The Story of Emily

by jamesmerolla

By now I had probably become a running joke with Emily and her coworkers. I was certain I was referred to as her ‘boyfriend’ just to torment her a little. But, having no shame, I kept going to that movie theater. Even when Emily wasn’t there, I could feel the inner smirks just below the surface of their smiles.

And I didn’t keep making sure she waited on me just because I thought I had a chance, but because I also wanted her to see I was doing alright. I wasn’t bothered by her rejection. In fact, I didn’t want to go out with her in the first place. I was just asking for the hell of it.

But, she’d just blankly stare at me, as if she never even met me. And in her mind, she probably hasn’t met me. I’m just another old schmuck trying to pick her up at her job.

But, I’d swear I saw a smile crease her lips.

I’m just realizing this isn’t sounding good. So, I will now tell the truth about Emily.

Emily is a beautiful girl who does, in fact, work at a movie theater here. However, I have never formally met her. I just always thought she was pretty, and she reminded me of my youth, and made me wish the sad wish of being 10 years younger.  But, that’s the real me.

The main character in this story is the one who would totally ask this girl out at her job. The difficulty was trying to find a believable way for a loser like me to get a beautiful young(er) girl.

The only way I could make it “believable” was if Emily somehow ignored all logic and reasoning. I didn’t want to do that to her. She was too smart for that, and fictitious me is too dumb.

So, the best way I could describe how Emily ended up in this story is to say, the night  I sat down to write this, not having any idea of what I wanted to say, a sort of calm came over me. It’s nothing uncommon. It’s the same kind of calm everyone feels when they are about to make a personal expression. In that calm, when thoughts become ideas, she appeared, full of youth, beauty, a naive, foolish optimism, and magnetic allure.

However, I never had any intention of having Emily and I romantically involved. It was planned that she would always be out of reach. She is the agitator, my conscience. She is a fantasy representing the carelessness of being young again. She is a monument to the youth and naive optimism I squandered.

And, seeing as though her upbringing and experiences would inevitably begin to mirror mine, she kind of, sort of is a young female version of me.

I’d like to think that’s generally a normal thing for writers.

But anyway, if the real Emily ever reads this, I am very sorry I used your name. And I hope you don’t mind if fictitious you talks to fictitious me once in a while.

From now on, Emily will simply be called “E” and she will pop up from time to time in this story.

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