The Decision //

Will a simple decision lead to a lifetime of regret or happiness?

It was getting late, later than she had anticipated, and she knew that she needed to make a decision. Would she hold tight to the dream that has kept her going for the past few years or would she let it go in favour of the undefined possibilities that stood ahead of her?

This question nagged at her each day demanding a response and she had talked through the two options with friends and family countless times. Each person offered their own helpful perspective but as well-meaning as that was, it only added to the confusion. Exhausted by the weight of this decision, she would rush to sleep hoping to find rest. But as soon as her head hit the pillow and her eyes closed for the night, her brain would go into overdrive hoping to help her make sense of the confusion.

Last night her dreams took her to the future where she was now well into her 70s with changes in her vision that made it difficult to see things clearly. She could tell that there were many people gathering around her radiating love and joy but couldn’t quite make out their faces. Their voices were also unclear but she felt happiness in this moment even though she couldn’t quite make out the reason for the festivities that brought out this group of people.

“The woman of the hour! I’m so happy that you finally agreed to let us celebrate you!”, said the voice that was approaching her.

She recognized this voice instantly and it made her heart jump. She tried to formulate the words running through her mind into a question but each time she tried, she would lose grasp of the phrasing and the scenery in front of her would change. The next thing she knew, she was in the future again but a closer future. She was in her 40s and was on a flight taking a trip somewhere.

“Will you two be having the special meal you ordered in advance or one of the set meal options?”, the flight attendant in front of her asked. She turned to the seat beside her but it was empty.

“Um, I think we’ll be having the special meal we ordered, if that’s okay with you?”, she asked the flight attendant.

She was met with a response and, testing the waters, she tried to ask who exactly the other person accompanying her on this journey was, but like before, she couldn’t form the question properly and was swept away to the third act in her dream.

This time, she didn’t time travel too far. She was sitting at a coffee shop, holding her London fog between her two hands. The warmth from the drink grounded her and she could tell that she was in desperate need of some grounding. Her heart was racing and an entire family of butterflies was flittering around freely in her stomach. She glanced over at her phone to check the date even though she was pretty certain what day it would be. It was June 26th: D-Day.

All of her dreams would end with her in this exact moment, sitting in front of the person she knew she had to share her decision with. Would she be met with a huge smile, a hug, and a sigh of relief from this other person? Or would she have to sit across from this person, watching their heart break as she shared her decision with them?

In this dream, she had to say something because the time had come. But in reality, this exact moment was still a little over a week away. Sitting here in this moment, she had to resist the urge to beat herself up about how many times she had resisted making a choice and instead defaulted to the excuse that it was “many, many months away!”. What’s happened has happened; there was no point in fighting with the past.

Her heart was conflicted and wasn’t doing her any favours in making this moment any clearer or easier. The truth was she could see herself being content with either decision. What it came down to was how much she was willing to put her trust in the hands of the people around her. She found comfort and joy in the black and white areas of life, the easy yes’s and no’s, and anything in the grey brought her an immense source of frustration. This decision in front of her was one that was firmly in the grey and she hated every moment of it.

She looked up at the person sitting in front of her and made a simple request for a coin. After some slight shuffling and an extra purchase of a small donut to break a $5 bill into some change, she received a 10 cent coin. Without thinking, she flipped the coin and quickly placed her hand over it once it made contact with the table.

“Heads, I stay. Tails, I go. Whatever happens, happens. Is that alright with you?”, she asked her companion.

They gave a slight nod of the head and she gently lifted her hand to reveal the coin. She looked down and was overcome by a huge sense of relief. She would walk fully into this decision – her final decision – and move forward with her life.

Making her mark //

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Quietly, she laid down her belongings and sat by the water’s edge.

She was a curious figure, clad in all black except for the flashes of green coming from her scarf and from the pen she used to finish writing a letter she would never send.

When she woke up this morning, she had no idea she would be here, staring out into the lake but the day’s events compelled her to find the calm she so desperately sought.

So off to the water she went.

The ripples on the water’s surface always found a way to soothe her. The uniformity of it all was mesmerizing but she knew that, just like life, nothing was entirely as it seemed on the surface.

Fueled by energy from the wind, the ripples left their mark on the water’s surface. Each ripple blended carefully into the next but each one was unique in its beauty. A mix of jealousy and awe filled her soul. 

She stayed for a bit thinking about everyone that passed her as she watched the water. Who were they? What force of energy brought them here? She thought about this until she could think no longer.

Slowly, she packed up her things, slipped the letter she was writing into her jacket pocket, and disappeared.

As she walked, her soft movements travelled through the air and across the water’s surface and, for a moment, sped up the flow of ripples on the lake.

Sweet Viola’s Post Office //

Sweet Viola’s Post Office //

The best part of her day was when she was alone with the packages.

After a long day of dealing with unpredictable customers, she could count on the fact that her precious packages were always there, waiting for her. Of course, these weren’t exactly her packages. She knew this, but she couldn’t help but feel responsible for them since she had been there from the beginning of their journey. She was the one who was entrusted with ensuring that these packages made their way safely to their destination. She was also the one that had lovingly prepared them and would look after them until they were ready to go. This was a huge responsibility, and certainly not one that she took lightly.   The packages weren’t the only thing she enjoyed about her job. She loved meeting new people and seeing her regulars, sharing bits of conversation that could only happen between strangers, but there was nothing that could compare to the time she spent with the packages. Long after the last customer had left and the shop had closed, she would go into the back room and take in the glorious sight of packages lining the wall. Big ones, small ones, short ones, tall ones, packages as far as her eyes could see! Her favourite game to play was when she would close her eyes, spin around, and reach out and select a package. With her eyes still closed, she would hold the package tight and feel for any clues.

When she first started to play this game a few years ago, she would try her hardest but could never locate the package’s final destination. But over the years, she’s learned how to use different clues like the size and weight of the package, the grooves on the stamp, and even the texture of the mailer to zero in on where this particular package was heading. She took great pride in how well she could guess but secretly found joy in the times when she was stumped. Like last Tuesday, when she guessed with absolute confidence that the package she was holding in her arms was destined to go to Australia. However, when she opened her eyes, she was shocked to learn that the package wasn’t going to Australia but Austria! She felt silly making that amateur mistake, but she vowed it would be one she would never make again.

Most days, she would play this game until her husband came to pick her up to take her home. But tonight, her husband called to let her know that he would be working late and asked if she would be okay taking a cab home instead. She had to pinch herself to hide her joy and with a solemn voice she said that she would be just fine. As soon as she heard the line on the other side go ‘click’, she dashed to the door and flipped the sign on the entrance from ‘Open’ to ‘Closed’ and dimmed the lights. There was still technically fifteen more minutes left until the shop closed but she couldn’t wait a second longer to begin her favourite part of the day. What surprises would await her, she wondered. Where would she travel to today?

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Hi everyone! I know this is a little out of the ordinary for this blog but I recently unearthed a bunch of old short stories I wrote. After some thought, I decided that I would try posting some of my favourites here as part of a three-part series. I will pair each story with a photo I’ve taken that I think fits best so as to continue the theme of sharing my film photography

If you haven’t already, please read the first story of this series, “Table for 2”