So, I answered this question on Quora, “What is the shortest sad story you can come up with?” with

She waited for him. Forever.

When I first thought of it, I loved the fact that it can be interpreted in many ways. Of course, didn’t want to explain it there, so here goes –

  • She was waiting for him to reply to a message/e-mail/letter and he never did and we don’t know why.
  • He had left her, and she didn’t know.
  • He was dead, and she didn’t know.
  • She was waiting for what she felt like was forever, but it had been only a few minutes.
    My favorite –
  • She was waiting for the “one” for her, and she never found him.

Multiple interpretations got me to wonder if there were more. What was(were) your interpretations?

And there was the other thought, what if I exchanged the gender, which I tried here

He waited for her. Forever.

Does it bring about more interpretations? Or does it change the texture of the story?

Do men and women react differently to the two stories because the genders are changed around?

Any thoughts?

  1. To me the sense of loss came first (because it was an answer to the question as to a shortest story ( u can come up with) ); later when I realized that many stories can be spun around it, I can maybe contribute a few more.
    1) she wanted him to propose , but he didn’t.
    2) She wanted to share the pain, but he never opened up….
    etc etc.

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