Happy Valentine's Day!

Yes, it’s Valentine’s Day. God, I love and loathe this day equally. The original intent has turned into this materialistic nightmare. The pressure to get your significant other that special gift, the extravagant night out on the town, the romance, it’s all too much. Just thinking about it gets my stomach tangled up in knots. It’s bad enough that when you are married, the love sort of ebbs and flows.


Add all this other pressure to the mix, and there are moments I wish I were single. Yet, having a day dedicated to showing those you genuinely care about how deep those feelings go is a fantastic thing. AND I think it doesn’t apply to just those you love, but it’s a chance to show everyone a little loving kindness. If only we could convince our free market enterprise system that love conquers all and that it isn’t about the quantity you spend on the gift or the day, but the quality of the thoughtfulness, the sincerity of the feelings.

Ebb and Flow

It doesn’t help that in this very moment, my relationship is going through one of the ebb periods. A silly argument. An expression of honesty, when maybe I should’ve been a little less harsh in my directness. I wonder…If you cannot be yourself, convey your most candid opinions to the one who holds your heart in their palms…then maybe they don’t deserve that power?


That brings me to this little ditty I wrote for this special day. I wrote this from a similar space as where my own relationship was at not too long ago.  BUT, it is not entirely autobiographical. Remember, I write fiction, people! Much love and gratitude to you all.



I will never let you know that I died inside the day I let you go.

I’ve been asked a hundred times if I’m okay, and I always have the same response: It hurts a little.

Such is the sacrifice we make for the ones we truly love, right? Poems have been written, songs have been sung, novels read, and rom-coms watched, all based on the idea that if you love someone, set them free. If it’s meant to be, they will return, like some goddamn boomerang.

The truth is, I am split down the middle, entrails stretch in either direction for miles. There are days I can’t breathe because you aren’t here with me. Moments stretch into infinity, the longing so intense. But then I remember. I recall that time I told you one of my deepest, darkest secrets, and instead of supporting me, you laughed. You called me silly and brushed it off as ‘a life lesson.’ Or the time when I had the opportunity to follow one of my dreams, and you told me that I wasn’t cut out for that kind of thing. I inhale sharply, pinching myself that it is I who is free. So, who truly is the boomerang?

Walking along my favorite trail just outside Portland, I spot a fallen tree. One of those Bigleaf Maples. Its branches are spread out on the forest floor, the trunk nearly split in two. Underneath the decaying leaves, the roots are still firmly planted. I search the surface area, wondering how it is still thriving. Then, another memory hits.

“You always seem to be searching among the branches, when where you really need to focus are the roots.”

I rub my eyes in frustration. “What the fuck does that mean? I’m starving! All I want to know is Chinese or Pizza?”

You smile that dimpled smile that makes me want to nuzzle into your neck, and you show me the tag of your tea bag. “Rumi. He was one smart motherfucker. And this tea is fantastic.”

“Are you even hearing me?” I groan, gazing at the ceiling in an attempt to rein in my irritation.

“Yes, and I’m trying to give you an answer beyond food. For weeks you’ve been spinning out of control over your career and what you think is your life’s purpose. Then, you fill that pit of angst with things like that ridiculously expensive pair of Gucci boots, pizza, wine, and a $900 bottle of cognac. You don’t even like cognac! What you really should be doing is looking within yourself instead of all this without stuff.”

I recall being so exasperated by your Yoda-like speech that the only thing I could do is laugh. “Chinese it is. Skip the fortune cookies.”

After dinner we laid on the floor in front of the fire, your front on my back, sipping that damn cognac out of one of those balloon glasses that you are supposed to use for fancy brown liquids.

“Let’s get naked,” you said. And the world fell away in that moment.

A noise stirs me from my reverie. A pair of squirrels are chasing each other among the Fall detritus. I wonder if someone else is chasing you now? At the thought, nausea roils through my empty stomach. I’m fasting, having already gone a full 24 hours since my last meal. It’s the newest fad in weight management. Not that I’ve gained weight since I moved out West, but it’s an easy way to stay healthy without becoming a gym rat. Remember how we always made fun of those guys?

