Realisation - A Short Story

Realisation - A Short Story

A Story by Tyler James

Heartache spawned from pointlessness


I am sat outside a coffee shop in Leeds city centre with the bright morning sunshine cutting into my arms like an ‘Emo’ kid going through trauma, with one of my oldest friends.

We sit and we chat about last nights drunken debauchery whilst drinking our coffees and smoking our cigarettes, watching the mornings hustle and bustle, the empty streets beginning to fill up with fair weather shoppers and people in suits and uniforms, each making their way to work to earn money, or looking for clothes and gadgets to spend it on. We watch as we see all sorts of people from all walks of life going about their daily business, their regular routines in their differing clothes and styles enhancing their differing personalities, letting people know that they are individuals and in their own right, they are each cool in their own social circles and they each mean something. Nobody is a statistic here, at least it feels that way. The mixture of trendy shops and designer boutiques, the chilled out cafés and the luxurious restaurants, the open air markets and the costly arcades, the street buskers and the intense music scene all come together to form something whole. They form a city that gives people the chance to experience and create their own version of it whatever their preference. Whether it be to create their own style of clothing, to mix and match, to wander about aimlessly to experience and soak up the busy atmosphere, to come for the vibrant music scene, the day to day shopping or even the museums and the arts, this city is whatever you choose to make it, this city makes each person feel like they have a purpose to be here, like everyone has a meaning, like everyone has a reason. I love soaking up this atmosphere and feeling like I am better than I am, almost touching cosmopolitan.

Interrupted from my daydream, I feel a vibration in my pocket. Realising that my phone is ringing, I put down my cup of coffee onto the plastic table and I take out my phone. I look at the caller ID and I see that it is, yet again, my ex girlfriend. For the thousandth time in the last three days I ignore the call, and after lowering the volume I put the phone back into my pocket. My friend looks at me at first puzzled and then a derisive smile begins to appear.
‘Was that Sarah?’
‘How did you know? She’s driving me crazy.’
He laughs as he takes a sip of his coffee. It’s a cappuccino and the froth leaves him with a thin white moustache. It makes me smile as he continues to speak. He’s such a messy eater, or in this case, drinker. Who knew…?
‘I wish I knew what you did to them.’
‘What do you mean?’
‘Every bird you’ve ever had still wants to talk to you twenty four seven. It’s not normal flower, it doesn’t happen to everybody else. For a few months you give them everything they want, the perfect boyfriend. Then, after a couple of months as soon as you get bored you just get rid of them leaving them to wonder what they did wrong.’
‘I can’t help that can I? I want what I want.’
For a moment it makes me feel guilty. It’s almost never the girls’ fault, maybe it’s my own insecurities. My friend is right, every girl I have ever been out with still wants to speak to me whatever their motive be, I can’t seem to stop them without sounding nasty. I’m a coward in some ways and I don’t want people to think badly of me unless I do of them. My problem is that I seem to attract girls who need me rather than want me, the ones who have something missing in their lives and want to find somebody that feels like their saviour.

My last girlfriend, Sarah, was different but crazy like the rest. She was a good looking girl and she was nice to me. She paid for me to do things and I introduced her to a new world. We broke up because she wanted me to be around her all the time. It sounds perfect doesn’t it, a good looking girl who treats you right and would give you the world. Believe me, at least in my mind, it’s not.

I have always been a believer in keeping your own space to do your own thing. People need to run their separate life parallel with their together one. You never know if you’re going to break up. You could be left with nothing. I am also a believer in a challenge or two. Nicky wasn’t either of these things. She wouldn’t give me my space and she made everything too easy for me, whatever I wanted from her I knew I could get it, barely even trying. Okay in a few ways I suppose that makes me pretty strange but hey, that’s me for you. I would much rather whinge and complain about not getting my own way and probably in some sick childhood bred way enjoy feeling very f*****g frustrated. Yeah, I prefer that way much more than having everything laid on a plate for me, on a silver platter perhaps.

It couldn’t have been all bad though otherwise it wouldn’t have lasted the six routine months that it did. I suppose I was quite content until I realised how far down the line the relationship had gone. It forced me to wonder if this was how I wanted the rest of my life to be, not remembering anything special and not looking forward to anything in particular. Until that moment, I was content chugging away to the soundtrack of my life, nothing taking me by surprise and everything seeming quite nice. I could compare it to a piece of classical music, nice gentle and slow but not long before I get bored stupid of the thing and find myself switching radio stations. The switching off symbolising the alarm inside my brain, my wake up call finally kicking into action without having so much as a snooze button in sight.

That one moment came and I had no reply. I tortured myself, begged in fact, to just grit my teeth shut my eyes and to lie, but I knew that it wouldn’t be right. It was the safe option but the wrong one. In the end what I did was for the greater good.

It was that moment when she told me that she loved me and I had no reply, I knew it was over. I liked her but not enough. She didn’t love me she just thought that she did. I suppose that in her eyes, saying that she loved me was the next step, but she was lying to herself as well as me, whether she knew it or not. There was a tinge of excitement to her voice as she said it, waiting to be told that she was loved back and to feel the warmth spread through her body like the heat of a glow lamp warming up, but it never came. The lamp remained off and out of use because, as well as the excitement to her voice there was also a stutter and all of a sudden, something reigned true inside me. The wise old man I keep in my head for special occasions, slapped me into action and made me think. The words ‘I love you’ just didn’t flow naturally like they should have, they were forced. How could I say it back? Then we’d both be lying to one another and that would be wrong. Two wrongs don’t make a relationship right.

