam went out early this morning to buy these for me.”

“I don’t see why you had to bring them into work,” Yvonne said. “They would keep much better at home.”

Naomi clicked her tongue in annoyance. “Of course I’m going to bring them in. I’m not going to look like an outcast by not having any flowers.” She glared at Yvonne with one raised eyebrow. “So where are your flowers, Yvonne?”

“We’re having a romantic dinner tonight instead. He’s cooking for me.”

Naomi huffed and turned away, not convinced. Busying herself with some paperwork, Yvonne’s guilty conscience ate away at her. She had never told her workmates the truth. That glimmer of hope she held on to stopped her from saying it.

“So, when will we see Sean again?” Naomi asked a few moments later, turning to look at Yvonne suspiciously. “It feels like we haven’t seen him for ages.”

Yvonne cringed but didn’t face her. Six months of lying was taking its toll. When Sean was around, he visited her at work frequently. When he disappeared, of course everyone noticed his absence. Her excuses were running dry. There were only so many times his grandmother could be sick.

“He’s got better things to do,” Yvonne spat, turning to glare at Naomi.

She turned back to busy herself once more.

A few moments later, a bustle of excitement from the reception desk captured her attention. Glancing up, she saw a delivery man with a large bunch of red roses. They were even bigger than Naomi’s.

Approaching her he said, “Are you Yvonne Harrison?”

All she could do was nod.

“These are for you,” he placed the roses on her desk then turned and walked away.

“Wait! Are you sure you have the right person?”

He turned back and looked at her quizzically. “If you’re Yvonne Harrison then yes I do. Have a good day.”

Before Yvonne could contemplate the situation, a small crowd of women gathered around her desk. They were jealously admiring the roses.

“Oh no you don’t,” Yvonne snapped, snatching the note Naomi tried to pinch away from her. “Just because you don’t have a boyfriend doesn’t mean you can go reading my private notes.”

“You liar,” Naomi cried. “You’ve seen my flowers!”

Yvonne snorted. “What those? They must have cost you a fortune, Naomi.”

Naomi’s face reddened with anger. Stamping her foot, she turned and stormed out the door.

When everyone had returned to their desks, Yvonne took that moment to open the note. Her heart stopped when she read it. It was from Sean.

Her chest tightened as she held back her threatening tears. One lone tear escaped and dripped down her cheek. She quickly wiped it away.

What was going on? Was this some sort of cruel joke?

“Yvonne? Are you ok?”

She looked up to see Samantha, the receptionist, looking at her with concern.

“I’m fine, Sam,” Yvonne wiped away more of the dreaded tears.

“Did Sean send those to you?”

Yvonne nodded and fresh tears rolled down her cheeks.

“Why are you upset?” Samantha coaxed. “Can he not do dinner now?”

Dinner? Quickly remembering the lie she told earlier she said, “Oh that. No he can still do it. I suppose he decided to send flowers after all.”

“They’re beautiful.” she sighed mournfully. “I wish my boyfriend would send me some.”

The change in conversation calmed Yvonne down. Taking a deep breath she said, “It’s not all about flowers, Sam.”

“Oh I know that. It’s not just the flowers, Von. We’ve been arguing so much lately. Things aren’t what they used to be.”

“Is he stressed? Maybe you two need to talk?”

She smiled sadly. “I wish it was that easy. He doesn’t have feelings for me anymore. He told me so.”

“Then why don’t you—”

“End it? I know I should but I can’t bring myself to.”

“Why not? You have a right to be happy, Sam. If he’s not making you happy, someone else will.”

A tear dripped down her cheek. “I just want what you and Sean have.”

Samantha turned back to her work with a heavy sigh. Yvonne felt a stab of guilt. Perhaps the time had come to stop playing games. Rather than admitting her lies of the last few months, she could make up another story. Perhaps that they broke up after Valentine’s Day?

Yvonne pushed the thoughts aside and returned to work. As the day slowly progressed, she got little done. Her concentration was not on the job. She couldn’t stop thinking about Sean. Why had he sent the flowers? Was it him? Or was someone playing a trick on her? Perhaps it was—

Nina! Yvonne’s suspicions arose immediately. Her mind worked overtime as she tried to piece things together. The missing link! She knew there was something missing. If only she could figure out what it was.

