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Apples and Regret and Wasted Time

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He lives in the shadows of the law. Now, wounded and stranded in the city after a job only he could do, he has no qualms about climbing through the window his old lover left open—or stealing his shampoo, at that. He has, however, not taken into account the possibility of being surprised in the shower. Three years is a long time to go between visits, especially if you've l He lives in the shadows of the law. Now, wounded and stranded in the city after a job only he could do, he has no qualms about climbing through the window his old lover left open—or stealing his shampoo, at that. He has, however, not taken into account the possibility of being surprised in the shower. Three years is a long time to go between visits, especially if you've left so much anger and hurt and desire unresolved. They try to negotiate a truce for one night—over Chinese takeaway leftovers and apples, and between the sheets. Short Story. Mature content.


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He lives in the shadows of the law. Now, wounded and stranded in the city after a job only he could do, he has no qualms about climbing through the window his old lover left open—or stealing his shampoo, at that. He has, however, not taken into account the possibility of being surprised in the shower. Three years is a long time to go between visits, especially if you've l He lives in the shadows of the law. Now, wounded and stranded in the city after a job only he could do, he has no qualms about climbing through the window his old lover left open—or stealing his shampoo, at that. He has, however, not taken into account the possibility of being surprised in the shower. Three years is a long time to go between visits, especially if you've left so much anger and hurt and desire unresolved. They try to negotiate a truce for one night—over Chinese takeaway leftovers and apples, and between the sheets. Short Story. Mature content.

30 review for Apples and Regret and Wasted Time

  1. 4 out of 5

    Heather K (dentist in my spare time)

    Perfection. Thirteen pages of bittersweet, poetic, erotic perfection. This is the level of short story writing that every author should aspire to. Thanks, Cornelia Grey, for finally breaking my reading slump.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Vio

    Beautiful and worth reading for the small scraps of love, fascinating and lovely.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Kat

    I hadn’t realized how short this story actually is; only about 15 pages! It’s therefore probably all the more impressive that the author managed to create an atmosphere that’s heavy with bittersweet regret, nostalgic pleasures and a touch of indignation. I’m a sucker for being given the opportunity to piece a story together myself. And Grey grants you permission to the world of the two MCs by offering enough tiny details and glimpses to do just that. What she refuses to do, is position you into I hadn’t realized how short this story actually is; only about 15 pages! It’s therefore probably all the more impressive that the author managed to create an atmosphere that’s heavy with bittersweet regret, nostalgic pleasures and a touch of indignation. I’m a sucker for being given the opportunity to piece a story together myself. And Grey grants you permission to the world of the two MCs by offering enough tiny details and glimpses to do just that. What she refuses to do, is position you into the story by drowning you in info dumps. I’m so pleased with this I could purr! This tiny winy story gets a lot of praise from readers and justifiably so. However, although I appreciate the obvious time and affection that the author put into writing Apples and Regret and Wasted Time, I couldn’t shake off the association with a creative writing assignment. It was written with lots of love, but perhaps a little overwrought here and there. I feel like — at the time she wrote this — the author was still very much coloring between the lines in this story. She’s obviously very talented, but too careful, too focused on perfection. These are just my humble musings though. Doesn’t change anything about the fact that Apples and Regret and Wasted Time is well worth the 15 minutes it’ll take you to read it. Not every author takes writing this seriously, and the fact that Grey does, definitely makes for pleasant reading. Which is why I made the last minute decision to round up my rating to 4 stars. I look forward to her experimenting with her own style more and hopefully she’ll be able to pull off packing a punch in a story that offers more of a bite/ is somewhat longer.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Emma Sea

    Grey is a very talented writer and this is a highly satisfying short story. Lovely imagery, and a sense of completeness that's hard to achieve in a bittersweet short. Do you think he'll keep buying the apple every week? *puppy eyes* Thank you Aimee for prodding me into finally reading this little gem.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Laura

