Alice sat on the train staring outside the window, lost in her thoughts. She felt like she had a cloud of sadness looming over her. Her heart had been broken, and the weight of loneliness was a crushing burden. She had been in love, head over heels with a man who’d left her for another woman. Her heart, spirit, and soul had been shattered with his departure. Alice had never felt as though she could love somebody again. She thought about her life and how she could go on.
The train came to a stop and an old man got on. He sat opposite Alice. Alice nodded politely and went back to staring out of the window. At the next stop, the old man disembarked. In his place came Jack, a man in his mid-thirties, tall, and with broad shoulders. He looked tired and heartbroken too. He sat next to her and began checking his emails on his phone. Alice couldn't stop glancing at him, wondering what was bothering him.
Suddenly, he spoke, "Hey, I’m Jack."
Alice looked at him, smiling, “Hey. I’m Alice.”
“Nice to meet you,” Jack said, with a weary smile.
Alice had a feeling that he and she had a lot in common. They looked at each other and began talking. Jack shared that he also had a broken heart, and Alice opened up about her recent breakup. The sadness was mutual, and there was a strange comfort in sharing their pain. Instead of condemning each other for being too emotional, they found themselves listening and empathizing, two strangers brought together by heartbreak.
As they talked, one stop became two, and then three. They exchanged numbers and promised to keep in touch. Once Alice got home, she called her friend Karen and talked all about the mysterious Jack.
The next morning, Jack called Alice, asking if she would meet him for coffee. They met, and over cups of coffee, they shared their stories. Jack revealed that he had been cheated on by his girlfriend and was struggling with trust and confidence.
As the hours flew by, Alice and Jack found themselves feeling light-hearted. There was a sudden joy in their conversations and they seemed to understand each other. As the day came to a close they parted, and the next day, Jack called and asked to see her again. This became a routine, talking on the phone constantly, facetime sessions becoming longer and longer, until the day Jack took Alice out on a date.
They had dinner at an elegant restaurant, and afterwards, as they walked along the riverside, Jack stopped and took her hand. He pulled her close and as Alice looked into his eyes, she knew that he was going to kiss her.
Alice was hesitant, but she realised that something was beginning to stir in her. Something was starting to unravel. She’d felt like she’d never love again, but now, something stirred deep within.
They kissed, and a wave of emotion went through her. As they pulled back, Alice murmured, “I don’t date anymore.”
Jack cupped her face in his hands, looked deep into her eyes and said, “Alice, I want to show you what it feels like to be loved. Trust me.”
Alice realized with clarity that Jack is different from any other shallow men she had dated before. There was a deeper emotional connection between them, a shared heartbreak, common understanding, and mutual respect, leading to an unspoken promise, something that Alice felt might be worth exploring.
For months, they saw each other. They went out to dinner, they travelled together, and they opened up about their lives. Alice felt that she was falling for Jack, even though there was a part of her that wanted to hold back. Jack was in love with her already, but was scared of being hurt again. The more they talked, the deeper they fell in love, but there were still unresolved issues left to tackle.
One day, Alice was on the phone with Karen, telling a story about Jack, but she was interrupted by a call from her ex-boyfriend, Tom. “Alice, I’m sorry. Please let me come back into your life, I need you back.”
Alice sat in stunned silence, for a moment forgetting that Jack was even there. After the call, she realized that she needed to make a choice. Jack or Tom? The comfortable, familiar past or something new and more exciting? She was conflicted and didn't know what to do.
When she told Jack about the call, Jack became suspicious. “Are you considering giving him another chance?” he asked, his voice shaking with anger and hurt.
Alice was taken aback, feeling caught in between. It's then that she realised that her heart was in a real dilemma.
One night, as they laid in bed, Alice knew they needed to talk, to resolve their situation. But she didn’t know what to say until Jack spoke up, "I know you love me, and I love you, too. But if you’re wondering whether you should go back to the familiar, even though it was painful, or move ahead with somebody new, let me tell you that your indecision hurts me, and it might hurt you as well."
Alice was surprised that Jack knew exactly what was going on in her head. She remained quiet and cried.
Jack took her in his arms and whispered, “I want you to choose me, because I choose you every day. I'm here, and I'll do everything in my power to make you happy. But you have to let go of your past and trust what you feel for me.”
Alice felt ashamed, mortified that she still felt torn between a future with Jack, or the safety of past familiarity with Tom.
But it was at this point that the real hurdle appeared.
One day, Jack got a call from his ex. She wanted to apologize for cheating and being an unfaithful partner. Jack was shocked, and didn’t know how to react. As he spoke to her, Alice's mind raced.
She knew how terrible it felt to be cheated on, but Jack assured her that his love for her was real and that he wanted her in his life. Alice had a terrible memory of betrayal, but it was Jack who had been there for her through her healing and recovery. She had to take a leap of faith.
Alice wanted to trust Jack. After all, they had shared their biggest fears, but the confrontation with the ex created fresh doubts. But what if he still loved her? What if he went back to her? She didn’t know what to believe anymore.
The next day, Alice spoke to her mother, and asked for advice. “I’m so scared that he might cheat on me,” she told her mother.
Her mother replied, “Sweetheart, you can never predict the future. You can't be sure of anything or anyone, but one thing that really matters are the memories you make with someone you love.”
The words had a profound effect on Alice, she realized that the past doesn’t define the future. Jack had been there for her, during her worst times, and everything they’d shared until this point felt so real. Alice didn’t want to live in fear anymore. It was time for her to let go of the past and take a leap of faith in the present.
The next time Jack and Alice met, she looked at him and told him she loved him. It was the first time she’d said it. Jack was overjoyed, tears in his eyes. They hugged and kissed, and Alice knew that finally, things were falling into place.
They continued seeing each other, and one day, Jack proposed. Alice said yes, knowing that Jack was her future, that her love had overcome her fears, and that they had come out stronger, together.
However, in the back of her mind, Alice knew that the past never completely leaves us alone. She was constantly worried, scared that betrayal might come out of nowhere. But right now, she was content with knowing that hearts could heal, and love was always worth taking a chance.