Peer Review by AbigailSauble (United States)

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But We Didn't

By: Nadia Kotova


    Do you remember, you flirted with me the day we met? We were sandwiched together on the subway, I in my large-framed glasses and plum colored sweater, you in your windbreaker and Converse. I glared at you when you told me I looked cute in my glasses. Judging by your harsh response, you were used to having your flattery well received. When we stepped of the subway, we swore we would avoid each other forever. 

But we didn't

    Do you remember, you ran into me at my favorite pastry shop? I apologized to you for my rude behavior on the subway. You said, now that you'd thought about it, you didn't mind. Then you paid for my pastry. You asked how you could make up for your unkind choice words from that first night. I told you the pastry was enough, but you insisted it wasn't. So, you pulled me next door to Barnes and Noble and offered to buy me any book I wanted. In the checkout line I said, whatever it was worth, that you were cute. When we stepped into the autumn wind, we exchanged numbers, swearing we'd call or text each other only every once in a while.

But we didn't

    Do you remember, you called me each night, much to the annoyance of my roommate? I was poor enough to still enjoy a vintage chorded phone, and I pulled out every kink in its chord by wrapping my fingers around it when we talked. As it turned out, we read the same books, watched the same television, loved the same fandoms. I knew similarities were not enough for a full-fledged relationship. I truly didn't know more than your interests. Yet I answered your phone calls each night with a stupid grin playing with my lips. When you asked me to attend the fair, we swore it wasn't a date and we'd go out only this once.

But we didn't

    Do you remember, all the places we haunted? I wouldn't let you take me to a movie the first time. I believe people ought to get to know each other first. So we went to the local pastry shop once again and learned each other's quirks and preferences. You loved coffee, I tea. You old classic novels, I fantasy. You Aristocats, I How to Train your Dragon. We browsed the shelves at the used bookstore for hours, to the point where the employees nearly asked us to leave. You wrinkled your brow when you thought, pretended to play the piano on the table when you were bored, and pulled your hair when you were angry. You were the first person to ever notice the right corner of my mouth tilts up farther than my left when I smile. When you whispered you loved me for the first time, we swore we would wait at least a year before we married. 

But we didn't

    Do you remember, how you proposed to me? You didn't create a grand spectacle at an extravagant, fancy place. Instead, you chose our little pastry shop when no one but the owner was there. It meant the world that you had listened when I told you on one of our first dates that one of my greatest dislikes in life was private, personal events exposed in public. There were only three small diamonds in the thin, plain silver ring band. Yet it was the most beautiful thing I'd seen in. It took two days of being married to speak of children. When we dreamed together at night, we swore we'd have many, all of them beautiful, lively, and happy.

But we didn't

    Do you remember, six months after our marriage, when you came home with that grim look on your face? Your father had called you and said your sister was dying. They lived where the war was. You promised you'd be okay. You promised it was only for two weeks. It wasn't as if you were going to war. When we kissed each other goodbye, we swore we would see each other again someday after those forever-long two weeks. 

But we didn't

Message to Readers

This was inspired by a sweet, sad little comic called "But you Didn't". If you haven't read it, you ought because it's wonderful. I've always wanted to write something of a similar format and here it is. Let me know what you think!

Peer Review

'But we didn't' - It always caught my attention because it was separate from all the other paragraphs each time you did it, showing it's importance to the story. It also helped me gauge where things would end up.

Sadness. You did a superb job in evoking different emotions throughout the story! I've noticed that sad endings tend to stay with people longer. Which doesn't mean that happy endings are bad, but you did a great job with this ending!

How would you have rewritten the ending to make it happy instead of sad? Or, how would you have continued this? You did a fantastic job with this, though, so a rewrite isn't necessary. :)

Reviewer Comments

Absolutely fantastic! Your descriptions gave enough detail so that I wasn't lacking in the least, and I loved how you used day-to-day things to create a realistic picture.
Great job!
God bless!