    4.5 Stars “He tastes like apples and regret and wasted time.” Wow! This short story packs a punch. A man creeps in through the window. Slips in to see his past, his lover after three years. But suddenly unsure why or if he should be there again after all this time. Heat, need, and such bittersweet emotion fuel this story. The TENSION was dazzling. It was in the air and room with me! Such a short glimpse and taste of this relationship, but yet so intimate and powerful. I could feel the turmoil a 4.5 Stars “He tastes like apples and regret and wasted time.” Wow! This short story packs a punch. A man creeps in through the window. Slips in to see his past, his lover after three years. But suddenly unsure why or if he should be there again after all this time. Heat, need, and such bittersweet emotion fuel this story. The TENSION was dazzling. It was in the air and room with me! Such a short glimpse and taste of this relationship, but yet so intimate and powerful. I could feel the turmoil and conflict in every word and touch. “I guess, when the past cuts across your path and aches in all the wrong places, it’s easier to be angry at it.” So few words and details. No names. No idea how the relationship began or ended. But the emotion beats, pulses, and pulls you in. Raw, beautiful, sad, and hopeful. Three words hit me the hardest here though. “Just in case.” Have you ever lived your life with those words in your heart? Hurts like f*ck. Hope can make your heart and soul ache some times. Will the window be open next time? Will he come back? Highly recommended gem for any and all short story fans. This is how it’s done! Short story art. Btw…I have a bit of a crush on Cornelia Grey now. :)

  6. 5 out of 5

    Ami

    This short story (only 11 pages), is a glimpse of one particular moment in our main characters' life. To us, they have no names. But as readers, we can feel that they are used to -- and practically still -- have that passion for one another. One that cannot die, even if they have been apart for three years. There are some clues, a trail of crumbs for readers to guess ... one is a detective, the other one is from the opposite side (maybe an assassin?), an essential thing that keeps them apart. Ho This short story (only 11 pages), is a glimpse of one particular moment in our main characters' life. To us, they have no names. But as readers, we can feel that they are used to -- and practically still -- have that passion for one another. One that cannot die, even if they have been apart for three years. There are some clues, a trail of crumbs for readers to guess ... one is a detective, the other one is from the opposite side (maybe an assassin?), an essential thing that keeps them apart. However, at the same time, we feel that pull, that longing, that love, which make both cannot truly stay apart. That somehow, in memories of apples, Chinese take-outs, tangle in-between sheet, they will gravitate to one another like magnet. There is no HEA, but I feel hopeful that they will meet again. Maybe not in the next three years. Maybe sooner. And they will share another moment together ... PS: This one is written in 1st person present tense. I know some might have problem with that. But since it's a short story, I think it will not be too bothersome :)

  7. 4 out of 5

    Heather C

    Umm...not sure what to say about this story, but I really liked it. It had so much in the short 20 minute read. It was sexy and bitter-sweet and I wish I could have had more of it. I really liked the mysterious style of this. So much was portrayed without ever being said or explained. Oh, and I love the cover and title of this story. It matches perfectly!

  8. 5 out of 5

    Simsala

    *...dream a little dream...* Beautiful story...

  9. 4 out of 5

    Emanuela ~plastic duck~

    You know, I love fluffy books that make me feel good, that are enjoyable and sometimes angsty, but then everything is resolved and you close them knowing the main couple will live together happily ever after. If someone has read a few of my reviews, they will probably realize that I also like flawed characters, situations that are not black or white but in shades of gray, objectionable situations, sometimes I like bad guys doing very bad things. This short story is a slice of life. Two men, whose You know, I love fluffy books that make me feel good, that are enjoyable and sometimes angsty, but then everything is resolved and you close them knowing the main couple will live together happily ever after. If someone has read a few of my reviews, they will probably realize that I also like flawed characters, situations that are not black or white but in shades of gray, objectionable situations, sometimes I like bad guys doing very bad things. This short story is a slice of life. Two men, whose names we don't know, meet three years after their relationship ended. How did it end? How did it begin? We don't know. We won't know. The dark-haired guy breaks into the house of his ex lover to take a shower after a complicated night and his ex lover - the fair-haired guy - finds him there. Their reunion is awkward, especially because they live opposite lives: the fair-haired guy is a policeman or a detective; the dark-haired guy is very close to criminals, even if we don't know exactly what he does. There's something fundamental that keeps them apart in real life, but it's also clear that there's something intimate and unquenchable that brings them together. There is the exploration of very basic feelings, anger, lust, regret, the narration is in the first person point of view, present tense, and that keeps us out of balance, there's no way we can settle into the mind of the narrator and start to make predictions, because we are involved in what's happening. I read the story eagerly, trying to gather and process all the clues, fascinated by all the gestures of the protagonists, by the tastes and smells, by the moments of intimacy and ease, followed by burst of lust and frustration. Every word is necessary, the writing is lyrical, the two protagonists are fascinating. I don't know if I'd like to know about their past, but I would love for them to meet again, because what they have is precious and strong, I'm sure it won't be lost.

