First of all, I am surprised you made it this far.
Frankly, I doubt that staying alive this long was really your choice. At this age maybe you are incapacitated and maybe some of your requests and wishes have not been respected.
Anyway, if you did choose this, why?
What on earth made you change your mind? Who or what convinced you that life is worth living? Are you satisfied with how things turned out? Did you end up having a good and healthy relationship with someone, and how did you contribute to that relationship?
What do you enjoy doing? Did you find meaningful work or something that you are good at? Did you learn to accept yourself the way you are, or did you succeed in improving yourself?
I don’t know what a loving relationship is supposed to feel like. Maybe my expectations for how our relationship is supposed to be are unrealistic.
But aren’t we supposed to be free to talk to each other about anything? I feel like I can’t be honest with my partner at all. I am afraid he will judge me as he always does.
I want to be myself around Nohim but whenever I do, I get judged or my motives get questioned. I can’t live like this.
Is it possible that choosing to be with this person was a mistake?
Maybe we are not compatible.
It makes me extremely anxious to see him angry or disappointed in me.
To be honest I didn’t get into a relationship with him because I fell in love- I’m still not sure what that feels like- I got with him because I felt like I wasn’t worthy of someone else (someone better). I said to myself; “well, at least someone wants me”
It was a stupid decision, I know. And I regret it especially when I see couples who seem to be “truly in love”.
I feel like I ruined his chance of being happy with someone who would be compatible with him and would make him happy.
I don’t know what I’m going to do. I am afraid of being unwanted by others if I decide to leave him.
Please don’t judge me, I already have to deal with that at home.
It has been a week after a solar flare hit the entire planet, killing half the world’s population, and disrupting power grids, internet connections, communication devices, and transport systems. Most survivors have become violent mutants called Zapheads, and the remaining normal humans are left navigating in a civilization that has been brought back into the dark ages.
The protagonist Rachel Wheeler affectionately known as Ray Ray is a God-fearing young woman from Charlotte North Carolina, who believes that everything happens for a reason and that the apocalypse is possibly a test from God. She has lost her entire family and friends but has been successful in surviving on her own so far.
Along the way, she meets a black street-smart young man named Devontay and a 10-year-old orphaned boy named Stephen. The three of them make an odd trio, but they grow very fond of each other while trying to find a safe place to hide and survive. However, It turns out that the mutants are not their only enemy.
Even though After: The Shock is a post-apocalyptic thriller with violence as one of its themes, the author Scott Nicholson cleverly touched on some sensitive issues such as suicide, addiction, guilt, religion, and the meaning of life, in a humorous way which I appreciated and enjoyed. The ending lays a solid foundation for the next book in the series After: The Echo which I am looking forward to reading.
This story opened my eyes to how differently humans experience life depending on their backgrounds and beliefs. I saw how facing difficult situations can test one’s morality, and the most important lesson I’ve learned is that even after we lose everything materially, what will always remain is that which makes us human; faith, love, and hope.
I’m giving this book a rating of 4 stars out of 5. An overall great read.
This is not a love letter, rather, I write you with a heavy heart because I know we can never be together. Even so, I am gripped and can’t break free from your charm.
This is not a love letter, but I am incarcerated by your gaze. The truth in your eyes sees right through the lies in mine. I try to hide it, but you are all-knowing. Just a glance from you melts away all my defenses and chokes away all the words from my mouth. I can’t seem to remember how to speak or breathe.
I promise this is not a love letter, however, your rare touch, insignificant as it may be to you, leaves me longing for more. My hands and body quickly free themselves from your embrace but my soul can’t, and won’t let go.
This is still not a love letter, but the sound of your voice leaves me paralysed I lose my sense of self and I scramble to pick up the pieces of my scattered mind. That is what you do to me.
This is certainly not a love letter because we both belong to someone else, but I cannot ignore the passion between us whenever we are together, and the emptiness I feel when we are apart. Tell me what to do in this desperate situation, in this tug-of-war where the battlefield is my heart. How do I escape you or forget you?
This is not a love letter, but it might as well be because my heart belongs to you.
I hope this letter finds you well. As well as you can be after what I did to you.
I write you this letter while looking at a lovely photograph of us together at the fair from three summers ago. I don’t have to look too long at this picture to notice the beaming happiness on both our faces. September 26 (a day I will never forget) is the date marked on the back of the photo.
I was wearing a short black pleated skirt with those sneakers that you liked, and you had that classic plain white t-shirt and blue jeans look that I was crazy about.
In one hand I had that pink stuffed teddy bear you won for me after playing three brutal yet hilarious rounds of Whac-A-Mole, and with the other, I held on tightly to your waist. My head was cradled on your chest, and to this day I can still smell your alluring scent.
There was a tenderness in the way you looked at me, and my heart was so full due to the abundance of your pure love.
But that was years ago. A lot has changed since then. I like to go over those times in my mind because they give me a sense of comfort that at least there was a time when I made someone happy. A time when I made you happy.
Lately, though, the thought of you has been keeping me from sleeping. I keep recalling the look on your face as I was leaving. Almost every night I’ve been dreaming about you. Dreaming about us reconciling, but at the end of every dream, I still break your heart.
It is no secret that I have moved on, but have I truly? Have you? Do I ever cross your mind?
Each year when September comes, memories of you flood my mind. A part of me keeps holding on because I still care, I hope you still care.
