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Jugular Exposed

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He missed her. He still cared. He needed the truth.

“I have things I need to say to you. Things that it’s taken me over a year to process and come to terms with. I hope you’ll listen?”

His eyes softened. “Of course I’ll listen.”

She gathered courage she’d never possessed and told him that the person he’d loved was a broken, twisted version of herself. The depression had its claws deep and wouldn’t let go.

She knew she would cause pain, but explained where their relationship turned dark. She held back nothing, spilling the many hurts that had caused her countless hours of lost sleep and miles of self-doubt. Her words held no heat. Only honesty. She was strong enough now to give him that.

The bottom line was that she’d needed him to help navigate the darkness. But instead he’d caused her more pain, deepened the sad. Because she wasn’t good enough at her worst. Not for him. Not for anyone. So she had to leave him, and leave that place. It was the only way to survive.

Pausing there, her heart thumped heavily.  She felt the fear spidering as she waited for an indication that he understood why he’d lost her. What if he said she was dead wrong? What if he didn’t take any ownership of the destruction? She sat there, jugular exposed, swimming in a level of vulnerability she’d never experienced before. Underneath her calm expression she was a frightened child, ready to haul the steel curtain up around her heart.

Finally, he spoke.  “I have no excuses. I wasn’t there for you. All I can say is that I was so blinded by how much I love you that I couldn’t see. I couldn’t see what you needed. I let you down. And for that, I’m so fucking sorry. I’m sorry I made it worse, when all I’ve ever wanted to do was make you happy.”

His hand came across the table to grip hers tightly. She looked down at the joining, feeling the familiarity of his skin and the shape of this union.

I finally got through to him.

Fighting the knot in her throat, she replied softly, “And I didn’t have the capacity at that time to tell you what I needed. I was too far gone. I could only manage one of two extremes: sad and mad. I hated the person I was, but I could barely even hold on at that point. I couldn’t live that life any more, trying so fucking hard to make you happy when I was alone in the dark. It wasn’t fair to either of us.”

Neither heard the bachata song blaring through the speakers. The unspoken was far more deafening.

They searched each other’s faces, wondering what in the world to do now.

Her heart calmed, knowing that no matter what happened between them, she’d finally been brave enough to tell him the truth. She’d broken through to the light.


This piece is being submitted to the amazing and 100th!!! Yeah Write Weekly Challenge grid. If you don’t know Yeah Write, you should. The crew at YW are not only amazingly talented bloggers who write and writers who blog, they’ve become my friends.  Not friends with benefits, you perv. Just friends. ;)

20 responses »

  1. Brave, indeed! Whatever the motivation, thoughts of reconnecting with the past afflict all of us, making this very relatable as well as attention-grabbing. Can’t wait to see how the story unfolds. (And hi! I’ve missed you, too!)

  2. Aw Peach, good for you! This must have been so healing. I can’t wait to hear what happens next either!

  3. nataliedeyoung

    This is wonderful! I love the raw vulnerability in their relationship.

  4. Being naked emotionally is so much harder than being naked in other ways. Wishing you all the best.

  5. revealing yourself is so electric.. even after a year’s absence, i can feel the tension, the emotion, the need and the love.

  6. I was hoping you’d continue in this story. And in 500 words! I think you do a great job taking the readers along with you in feeling this vulnerability, the exposing of the jugular while you wait for response. Lovely!

  7. It must have been such a relief to hear what he had to say, that she “finally got through to him.”

  8. Thank you, thank you, thank you for more of this story. When I finish every part, I feel the way I think people must have felt who read serialized fiction in the 1800s. I hang on to your every word, and then my first thought at the end is “well what happens next?” You have a seriously amazing gift for knowing exactly when and how to end. Maybe it’s because of the word limit, but I think this is the best installment yet. Awesome, yet again. Loved reading it.

  9. Wow! Well done, Peach. I am anxiously awaiting the next installment. More, please!

  10. The feeling of something being brought to an end was so strong throughout, maintained very well. She was brave and so was he. Very well written. 🙂

  11. Being vulnerable, asking for what we need takes bravery. This is a breakthrough. And hope that this relationship moves forward positively.

  12. Oh wow. I need to know what’s next. I wish I had the strength to talk to people this way.


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