  10. 4 out of 5

    MsMiz (Tina)

    I have recently been accused of being a size queen (yeah you know who you are!). While I do like a lot of pages in my books, some do surprise me. This 16 page gem is one of those times. Cornelia does an outstanding job of conveying history between the two MCs including all the love, pain, loneliness and how much they mean to each other. This was truly beautifully written and I would not hesitate to read their full story. Thank you Jordie for recommending this.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Sofia

    My second Cornelia Grey and she did not disappoint. This little sliver of story, not a story really, just a segment is very very good. I do not even know the name of the characters, but oh she made me feel for them, so pogniant, so touching, with those touches of despair, anger, love.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Eden Winters

    Sad, and hopeful, and bittersweet. I must believe that the bowl will always contain one red apple, and the window will remain open. Gorgeous, gorgeous short story that I am bound and determined will eventually be a happy ending of sorts for these two. Amazing that I don't know the mis-matched lovers' names, or much about them at all, but in a few short pages Ms. Grey had me falling in love with them both. Highly recommended.

  13. 4 out of 5

    LenaRibka

    A very touching little story. A very beautiful prose.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Elisa Rolle

    The first impression someone can have of this short story is that the cover is “wasted”, meaning that, such customized cover for a short story of less than 15 pages seems too much. But indeed that is a wrong impression, since, it’s true that this is only a short story, but I had the feeling this is only a glimpse of something bigger. The feeling was that we were reading only a night in the life of these two men, men without name, past and future… again apparently. In only 10 pages, Cornelia Grey The first impression someone can have of this short story is that the cover is “wasted”, meaning that, such customized cover for a short story of less than 15 pages seems too much. But indeed that is a wrong impression, since, it’s true that this is only a short story, but I had the feeling this is only a glimpse of something bigger. The feeling was that we were reading only a night in the life of these two men, men without name, past and future… again apparently. In only 10 pages, Cornelia Grey brushes everything, like in those surrealist painting were every details is part of something bigger you need to put together to understand the final meaning. One is an assassin, the other is a detective; they were lovers and they are no more, but that doesn’t mean the love is not there; the detective is a one piece man, but his Achilles’ heels is the assassin, the one man he is not able to betray, not even for his honour of police officer. The assassin wants to play the cold hearted man, but as for the detective, he has an Achilles’ heels, the love that he still harbours for the detective. That window in the night, always open for him, is like a safe shelter, a place the assassin knows will always wait for him, and “his” place will always be free, since in now way the detective will occupy it with someone else: the bed will be empty and the fridge will be full, and a red apple among the green ones will always there, waiting for him. http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0052OWWL4/?...

  15. 5 out of 5

    Chris

    Very good short, poignant m/m story about two men who love each other... but that love isn't enough in itself.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Feliz

    This is wonderful, sad and dream-like. An exceptional story. The story opens with our narrator, wounded and bleeding after being in a fight, sneaking through the streets of a city he left three years ago, on his way to his old lover’s house. As he climbs in through the window left open for him, the apartment is deserted, but his lover returns while he’s in the shower and surprises him there. Right from the beginning, their reunion is laced with a sense of melancholic foreboding, but it’s also cle This is wonderful, sad and dream-like. An exceptional story. The story opens with our narrator, wounded and bleeding after being in a fight, sneaking through the streets of a city he left three years ago, on his way to his old lover’s house. As he climbs in through the window left open for him, the apartment is deserted, but his lover returns while he’s in the shower and surprises him there. Right from the beginning, their reunion is laced with a sense of melancholic foreboding, but it’s also clear from the beginning that the two men share a deep, passionate emotional connection. There is so much hurt, regret and unfinished business between them, but also so much desire, burning sexual energy and the pure joy of being reunited. As the story unfolds, we get to know the two men a little better. Small details give hints at their history of a powerful love that was lost to external circumstances. What they are and what they do for a living puts them at polar opposite positions of society. However, over the course of a shared dinner of Chinese takeaway and apples, they seem to connect on a plane detached from their reality. For a few short hours, they return to a place where their differences and all the hurts and regrets of the past don’t matter anymore–and where they find a sliver of hope that maybe, eventually, there might be a future for them against all odds. Due to the short format of this story, there’s only a modicum of background and setting. Yet, with a few well-chosen words, the author transported me right into the forbidding and hostile city , and into the lover’s spartan apartment which entails so many memories for the narrator. There was a dark mood to the setting that only added to the overall dreamlike feeling of this story. The writing is beautiful, sparse and unelaborated and right to the point. Over the course of only 13 pages, this tale of two lovers separated by almost insurmontable obstacles created an atmosphere of desperate yearning that gripped me immediately. Even though I didn’t even know their names, I felt deeply connected to both characters; I suffered with them and hoped for them, longed to see them happy together forever even though I was afraid they simply couldn’t be. Impressive, poignant and highly recommended. Full review here: http://www.reviewsbyjessewave.com/201...

