The writing begins when you say yes. The plot line tumbles ahead in your imagination, in your favorite habit of playing out all the scenarios long before they happen. Excitement surrounds you as you share the news. It spreads, replicating and intensifying. Everyone is so happy. You see the trajectory ahead, beyond the invitations and final song. You see the cozy mornings and late night movies. The bland conversations about which table matches the kitchen best. The timeline speeds ahead, moving in the predictable patterns we assume life will display.
Until one ill-fated day it becomes unpredictable in ways you never imagined. The wrench in the spokes. The rock striking the windshield at just the right angle and pressure. The crack is small, but it grows. Maybe it stops there, maybe you won’t need to replace the glass just yet. You can still see, still drive. You accept the damage, the visible blemish in your view. But the crack spreads. You can’t stop it. You can’t make it go away from your vision. You wonder how much worse can it get. How much further it can obscure your vision. Then it’s everywhere. The damage is too much to ignore now. You have to get a new window, but you don’t want to. You wanted THIS window, it was the first. It was the original.
Eventually you’re forced to take out the cracked window. A new one is put in its place, but you can’t forget how it felt the first time you were here. The first time everything was untouched, perfect, new. You realize things will never be the same again. That this tale has been stretched out as far as it can go. You want to keep going with everything the way it was, but you can’t.
The reality smacks you hard. Over and over again. It jars you awake in the middle of the night. It creeps on slowly when you aren’t looking, aren’t noticing.
The story you were so happy to live out has abruptly come to its premature ending. You will never finish it the way it was meant to be. In fact, you won’t finish it at all. You’ll be thrust into a new one. A different plot, different characters, different theme. Through no choice of your own, you’re tasked to continue on another path. It feels alien and unwelcome. There’s so much contraction, the resistance is palpable. How can any other story be welcome when the first felt so right? You don’t know, but you’re writing it. A new story you aren’t sure you’ll finish this time, but everything be damned, you’re writing it.
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