I am walking towards the science building when Adam appears next to me out of nowhere. He kisses me lightly and his warm breath reminds me of Chesterfields. It’s a taste I grew to love since I started dating him almost a year ago.

“How was it?” he asks, lighting a cigarette. I watch him twist the match in his calloused fingers, letting it burn all the way. As always, he misreads my curious gaze as impatient and quickly throws the charred remains in the fresh snow. He thinks I hate his habits and well-rehearsed patterns. But he’s wrong; I love everything about him. I’m certain we’re soul mates, halves of the same whole. I’m a fretting, nervous college junior who blames all her failures on ADD, he’s obsessed with details and applying logic to life. We complete each other perfectly. The fear of losing this, losing him, makes me hesitate, but I know I must be honest.

“Pretty bad,” I start. “Manic depression with anxiety attacks.”

Adam doesn’t say a word, he just hugs me. Next to his jacket, in his strong arms, I feel better. He makes everything better.

“They say that with the right meds it’s going to be fine. Plenty of people have some sort of problem like this, especially college students. You know, because of the stress.”

Adam nods slowly but I know he doesn’t understand. His life is one single, clear line with no time for such nonsense as anxiety or stressing out. It’s times like this that I feel we live on different planets. However, his lips on my forehead remind me he is there, close to me, no matter what. After a deep breath, I go on.

“The problem is that it could be schizophrenia.” The words are finally out and I suddenly feel distant and alone. It feels like a slow-paced movie I follow with mild interest. The words replay in my head and I analyze how natural they sound, you could never guess I cried the whole night.

“Damn,” Adam says. The sound of this single word breaks my solitude, and the strange feelings I had just seconds ago are gone. He doesn’t freak out, he doesn’t look at me with worried eyes. He says what I needed to hear, what I wanted to hear. Damn, that’s bad but don’t worry, we’ll stay together through whatever comes our way. I love him more than ever. “Anything they can do?” he finally adds.

“Not really. I have to deal with it on my own, pretty much. There’s a support group they want me to see and all that, but not much they can actually do. There’s no test for schizophrenia and until they’re sure…” I carry on with pointless diagnostic details. He nods and asks a question or two.

We start walking again and holding Adam’s hand I feel better than I have in weeks. He makes it all better. He is there for me and that is all that matters.

“Hey, it’s all good as long as you don’t start seeing weird people,” Adam says with a playful smile. I slap him and giggle. Somehow he always knows the right moment for a joke. We must be matching souls, part of one whole. It’s the only way to explain how he can read my mind so easily.

“Of course I don’t see any weird people,” I say, trying to ignore the fact that I am the only one who leaves tracks in the fresh snow.

Alex Moisi is a Romanian-born college student, living in Illinois and ignoring real life issues like angry friends and failing classes in favor of post-apocalyptic scenarios and disturbing “What if?”s. His work can be found in Residential Aliens, Bewildering Stories, the Desolate Places anthology published by Hadley Rille books and Strange Worlds of Lunacy published by Cyberwizard Publications as well as on his website www.dracken.co.nr.

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  • http://www.hobowars.com Rhys

    dat was da best story i eva red !!!!111 😀

  • http://www.hobowars.com Rhys

    I actually read it that time, I actually like it. Nice work

  • Peadar

    Cool story and very well written.

  • http://www.mylefteye.net Mike Stone

    A very good story, indeed. The set-up, characterization and conclusion were all superbly handled given the confines of the small wordcount.

  • Celeste goschen


  • Gerard Demayne

    Liked it but guessed the pretty obvious (A Beautiful Mind) ending.

    Not 100% convinced with the last line. “trying to ignore the fact that I am the only one who leaves tracks in the fresh snow.” – I think that bludgeons the point over your head.

  • http://www.rumjhumbiswas.com rumjhum

    I liked this a lot and thought it was pretty well handled. :-)

  • http://fright-fest.blogspot.com Cate

    Oustanding, Alex. A definite 5* story.

  • http://patriciahale.blogspot.com Patricia J. Hale

    Well done.

  • Bob

    I too got a “Beautiful Mind” vibe very early in the story. Still, nicely written; I like that you’ve made the imaginary character Adam imperfect.

  • Bob

    A little derivative, but nicely written.

  • http://www.bondo_ba.livejournal.com Gustavo

    Great one Alex, it get five stars from me as well… Very well done.

  • http://www.cwgservices.com Chuck Gregory

    It’s a very nice story, Alex. It’s interesting to see the ‘old’ terms used. Here in the USA the condition would be “bipolar disorder, schizoaffective tendencies” but there’s no real difference from “manic depression.” I’m pretty familiar with the whole thing because my wife has that condition.

    She leaves her own footsteps, though, and so do I.

  • http://www.erinmkinch.com Erin

    Nice story. The ending really got me.

  • http://www.hobowars.com Bob the Tomato

    I enjoyed reading it. I really liked the ending. Keep doing good writing!

  • Adam

    5 stars from me Alex. It’s a great story.

  • http://robertaquinodollesin.blogspot.com Robert Aquino Dollesin

    A good read. Wonderful voice and a memorable ending. Nice work!

  • http://afburns.wordpress.com/ Alexander Burns

    Excellent work. It’s one of those ending you always swear you should have seen coming. :)

  • Debrickshaw

    great story!

