This Novel Life

"Live the life you dream." -Henry David Thoreau

Category: Fiction



Your promises expired like the milk in the fridge,

Our hopes and dreams swept away in the current.

We could love each other for a thousand years

But stability didn’t count days on the calendar.

Then your watch stopped ticking

And my heart stopped beating

So I gave up like I always do,

The only constant in all the inconsistency.


And I watched you leave

Like you never had before.


A Bad Year

She is tragically romantic,

I can’t get you out of my head.

Thriving on what if and what could be,

My life is incomplete without you.

Begging her phone for a text,

It was you all along.

She binges on romance and fantasy,

You give me a reason to breathe.

Wishing on shooting stars and romantic comedies,

I will love you until the end of time.

She lives in her dreams,

I love you.

He will forever be her always.


I cried for all the moments that were robbed from me, for all the peace and serenity on summer nights. I cried for the words I wouldn’t hear, the whispers that were no longer mine and mine alone. I cried for the loss, for the pain in my chest and the sorrow in my heart and all of the looks we would never share again.

I blamed myself for all the words I never said, the times I held my breath. I searched for an answer and found only questions and so I cried for the naivety of believing things could last forever.

I mourned the defeat, for it was both my greatest mistake and your greatest achievement, to finally break the heart of a girl who dreamt of tragedy and welcomed sorrow…


She thought about him often, he was the question constantly in the back of her mind, drifting around without answer.

It wasn’t that she didn’t love him. It wasn’t that she didn’t spend hours picturing their life together. She kept moments from their adventures scattered around her house, a quiet nod to the kind of happiness she could have had. The simple truth was she was motivated by a picket fence fairy tale that he never wanted to give her. He wasn’t the Noah to her Allie, he was the Dawson to her Joey, a kind of story that was great on paper but she knew they could never make it off the page.

She stood at the gate, waiting for the flight attendant to scan her ticket and the years flashed before her eyes. She could turn around now, and maybe he would be there, waiting at security. The opportunity grabbed at her heart strings, leading her down a path of what ifs. Her hazel eyes gazed out the windows onto the runway of planes, carrying people to new chapters in their stories, knowing that her true adventure was behind her.

“Ma’am, your ticket?” the flight attendant asked, and suddenly the ticket felt like a heavy weight on her chest, pressing her with the age old choice of following her heart or her head…


I remember the way you looked

When you loved me the loudest,

Driving up the coast in your Chevy.

The smell of the ocean

Wafting through open windows

The sun shining down on laughter

The music drowning out reality.

We lost ourselves in the city

Hidden among the cobblestone road.

That day became just a memory,

The kind we soak up on rainy days

Hungry for a glimmer of sun and surf,

And magic in a normal world.









She sits in the shadows of my soul

A deadly reminder that one shove is all it takes

A haunting momentum to push harder and be better

Escape the ghosts that trap her there

I see her in the quiet confines of the past

Pulling at my present like strings on a marionette

She laughs as if to say you’ll get there one day.

She sits in the shadows of my soul

Reminding me of the person that I could be

Provoking me with raspy words and foggy moments

Condemning me to the darkest places in my mind

Where she is a prominent and forceful deity

Luring me in with the carelessness I try not to crave

Taunting me with dreams I never wish I had.



I’m missing you

Or the idea of you

The way you’d look at me

As if this life was all a dream

I’m missing you

The things we used to do

The way we used to be

Out on that old back road

With the radio up

And not a care in the world

I miss the way it used to be

When you were you and me

And we were all we ever needed to be.



She tried to stay by the beach

And recreate their memories

But the tide came in and pushed her back

To the reality that no matter what she did

Their footprints were the thing of the past.

The cold November wind chased her around

Confining her to couches and blankets

And nobody saw the way her smile faded

Like the sunshine and the green leaves

Leaving in their trail a promise

Of another summer.

Their Story – Part I

The blare of a truck horn woke her from an already mediocre sleep. Emily rolled over and read the neon green display of the alarm clock. 3:18. She closed her eyes again, only to be disturbed by the horn again a moment later. Throwing off the soft cotton quilt, Emily stumbled out of bed and over to the bay window, peering out into the front yard. Oh, what is going on now, she thought to herself as the horn pressed on. She walked into the hallway and threw open the front door, coming face to face with the headlights of a silver Chevy truck. His truck.

“What are you doing?” Emily yelled into the yard, covering her eyes and watching as the driver side door swung open and Tyler stumbled out.

“You weren’t just going to leave without saying goodbye to me, Emily!” he yelled back at her, stumbling as he walked closer to the front porch of the beach house. The house was dark, illuminated only on the front by the headlights of the truck. In the distance, waves crashed against rocks.

“Are you drunk?” Emily yelled back as he got to the bottom step.

“What does it matter? Are you going to leave, or not?”

“You’re so drunk! How did you get all this way without getting into an accident?” the worry came out in Emily’s voice and she regretted asking. Why, she wondered, was he here now, caring if she left after the way she had treated him the day before on the basketball court of the high school they both were seniors at.

“I asked you a question! And you just walked off! And now you’re just going to leave! Are you really going to do that?!” Tyler yelled. He was a foot away from her, and she could smell the whiskey on his breath and hear it in his voice. Every bit of her urged her to lean up to him and kiss his anger away with a promise that she would never leave, but in her head Emily knew she could never stay, not after everything that had just happened. She looked from the truck to the man standing in front of her, wishing that the crack down the middle of her heart and spirit could be erased by love, but it wasn’t that easy.

“Answer me!” Tyler yelled, moving closer to her. They were inches apart and Emily stared into his blue eyes, as he put his hand on her arm and looked down at her, willing her to open up to him, to tell him she would stay. But he would never be able to fix this, and she knew that well enough. Emily ran her fingers through her brunette hair and covered her eyes, shaking her head and trying to put the words into sentences.

“There’s nothing left for me here, Tyler,” she whispered, “you know that now. Everyone is gone and I can’t bare another second in this house filled with nothing…”

“But Em, I’m here, and I don’t think I can go on with you eleven hundred miles away until you realize what kind of mistake you’re making by leaving. I love you and I’ve always loved you and I should have said it sooner. I need you, Emily Tucker.” The words stabbed into her heart, splitting it into a million tiny pieces. She felt the tears burning her face as he landed his hand gently on her cheek, wiping away tears. The anger was gone and there was nothing but the pain of a life together that could never come into fruition. She reached her hand up to cover his and looked at him desperately.

“I have a future there. I can’t stay here. I’m going to love it there, that’s just the way it has to be, Tyler,” she said, swallowing tears that burned her throat. She leaned forward, the dull throbbing pain making her stomach churn. Tyler let go of her and pulled back as she watched him take a long look at her. He turned to walk away, but stopped, looking back as their eyes met again. His green eyes burned into her soul, and she begged them to take her away.

“One day you’ll realize what a mistake you’re making,” he said. Tears streamed down her face, and words caught in her throat. The pain was unbearable, but the pain of staying would be worse. There would be no winning in the situation. The only option was to leave.

“I’m sorry,” she whispered, but Tyler was already at the truck. He slammed the door, and tore backwards out of the yard. Emily grabbed her stomach and fell to the ground in a heap of tears and sobs.


You’re nothing more than an image in a photograph,

Over processed and under exposed.

I wonder if it hurt to smile that time,

That old Leica caught the truth in your eyes.

I cropped you out of the frame

Knowing how bad you wanted to get away.

I wonder if you’re still hiding from the lens,

Hoping nobody finds the truth in your lies.