The Show

She was tall and slender, one might say almost gangly – but not in an ugly or unusual way. Her hair was short and unkempt, and of a color of dark reddish brown. Her clothes, usually just a man’s large white button down shirt, she wore almost in protest – without even the slightest concern if the buttons actually lined up properly with the button holes, or for that matter, if it was even buttoned at all. She cared nothing at all about rules, or etiquette – none of that mattered to her at all.  Modest she was not, and she laughed about it – flaunted it without a care in the world about what anyone thought..

He guessed that she was about 25 or 26 years old, though he wasn’t at all certain of this – and he was attracted to her like nothing he had ever experienced in his life before. Like a breath of fresh air in a divers lungs after surfacing from a deep dive.  Maybe it was her total disregard for normalcy, or her unpredictability, she was nothing like he was but he was drawn to her like a magnet. When he was around her, time stood still and the rest of the world seemed to disappear.

He always chased after her, not that he could ever really catch her – but to him it didn’t matter, he just wanted to be with her.  Sometimes, when she was tired of the chase, she would let him hold her in his arms and fall asleep. He would sit there, holding her, trying to hold onto the moment as well, because he knew when he awoke she wouldn’t be there.  Not that she ever ran far, she would just be gone – and sometimes he would wake up and smile thinking about her fascinating ways, and sometimes he would cry thinking about her too.

At some point it became apparent to him, that they were being watched, that their lives had somehow become popular – they were characters of a reality show.  She would flirt, he would chase – and sometimes catch her, and people loved it.  There were other people in their world, and also an unknown few that would guide them – he didn’t know who they were, they were always out of sight, but he thought of them as “The Controllers.” They would make sure things would happen that would continue the success of the show.  He didn’t really mind it much, because through it all, she was always there.

One day however suddenly she was not there, and he began to search for her. He rushed to all the places they had ever been, and he asked people whether they had seen her – but they hadn’t, she was nowhere to be found.  And all the while, the shows ratings skyrocketed – the drama, the mystery, the angst, the lost love… The viewers ate it up and wanted more!!
He loathed this now, this was wrong, he realized this had always been wrong, but up until now he hadn’t cared. Now he wanted out of this, but didn’t know how.  As far as he knew, there was no way out, and that his entire life was no longer his, perhaps it never was – he was being manipulated and controlled. He didn’t know who The Controllers were, or how to stop them.  All he knew for certain, was that he wanted her back, but he had no idea where she was.

After weeks or maybe months, time no longer had any meaning to him, his searching had been in vain, she had simply disappeared.  He was heartbroken and emotionally exhausted, and through it all he was constantly reminded and aware that he was always being watched by people who were fascinated with the show. They watched him suffer with his turmoil of trying to find his true love…  From his perspective, they were cold heartless bastards… Those were the thoughts that were going through his mind as he was sitting at an award show, a celebrity now that he didn’t want to be.
In this huge room filled with hundreds of nameless faceless strangers, he looked around hoping she would be there, after all, she was a celebrity of the show as well, wasn’t she? But he didn’t see her.  He then glanced over to a table through the crowd, and he saw an award for their show with her name and likeness on it. He rushed over with his camera to take a picture of the award, something for him to keep as a reminder that she was actually real – and before The Controllers decided to remove that from his life as well.
He pressed his eye to the viewfinder, framing the award in the camera, and out of the corner of his eye, he could see a woman standing next to him.  He wasn’t certain that it was her, but he didn’t want to look and risk having her taken away again if it really was her, so he continued to take another photo of her award. Then he felt her lightly touch his shoulder, and he heard her say his name. He stopped and turned towards her, and there she was, after all this time – there she was.
She was different then she was before, he could tell she was no longer the same carefree spirit that she once was. She now wore makeup and was wearing an elegant, full length blue dress. In her ears she wore pearl earrings, with a matching pearl necklace around her neck.  It was her, she was beautiful, but she was different.  They just stood there looking at each other for a few minutes. The crowd around them seemed to be oblivious of their reunion.  A few moments passed and when the shock began to wear off, he quickly led her away to a small nook where it seemed to be more private.
There, was a sadness on her face and in her voice, as she asked him where he had been all this time, and why did he leave her? She told him how she had been looking for him all this while. He was shocked to hear this from her, and he quickly told her that he hadn’t left her, and that he himself had in fact been looking for her every day as well.
After he explained, he then told her what he now surmised was going on.  The show, this damned stupid show, had split them up and kept them apart on purpose, and they were using BOTH of them in separate ways to further the popularity of the show. He asked her if she knew who any of The Controllers were, but she didn’t know.  They were both in the dark about who was actually calling the shots, and making things happen.  Then suddenly she said she had to go, she didn’t explain why, just that she had to leave soon.  He couldn’t believe she was saying this! Why?? He then lightly took her by her shoulders and posed the question – what if she didn’t go, what if she just stayed instead?  Wasn’t it worth the risk to just stay?  She looked at him for a moment, and then he saw something on her face that he had never seen from her before – a tear was running down her cheek.  She told him that she couldn’t stay, and then she quickly turned and ran back out into the room, she and her blue dress quickly disappearing into the crowd…  And just like that she was gone…

At this point he suddenly woke up.  He looked up at the fan slowly spinning on the ceiling in his bedroom, realizing now that this had been nothing but a dream.  It had all seemed so real, so vivid.  The pain he had felt in his dream, he also felt now lying in his bed.  He missed her now as well, even though he realized that she was never real – she didn’t even have a name…  He closed his eyes again, and wished he could get back into his dream, but he knew that was impossible…  He lay there, thinking about the dream, and thinking about her, until once again, he slowly drifted off to sleep…