  • http://canyonsofgray.blogspot.com dj barber

    Well done, Alex.
    Adam would have probably been against taking meds, but the footprints in the snow was right on–she obviously maintains a bit of insight. If Manic-Depression is good enough for Jimi Hendrix–it’s good enough for me.


  • http://msherlock.wordpress.com M.Sherlock

    Good story…i would like to add that the first two comments on this story are hilarious

  • http://elfineshentel.net Bonnie

    Terrific! The last sentence in the next to the last paragraph kind of telegraphed too much, but it was still a terrific story.


  • http://backspace.blog.me.uk Sylvia

    This is great. I really liked it. I don’t think the last line is bludgeoning – yes I’d worked it out just before but I think it comes across as reassurance (yes, you got it) not insistence (did you get it?).

  • http://www.daniellethorne.jimdo.com dani

    that was cool. not to mention beautiful and not overly sympathetic (which would have taken away from it. wow.

  • Bob

    Nicely written, nice dialogue. Like Gerard, I was thinking “Brilliant Mind” well before the ending, but the writing was so well done I didn’t mind. I especially like how Adam is not “perfect” – she’s had to learn to love his habits.

  • http://www.sharonbuchbinder.com Sharon Buchbinder

    Well done, Alex. Methinks she’s not so lonely anymore…:-D

  • Papa Love

    I love this story. its absolutely fantastic. Great ending!!

  • ShadowPhoenixFire

    The ending! I actually gasped at the end. That was fantastic. Let’s hear more from this author!

  • http://www.jonathanpinnock.com Jonathan Pinnock

    Excellent story, Alex. Superb ending.

  • http://horrificmusings.com Grillmeat

    Nice story. Really good lead in to the ending.

  • Terri

    I guess it about 3/4 of the way through, but still enjoyed it. Reminiscent of “A Beautiful Mind.” I like the last line–rather poetic.

  • Bob

    I like how Adam isn’t perfect – she has learned to love him despite his bad habits. I too saw the “Beautiful Mind” angle coming, but the writing was so lovely I didn’t mind.

  • http://dracken.co.nr Alex Moisi

    wow…I didn’t expect such a positive reaction and so strong too…

    Truth be told I did advertise this on every forum I am part of since I am very proud of it but still thanks people I really appreciate the positive feedback and I love the first two comments :)

  • Sam Joseph

    Liked the story, Alex! I thought you handled it well (I have to agree about the last line perhaps being a little too blunt though). The characters were great in such a small space; I liked the somewhat understated emotion.

    Well done!

  • bobbie

    Sufficiantly creepy and touching all at the same time.

  • bobbie

    Both creepy and touching . . .

  • Stephen North

    Great sad story!

  • Edward Caputo

    Really loved this one, both characters really come alive (ironically) – didn’t see the end coming which made it all the better.

    One typo to note: In the third-to-last paragraph: “We start walking again and holding Adam’s hand I feel better that I had in weeks.” ‘that’ should be ‘than’ no?

  • http://www.jordanlapp.com/ Jordan Lapp

    Fixed. Great catch, Edward!


    nice story… looking foward to reading more in the future:)

  • Patricia D’Angelo

    Nicely written and an enjoyable read, which is something I’ve come to expect from your stories.

  • http://www.theperfectblogtitle.blogspot.com/ Rena Sherwood

    Well done

  • Rhia Ro

    Loved that, sent a shiver down my spine with the last paragraph :)

  • Mark

    Wonderful story! I have to admit that I didn’t see the ending coming, even though I’ve seen A Beautiful Mind.

  • dotkelidot

    I fell for this one hook, line and sinker. I didn’t see the end coming at all. As a person who constantly rationalizes with herself, I can completely put myself in the main characters shoes – knowing, deep down, that what you’re doing isn’t real, but doing it anyway because it’s easier than the truth. I love this story.

  • http://kwikmed.com/prodinfo.asp?p=chantix Chantix

    I love this story so much! What powerful words and imagery, the author here painted a perfect picture of the couple, where the were and all of the emotions involved. Excellent job Alex! My favorite line is “I’m certain we’re soul mates, halves of the same whole.”

    So beautiful <3

  • http://whenshescontentshepurrs.blogspot.com/ DJ

    That was the most incredible story I’ve read in quite some time. Superb! Thank you for sharing. The end made me want to cry…not too many stories out there that can bring me to tears!

  • Pingback: Interview with Alex Moisi | Every Day Fiction()

  • http://allotropiclucubrations.blogspot.com Walt Giersbach

    Sorry I didn’t respond when this was published in August and I was moving from New England to Jersey. Must say that it has remained in my mind over the months and I’ve gone back to reread it several times. It’s a truly beautiful story.

  • http://backspace.blog.me.uk/ Sylvia

    What a wonderful thing to do, to make the effort to come back and say that the story stuck with you.

    Well done Alex for creating such feeling.

  • http://dracken.co.nr Alex

    I am honored to be remembered like this. Thank you and I must also thank the EDF team who were extremely helpful and nominated this story for the pushcart prize. Thank you,

  • http://lakinkhan.blogspot.com/ Lakin Khan

    Great story, Alex. I was completely sucked in. The ending had a good punch to it. I’m a little late to EDF so I’m catching up. Hope to read more of yours here and elsewhere.

  • coco

    sugi pula. :) te-am g?sit pe stumble, moisi. incredibil. sperr c? e?ti bine. kisz.