Short Story 4

The Fictional Man

He didn’t exist, but then again she didn’t care. That guy right there was the one constant in her life, and he, along with his friends, are always there when nobody else is.

For the longest period of time, she had been emotionally attached to the characters in books. I don’t find anything particularly wrong about that, in fact, I too, am deeply emotionally invested in fictional characters on a regular basis.

She was in a terrible set of circumstances. Her parents disliked her, her so-called friends teased her, and a guy she thought liked her, just had sex with her as part of a bet. She used to tell herself, “I know, I know, a lot of people go through the same thing as me. Hell, people have it way worse, I shouldn’t complain so much.”

And yeah, maybe she’s right. But that doesn’t take away from the fact that she is still trying to get through the struggles of life, and that my friends, is a hard thing to do. So, what was a girl to do, when the reality of life became too much? She does exactly what so many others do, she gets lost in a world of made up fairytales.

What a beautiful place it is, where you get to know people from every walk of life; where you get to know what it feels like to be loved, and what it feels like to have the comfort that every person deserves; and where you begin to understand who you are, through the stories and adventures of others. It is a unique and wonderful thing that exists in our cultural world.

It is no different for her; I mean the mere thought of this beast of man puts a smile on her face. He was strong, confident, loving, loyal to a fault, and of course, someone she often wished existed.

She found herself eagerly awaiting the release of a new book in the series, and would have to satiate her desires by reading other authors. Then one day it was announced that the book would be adapted to film.

She couldn’t believe it. She could barely think. He’s going to be real. He’s going to be real.

Every day from that day, she had the same routine that revolved solely around updates on the movie. Was it getting the funding? Had they cast any characters yet? When will filming start? When will it be release? There was so much information she needed to absorb.

One by one, these questions were answered. And one by one, she began to see that she needed to become the person she needed to be. She needed to become completely content and happy with whom she is as a whole. She didn’t have a boyfriend or close friends, but she figured, if she wholeheartedly accepted herself, others would accept her as well.

When her fictional crush was finally cast, she stopped breathing for a second. He was the complete embodiment of the character. Words couldn’t describe how perfect he was.

She daydreamed so readily, of the day that she might meet him in real life. It could totally happen. Of course, it probably wouldn’t, but you never know when someone’s luck might change.

She started hitting the gym, not to be skinny, but to be healthy. She changed her diet, she changed her hair to the way she always wanted, and above all else she started making more friends.

Even though she still loved books and would read at least one a week, she didn’t spend all of her time in a fantasy world. It had been months since she looked up details on the movie. She only had the date of release marked on her calendar, and of course bought tickets to the first showing at her local cinema.

One day in September, she went with one of her new friends to see the movie. It was one of the best book adaptions she had ever seen, and sure she was one hundred percent loving every minute watching her fictional crush, but she knew now that nothing could come of her cute feelings.

A few years had gone by, and she had dated various guys, most of them she was too good for. She had faith that when the time was right, she would find the man she wanted to spend the rest of her life with.

She loved hiking, and had woken one morning, and decided hike to the top of a set of ranges she loved because she needed a bit of perspective in her life. After all, the view made all her problems seem unimportant.

She was out of breath when she got to the top, partially because no matter how many times she went up there, it always took her breath away.

“Wow,” A male voice jogging up towards her said, “They weren’t kidding when they said this was a sight to see.”

There was no one else at the overlook, so he must have been talking to her so she replies, “Yeah, it is. Seems to get better each time I see it. Looking out here makes me feel calm, you know?”

“Yeah I get it. It’s like you realise the insignificance of certain things while seeing the beauty in everything else.”

She had never had anyone understand something like that before, and she smiled, “Exactly! Thank you!” And he laughed.

“Not many people,” She began and turned to look at the guy, “Oh my God, you’re him, I mean crush, I mean you’re not real. Crap, sorry, did I just say that? Excuse me, while I run far, far away from this embarrassing situation.”

He laughed again, and motioned for her to stay, “You won’t run away before I get your number though, right? Because most of the girls I meet don’t understand this sort of thing, and you seem uniquely different, and I like that.”

By Naomi Eleanor

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