Get ready to embark on an extraordinary voyage infused with romance, adventure, and captivating narratives. We are delighted to present to you a compilation of stories that will transport you to enchanting destinations, immersing you in the realm of love and travel.

Within this series, you will discover the crème de la crème, the finest works from the Love Lust or Bust Dating and Travel short story contest.

Each week we bring you a different story from the entries of the Love Lust or Bust Travel & Dating short story contest; some full of passion and romance, and others, tales of heartbreak and regret. We hope you love each and every story as we do.

These remarkable tales have been meticulously chosen from a pool of gifted writers who poured their passion and creativity into crafting narratives that whisk you away to far-flung corners of the globe.

As you delve into this collection, you will encounter vibrant characters, diverse cultures, and awe-inspiring landscapes that form the backdrop for unforgettable love stories. Each narrative possesses its own distinctive allure, providing profound insights into the intricacies of dating in unfamiliar territories, the exhilaration of spontaneous encounters, and the transformative magic of travel.

Join us in celebrating the literary brilliance of the top 20 winners of the contest. Allow their words to sweep you off your feet and transport you to a realm where love and adventure intertwine in the most exquisite and profound ways. Prepare yourself for a literary expedition that will linger in your heart and mind, and hopefully will inspire you to be open and courageous to go on your own journey.

Today, we are thrilled to bring you this intriguing story below. Enjoy, and please leave your thoughts in the comment section below.


The Incomplete 381 Love

By Anonymous

After a decade of loneliness and isolation due to mental illness, I, a Moroccan, connected with an American girl on Facebook who had been living in Morocco for nearly nine years.

I sent her a message but received no response. I noticed her active participation in a Moroccan group, offering guidance on various topics. She resided in a magical city, a favorite among tourists. Browsing through her photos, I quickly noticed her fluctuating weight.

Six months later, I reached out to her again, and this time, she responded. It was during Ramadan last year. We engaged in conversations, made video calls, and explored our connection until the early morning hours.

Despite her Christian faith, she observed Ramadan like a Muslim. After a month of talking, we decided to meet in Agadir and bring her to my town in the eastern south of Morocco, in the desert zone. While I had avoided bringing internet acquaintances to my town in the past, I made an exception for this girl, as she lived nearby. Plus, I wanted to challenge stereotypes about being with a foreign woman, known as a “gawrya” in Morocco.

I achieved my goal, safely bringing her to my town after a taxi ride home, arriving at dawn. After some rest, we woke in the afternoon, and I informed my father of her presence, which led to a conversation about religious norms and moral obligations.

Despite our differences, we managed the situation. Due to budget constraints, we couldn’t afford a hotel, so I arranged for her to stay on a nearby farm for three days. During our stay there, we frequently ventured into the downtown area with the help of a friend’s motorbike, often hitchhiking back.

Over these three days, we deepened our connection. I also suffered a serious burn on my arm, but she expertly tended to it using European cream, ensuring its gradual healing through weeks of diligent care.

Although we could have extended her stay, I came to realize that pursuing a relationship was a mistake. She disagreed with my decision. Together, we traveled back to Agadir to ensure her safety. Once in Agadir, she was no longer my responsibility, and we parted ways at the bus station, with tears streaming down her face. As I watched her walk away, she suddenly disappeared from view.

A kind man working at the bus station, who sold tickets, approached me after her departure. He remarked, “Brother, the girl loves you. Her tears deeply affected me, and I speak from experience.”

Back in my town, I felt an inexplicable void after three days. Unconsciously, I packed a small bag and headed back to her city. When I arrived in Agadir, I informed her of my return, using passengers’ phones and the help of others to reach her since my phone had broken days earlier. While she initially thought I was joking, as I began naming the small villages along my route to her city, she became convinced I was on my way. I found her waiting at the bus station at 3:00 am on a cold night.

She brought me home, prepared dinner, and our love story truly began.

The initial days in her city were challenging, as I struggled to adapt to an environment where foreigners outnumbered Moroccans, despite it being in my own country. This stemmed from my upbringing in a remote village in the eastern south of Morocco’s desert. Gradually, I began to see her as an actual partner, though I still harbored doubts. We spent seven months together, marked by a whirlwind of emotions.

One of the prominent issues was my reluctance to go out, despite her efforts to create a supportive environment for me to grow and improve my life, knowing my mental health challenges. She poured her energy into our relationship, offering love, care, and introducing me to foreign friends.

She encouraged me to socialize, but my resistance prevailed. My mental health issues, including OCD, ADHD, suicidal thoughts, and others, led me to doubt her, causing me to flee to other cities at midnight three times.

Yet, over time, I began to trust her instincts, finding myself in a cycle where I couldn’t move forward. I attempted multiple times to break up, heading back to my town, but the longing always brought me back to her.

I fondly remember waking up in the morning, cuddling her, and gazing into her energetic, bright green eyes. By nightfall, the brightness would fade as life’s pressures drained her energy, a burden she willingly bore, despite my struggles. She compromised, even giving up her favorite music for my sake. Yet, I found it challenging to reciprocate, being strongly addicted to solitude.

Our relationship had its highs and lows, marked by laughter and tears. We shared similar stories of past hardships, marred by unfair life circumstances and abusive family backgrounds. Then came a Christmas incident that ended our relationship.

I had come to her city to care for her cats while she had a visitor from the United States. Days before their return, her favorite kitten fell ill. My lack of experience with cats and the unfamiliarity of the situation overwhelmed me. She cleverly guided me in understanding and caring for the cats, even though I initially panicked around them. Eventually, I fell in love with these adorable creatures. Unfortunately, the sick kitten’s condition worsened.

When my partner and her friend returned from their trip around the country, they found me packing. She objected, sensing this was our final farewell. Unexpectedly, I changed my mind, deciding to stay one more night before departing.

The following afternoon, she discovered that some money she had left was missing. I had used it as I had run out of funds during my two-week stay. This incident, combined with the death of the sick kitten on the day I left, intensified the turmoil. I left behind all my possessions, and two months later, they were sent to me. As I opened my bag, the scent of her apartment on my clothes brought a smile to my face.

She used the excuses of missing money and the kitten’s death to end everything, including our cherished moments, in a violent and distressing manner. Since that Christmas incident, I haven’t heard from her.

Perhaps we should have ended things differently, with a warm farewell at the bus station, exchanging cuddles, rather than the regrettable outcome that unfolded. I’m still unable to comprehend why it happened that way. I chose to end the relationship, but her reaction remains a mystery. She could have reacted similarly initially, but then taken a week at most to calm down and realize the situation wasn’t worth the escalation. I believe she did it to eliminate any chance of us reuniting or to liberate herself from the emotional entanglement.

Despite it all, she remains my number one angel. I sit here, reminiscing about the times when it was just the two of us, creating unforgettable memories. I still hear the resonating sound of that blue door slamming shut, signifying the end of a chapter in my life.

The number I taught her, “381,” which signifies “I love you” worldwide, no longer holds meaning for me as an address to open doors. Nothing else matters. She hails from California, Santa Cruz, and I used to affectionately call her Santa Crush. Now, I wonder where she is.

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