Old friend, you were like my home. It hurts to think that now you are just someone I used to know.
I know that meeting up with me is not even an option for you. I don’t blame you, because the last time we spoke you told me you loved me, and all I said was nothing. I regret it because now I have so much to say to you.
I apologize for breaking your heart and I hope you are happy now wherever you are, with whomever you are with. I hope she treats you better and makes you throw your head back in laughter like you used to with me.
I don’t know what will happen after this letter reaches you, but just know that the words of our favorite song will always be true. At least to me:
“Whatever we deny or embrace, for worse or for better We belong, we belong together.”
I never knew loneliness until I met you. I never knew pain until I felt you. I never knew fear until you looked into my eyes. I never knew sorrow until you rejected me and never held me when I cried.
I am not asking for too much. Please don’t judge, or hold a grudge. I just need a little attention. That’s why now and then I give you a little nudge, For you to look at me, just look at me.
Is it that hard for you to express your feelings for me? If I was different would you treat me differently? What do I need to change please do tell? I will do anything, I’ll try to break out of my shell.
I’m tired of fighting for a portion of your heart. Either you give me your all, or you’ll watch me depart!
What if I meet another Who will treat me like no other? With one look, he will know exactly what’s in my heart. And he will accept and love my every part.
As she stared intently at the mirror, Ski could hardly recognize her reflection. “Who is this?” She asks. She tries to find familiarities on her face but even her eyes seem to have changed. She is not the person she used to be.
Ski was the kind of girl that could make friends with anyone, she could pull you in with her bright smile and make you feel comfortable enough to share your deepest secrets without fear of judgment. She was everything you could ever want and need in a friend, in a lover.
That is exactly what a man like Midnight was looking for. A sort of naivety and innocence mixed with some charisma and a stunning body. The woman of his dreams. He promised to love her and his love was more than what she expected, way more.
Midnight’s love reminded Ski of a warm fire on a cold winter’s night. Sometimes it was so intense that she had to be careful not to get burnt. It shined so brightly almost blinding her. It tasted so sweet it would sometimes make her sick to her stomach. “No one will ever love you the way I do” He would say, and she believed him.
His words of affection were like a beautiful bouquet of bright red roses with unimposing thorns that would cut deeper and deeper into her skin each time. “Well, it’s the thought that counts.” She says reassuringly to herself.
His tight embrace of devotion would leave her breathless, and she loved it because she loved him. “Oh my, what a love.” She whispers gratified.
Midnight enjoyed feeling Ski’s heartbeat pulsating on her neck. The tighter the grip, the better. He loved holding her down, detaining her to the floor while screaming out his frustrations, and declaring his undying love for her. His eyes would go red, his body would quiver, and sweat would run down his cheeks like tears. She thinks to herself “He is just passionate about me, that’s all.”
She fears disappointing him in any way and she dreads the day he will be rid of her. “Get it right, Ski!” She reprimands herself as she thinks about all the times she had let him down. She reckons that just like every other couple, they have their ups and downs. Some say she should leave, that she deserves better, but how can she find a better love once she’s had the best? They don’t know him. They don’t know his heart.
“He loves me, he just–” Her line of thought gets interrupted by a calm yet authoritative voice coming from outside the bedroom.
“Ski, baby are you ready to go?”
“Uhm, yes I’m ready.”
Ski takes one last look in the mirror to make sure that she looks perfect for him. Her make-up is so well done, that it seems to cover up all her fears and doubts. She gets up to meet Midnight at the door.
“You look so beautiful tonight.” Midnight declares. A smile slowly appears on Ski’s face. It’s moments like these that help her endure this kind of love.
Midnight opens the door as they step out into the beautiful moonlit night. He proudly puts his hand on her waist. His warm touch gives her a comforting feeling of contentment.
Confident and hopeful, Ski whispers assuringly to herself “it’s us against the world, baby.”
It was the day I realised that I hated my father. Well, he hated me first, so I hated him back.
This illness began as a tiny seed, but then it grew quickly and weeded it’s way all around the blooming flower garden of my juvenile heart. It suffocated me. It choked all the joy out of me.
My father had no idea how ill I was, or maybe he knew but just didn’t care. To my dismay I found out that he was also suffering from this disease, and it was hereditary. That meant I had no choice but to suffer.
He was a man of few words, and with those words he would always convey discipline, disgust and disappointment. Bursts of anger and endless tantrums were typical whenever I made a mistake. I hated it, I hated him. I still do.
I still remember the day I caught sadness.
The sound of my Father’s foot steps haunted my dreams. His disaproval hung over me like a dark cloud carrying a heavy storm. I was so afraid to dissapoint him, and this is why I never learnt to love him.
I was condemned with this illness so early in life and that proved to be too much of a burden for me to carry. I wanted to get well so desperately, so I took refuge in pills and potions. They only dulled the pain with temporary enjoyment. It felt like a peaceful dream that got interrupted by the horrific nightmare of real life.
I recieved neither consolation nor comfort. No “get well soon” cards, or warm soup to help me recover. Not even a single kiss of compassion from my mother. I was just left alone, to perish on my death bed.
So I decided to run, to leave my father and all my pain behind. I wanted be free, healthy and happy. But the further I ran the heavier my feet got. So heavy that they would drag me back. Back to that dark place. A place that I’m still trying to escape.
I will always remember the day I caught sadness, and it will be apart of me forever. No relief, no remedy. Till death do us part.