To love or pretend to live
You watch a movie and almost always it has a happy ending. Especially if it is a romantic comedy (rom-com), or like my brother likes to say, a “chick-flick”. But it does leave you with a fluffy feeling inside. One that brings a smile to your face, for no real reason. However, it makes you think: does this really happen?
How likely is it to find your soul-mate, the person you will spend the rest of your life with, in such a short time and live happily ever after with him/her? How feasible is something like that?
But who doesn’t want to fall in love? To feel the butterflies flutter inside your stomach at just the thought of this one person. To blush simply by their kiss, or their mention of your name in public?
Marcy always dreamed she would fall in love with an amazing guy. One who would sweep her off her feet, and make her foot pop up when he kissed her. She spent hours watching rom-coms, hoping that one day this would happen to her. With all the adventures, humor and romance they all encompassed. And she spent most of her life hoping. Because although she did date, they all, at one time or other, turned out to be jerks, who simply wanted to pass their time, who did not treat her right, or who just left.
But Marcy never lost hope. After all, she had her rom-coms for comfort.
One day, or night rather, she had gone out with her best friend. They decided to visit a new bar in town and have a drink to vent out their problems and concerns with each other. Marcy insisted she would buy the first round. As she turned around from the bar, two drinks in hand, she literally fell onto a person whose eyes seemed to light up the entire room. “I’m so sorry she said,” looking to see if she had spilled anything on what appeared to be an expensive shirt and designer jeans. “Not a problem at all,” he replied as they locked eyes and Marcy remained speechless. “I’m Shane,” he said, extending a hand. Marcy smiled nervously and lifted up the glasses she was holding in each hand. They both laughed. She already knew him. No, really. Shane was an actor. And a renowned one for that matter. He was a bit of a heartthrob and Marcy could now see exactly why. It was not just his looks. He had a certain charm about him. Something mesmerizing. “I have to go,” she said, “my friend is waiting”. He nodded, and as she moved, she heard him calling out “I’ll buy the next round”. She smiled and reached her friend clearly flustered. She recounted the whole story with her friend trying to control her excitement. By the time Marcy finished telling her tale, Shane and a friend of his were already asking if they could join the two girls. To the latter, it was an offer they simply could not refuse.
It did not take long for Shane to win over Marcy, head over heels. She was in love with him and the very idea of being in love. He courted and sought her and that made her feel special. He sent flowers for no apparent reason, showed up in surprise visits and prepared romantic outings. Everything a girl would want, according to Marcy.
But despite the dream she was living, Marcy could not shake off one thing that was spinning in the corner of her mind – he was an actor, how could she be sure he was not acting with her? She always fantasized herself dating one of those handsome young men who held the lead roles in the rom-coms she so loved. But she never actually considered the practicalities of dating one. Because now, how could she really know when he actually stopped acting and was speaking the truth?
One day she told him about her preoccupation. He smiled and told her that the only thing that could reassure her was what she truly felt by what he said and did, and the way he treated her. “The answer is found here,” he said pointing to her heart, “not here” in her head. Marcy immersed herself in Shane’s arms where she felt safe.
But even after years passed and they were still together, she could never shake off that feeling. How can you truly trust a person who pretends for a living? In the end, she thought, she too had learnt to pretend, because it was the only way to survive in a world where nothing appears to be ideal, or even remotely close to that.