The Loving Boyfriend
I weaved through aisles of books looking for the voice’s owner.
‘Molly.’ I followed its echo to a dead end. The voice lingered in the deep dark corner of the library. I knew this emptiness. It shadowed me. As I walked back to the loneliness I’m familiar with, I landed on a wall of VHS tapes. An array of How To videos from the 90s. Discoloured and frayed sleeves lined the wall. I scanned the shelves, wondering if the voice was hidden behind the antiques.
‘Molly, down here.’
I fell to the ground to try and capture the voice with my hands. It escaped my grip and bounced off the tapes into thin air. I lost it again.
But while I lay on the floor in defeat, I noticed a purple spine with gold lettering that read: The Loving Boyfriend. I took the tape and blew off the dust.
In my hands I held a gift from the voice. The Loving Boyfriend. Text was smeared across its purple sleeve: ‘You’re the most beautiful girl in the world’; ‘You’re too good for me.’
I packed the tape under my hoodie and took it home.
I rummaged through the sentimental trash in the attic.
Dust bunnies ran up my legs and into my nose — catapulted out of mouth and started the cycle again. I didn’t let that stop me from seeking my gold. I threw treasured pieces across the room and hulked my way through boxes and trunks.
‘Molly?’ my mum called from the doorframe. ‘What are you doing? It’s two in the morning.’
‘I’m looking for something.’ I replied.
‘I got that. But do you need to make such a mess?’
‘Where’s our video player?’
‘Our video player. The thing that plays tapes.’
‘I threw that out years ago.’
‘No you didn’t.’
‘I wanted to but you said no because it might be valuable one day. I don’t know. Maybe check the cabinet.’
I pushed my way through the garbage to the cabinet near the window. Sure enough, I opened its mahogany doors to find the video player at eye level. It was waiting for me. It knew I was coming for it — sharing it with the modern world.
I blew into the video player’s mouth, cleaning it for its dinner. I pressed play — readied myself for the gift the voice gave me.
The video began, just static. I could hear the fan from the video camera trying to cool it down. Then, a man appeared in the frame. A blonde-tipped, blue-eyed, 90s surfer dude was doing weights in his living room.
‘Oh, I didn’t see you there,’ he said in a London accent. ‘You look so beautiful this morning. I was just doing my 100 reps for the day. To, you know, impress you.’ He giggled.
He lifted up his arm and tensed. ‘Do you like?’
‘Yes,’ I replied, shocking myself. I looked around my quiet bedroom to see if anyone was watching me. I was alone.
‘It’s breakfast time. Shall we sit down and eat together? I would like that.’
I nodded my head.
The movie star transitioned to The Loving Boyfriend eating his breakfast. I named him Jack.
‘Aren’t you going to eat?’ he asked me.
‘I hope you’re not shy. You can eat anything you want.’
I chewed a part of my hair.
The tape froze on his beautiful face — staring at me, smiling. I delicately traced the screen with my index finger.
‘We can meet, you know,’ a voice whispered in my ear.
I turned around to find him crouched behind me.
‘Of course. You just need to find me.’
‘You mean it?’
‘We’re meant to be together. You found me amongst many videos. I am yours.’
I made my way to my window. Rain poured outside my window and Chopin began to play.
‘But how? I haven’t any money and aeroplanes are full of bombs!’
‘True love has no barriers.’
He rested his hand on my shoulder as I looked out the window.
‘Come find me,’ he whispered. ‘My world will be much better with you in it, as will yours.’
I turned to him. We embraced in a loving hug, cheek-to-cheek.
‘I’ll swim to you if I have to,’ I said.
I traversed the oceans to find my soulmate. I landed in sunny London.
I was dressed as a unicorn. He loved pastel colours on me. It was daytime so I ventured to his workplace. He no longer acted.
I made my way to the hardware store, excited to see my love. He told me to meet him at one in the afternoon. His lunch break. We were finally going to eat together. I weaved through the aisles of the hardware store looking for him.
‘Molly,’ the voice called out to me.
I chased it down the store until it landed on him. His silhouette was standing in the deep, dark corner of the store. He was real. I tapped him on the shoulder. He turned to me with a big smile.
‘Can I help you?’
I was confused.
‘Do you need help with the plants?’
I stood there, perplexed. What did he mean, Can I help you?
Then it hit me: He had no idea who I was.
Carley is an aspiring screenwriter/producer who spends most of her time watching B movies from the 80s. She’s passionate about storytelling and true stories that inspire and take us on real adventures.