My Dear Little Annie

“If I could turn back time, I would choose to be with you.”

Annabelle looked into her laptop screen expressionlessly. If she was a spoilt, rich, reckless girl, she would have slammed the laptop with the wooden stool that she was sitting on. But she was not, and she had read that same message over and over again for the past 3 years.

It was the last message she ever received from the man she loved.

She had tried to move on. With her friends, she acted as if she was happily living her life like other normal single girls. At home, she was just another fragile heart-broken soul. Some days she would cry herself to sleep. Some days she just woke up crying. And she blamed all that to the stupid message that she could never manage to delete.

When she was just a young fluttering heart, she had fallen in love with Eric, a not-so-good-looking-but-kind-and-brilliant young boy. Eric was a neighbourhood boy, and their parents were pretty close at that time. They’d regularly visit each other, and that was when Annabelle met Eric.

Unfortunately, Eric only thought of her as a younger sister.

Eric soon got to further his studies at a faraway country, leaving Annabelle behind trying to finish high school. Of course she was sad, but Eric frequently sent postcards and parcels to her and her family, so she hung on. She patiently waited until the time was right for her to confess her love for him.

Four years went by and Eric finally returned; with an attractive young lady from his university in which he introduced as his fiancé.

She still remembered how angry, disappointed and heart-broken she had felt at that time. Apparently she was still a younger sister to him, and she should have already accepted that fact. She was angry because of her own foolishness. She was disappointed because she had waited.

A year after that, Eric married the pretty young lady while Annabelle was accepted into a college that was a hundred miles away from home. Although she still could not fully get over Eric, at least the distance and her studies helped distracted her mind. 

Time passed, Annabelle finally finished college and got a job as a journalist. She thought everything was going fine for her and her recovering heart until one day, she received a phone call from Eric.



“Annie, how are you? It’s been such a long time since I last heard from you.”

“Everything’s fine. I’m a journalist now. I’ve been working for about six months. How are you?”

“Good. I kinda miss you, Annie.”

“….Me too. It’s been what? Three years? Four? I lost count.” She chuckled nervously.

“Four next month. Look, why don’t we meet up some where? We both have a lot to catch up with.” He said.

“Uh, okay…only if your wife’s okay with it.”

“…Annie, I’m divorced…since six months ago.”

So they met up at a nice quiet little café in town, and that’s when Annie realized how Eric had changed a lot since she last saw him at his wedding. He was much thinner and he looked pale. It seemed that his divorce had impacted on him pretty badly, and Annabelle immediately felt a surge of sympathy for him.

They became close again since then, frequently spending time together and doing a lot of healthy activities because Annabelle wanted Eric to gain weight again. Annabelle was happy, and Eric seemed much happier than when she met him at the café.

One evening, Eric asked Annabelle out to their favourite spot on a hill overlooking the city. The view was breathtaking from up there, especially during the night when the skies are clear and thousands of stars decorate the dark blue sky. Just the two of them and the trees and the horizon far beyond, Annabelle felt calm.

“Let’s have a confession time. Each of us must tell each other one thing – one secret – that they’ve been keeping for some time. It doesn’t matter if the secret has nothing to do with the other person. Okay?” Said Eric suddenly, breaking the peaceful silence between them. Annabelle found herself feeling peacefully startled.


At that very moment, Annabelle already knew what she was going to tell Eric. She was however nervous about what Eric was going to tell her. So she decided that she should start first, because she felt that it didn’t matter anymore. Even if Eric still thought of her as a younger sister, she was grateful enough that at least she could be with him there and then on the hill overlooking the city, watching the stars.

“I love you Eric. Since the first day I met you that many years ago when we were little, and I still love you now. When you brought back your fiancé, and even after you got married, although it was a hard time for me but I realized that I could never stop loving you. I know it might sound foolish, but I’ve tried to move on and I just can’t. There’s no way I can love another person the way I love you, even though you only think of me as your dear little sister. That’s my confession, Eric. My little secret that I’ve been keeping all this while.”

When Annabelle finished talking, a drop of tear escaped down her cheeks and onto the ground. She didn’t dare look at Eric, not wanting to see his expression as he responded to her confession, but for a whole minute there was only silence. Not a word came from him, so she looked up and looked at him.

His eyes were glassy and tears were already forming above his lower lids. When their eyes met, Eric broke into heavy, tearful, manly sobs. He reached out to her, caught hold of her shoulders and pulled her towards him, hugging her tightly. Annabelle was deeply shocked.

“Eric?” she gasped.

“Annie, I’m sick! I’m sick…I’m dying, and I don’t have much time.” He spoke in-between his sobs.

“I have brain tumour, Annie…that’s why I’m like this. I only found out two years ago…it’s already in the critical stage…my wife hated the fact that I would be leaving her, that’s why she left me first…I’m useless, Annie…I’m useless and I’m dying!”

Gradually, Annabelle’s tears started to fall as much as Eric’s. She silently held him, slowly churning the dreadful information he had just told her. All this while she had thought his pale face and his loss of weight was because of his divorce, but actually it was because he was genuinely sick. He was dying.

A month after that, Eric and his family moved to another country for his cancer treatment. Annabelle was yet again separated from the man she loved, but this time it hurt even more because she knew she might never see him again. For the next few months, they communicated through Skype and e-mail. Soon, when Eric’s health began to deteriorate, they no longer Skyped but kept on e-mailing each other.

The day Eric sent her that e-mail message which still broke her heart for the next three years, Annabelle was in a country up north for work matters.

My dear little Annie,

You’ve been such a darling to me for the past 17 years since we’ve known each other. You were just a little girl back then, but you’ve always made me happy with your cute chubby-ness and your talkative little mouth. I didn’t have a little sister of my own, so I used to love your presence and the entertainment you brought to my parent’s household. You made me feel as if I was a child again.


I’m sorry I neglected your true feelings for me. Perhaps I was foolish. Perhaps I was blinded by love at the time. I was young and young people often make stupid and careless mistakes. When I married Nicole (Eric’s ex-wife), I thought she was everything I ever wanted. She was my world, and I prized her too much that I felt a deep hole left inside me when she left.

When I met you again Annie, after a few agonizing years spent fighting my own failing body and trying to make my wife stay, I felt the most calm and soothing feeling I’ve ever felt. It was as if something had filled the emptiness in my heart. I feel happy again after years. Every time I’m with you, I forget all about my sickness. I forget that I’d be leaving that cheerful smile and sincere eyes and I’d never see it again. And I realized, Annie, that you’re the only girl who can make me feel that way. Not even Nicole could do it. Only you could.


If I could turn back time, I would choose to be with you.

Yours truly beloved,

The very next day, Annabelle received news from Eric’s parents that he had lost in the fight. Eric had left her for good, taking away with him her deepest pure love she could ever give to a man.


I only just realized that I write tragic love stories much better than I do happy endings. I believe it is because of the songs I listen to, but it could also be because I don't really like cliched happy endings haha. Thanks to the people who love to read my works here. I'll be continuing with Legally In Love soon :)

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