When I got home, after somehow dodging my fate by saying something like ‘I really need to pee’ I made my quick getaway, promptly running straight out of the door and sprinting so far down the road that my lungs must have felt like we had had a big argument about breathing or something and I just wanted to punish them, but the champs lasted until I burst through my front door at home and let me send her a text message telling her that its over and breaking up with her until they gave out and tried to make me vomit all over my mums new kitchen floor. I took the coward’s way out and I know it. I’m small but my morals are in the right place. Greater good remember?

I knew that there’d be phone calls and there was, millions of the fuckers. If it was the house phone that rang, I’d fend everyone off until it stopped then breathe a big sigh of relief knowing that I had survived, on this occasion at least. On one of the few times it was picked up by one of my sisters in an attempt to piss me off, I’d run out of the house and onto the driveway and stand there, just so that they could say I wasn’t in and keep a clear conscience, with everybody staying emotionally in tact.

Besides, I knew that if I had done it face to face she’d ask me for a reason and I didn’t have one. I couldn’t even think of one. How do you tell someone that they’re just not right for you anymore? She would second guess herself, lose her confidence, wonder how she had changed, when in reality she hadn’t, we just weren’t going to work. How can you explain that to a person without hurting their feelings? She never did anything wrong as such so I didn’t want to hurt her, I wanted to minimise her pain. I couldn’t tell her, she just wouldn’t understand. Either way, I knew it wouldn’t help her, it wouldn’t help one little bit.

That was three months ago. She has pestered me ever since. Text messages five, six times a day. Phone calls at ridiculous times, sometimes I even answer, forced to listen to the crying, telling me that I’ve broke her heart, then comes the heavy breathing, fighting back the sobs, telling me that she is strong and that she doesn’t need me and she never did. She is an independent woman. She is a girl trying to be an adult. She just isn’t for me anymore. People change. So do feelings.

I will always feel a pang of guilt for her. I tried, honestly I did, but I just couldn’t fall in love with her. One day, once she’s realised that I am nothing special and that I am nobody, she will get over me and we will be able to talk again, as friends, not as ex’s who call each other up and beg to get back with the other or beg for some sex, one day it will change or at least, I hope it will.
As for me on the other hand, I am still searching for that someone or that something. I am yet to find it. I have never been in love. I don’t even know what it feels like yet. Then again, I’m not searching hard; I’m taking it as it comes. I hang out with my friends for most of the time, sometimes we stay in and sometimes we go out. My main priority right now is to live for myself, for the moment, to have fun, to enjoy the spirit of my youth before its too late, to piss away all my money, to have sex with girls I don’t know, to get drugged up and fucked up, to go crazy and to lose my mind. I can always settle down when I am older, when I have found the girl to complete me, to buy the house and to have the four kids and the dog, to buy the big family car, to trail the kids back and forth from school, to live an empty selfish life but a full and energetic family one. It will all come later, I’m in no rush.

We finish our coffees and our cigarettes and we stand, I throw some money onto the table taking care of the bill with a little extra for decent service and we join with the crowds of now only fair weather shoppers, with the real people now at work and beginning the reason for their mundane existance.

© 2008 Tyler James

My Review

Would you like to review this Story?
Login | Register

Featured Review

I like the honesty that you wrote with this with. Now with that being said...a part of me wants to shake the s**t out of you...then the other part reminds me that you are only 21, and such are the ways of guys barely grown into adult hood.
The ego side of you comes out loud and clear, and again, I can understand. Everyone needs their privacy...but come on now....was it really that horribly bad? Nah..I dont think so.
But you were didnt love her, and to stay with Sarah would only be doing her damage. So kudos to you on that level.

You're a character....

Posted 12 Years Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive.


This was a really good write. I am always impressed when writers share of themselves. We learn from others when this happens or identify with and don't feel so damn alone. Worse oddball out.

Love it is a big thing man, I thought I had married 4-ever nine years of bliss and then my husband changed on me. You were right not to spit this sacred word out like old bubble-gum to get stepped on and smooched. I love how you said you did not even know what love feels like, that is great introspection. Let me just say you my friend, have a good head on your shoulders. Keep writing Peace Roxy

Posted 12 Years Ago

Wow. I have so been on the other side of this relationship (see: Missing You in my own works or all the explanation you'll need).

That being said, your punctuation needs some work, as does quite a bit of your formatting. I would suggest getting a printed copy of this, and giving it to someone you can trust to copy-edit it. I love the sentiment, I love the feeling, but I am a grammarian, and I notice things like this. Your punctuation will stand in the way of other people enjoying this, even if they don't realize why.

I'll give you another tip, which I think is vital here on the cafe, and almost as important in "real" writing: either use indents or put a blank line





between your paragraphs. It makes reading so much easier.

Thank you for your time and attention.


Posted 12 Years Ago

I like the honesty that you wrote with this with. Now with that being said...a part of me wants to shake the s**t out of you...then the other part reminds me that you are only 21, and such are the ways of guys barely grown into adult hood.
The ego side of you comes out loud and clear, and again, I can understand. Everyone needs their privacy...but come on now....was it really that horribly bad? Nah..I dont think so.
But you were didnt love her, and to stay with Sarah would only be doing her damage. So kudos to you on that level.

You're a character....

Posted 12 Years Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Request Read Request
Add to Library My Library
Subscribe Subscribe


3 Reviews
Added on February 13, 2008


Tyler James
Tyler James

Leeds, United Kingdom, United Kingdom

There are many reasons you shouldn't like me but most people do. I drink. I smoke. I gamble. I take drugs. I drink until I'm in so much of a stupor that I don't know where I am and then I do drugs t.. more..

One - Arrival One - Arrival

A Chapter by Tyler James

Two - Journey Two - Journey

A Chapter by Tyler James