A Conditional Romance


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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