A Day too late


She found what she was looking for, one day too late.


” I absolutely loved the story- the build up of the characters, the inner struggles they battle and overcoming them to realize that love conquers all. It is a perfect balm for broken hearts. So when does it go to your publisher?” asked Lana.

“I’m so glad you enjoyed it. I have worked on it for more than two years, developed the characters taking inspiration from my life as I battled cancer. Well, the editor is through with it. The publishers set the deadline for tonight actually.” replied Pauline, flushing with excitement.

“So, what are you waiting for ? Send it in..it will be a bestseller for sure. One better than your last. Actually your best, if I may say so.”, complimented Lana earnestly.

“It’s been finalized a month ago but it feels like some piece of it is missing. The last line- it doesn’t feel quite right”, the writer contemplated.

“No, trust me Pauline, you are over thinking this. You have been working on this for far too long. This is great. Just send it. An go home. I seriously never understood how Eric is okay with you turning into a recluse and living in a different apartment when ever you need to write. ”

With a tinge of guilt, Pauline added ” Eric is a sweet heart. He understands I cannot write unless I am absolutely alone. But yes, after I send it tonight, home is my plan for a long time to come”

When she was alone again, the novelist sat at her desk blanking staring at all the post-its covering her desk with phrases and character descriptions and plot outlines she had scribbled over the period of two years. “Maybe I’m just scared to let go of Anne and George- they have lived with me through the story and this means they would no longer be mine”. She allowed this rationalization to settle in, while she cooked dinner for herself.

“Come on, Pauline. Now you really have to do it. ”

“NO! I’m telling you- every great writer always ends the story with a memorable line in the end. Remember The Great Gatsby-So we beat on, boats against the current…..”

“You have dilly dallied for days, searching for the perfect end. This is it. Just send it woman.”

“STOP. Take another day. It’s alright. Your publisher should understand. You will find that line. Trust me- just wait another day.”

“You have already crossed your deadline twice. This does not look good, Pauline. Think about your husband- Eric has been managing things alone for far too long now.”

Tired of the voices debating in her head, she rushed to her desk and opened her Mac. The mail with the attachment included was waiting to be sent. Without thinking any further, with a sharp intake of breath, she pressed SEND.

She felt relief flooding her body and all the tension washing away. “Maybe I was over thinking this”, she thought to herself, allowing one of the voice of impatience to emerge victorious.

The next day, after a long break she had taken from her family, she walked along the edge of the ocean, holding hands with the love of her live and watching the sun go down. She laughed as she saw Vodka, her golden retriever chase crabs sinking into the sand. As she danced playfully avoiding the waves, her husband whispered softly, “I missed you…I’m glad you’re home”.

In that moment, she found what she was looking for, one day too late.




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