At last the day ended and she went straight home. She was thankful Nina was working the nightshift. She needed time alone to think.

When she pulled up into the driveway, she saw a man standing on the porch with a suitcase at his feet.

“Can I help you?” she asked as she stepped out of the car.

The figure turned around and that was when she saw his face.

Sean.

The sight of his handsome, chiselled features made her heart race. Oh how she had missed him. He broke out into a grin, showing that one dimple in his left cheek she adored so much. In two large strides, he was standing in front of her.

“I was wondering where you were,” he said, stroking her cheek softly. “I thought you would be ready.”

His touch left her cheek tingling. Yvonne’s breath caught in her throat. She opened her mouth to speak but no words came out. She wanted to ask: what did she need to be ready for? Instead, she heard her own whimper as the tears she had been holding spilt down her cheeks.

“Oh I’ve missed you,” Sean whispered as he pulled her into an embrace.

His arms around her triggered the memories she had locked away. Memories only couples share. Memories she couldn’t bring herself to think about over the last six months. Memories she never wanted to forget again.

“Why are you here?” Yvonne finally managed to choke out.

Sean pulled away and looked down at her, his brow furrowed in confusion. “What do you mean? I told you I’d be back. I wrote you a letter six months ago. I told you to be ready.”

Yvonne felt a sob rising up in her chest. “What do you mean? What should I be ready for? Sean, six months ago you left me a letter saying we should break up.”

“Break up? Why would I want to break up with you, Yvonne? I want to marry you. I said that when I got back, we would get married.”

Another tear dripped down her cheek. “I never got that letter, Sean. I thought you had left me.”

His grey-blue eyes filled with tears. Pulling her back into his arms, he stroked her hair and said, “Yvonne, I’m so sorry. I love you. I would never leave you.”

“Then where have you been?” she demanded, pulling away from him.

“Africa,” he said simply. Then remembering she hadn’t seen the letter he continued, “I got offered a six month research contract. I had to leave immediately so I didn’t get to see you. That’s why I wrote the letter. Where I was working I had no access to postal services. I couldn’t send or receive anything. So in my letter I said the money I got from the job would set us up for our new lives together.” He smiled and kissed her softly. “I said the moment I got back I would ask you to marry me. And that’s what I’m doing.”

The missing pieces fell into place. Yvonne knew exactly what happened. Overcome with a feeling of love and adoration for him, she wrapped her arms around his neck and kissed him tenderly.

“Oh Sean, of course I’ll marry you,” Yvonne cried, tears of happiness dripping down her cheeks. “I want to marry you right now!”

He smiled down at her and planted a kiss on her forehead. “That’s why I thought you would be ready. That was my intention.”

“Oh Sean, I’m sorry. You were expecting me to be waiting—”

He silenced her with a kiss. “None of that matters, Yvonne. Why don’t you go pack your things? Let’s get married now.”

She nodded eagerly and ran inside to do just that.

Ten minutes later, they were in the car ready to start their new lives together.

Sean said, “So about that letter—”

“Oh don’t worry about that,” Yvonne interrupted, “I’ve sorted it out.”

“Let me guess… Nina?”

Yvonne nodded.

While Yvonne was inside preparing her things to elope, she had left a note for her sister.

 

Nina,

I know you’re in love with Sean. It’s taken me two years to realise it but now I do. I know you destroyed Sean’s original letter and replaced it with the breakup one. I must give you credit for fooling me for six months but did you really think it would last? Sean returned to me today, Nina. He told me the truth. I’m not angry, even though I know I should be. Actually I want to thank you for doing us a favour. You brought Sean and I closer together. You made us realise nothing can break true love.

We’ll talk when I return from my honeymoon.

Yvonne

***

Thank you for reading, I hope you enjoyed. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. I can accept criticism. 🙂

FYI – This is also available to read for free on wattpad.com at the following link. On this site you have the capacity to vote and comment on the story.

http://www.wattpad.com/story/8807128-holding-on-short-story-completed

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