Don’t Forget Me by Ashley Mantei

This story is one of the April Writing Challenge entries chosen to be a featured story.

The sky above her was pale, empty gray that consumed the daylight like a sponge. It was an old friend of hers. The same gray trailed her like a stranger on a dark street: unwanted and unnerving. It was there when she felt alone on lonely spring runs, when she stared at blank pages with invisible words, and especially when he left her.

His breakup happened too fast for her to catch up, no matter how nimble her legs were. He was fast when he ran from her and her love. He ran as fast as his legs could carry him. She saw it coming, and her heart broke just as quickly.

That was when she looked up at the gray sky for the second time that year and felt completely lost. It was only March. She looked down at her feet and dusty running shoes and thought back to when their love was full of summer heat and happiness, when they went running together on this same dusty road. She started to cry, increasing her heartache with every sob.

“I don’t want it to end like this!” She yelled to the gray sky with balled fists bent and wrapped around her head.

“I don’t want it to end like this.” She lowered her arms as she repeated it, but this time with a twinge of the pain of his betrayal in her voice.

She started walking towards home. The road seemed to go on for miles. Her heart beat with a hollow thud as she walked, wiping sweat and tears from her face.

Back home, in front of her laptop, she typed him a message that said: “Well, I guess this is goodbye.”

It was her attempt for closure that she clung to like a baby to a rattle. But her attempt didn’t work. She tried again, typing: “Don’t forget me… please.”

He never replied, and her closure came as painful as her heartbreak.



Ashley Mantei

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