  17. 4 out of 5

    Ayanna

    D: It's good. Well-written, but so sad. It seems quite a shame to leave this one in short-story purgatory... I vote this be expanded (unless it already is. in that case, someone point me in the direction of the expanded version).

  18. 5 out of 5

    Eve

    Lovely little story, very intense and well written. And longer than the 13 pages on the Goodreads book descripbion - about 25 pages of smallish text on my Nook.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Em

    A short but amazingly beautiful story !

  20. 4 out of 5

    Cryselle

    We never hear the name of our narrator nor of the man whose home he's come to in order to lick his wounds. We don't need to -- there is "he" and "I" and a vast gulf between them. This story is a blend of hope and history, of regret, longing and the brief happiness that can be found. The author doles out the backstory in small details, letting us fill in for ourselves how things must have gone -- this had to have been an epic love then, and then three years of nothing, for these two are on opposit We never hear the name of our narrator nor of the man whose home he's come to in order to lick his wounds. We don't need to -- there is "he" and "I" and a vast gulf between them. This story is a blend of hope and history, of regret, longing and the brief happiness that can be found. The author doles out the backstory in small details, letting us fill in for ourselves how things must have gone -- this had to have been an epic love then, and then three years of nothing, for these two are on opposite sides. They cannot be together, yet they come together as if the time had never separated them except for the echoes of pain at how it must have been. The writing is beautifully atmospheric, both very immediate in the first person present tense and evocative of their past. Things as small as a red apple and an open window shout of how deeply these two love each other, have hurt each other just for being what each one is. They know each other well and still crash against the reality, because they are something wondrous together. There is no HEA here, but it's a romance -- there is deep love that isn't going away, even if one of the men does.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Giulio

    A little gem, very well written but in a way too much similar to a creative writing assignment (see Loederkoningin's awesome review). Nevertheless Grey is a terrific author and I can’t wait to read a full length novel written by her. In the meantime, I’ll stick with her short stories, which leave me with a faint aftertaste of apples and a strong hunger for .. more. Brava Cornelia, continua a scrivere! A little gem, very well written but in a way too much similar to a creative writing assignment (see Loederkoningin's awesome review). Nevertheless Grey is a terrific author and I can’t wait to read a full length novel written by her. In the meantime, I’ll stick with her short stories, which leave me with a faint aftertaste of apples and a strong hunger for .. more. Brava Cornelia, continua a scrivere!

  22. 4 out of 5

    Erika

    One of the best, most fleshed out short stories I've ever read and all done in 13 pages. I was invested in the characters from the get go and I would've loved to read more about them.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Tatiana

    3.5 stars A lovely, bittersweet short story with a couple of hot moments in it.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Kassa

    4.5 stars This short story is definitely one of my favorites. It hits all the high notes and great details that I personally adore while being short enough to leave me wanting more; the setting, writing, characters, and bittersweet but hopeful ending just do it all for me. This is a short story I’ll easily read again and one I’d recommend to anyone that’s a fan of urban fantasy-esque type settings. It’s not quite futuristic or even magic/fantasy based but the super hit man/cop dynamic gives it th 4.5 stars This short story is definitely one of my favorites. It hits all the high notes and great details that I personally adore while being short enough to leave me wanting more; the setting, writing, characters, and bittersweet but hopeful ending just do it all for me. This is a short story I’ll easily read again and one I’d recommend to anyone that’s a fan of urban fantasy-esque type settings. It’s not quite futuristic or even magic/fantasy based but the super hit man/cop dynamic gives it that edge and feel without those added details. In short, I loved it and highly recommend it. The plot of the story is very internal and focused. It begins with a nameless first person narrator sneaking into an apartment. The place clearly belongs to an ex – a relationship that has unfinished business and emotion. When the unnamed ex boyfriend shows up, the two have an intense but sexy shower scene which sets up a delicious smoldering tension between the men. The resulting two scenes just cap the tension with emotion, longing, need, heart attack, and a hope for a future meeting. The setting is very slick and city. There’s just a hint, probably nothing but a paragraph but the opening few sentences are strong and pack a punch. Immediately the gritty but edgy city setting comes to life, even an anonymous city. It reminds me of settings in urban fantasy stories with a super talented hit man gliding through a dark night looking for a place to relax for a short while. Even though the story is not in any way urban fantasy, it has a feel that I very much enjoy so it works for me. The characters are pretty vibrant and eye catching, considering their names and backgrounds are never offered. In fact the reader knows very little about either man, yet they feel real and fully realized. The tension between the men, the emotion in a look, a smell, a taste, even the very few words actually spoken are enough. The strong writing here is to be commended. The prose choices grab the reader from the outset and never let go as we watch the unnamed hit man and his lover cop push and pull against fate and their nature. They clearly love each other and want each other but their opposite goals in work (perhaps life) put them at odds that they seemingly can’t overcome. Another big positive to the story is the stunning cover. The cover definitely draws me to the book and immediately gives the dark, gritty feel of the story. It’s absolutely a great cover and works extremely well with the story itself. Together the various different parts of the story – the writing, characters, smoking hot sex scenes, insulated apartment setting, the gritty city feel, and truly beautiful cover – all combine to deliver a great little story. It’s one I definitely wanted more of and eagerly recommend to readers. If this is an example of this author’s work, I want more.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Bookbee

