“Although no one can go back and make a brand new start, anyone can start from now and make a brand new ending.” ― Carl Bard
Alex and Jacob were lovers in college until one day Alex just left, leaving Jacob with no explanation as to why. Years later, while working on a contract for his company Jacob comes face to face with someone he never thought he’d see again, Alex.
What made this story so real to me were the emotions set into play. Jacob had them all: anger, resentment, hurt, along with bewilderment and shock at seeing Alex again. I was really interested in how the author was going get these two back together. I think we all have that one person in our lives that we think “what if”. How would we feel and act if they came back, wanting a second chance even though they were the one to walk away in the first place?
I really didn’t know how to feel about Alex at first. We know from Jacob that Alex left without any warning and the timing couldn’t have been worse. Finally, after all this time, there is an explanation. Alex was scared. Not knowing what the future held, feeling how he did about Jacob, he was a twenty two year old kid who was just scared. As much as this angered me, I had to take into consideration what Alex was going through at that time of his life. I honestly don’t believe he knew how much he hurt Jacob. I really like how the author didn’t over dramatize his reasons for leaving the way he did. Being “scared” is a valid and underused plot device that was used convincingly here.
This wasn’t an instant get back together for Jacob and Alex. Jacob’s hesitation and resentment were years in the making and built not only by Alex leaving, but by other things that happened shortly after their split. Unraveling all those emotions and events took time, which allowed the reader to see Alex for himself instead of the Alex we see through Jacob’s hurt at the beginning of the story. In the end, they talked it out and Jacob knew his feelings for Alex never left. Now that they’re older, I believe they can communicate better to avoid any repeat of their younger selves.
Even though this is a short story, it feels complete. The author does a great job in repairing this relationship without it feeling rushed and forced. Overall, this was a sweet short story with a HEA.