Perfect Love

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Thrillers  |  House: Booksie Classic
Steve Hamilton had never been a hit with the ladies, but when he meets Jane things just seem perfect...

Submitted: October 19, 2016

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Submitted: October 19, 2016

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Steve Hamilton was out with workmates in Manchester city centre. The pub was packed and Steve was working his way through their selection of real ales. The group were enjoying the drinks and bitching about colleagues that had not joined them. He noticed a woman at the bar. There was something about her he couldn’t put his finger on. She was just captivating. He wasn’t usually one for chatting up women in pubs but she was something else. He took a swig of his pint. With his colleagues looking on he made his way over.

‘Hiya. Can I buy you a drink?’

‘Sure.’ She said.

‘I don’t normally do this sort of thing.’

‘Of course you don’t.’ she laughed. ‘It must be my perfume.’

‘I’m Steve.’

‘Jane.’

He bought her a gin and tonic and they found a free table in a quiet corner of the pub.

She was just so easy to talk to. Steve couldn’t believe his luck. He had always struggled talking to women but there was something about her. Jane just put him so at ease.

After a few more rounds of drinks Jane got to her feet. She pulled her coat over her shoulders.

‘I really have to be going.’ she said.

‘Can I see you again?’

‘I’d like that.’ she nodded.

Before she left they swapped mobile phone numbers. He rejoined his workmates. Half of them ribbed him for chatting up a stranger. The other half congratulated him on his success. He had a few more pints of ale.

 

As he headed home he was buzzing. The world seemed a magical place. He had never had any success with the opposite sex but he’d just clicked instantly with Jane. He smiled at the thought of seeing her again.

 

Leaving it a full forty eight hours to avoid appearing desperate he sent her a text asking her how it was going. He spent a nervous few minutes waiting for a reply. Had he blown it? Had he text her too soon and scared her off? Had he played it too cool? Then his phone pinged. His heart pounded as he clicked on the text message.

I’m good thanks, you okay? He quickly replied. Fine, thanks, then he took a deep breath and continued the message, fancy meeting up one nite this week? He hit send before he could change his mind.

A second later his phone beeped again. I’d like that. He punched the air.

 

They met up in a bar in the city centre. He arrived early. He was glad of the time to have a pint to steady his nerves. He told himself not to mess this up. He had to stop himself from jabbering on and let her get a word in, but he couldn’t clam up and not say a word. It was a tightrope. One false move could fluff the whole thing. He really wanted it to go well. Jane entered the bar. Her face lit up as she spotted him. She grinned and gave him a wave. He gave her a thumbs up.

‘Hello, you.’ She gave him a peck on the cheek.

She slid into the seat next to him.

And it was like they’d known each other for years. It was as though he was meeting up with an old friend. The conversation was so easy. They had so much in common, came from similar backgrounds and had the same sense of humour.

At the end of the evening, feeling brave because she put him at ease and because of the lager, he asked if she fancied the cinema the following week.

‘Sounds like a plan.’ She grinned.

He had never believed in love at first sight or fate or any of that rubbish but he had to admit that he and Jane were made for each other. They were just perfect together.

 

The weeks and months passed by quickly. They grew closer and closer. They quickly became inseparable. The months flew by. For Valentine’s Day he treated her to a meal in her favourite restaurant. She insisted on buying the wine if he bought the food. For his birthday she took him away to York for the weekend. They walked the cobbled autumn streets arm in arm. They stopped for lunch and a pint at a cosy little pub. They huddled close to the open fire. He gazed at her face in the flickering dancing glow of the fire. He was amazed by this woman and how she had transformed his life. For once he had hopes and dreams for the future. Until meeting Jane he had always been awkward around women. Raised by his father after his mother left, he had never had a strong female presence in his life and had never got on well with women despite his best efforts and much to his frustration. But now, life was bordering on perfection.

After six months together Steve decided to ask her to marry him. He hoped she would say yes. She was like the other part of him. They were best friends and lovers. And so, after a meal in a lovely Italian restaurant, and with his heart beating like Ringo Starr was playing it, he leaned forward across the table. He took her hand.

‘I’m just going to go right ahead and ask.’ He said.

‘Okay.’

‘Jane, you’re the best thing that’s ever happened to me. I can’t imagine life with out you.’

She wiped away a tear. He continued.

‘Will you marry me?’

‘Yes. Yes, of course I will.’

They kissed as the other diners in the restaurant ooh’d and applauded.

Steve was reeling. He had honestly never been so happy.

 

Two years later.

The wedding day. It was a beautiful summer day. The church was packed with all their friends and family. Steve was dressed in his morning suit. He felt amazing. Who would have thought this would happen? He was the luckiest man in the world. He looked around at the smiling faces. His uncle gave him a thumbs up.

Then the organ started playing the bridal march. He turned to the aisle. Jane, in her bridal glory, moved slowly, gracefully down the aisle. She looked like an angel. His angel. He swallowed back the lump in his throat. This was the most wonderful, most precious moment of his life. He would never forget this moment. She walked towards him, a smile on her lips. She reached him. He grinned.

 

Then a sign flashed in the air in front of him. The letters were floating in the mid-air. An alarm sounded, a shrill beeping sound. He stared at the large letters hovering in front of him.

YOU HAVE REACHED THE END OF THE PROGRAM. INITIATING REMINDER SEQUENCE.

Jane, the church and the entire congregation faded away to black. Newspaper headlines flashed up in front of his eyes. He read in confusion. He stared at grainy press photographs of his own face. He read bold headlines with his name.

Man arrested for sex attacks. Steven Hamilton, sex fiend, found guilty of multiple attacks on women. Attacker sentenced to new virtual punishment. The brand new method of punishment will see the criminal going through virtual scenarios to ensure they are suitably reprimanded and repentant of their crimes.

The headlines and news reports faded away. Large letters appeared in front of him.

END OF SESSION.

His surroundings flooded into focus. Steve looked around. He was strapped to a chair in a large white room. His hands were chained together by metal handcuffs. Electrodes and pads were attached to his chest and the side of his head. Wires connected him to the beeping electronic equipment on the trolley beside him. Men in white uniform removed the wires and pads.

‘Take him back to his cell.’ A voice called.

Steve was in shock. So Jane didn’t exist. None of that had been real. The wonderful time he’d had, it had all been an illusion. He shook his head as the awful truth dawned on him. It was awful. He was awful. He was a monster. He wanted to talk to someone, he needed to speak to Jane. Tears ran down his face. Sobs racked his body as he was led by the arm back to his tiny cell.

Before the guard closed the door he called out to him with a grin.

‘Get some rest. You’ll be going through it all again tomorrow.’

 


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