#ThrowbackThursday Fiction: Sunset

“I’m supposed to cry, right? Every inch of my body is telling me to cry. But I can’t…”

It’s a somber Throwback Thursday today. I don’t normally get personal on this blog (though some of the stories I’ve posted here have been deeply personal…you just don’t know), but it’s been a difficult few weeks for me, and I’d like to talk—or rather, write—about it.

I’ve always turned to writing as a sort of therapy session, to push through the hurt and pain when it’s too difficult to express it vocally. I’m not the type to talk about my feelings openly, so I put them into my stories.

Lately, I’ve been thinking… Thinking about things I’ve lost, things I’ve let go, things I’ve had taken from me…

This story reminds me that though the sun sets, it also rises. 

For those of you who, like me, are mourning (or perhaps, regretting) a lost love you thought you’d always have. I hope this story brings you some peace. 


Danny dragged Amanda up the hill behind their old elementary school to see the sunset. When they were children, they used to race each other to the bottom, drawing their knees to their chins and rolling like human balls, head over toes, until they reached the brick wall of the school.

Lying on their backs, side by side, they cupped their hands behind their heads and gazed up at the violet and peach colored clouds in the sky.

“Beautiful,” Danny said. Amanda didn’t answer. He turned to her and saw tears welled up in her eyes. “Tell me what you see.”

“He married her today.”

Danny didn’t need names to know who she was referring to—he, the man Amanda had been in love with for most of her life; her, the woman he’d left her for.

Danny had been there to pick up the pieces of Amanda’s broken heart, combing her hair off her face with his fingers as she cried into his lap.

“How do you feel?” he asked, readying himself to pull her into his embrace once again. That comforting friend available always to hold her when love betrayed her.

“I’m supposed to cry, right? Every inch of my body is telling me to cry. But I can’t.”

They lay in silence. Danny opened his mouth to speak, but Amanda cut him off.

“I see a face.” Her voice was clear, unwavering. “What do you see?” she asked smiling.

“A woman who can finally let go.”


Copyright – Joe Owens 2015
Copyright – Joe Owens 2015

Originally published February 22, 2015 in response to the Sunday Photo Fiction prompt.

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