The Literary Corner: ”Broken” by Mimi Apostol (ex. 1)

Writing exercise 1

Write a fragment describing the exact emotions when you (or your character) learned of a happy or calamitous event in your life (or your character’s); now try to condense that fragment into a single searing sentence.



She was staring at the phone in her hand as if she saw it for the first time. It used to ring daily, a couple of times at least. Now it was dead silent. A silence she wasn’t accustomed to. A deafening silence. Coming from the grave of a soul stabbed to death by a sudden departure of the only man she ever loved and who had sworn eternal love to her more than a decade ago.

A decade she devoted her life to him, to this divine connection he was the first to acknowledge and speak about in terms of ”organic connection”. A decade in which, even if he disappeared for a few weeks on business trips she not always found out about from him, he would always come back to her apologetic, humble, more passionate, more in love.

She believed in it all with all her might, she belonged to him mind, body and soul. He said he did too. Those precious, almost perfect, days and nights in which they would cuddle, kiss, watch a movie, talk, the whole world would disappear. They were the only ones in their world and she was happy. He was so thankful for her love, so… smitten… his laughter so catching, that boyish smile and those strong, protective arms in which, for the first time in her life, she felt at home.

He was her home. Her dream come true. Her everything. He said she was too. When she traveled, due to work, not as often as him but still, from time to time, he would not be able to go to bed until she texted him that she had landed safely. She was his first thought in the morning and the last before falling asleep.

Ten years she counted her blessings and expressed her gratitude to the Almighty for allowing her to finally enjoy the bliss of true love.

She was all alone in the world and every minute they shared was the dream around which she gravitated relentlessly. She used to wake up with her heart beating in waiting of the moment he would call and say ”Good morning, my love. How did you sleep? Have a nice day.”  What more she could ask of life, of God?! She had it all. They both did.

Then, one day everything changed. Abruptly, without warning, without good-bye. Just gone. The words, the touches, the love. Vanished into thin air. Replaced by a stubborn, cruel, silence she couldn’t break no matter how much she tried, cried, hoped and prayed. Begged even. To know what the hell happened, where did everything go, how was this possible!

No one ever answered, not even the Divine.

She fell into the darkness.

In millions of pieces. Bleeding to death in an empty shell. Her heart broke and at first she felt numb. Like being hit my a humongous truck right in the very core of her being. The mind couldn’t consciously grasp the idea that HE had just vanished. That the messages ceased to come, he stopped calling and her desperate attempts to find out what had happened were ignored in such a sadistic, devastating manner. Left to die, robbed of the joy of life.

Sadness has no measure yet, for the next twenty-four hours, she went through all degrees. Panic, loss of breath, trepidation, anger, utmost fear! All in one. A roller-coaster does not have enough steam to convey the conglomerate of emotions she was going through, holding on to the hope that maybe he was busy, tomorrow he will give a sign and she can finally relax, maybe he was at home and couldn’t reply, maybe… then, the terror of him having had an accident – it happened before but she was the first person he called to put her mind at ease that he wasn’t hurt, the car got a bump but it was fine – or something horrific happened to him and he was unconscious! Finally, late in the night, still holding the wretched phone that refused to ring, the bomb fell: he did not want to talk to her! She has been dumped. Why? Only yesterday they were happy, he was so loving, so protective, talking about “us” and how much he loved her. The sweet, desperate, way he made love to her like she was the only woman in the universe! For how long? For ever?! What about her?! How was she supposed to live from now on?! What was she supposed to understand from this behavior?

The mind was making up scenarios that scared her even more. She hated herself for what she was feeling! For being an idiot and not seeing the facade. Was it a facade? Could he really lie like that?! Why?!

The bed felt like it was burning her skin. She could not stand it anymore. She rushed into the kitchen, lit a cigarette and choked on the smoke she inhaled with shaking lungs. Everything inside of her was shaking. Her hands were wet and unstable, her spirit in rage and mind so confused she couldn’t utter her own name if her life depended on it. Why would anyone do this to another human being?! Why would he talk about love and eternal loyalty?! She never asked for anything except for him to be honest and a man of his word.

At first, maybe because she was in denial or the shock was just too strong, she couldn’t cry. But when she did, the tears of the entire Universe were pouring down flooding the Earth. She cried, screamed, fell onto the floor and stayed there curled up like a child in her mother’s womb, feeling the coldness of the tiles. She lay there for times immemorial it seemed. When she could finally sit up, she could no longer cry. Her eyes dried out, her final breath exhaled the loss of all faith in humanity. She never spoke again.

Bucharest, December 2019

Mimi Apostol (pen name)


3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Mimi Apostol
    Jan 23, 2020 @ 09:54:51

    thanks for the opportunity to contribute! great initiative!


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