ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel
  • »
  • Books, Literature, and Writing»
  • Commercial & Creative Writing

Could, would, should. Can't, won't, shan't. In 100 Words

Updated on August 13, 2017
Dying embers, Wikimedia Commons
Dying embers, Wikimedia Commons


I could tell you so much without telling you anything. I could tell you my whole life since last we spoke, every minute in my days, every eventless night after the other, every joyless waking minute, every tick-tock of the clock that whispers about loss into an empty room where nobody listens. I could tell you so much that is worth absolutely nothing... I know I could only tell you what you're able to hear, scraps that I'm not fool enough to voice. I could mutter nothings to fill the silence before it becomes insurmountable, but I have no words.



Would words come if I stepped out of myself and watched from above, as if my heart weren't drying in that eerie place where I lost all hope? Would words flow if I forgot the maddening emptiness of these rooms, the eventless nights and joyless days, the desperate tick of the clock? Would I then be able to fill the silence and reach that hidden part of you where the sound of my voice used to feel like a melody? Would words pour out if I chose to ignore that I can't speak those that I really crave to shout?



Should I at least try? Should I sidestep the hopeless today and remind you of the joyful days and eventful nights? Should I disregard your disinterested pose, your non-verbal rejection, the look in your eyes that speaks more nos than I ever heard you utter when we where together? Maybe I should, for what could I lose in the attempt? Where would I be after I fail? There is nothing else to lose, no deeper hole to fall into...  Should I fill the silence with the anguish that bears me down even if you don't want any part of it?



Of course I can't. I can't act blind to your angry and uncaring eyes that ceased to look at me with love, I can't look right through the fact that this silent wall between us grew taller and more insurmountable with each selfish, dangerous, and hurtful assumption that you would be mine forever, a wall where each brick is a word I could, would, should have said when it mattered. I can't force the words out now, when you no longer want to hear them, when I know you could and would have died to hear them from me then.



I won't take the selfish way out, again. I won't seek momentary release nor unfair peace by voicing all that I could and would and should have told you with love and passion when I had the chance, when you wanted to hear it. I won't try to turn back to a time when the seconds in your arms counted. I won't punish you for my faults that have caused this void in my rooms, in my days, in my nights. I won't pretend to be sorrier and more hurt by my mistakes than you were by my careless assumptions.



I shall not forgive myself, forget my sins, disrespect you anew. I could have had you still, would have had you, should have had you, had I not been incapable of seeing that could, would, should never become can, will, shall when what is given freely is taken for granted. I dug you into a hole of conditional love, never realizing that it was me who built the foundations of your feeling uncertain, unsure, unloved and finally loveless. I shall not pretend that I could have, would have, should have. I had no clue. Would that I could start again.


© 2009 Elena.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Elena. profile image

      Elena. 8 years ago from Madrid

      Thanks, Anthony, appreciate the comment! Sets of 100 words will help with conciseness, won't they?:-)

    • profile image

      Manuscript 8 years ago

      A piece of work full of insight, well written and concise. Well done. I enjoyed reading it.

    • profile image

      mom who admires 8 years ago

      The tears I read this through sharpened their meaning rather than clouding them. Cris is right. Pierces to the core, and pulls out not what I would say, but what I am so wanting to hear.

    • Elena. profile image

      Elena. 8 years ago from Madrid

      Hi Cris! Believe it or not, I was actually inspired by the image you created, and I'm glad you stopped by and I have the chance to tell you! In the end, I didn't think the image matched this particular content, so it's in store for a new happy occasion :-)

    • Cris A profile image

      Cris A 8 years ago from Manila, Philippines

      This pierces the heart and speaks to the core! Beautiful piece of writing mi amiga. The pain is almost palpable.

    • xunlei profile image

      xunlei 8 years ago


      I'll keep your post

    • Elena. profile image

      Elena. 8 years ago from Madrid

      Thank 2uesday, glad you enjoyed!

    • 2uesday profile image

      2uesday 8 years ago

      Very well written, powerful and expressive words, I've got to become a fan to read more in future.

    • Elena. profile image

      Elena. 8 years ago from Madrid

      Merci, 2patricias, I like "clever" :-)

    • 2patricias profile image

      2patricias 8 years ago from Sussex by the Sea

      How very clever - covering a range of emotions so economically.

    • Elena. profile image

      Elena. 8 years ago from Madrid

      :-P @ Feline! You made me laugh, so cheers for that!

    • profile image

      Feline Prophet 8 years ago

      Wow Elena, you've given your own special twist to an English lesson! I would react more coherently if I could...but I can't so I won't! :)

    • Elena. profile image

      Elena. 8 years ago from Madrid

      Hi, Linda, I am more of the first inclination, I think. Muchas muchas gracias for your comment. It intimidates me a bit, I admit, because I'll have to wonder how to outdo myself in future :-)

      Janetta, Elena is very pleased with your comment. Besos!

    • profile image

      Janetta 8 years ago

      And now, my opinion in 3 words... You are amazing! :D

    • profile image

      Linda Myshrall 8 years ago

      Life support words in the context of a dieing love. Some people are masters at using these words to nurse themselves through the leaving - others at convincing themselves to stay when we know it won't survive. One end of the game to the other. In my opinion, this is your best so far... powerful, powerful emotion. Bravo!

    • Elena. profile image

      Elena. 8 years ago from Madrid

      Thanks, markminer!

