Hey! Long time no type (here, at least). Over in my Facebook reader group we’re playing with writing prompts while so many of us are stuck at home so much of the time. It’s been fun, and I thought it might be interesting to share my results from yesterday’s prompt here. I had a lot of fun writing it (when I definitely should have been writing something else). Hope you enjoy it!
And hey, feel free to drop your own response to the prompt in the comments if you feel inspired (or post in your own space and let me know where I can find it).
PROMPT: Begin a story with the line “It was never meant to last.”
“It was never meant to last.”
That’s what he tells me every night when we’re lying in a tangle of bare limbs and bedsheets, as he places a kiss on my brow. It used to bother me, this reminder of the temporary nature of our relationship. These days I just nod, close my eyes, and hold him tighter.
He was honest about everything right from the start, so I can’t complain about that. He’s not human. He’s something else, something that comes with great power and great strength, but also with a destiny that’s tied to that of another of his kind. Fated love, fated mate, whatever. I never have cared about the details, not when I was focused on having him all to myself. Better to have loved and lost, I told myself. And who could regret a love like ours, even if fate says it can’t last?
It was hard at the beginning. He’d disappear for weeks and months at a time, carried away by the duties that come with all that power, and I always thought I’d lost him. But years passed and he kept coming home. This temporary thing that was never meant to last has become my life, and him my world—and I let myself think I’d become his.
It was stupid of me to let it happen, and I guess I have no one but myself to blame as he packs his bags for the last time.
“Is she nice?” I ask.
“She’s fine.” He removes his shirt and reaches for another, but doesn’t put it on. For a moment I can see the glowing swirl on his wrist. It used to be a black mark like a tattoo. It only lit up when he finally met her.
“Is she beautiful?” I feel stupid and shallow for asking, but I’m proud of not asking the real question of whether she’s prettier than me.
His brow furrows. “She’s… very attractive.”
Of course she is. They all are. That’s what drew me to him in the first place. I mean, I stayed for the laughs, the tangled sheets, and the fierce got-your-back loyalty, but it was his face, his body, and his devilish smile that started all this trouble.
I haven’t seen that smile since he came home tonight.
He turns away, but I catch the tear that slips from his eye. I wrap my arms around his waist from behind, the only way I know how to give him comfort and privacy at the same time. I kiss the unnaturally warm skin of his back. I can’t help it. He’s been mine-but-not-forever for so long that it’s the natural course of action.
“It’s okay,” I whisper, though it’s not. “It was never meant to last. We knew fate would step in one day to end this.”
He turns and buries his face in my hair. “I’m sorry. I kept telling myself to walk away before someone got hurt. I left and I tried to stay away, but…”
“I know.” I pull away and force a smile. “Maybe knowing it would end has made it better. I’m still the luckiest human alive. I have no regrets.”
“Nor do I.” Suddenly his eyes—those glorious, golden-green eyes that I fell so hard for so long ago—light up. He opens his suitcase again, but instead of packing the rest of his clothes he goes to my side of the closet and begins tossing in clothes, underwear, and his old t-shirt that I wear to bed when he’s away.
“What are you doing?” I step closer, my heart pounding. “You can’t run from your destiny.”
With a manic grin he slams the suitcase shut and takes me by the hand. “I’m willing to try if you are.”
©2020 Kate Sparkes