Return to Sender

Her finger still had the impression of the ring she wore.

That Christmas, she had trod through the deep snow, on a cold clear day to the post office. The houses still had garlands, the windows still had trees, the roofs still had Santas.

She still had the ring.

As she opened the door, the ice fell off her weathered boots and tinkled on the floor into a puddle where a rogue ray of sun shined. This drew the attention of the small town folk in line to return their own holiday gifts.

Their eyes looked at her like they knew what she was there to return. Of course, that was more her imagination than anything else.  And of course, they probably did. Word travels fast here: “that girl who rejected a perfectly good man…shame.”

Cradling the small box wrapped in brown paper, addressed to him, she found herself sheepishly hiding at the end of the line. That awkward silence…where people are stuck together in a confined space, each secretly swearing at the customer at the counter who is taking forever to finish their turn – she took some deep breaths and observed.

She observed them.  She observed her feelings.  It really was the only way.  She had found the strength to say no to something that seemed like an obvious yes to everyone else observing her life. And while there was nothing wrong with him, there was something wrong with them.  Pretending that it was meant to be because it was expected to happen, wasn’t going to do either of them any favors in the long run.

It was the hardest no she had to say. But, it was the most important one.

She carried that no close to her chest, where once lay his head. One by one, the people in front of her moved, and there she was, handing it over.

She handed over her former future, return to sender.

Next stop: New York.


Years ago, I had started playing around with an idea for a story/book. I long forgot about it, lost the floppy disk (yes…that long ago), and I’ve wanted to resurrect it, and this is just a little draft attempt at that. Just whetting the appetite, so to speak. Feel free to pay no attention. 🙂


54 thoughts on “Return to Sender

  1. Em, Great to pull out old efforts, and digging around old files brings great rewards. Like rummaging around the attic and finding that perfect halloween costume. Somewhere buried back in my blog is my first personal essay about why I write (i need to work on my organization in this world). In it I describe losing all my old writing but coming across floppy discs used with my first computer a Macintosh SE… wow. It was a treasure to find these poems that I thought lost forever. Any rate, still rummaging around in here… not a moment wasted! S

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    1. Yes, it can be good to revisit old work with a more experienced brain. 🙂 We’ll see what comes of this, if anything. And thank you, I’m so tickled you are enjoying my archives!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It can be good both to appreciate that the old stuff wasnt that bad and also to make these connections to who we were along the way, that it made sense getting here, in a way. I believe we share a common goal with our blogs – basically, been doing this writing thing for so long and after years of insecurity about my writing, I finally said “F-it” go for it. And, like you said, some of our favorite poems can be buried in the archives. Good stuff, Maynard.

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      2. Yeah, it’s funny how a year ago, I only planned to store a handful of scattered poems in one place, I had no clue it would result in this following and the writing of hundreds more. 🙂

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      3. Writing that makes a connection with others is a valuable thing. And it feeds back into your own writing. I have appreciated my own renewed creative spirit by looking back at my own writing and then getting positive responses. It has felt like a fresh start in a way, but with roots.

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      4. Very very true! And I’ve enjoyed discovering your writing, too. That’s what’s so cool about this community, people who want to engage with what we create. Unlike Facebook…hah!

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      5. Ha, indeed! Not sure what your experience was, but when I linked my WP to my FB it was like a deafening cry of crickets in response from folks I have known for years. Meanwhile, here I have discovered an interesting and vibrant community that offers support and encouragement. Alas, while I remain conflicted about the former (after all, how could they know all of this stuff resided behind my aloof exterior? I am sure they are more confused by me than I am!), the latter is growing into something of real substance.

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      6. Yeah, I have a few fans amongst my personal friends, but the bulk just scroll on by. I’m sure some of them, like yours, don’t know what to do with this side of me. 🙂 And that’s fine. I’d rather save it for people who value it.

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      7. It’s the finding people who value it that has been so excellent here. Consider yourself valued by this reader! And consider me running later to start my Monday in Singapore. Always a great pleasure chatting with you Em.

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      1. I did! I combined that on the day I went to Chelsea Market. I took a pastry up there and ate at sunset. Then happened to walk by a huge party that Armani was having on the Highline in front of their building. Saw some hot models!

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      2. That is awesome! I’ve never had anything quite like that happen – my biggest claim to fame was sort of meeting James Franco. Lol! (Stage door stalker: me)


      3. All right. I just posted a little more of the story to get past the first scene. I make no promises of how far I’ll get, but it’s a little something! 🙂

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  2. This is a really lovely piece. It’s utterly tragic but it asks so many questions. it leaves the reader begging for more.

    I think resurrection is a marvellous thing and whatever you do with this you’ve started on a very compelling note.

    I still have bits and pieces on floppy disks. if only I still had a drive. Don’t think of it as long ago think of it as a multimedia writer exploring different methods of saving your writing. You’re distinguished and delightful 💜

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hehe…I like that way of looking at it…yes, exactly, data experimentation. And thank you so very much! You make me smile. Part two is posted should you want to see what I’m toying with next, but no pressure. Hope you are well! 🙏🏼😊💜

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Well I’m very glad. I like creating smiles especially when it’s born from such wonderful work

        I’ll get to part two soon. I’m slowly getting through my reader backlog.

        Sadly bad times have struck. I’ll talk about it on here soon but for now it’s nice to check in and be distracted by wonderful writers like you!

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