    • markminer profile image

      markminer 8 years ago from Albany, Oregon

      Great can feel the emotions through the words. Not every writer can achieve that.

    • Elena. profile image

      Elena. 8 years ago from Madrid

      Good morning, Sally & Violet. For all the feelings you say I can express, I become a bit tongue tied with such comments. I'm gratified that this piece raises the response it has evoked, very glad that it resonates in your minds and souls the way it does. When I read your reactions, I confess I stop to think how I managed and whether I can do it again.

      Violet, I can't wait to see a letter with that wonderful image at the head, either! All in its due time, I expect! :)

    • VioletSun profile image

      VioletSun 8 years ago from Oregon/ Name: Marie

      Elena: You have a gift for expressing feelings, emotions with depth and passion, its so moving that I could feel the emotion of your words. I love the fact that in this hubpages community, everyone seems to have their talents, yours is expressing passion.

      BDW, Can't wait to see Chris photoshop and your writing put together.


    • Sally's Trove profile image

      Sherri 8 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

      OMG, Elena. You have really done it now!

      An hour or so ago, when I realized you had published this new Hub, I put away my need for the instant gratification of inhaling, swallowing, gorging myself with your words, and instead took care of a few things in the house, poured myself a pre-dinner drink, and settled in to experience what I already knew would be an event that would make me smile, cry, sigh, say a silent "wow", and thank whatever force it was that brought you to share these 100-word gems in such a place that I could find them.

      You continue to touch that place in every human's being that needs expression, whether that place be centered in the heart or mind or soul. It's almost like you have a genetically spiritual key that opens, and could free, the most protected places.

      Brava! No, bravissima!

    • Amanda Severn profile image

      Amanda Severn 8 years ago from UK

      Borrow away, Elena! You've a far greater gift for expressing these things than I'll ever have!

    • Elena. profile image

      Elena. 8 years ago from Madrid

      Thanks, Jerilee, much appreciated!

    • Jerilee Wei profile image

      Jerilee Wei 8 years ago from United States

      So beautiful and poetic in it's own way. I'm very glad to have stopped in to read this hub.

    • Elena. profile image

      Elena. 8 years ago from Madrid

      Thank you, Amanda and Shalini, you've both very very kind.

      Amanda, in your comment I see the clear beginning of a new piece, I hope you won't mind if borrow it, it's very beautiful.

      Achaggi, nice to meet you, and thanks for the wonderful comment, I'm a bit humbled by the response this piece has elicited so far. Thanks much, really.

    • achaggi profile image

      achaggi 8 years ago

      I've never read so much about a romantic person until now... Its heartening and disheartening to know your feelings. And the way you put it relates to any person who has loved and lost. I'm sorry... your words relate the most to a loved and lost person. And by all means, I find your language elusive, precise and communicating just exactly the feeling and cutting the rest of the drama that most movie directors don't. :) In this life of mine and in this world... it feels good to have known you! Keep up the spirit and keep writing! :)

    • Shalini Kagal profile image

      Shalini Kagal 8 years ago from India

      Incredible writing, Elena! And a beautiful rendition of the memories in so many of our minds and what was. Loved it - thank you!

    • Amanda Severn profile image

      Amanda Severn 8 years ago from UK

      Very beautiful, Elena. You shine a light into the still, quiet corners of the heart, and we can all hear the echoes of our own lost loves.

    • Elena. profile image

      Elena. 8 years ago from Madrid

      Hello everyone -- Thanks very much for your incredible comments, I'm overwhelmed with the feedback! I feel rewarded that this piece reached a place inside of you.

      Pam, get out of here, you're as cold as the sun shining in the middle of summer, one needs only to read your articles to see and feel that! :-)

    • J  Rosewater profile image

      J Rosewater 8 years ago from Australia

      Yes, it takes a steep amount of emotional courage to venture out so far on the literary cliff. Well done.

    • profile image

      pgrundy 8 years ago

      Wow. Very passionately said. Reading this, I realized that I am a cold, cold person. Honestly I don't think I've ever risked enough to feel this way. I'm a big coward. You are brave, and braver to share. Kudos.

    • Cindy Letchworth profile image

      Cindy Letchworth 8 years ago from Midwest, U.S.A.

      Beautiful. We all have such times, such people that we wish had been different. If only we could have seen it, like you said. Very emotional piece.

    • jill of alltrades profile image

      jill of alltrades 8 years ago from Philippines

      Wow! What a beautiful and creative piece!

      I just have to echo what All three above - alekhouse, Candie, and Invictus have said! Amazing writing!

      Thank you very much Elena.

    • I*n*v*i*c*t*u*s profile image

      I*n*v*i*c*t*u*s 8 years ago

      I echo alekhouse. Amazing piece, so deep and intrenched with such depth of thought and expression. It's like your heart beating bare upon your sleave. Thank you for sharing this.

    • Candie V profile image

      Candie V 8 years ago from Whereever there's wolves!! And Bikers!! Cummon Flash, We need an adventure!

      You rock my world! You've put into words so much of my heart it's amazing! Thank you Elena, for sharing your heart!

    • alekhouse profile image

      Nancy Hinchliff 8 years ago from Essex Junction, Vermont

      Elena, this is an amazing piece of writing. Your imagery and flow are incredible. And the depth of emotion that your words and thoughts conjure up is almost unbearable, were it not for the beauty found here. Thank you over and over.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: ""

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)