Like any true artist, including us writers, works of art are inspired by or have some sort of element related to a real life event.
That is definitely the case with all of the short stories on Simply Jamilah.
A couple of weeks ago, I decided I want to start sharing the stories/inspirations behind the short stories I publish. In order from oldest to most recent, this is the first round of Stories Behind the Short Stories:
(Before you continue reading, I just want to say a quick thank you; I really appreciate everyone who reads my short stories)
Synopsis: A guy reflects on a seemingly horrible relationship and shares his specific regrets. He doesn’t realize how much he’s messed up until the love of his life is gone.
Inspiration: This was written and published exactly a year after my high school graduation, and all I could think about were some of the things I regretted doing and not doing in high school. Then I began to wonder if any of my classmates had any regrets.
Synopsis: A man recounts the day he finally talked to his current wife after admiring her from afar.
Inspiration: People watching while sitting in a Starbucks one afternoon. I kept imagining a guy would propose to a woman after she walked in, and he would explain how he was attracted to her after learning they had the same Starbucks order.
Synopsis: After years of being pressured to find love, a man named Davy meets a woman named Arie and deems her to be “his person” based on an article he read online.
Inspiration: The older I get, the more people tell me I need to find my person or they couldn’t wait to see “the one” person meant for me.
Synopsis: This is a story about a super toxic friendship with a small twist at the end.
Inspiration: At the time this was written and published, I was having issues with a few friends (I call them friend-flicts; if you listen to the podcast, you know; shameless subtle plug). There was a lot going on, and some of them weren’t as genuine and great as I thought they were. How did I decide to deal with this? Writing. The twist at the end correlates with friends being fake and fictionalizing a relationship with someone who isn’t who you want him/her to be.
Synopsis: After years of feeling insecure and being ridiculed about the appearance of her legs, a woman encounters two people who completely change her perspective.
Inspiration: My legs. That’s it.
Synopsis: This is a love/hate letter written by an unidentified character trying to get over someone.
Inspiration: There were a couple of inspirations.
1. The predictable part in Hallmark movies where something minor was going to stop the main characters from falling in love, even though they’ve only known each other for a short amount of time (in most cases).
2. A brief summer almost-fling I had at one point in time.
Synopsis: A woman is sexually assaulted and completely changes afterwards. Time passes before she decides to stop feeling worthless and fearful.
Inspiration: I have been sexually harassed three times in my life, and one vivid instance from a quick trip to Cincinnati replays in my head every once and a while. Also, I grew up with someone constantly accusing me of being raped and telling me to dress a certain way to prevent myself from being raped; sometimes it felt like he was speaking it into my life. I had to overcome all these instances, and I still battle with getting the thoughts/replays out of my mind when they make an appearance.
Synopsis: A girl is born with the ability to hear the positive and negative thoughts people have about her, which made surviving high school absolutely horrible.
Inspiration: I go through these funky phases where I randomly feel super insecure and feel like everyone is judging me, and sometimes I desperately want to know what people are truly thinking about me. There are times when people’s faces don’t match their words, and I can instantly tell they are thinking the complete opposite of what they’re saying; I want to know the truth.
If you’ve read any of my short stories, which one do you like the best, or which one do you relate to the most? Personally, my favorite is Iced Black Coffee.
Featured image credit: Toa Heftiba