Love and Hardship Run Parallel for Andrea Jarrell in ‘I’m the One Who Got Away’

in Nonfiction by

When you look into your past, what do you see? For Andrea Jarrell, a tale as enlightening as it is melancholy, she sees a distraught past and a life caught between two parents.

I'm the One Who Got Away Andrea JarrellIn I’m the One Who Got Away, Andrea recalls what life felt like when she watched her neighbor fall in love with a handsome young man named Craig – from meeting her at her home, to smiles seemingly from the heart. However, that all turns around when Andrea finds out the discouraging and frightening news that her next door neighbor’s relationship was not all that it seemed, and she was actually murdered by Craig. From there, Andrea is set into a whirlwind of emotions and memories of her parents, from the good to the bad. She remembers the upsides to living with her mother, such as the travels they enjoyed and the love between them that only seemed to grow. But then she also recalls the hard times that her mother left their alcoholic father back into their lives, forever bringing abuse and turmoil to their lives.

No matter what she seems to do in life, no matter where she goes or what journey she treks, Andrea finds that staying away from the negativity of her parents follows her like a black plague. She battles problems with a best friend named Liz who she feels she must constantly compete with, and a bad relationship with a man named Wes who isn’t exactly what he seems when they first meet. When her picture-perfect relationship with Brad begins to blossom, it’s easy to see that the demons of the past are still strong with her and she must do everything necessary to turn things around.

Andrea learns what it means to make peace with her past, find love in the midst of hardship, and rekindle the love she has in her heart for others. By remembering the roots that led her to the future, she essentially learns how to grow for herself and her children. I’m the One Who Got Away shows us how your childhood doesn’t necessarily have to determine your future, and you can choose the path that best fits you, in a perfectly imperfect way.


Andrea Jarrell has had her work featured in The New York Times, The Washington Post, and many other popular literary publications over the years. She earned her BA in literature at Scripps College, and her MFA in creative writing from Bennington College. Today, she lives in suburban Washington, D.C.



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Maggie Hoffman is a professional writer and graphic designer from small-town Pennsylvania. When she isn't spending time with her husband and two children, she's usually found with a thrilling, controversial novel in her hands or watching a 70s horror film. Some of her favorite novels include "The End of Alice", "American Psycho", and "Daddy Love."

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