Standing in the shadows of love (fictional short story)


Tiffany and Earl have been dating for almost a year. They met at a very swank art gallery. Tiffany felt like it was love at first sight. Earl, on the other hand, thought the way Tiffany pretended to know about art was kind of cute and he wanted to take it upon himself to become her new art teacher (if you know what I mean). Needless to say, they instantly hit it off and started dating one another. Their friends and anyone that came into contact with them always comment on what a cute couple they made, which quite naturally made Tiffany blush and her heart expand anytime she heard those comments.

After dating for six months, they decided to move in together. Tiffany’s parents, although they liked Earl they weren’t that keen on the idea of the two of them moving in together, they felt it was too fast and besides they wanted Tiffany to focus on her final semester of becoming an anesthesiologist. After all, if she is going to be putting patients to sleep, she needs to know her stuff. Yet, they knew that their daughter was head over hills for Earl and with them both being adults, there wasn’t very much they could do about it. Earl’s family, on the other hand, wasn’t that fond of Tiffany. He was much worldlier than Tiffany and although she was going to school to be an anesthesiologist, they felt she was not the right pedigree for their son. Earl graduated top of his class from a very prestigious college. He loved the arts. He loved it so much that he decided to open his own art gallery. He had various artsy friends and was well known in the art community, so getting the word out about a new gallery or getting artists to display their work wouldn’t be a problem. Earl wasn’t as into Tiffany as she was into him, but he thought she would grow on him, so the two moved in together.

The first three months of them moving in was great. Both Tiffany and Earl had a lot of friends, so they would entertain a lot. There was always someone other than the two of them at their townhouse. However, with all the art gallery galas and events that Earl attended and Tiffany’s constant late-night studying, they hardly ever got to spend any alone time and that started to wear on their relationship. Earl loved Tiffany’s caring heart and her great spirit, but he wasn’t in love with her. Tiffany, on the other hand, was madly in love with Earl, but she also sensed the change in their relationship. Yet, she continued to hang on, hoping that things between her and Earl would improve.

Earl started to feel that maybe their parents were right about not moving in with each other. He no longer wanted to play house with Tiffany and he didn’t know how to exactly tell her without hurting her feelings, he also began to admit to himself, that they really didn’t have that much in common with one another, with her being into medicine him into the arts, so he started to become distant. Tiffany had no clue as to how Earl felt. She knew things were different, but whenever she would ask him what is wrong he would say “nothing” and rush off; leaving no time to talk. She didn’t know how much longer she could go on with him giving her the cold shoulder. Yet, she continued to hang on. All of Tiffany’s family and friends started noticing a difference in her. She was no longer the happy-go-lucky young woman they knew. She had become somewhat depressed and obsessed with having to know Earl’s every move. It had gotten so bad, that Earl stayed away from the townhouse for a few days, just to get a break from her. Tiffany was starting to act really needy and that was really turning Earl off, she was not the same person he had met months ago.

After Earl stayed away from the townhouse a few days, Tiffany finally came to the realization that their relationship was coming to an end. But, because she still loved and cared for Earl, she didn’t want their relationship to end with him hating her, in hopes they get back together. So, she moved out of the townhouse back home with her parents until she finishes up her last year toward becoming an anesthesiologist. Since being at her parents, Tiffany took time to do some reflecting upon her and Earl’s relationship. Tiffany had to become real with herself and admit to the obsessing over Earl and losing herself in the process. They never got back together. Although she still thinks of Earl every so often she has stopped obsessing over him and started focusing more on her career, family, and friends. She has also put her dating life on the back burner…at least for now.

The moral of the story: You can’t make someone feel something they don’t. “If you have to keep wondering where you stand with someone, maybe it’s time you stop standing and start walking.” –

Photo by Justin Follis,, #relationships, #love, #standingintheshadowsoflove, #shortstory, #fiction


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