The Fantasy Before Reality
He woke up, had some breakfast, worked out, and started reading. Twenty pages in, he put down the book and saw the clock. It was only eleven; he had all day. He could do something, do something different and special, something with the kind of romance you’d only find in a movie.
It would be special, a magical challenge that would show her how he felt. It would be the kind of thing she’d tell her friends and they’d smile and laugh with just a little jealousy. This day would be a focal point of time, energy, and cash. He’d do anything, everything, to make her feel special. This was the moment. Work done, bonus in the bank, he could do it.
He could really do it.
Flowers was the first thought. He’d bring her roses because she was stuck at the office. Or he’d send her roses. She’d hear someone walking between their cubicles, shocked when the messenger came to see her. Friends and coworkers would notice as he’d hand her the bouquet. She’d smell them and her coworkers would come over to admire them, that little monument that proved someone loved her.
Then her shift would be over, and he’d be waiting for her outside. Half way to her car, he’d slide his hands over her eyes with a gentle, “Guess who?” She’d grin and he’d tell her he had something special for her. First they’d go to
After dinner, they’d walk past the different buildings until he waved down one of the carriages. It would be cold, so he’d put his arms around her, his coat over her lap. Set to the horse’s rhythmic clomp, he’d pull a little box from his coat. She’d tell him he shouldn’t have and he’ll tell her she’s worth it. Nervous, she’d it to find the necklace inside. A jade heart inscribed with their names. She loves jade, loves the white gold chain. Unclasping it, she’d hold out the necklace and ask him to put it on her. He’d pull her hair from the nape of her neck and click the little links together after two or three tries. She’d tease him about it, and they’d be laughing until it was secure, and she’d feel the locket’s weight, that little bit of cold reminding her he was there, reminding her he was the guy who’d spend a day getting everything ready for her.
But sitting in his living room, the book still on his lap, he remembers. He doesn’t have a girlfriend.
BIO: A philosophy student at
MOTIVATION: "The Fantasy Before Reality" was inspired by the idea that we can fall in love with the rituals and patterns of romance without actually being in a relationship.
Photo by Daniel Jarr
Photo by Daniel Jarr