“He looks like a balloon animal,” you said about my friend Travis. We laughed until tears leaked from our eyes. You always had a unique way of seeing the world, a snarky, judgmental way of pointing out the ridiculousness of First World inhabitants. I never took it as mean-spiritedness but rather a refreshing, honest interpretation of how humans can be quite insane.

Speaking of insane, the foliage is amazing out here. I wish you could see it. I wish you were here with me now. My skin tingles as I imagine us walking side by side, our hands outstretched, fingertips brushing against each other’s as we get lost in our individual thoughts while sharing in the beauty of being outdoors.

My pulse races as I recall what it felt like to be in the same room with you. There’s that saying that you can be alone in a crowded room. Well, walls and people drifted out of focus the minute I felt your presence. The place could be on fire, and all I cared about was drinking you in, hyper-aware of each sway of your hips, the cascade of your chestnut tresses, gaze of your stormy grey-blue eyes. You will always captivate me.

“Earth to Grant!” You snap your fingers in front of my face. I can’t believe you just shut me down like that. I pick up your iPad and throw it against the brick wall of our apartment. You flinch, knowing you’ve done it this time.

There is a point in a relationship where one of you holds all the power, the keys to the kingdom, the other’s heart in the palm of your hand. That day, you closed your fist over my pulsating life force and crushed it to dust.

“I turned my life upside down for you!” I roar. You back away, sensing my unraveling.

“I’m sorry,” you say, holding out your arms as if you could repel me with some invisible force.

“There is nothing I wouldn’t do for you. Where I end, you begin. Or so I thought. I just realized how blind I was to believe that. You are truly the shallowest and most selfish person I know. At this moment, I wish we had never met.”

I flinch now, replaying the words in my head. As my ears ring with the hatred I felt in that moment, I slide my fingers through my thick blond hair, pulling at the roots. My palms, slick with sweat, they itch to hurt something. That’s why I’m out in these woods. When I get like this, I need to remove myself from the world, so I don’t accidentally harm an innocent, the way I did that night.

I want to caress your cheek with the backs of my fingers. I crave to taste your lips even if for just one more time. I pine to feel our flesh pressed against one another in a heated embrace. I hunger for your breath against my ear begging me not to stop as my scintillating tongue teases your most sensitive spots. I ache to stare into the depths of your eyes and wonder what remarkable thoughts are flitting through that breathtaking brain of yours.

Instead, I relive the moment you locked yourself in our bedroom, terrified of the animal I’d become.

I’ve learned to live with the pain. I’ve slowly pieced my life back together. But if I were ever to see you again, without a doubt, I’d be in over my head, mesmerized by your beauty, inside and out, all over again.

You were the girl with a heart on fire, and I love you.


As always, please leave feedback below. I appreciate your comments, for it is the fuel that feeds my muse.  You wouldn't want her to starve, would you?  You also get entered to win an Amazon GC worth $5, sent directly to your inbox! So you can earn some dough just by leaving your thoughts!

Also, if you want more romance from me, check out last Feb's Valentine's story HERE and this romantic short HERE.

Happy Valentine's Day, my friends.  -- KTG


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Short Story Series: Story 14 – Chase the Moment
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5 thoughts on “Short Story Series: Story 14 – Chase the Moment

  • February 15, 2019 at 9:33 am

    Intense. I’d love to hear some back story on their relationship. It’s always a good thing when your reader wants to know more about the characters 🙂 Keep them coming.

  • February 15, 2019 at 9:53 am

    Phew. You invoked so much emotion is such a short space. That is really talented. Why aren’t you published yet? I feel like I’ve read far less entertaining stuff and paid money, like actually a lot of money, to do so.

  • February 15, 2019 at 9:54 am

    Are you guys breaking up for real? What is happening! This was so intense and I love the setting. Portland rules!

  • February 16, 2019 at 12:07 pm

    Loved it! Love all your stuff.

  • February 16, 2019 at 12:08 pm

    You are spot on about ebb and flow of things. Just this morning I went from happy to see you posted a new story, to sad after reading said story, to happy again knowing that it was just fiction!


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