Done Being Broken

He hated himself for falling in love with her. He slammed his hands on the steering wheel, and yelled obscenities. His truck sat in his driveway shrouded in darkness. He didn’t dare get out. He just wants to sit in silent rage for awhile longer. What waits for him inside the house will tear him apart. Today was the day after all. The day he would pop the question in front of all his family and friends. That was until an hour ago, when his girlfriend decided to go back to her ex. Alan loved her, and her son David. He was more of a father to that child than his own dad was.

She never truly got over her ex. Alan knew one day she’d return to him, but he hoped he could be enough for her. All he could think about was how poorly David would be treated back with his Dad. His mom barely took care of him, Alan did most of the work. He took care of that child like it was his own. Now he may never see him again. His train of thought was derailed by a text message.

It was from Bethany, his ex’s friend. She was always nice to him. Sometimes it felt like she even had feelings for him. She wanted him to meet her at the gas station near her house, to talk to him about what happened between him and his ex. He looked at his house and wondered if he should just go inside. If there ever was a reason to avoid more misery, this was it. He started his truck back up, and pulled out the driveway. Maybe Bethany can help clear his head.

Along the way to the gas station he yelled and cried some more. He needed to get it all out of his system. As he arrived he noticed Bethany’s car at the end of the parking lot. He parked right next to her and got out of his truck.

She exited her car and immediately hugged Alan.

“I’m so sorry she did this to you.” she said holding back tears.

He spoke as well as he could, “It’s gonna be okay, I’m just worried about David more than anything.”

“She never takes care of him! Did you see how dirty his bottles were?” she yelled.

He shook his head and let out a shaky breath.

“Let’s go inside and grab a bite. You look like you could use it.” she said while taking his hand. They walked into the gas station, and as soon as they got inside the smell of fried food hit them. The local hot spot for gas and quick food. Alan’s grandfather went every morning for coffee with his friends. When school lets out its the biggest teen hangout. At this time of night it was empty and perfect for an emotional talk.

They ordered some french fries and two sodas. After their food was done, they sat at the booth in the back. The perfect spot to be alone. The very spot he and his ex had their first date.

They ate their food and talked about where Alan would go from here. As they talked he noticed how beautiful she was. He never saw her as anything else than his girlfriend’s best friend. Now that he has the chance to really look, he’s taken aback by how attractive she really is. Her nice slender body and luscious black hair. She had no trace of makeup, not that she needed it. She never really dressed up, but she looked good even in a t-shirt and jeans.

He noticed that she stopped talking and was blushing.  

She smiled at him and said, “Why are you staring at me like that?”

He took her hand and replied, “I’ve never realized how beautiful you are. I’ve never realized how you were always there for me. To be honest I think I spent more with you then with…” He didn’t want to say her name and ruin the moment. “The point is, I’ve taken you for granted. I have feelings for you Beth. I’m done being broken, and I need someone to make me whole.”

She squeezed his hand.

He continued, “I’m not saying I want to jump into another relationship. I can’t do that to you, I won’t make you pick up the pieces. I need to fix myself, and when I do I’d really like to be with you. I feel like we could be good for each other, but it doesn’t matter if you don’t feel the same way.”

She looked at him with a gleam in her eyes, and leaned across the table to kiss him. He was blown away and any doubt he had about being with her faded away.

She looked him in the eyes and said, “I’ve waited since third grade, I think I can wait a little while longer. Give me a call when the pieces are back in place.”

She winked and got out the booth.

He watched her leave the gas station. It had been a while since he could smile like that. His head was miles away, but his heart had found direction.

He picked up his phone and said, “I’m done being broken.”

© 2017, Zachary Rhoads. All rights reserved.
The author has granted, its affiliates and syndicates non-exclusive rights to display this work.

Author Notes

The tale of how I met my wife. Names are changed along with certain things that happened. I can't fit everything that happened, so I summarized it.

9 Comments for “Done Being Broken”

Mary Cooney-Glazer


I liked the story. You wrote Alan as a man vulnerable to a woman who seems selfish and uncaring……kind of a nice guy finishing last. He got very lucky having Bethany ready to pick up the pieces. The description and dialogue gave a clear picture of the characters. Couldn’t help thinking that Alan needs to slow down! Love the sentiment reflected in the title

Zachariah Barry


Good story here. Only thing I have to say is it felt a little rushed, but I know word counts are brutal like that. Well done.


Hi, Zachary! You’ve got a nice story here. Alan’s a believable character – most of us have had our hearts broken at some time or another. I thought the jump to Beth moved very fast, but I’ve met guys (and girls) who can move from one love to another that quickly. The fact that he didn’t seem as attached to his ex made it a little more realistic – good move.

Coupla recommendations:

* In the first paragraphs, you shifted tense (He hated himself… He slammed… He doesn’t dare… He just wants…). You should keep the storyin one tense, either present ot past.

*Second paragraph, your dialogue was merged into a single graph. Dialogue whould be split into separate paragraphs:

“I’m so sorry she did this to you.” she said holding back tears.
He spoke as well as he could, “It’s gonna be okay, I’m just worried about David more than anything.”
“She never takes care of him! Did you see how dirty his bottles were?” she yelled.
He shook his head and let out a shaky breath.
“Let’s go inside and grab a bite. You look like you could use it.” she said while taking his hand.

* The very spot he and his ex had they’re (their) first date.

Welcome to Writer’s Carnival! I’m looking forward to reading more of your stories. Write on!

charles stone


I like the story; a fictionalized slice of life drama. I have to disagree with Ray a bit; I don’t feel it flowed smoothly. For me the pace was too quick. I know you chopped it for length but for me it felt jumpy. How would Alan know he had feeling for Beth and want to be with her, if he was so in love with his woman? The fact the woman he loved never gets a name is a bit odd to this reader. Ray got the other nits. Write on.

Zachary Rhoads


I agree it was jumpy, I kinda rushed through it. I get kind nervous with word limits. I left her name out for a personal reason. In a way to reflect my real life. I never say her name to this day. I’ll address why in the next part. Thank you so much for your input.

Raymond Tobaygo


Good morning, Zach

I liked the way you built the interest why Alan hesitated before entering the house. The dialogue was spot on and your characters believable. Excellent flow and continuity. Looking forward to the next part. Enjoyed the read

There were some nits:
gas station(,) he yelled
to you.”(,) you did this
were?” (She..she) yelled.
Lets Let’s
After( they’re their)
The very spot( Alan he) and his The use of Alan makes it sound like a narrative)
(make-up make up),
dressed-up dressed up),
like that?”(.)
then with(.”)..”.
like that?”(.)
with..”. it look as though you wanted Alan’s voice to fade, is so, you’ll need an ellipses ( with..”. …”
“I’m done being broken.”(.) In one of my courses there wasn’t a need for boldface when expressing one’s thoughts

Take care and stay safe,


Zachary Rhoads


Thanks so much, I’m glad you enjoyed it. I’ll make the changes as soon as I can. I really appreciate the corrections, and the fact that you were polite about it. I hope you’ll enjoy the next part.

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