    Truthfully? I bought this short story because I fell in love with the cover - especially the side-laced pants! - only to discover what a lovely little gem of a story it is! It's sad and it's sweet and enough to break a person's heart. And can I just say - the apple almost did me in!

  26. 4 out of 5

    Hellen

    This was a mixture of hilarity at the MC being caught by his ex lover taking a shower and distress because of the impossibility of their relationship. As it always happens with short stories, it left me wanting so much more. Luckily, I've discovered a new author to choose my books from ^^

  27. 4 out of 5

    Ro

    Amazing cover and a bittersweet story. You just want it to work for them, even while you know it's not possible.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Juliana Philippa

    4.5 stars | Grade: A What a delightful read. This extremely short erotic novella by Cornelia Grey is surreal, bittersweet, and sensual. Apples and Regret and Wasted Time centers around two ex-lovers who have not seen one another for three years and is narrated in first person by one of the men. He has just been injured in a fight and goes to his old lover’s apartment to quickly clean up, but the man comes home while he’s still there: As I turn my head and find him staring at me, I vaguely c 4.5 stars | Grade: A What a delightful read. This extremely short erotic novella by Cornelia Grey is surreal, bittersweet, and sensual. Apples and Regret and Wasted Time centers around two ex-lovers who have not seen one another for three years and is narrated in first person by one of the men. He has just been injured in a fight and goes to his old lover’s apartment to quickly clean up, but the man comes home while he’s still there: As I turn my head and find him staring at me, I vaguely consider I should have just rinsed instead of rinsing and repeating. While little is actually said between them, the entire encounter that follows is weighted with nostalgia, regret, resentment, and love. We’re never told either of their names, but there isn’t the anonymity this might suggest, because both men are clearly defined and very distinctly contrasted with one another. Most of the details about who they are, what they do, where this is happening, etc. are kept murky, but while I’m normally one of those readers who wants to know all those types of facts, here it didn’t bother me—truth be told, I didn’t even realize they were missing until after I finished. At 13 (regular, not book-sized) pages, the story is super short, no doubt about it, but Grey is nonetheless able to draw us in from beginning to end. We don’t know anything about these two men, but right from the moment they’re together again, you can feel the history and tension between them. The small details she gives us—like their different tastes in apples and memories of how they used to jokingly fight about it—are what make it seem so authentic and make the read such a bittersweet one. These brief glimpses into their past relationship show us the deep love they felt for one another and their actions during this short reunion make it clear that love still exists. When I enjoy a novella, I always wish that it were longer. While this one is no different and I can easily see how these pages could make up a first chapter, for once I am also able to be completely satisfied with it as it is. This reads like a snapshot, so that although this is all I have to go on, I know it’s not all there is. I feel like there is a definite before and after to this snapshot, and while I don’t have it in my possession and maybe it hasn’t even been written yet, it exists somewhere. { One of My Favorite Quotes } The clothes smell like him. The smell is so familiar—I remember it unexpectedly well—a sensory memory I can’t quite control that surges up and strikes deep, just below the level of consciousness, where I cannot defend myself. It makes my chest ache in ways I don’t want to think about. Originally reviewed for Fiction Vixen Book Reviews. This review is of a copy provided by the publisher to FVBR.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Sadonna

    Sometimes less IS more. This is one of those times. This is a very short story that packs a punch. It's a bit melancholy and bittersweet. The author does a wonderful job of conveying the intense emotions between these two characters. Through very little words we understand a checkered history between them. The desire, no I think maybe passion, and familiarity and "knowing" of the other person is conveyed through sparse prose. Beautifully written.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Lady*M

    This is a beautiful story about two men from the opposite sides of the law, who clearly love each other, but at this moment in time that is not enough. I liked the narrator's voice very much. Usually, though, I like a little bit more certainty in my romance. But, I will definitely keep my eye on author's other works.

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