Peer Review by Hanan Adi (Germany)

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The Memory Of Us

By: Ellenrbnsn


PROMPT: 0-9

9 are the number of pieces you broke my heart into when you slammed the door on our love with no explanation.
8 are the number of days I violently shook in a pool of my own tears, waiting for you to come home. 
7 are the number of times I kept looking at my phone, waiting for the screen to illuminate my pale face with a text from you. 
6 are the number of times I received false hope hearing the familiar ding of my phone, thinking it was you, but discovering it was only "Stay strong" messages from my friends. 
5 are the number of days after that it took for me to realize you aren't coming back, and the number of days after that for me to accept it. 
4 are the number of awkward first dates I went on, attempting to replace the idea of you.
3 are the number of perfume bottles I used, trying to cover your scent in my apartment. 
2 are the number of times I dialed your phone number and actually hit call, telling you to come collect your things. 
1 is the number of days I missed you afterwards, letting the memory of us fade into the back of my mind like the credits at the end of a wonderful movie. 
0 is the number of times you came home, and the number of times you told me you loved me and meant it. 


Message to Readers

Any suggestions, criticisms, or comments are welcome!


Peer Review

The numbers help to symbolise the "shutdown" of the narrator's relationship with the second character (whom I am tempted to label a jerk). The numbers start large, but one by one decrease, mimicking the deflation of the narrator's hope after being ditched.


I would like to know more about #1, or more specifically, what "afterwards" refers to. The first time I read it, I believed that "afterwards" meant "after you came and took your things." However, "0 is the number of times you came home," so maybe he didn't take his things after all. It's just something I wonder about.


Reviewer Comments

Hallo, Ellen!

This is a very real portrayal of betrayal and heartbreak! I think many readers (including myself) can relate to the strong feelings in this piece. It almost feels like sympathy, although we ourselves sympathise with the narrator, too. Thank you for sharing this, Ellen! Well done and happy writing!