A Work of Fiction
I got the idea for this story from the movie "Ruby Sparks". Don't worry, I've only seen the trailer so it's only loosely based off the movie. Thank you to bexie25, Karen and my friend Nona Decima Morta for their awesome advice.
"Are there any decent men left in the world?" I groaned to myself, trying with difficulty to forget the horrible date that I'd just been on. I couldn't, however, suppress the cringe that formed when I recalled the disaster of my date.
I'd been on pretty bad ones in my twenty-one years of living but this one was by far the worst, and for a good reason. The guy who had asked me out was named Embry and we'd gone to my least favourite restaurant in town for our date.
Two hours previous:
"So, what do you do for a living, Bella?" Embry asked almost incoherently, his mouth stuffed with meat, gravy dripping from the corner of his mouth.
I leant back in my chair with distaste. Up until a few seconds ago I'd found him to be quite attractive – he sported a decent set of muscles and his eyes were a striking blue – but now I found him to be repulsive, comparable to a grubby pig. Now all of his flaws struck me like a red stop sign. It was impossible to ignore how bushy his eyebrows were, how his mouth wasn't big enough to support all the food forced in there, how his voice had an annoying twang and how his eyes kept glancing over to the table on our left. He'd shovelled the food in his mouth with his hands as soon as it had been placed on the table, so quickly that I hadn't even had a chance to pick up my own fork. He hadn't even bothered with his.
I frowned. "I'm a writer."
"That's no way to make a living. You should become a doctor or something. At least you'll be able to afford to eat at places like this every week."
"Money is not the centre of my life. I do what I love."
He snorted. "Well, I love money so I do whatever I can to get it."
Good for him. He sounded like a total jerk!
"So what compelled you to ask me out?" I asked curiously, picking at my tuna salad with my fork. This was the only question I'd asked tonight that I was interested in hearing the answer to.
"Well, you're probably going to be really pissed at me but I did what I had to do."
My eyes narrowed. "What are you talking about?"
"Well, my ex-girlfriend Claire is here with her boyfriend, and I wanted to make her jealous. You were the first pretty girl I saw, Swan." He grinned, oblivious to the fury rising inside of me at being used.
"You asshole!" I hissed, resisting the urge to backhand him across the face. "How dare you! Don't think of calling me ever again. Oh, and by the way, you can pay."
I grabbed my bag quickly and forced myself to breathe evenly in order to calm myself down, before calmly leaving the restaurant. Angry tears slipped unbidden out of my eyes and I wiped them away furiously, more embarrassed than upset by our display and the fact that I had been used.
Even though I hadn't been in a good state to drive, I'd still managed, and without any casualties, too. I was glad that I no longer lived with my father, Charlie, who was a cop and would've scolded me for driving so recklessly on the road, but I had to get home. I'd only been living in my apartment in Seattle for little under a year but it didn't feel like it was that long ago that I'd been under parental reign. I'd been relieved when Charlie had let me move out and even more so when he'd let me have a few GAP years so I could write. He understood my passion for it more than my mother ever had. I worked every Saturday at a nearby Starbucks to pay the bills, buying my apartment with some of the money from my college fund. Charlie had pitched in a little, too.
Looking at my apartment now, wine in hand, and staring moodily at the vacant sofa and sensing the room's general emptiness, reminded me of why I'd gone on the date in the first place. I hated being alone and for once in my life, I needed someone. I needed someone to hold me when I was upset, someone who understood my needs, someone who always put me first not himself… a gentleman.
I sighed. I was wishing for someone who didn't exist, someone perfect. If I kept going at this rate with such high standards then I'd be forever alone. Now all I had was my writing, and sometimes even that wasn't enough.
Then inspiration struck me.
They said a way to overcome writer's block was to write. Well I had the perfect thing to write about now.
Excitement suddenly flooded through me and my horrendous date was amazingly pushed to the back of my mind. I cast my glass of wine aside and grabbed my laptop from where it rested upon my coffee table and booted it up, drumming my fingers impatiently against the table, a grin stretching upon my face when the Apple logo lit up on the screen. Oh, how I loved Apple products! My Mac was fast and efficient and perfect for typing. I cringed, remembering the dial-up computer I owned at Charlie's in Forks and how long it took to start it up. Two minutes later and I had Word open, my fingers hovering over the keys with anticipation.
I was going to create my perfect man. Screw low standards!
His appearance was the first thing that came to mind. Not just now, but every time I created a character, it was the first thing I did. The second thing I made sure to do was to remind myself not to add features of my previous dates to my character.
He wouldn't be perfect if he reminded me of them.
I'd dated countless guys with blue eyes so any shade of blue was out. So was brown, it was so ordinary… so boring. I needed an exciting hue, an intense hue… one that made my heart race. My eyes crossed the room frantically for inspiration and zeroed in on one of my favourite pictures that was blu-tacked to the wall. It was a picture of my best friend Alice and I at her twenty-first birthday party, and was adorned with an emerald green frame. Green, his eyes had to be green! The frame contrasted nicely with the pale walls so I decided that my character would be fair skinned.
His hair was the most difficult part of him to conjure up. My perfect man couldn't have ordinary hair. Hair that was black, brown, blonde or red wouldn't suffice, but neither would a crazy, emo-styled hue either. His hair needed to be a combination of colours, but one that was subtle. I racked my brains for ideas, chewing on my thumbnail anxiously, my other hand twirling strands of my own brown hair in small circles as if doing so would give me the colour I desired.
'Yes!' I murmured triumphantly, my fingers flying over the keys as I expressed the idea in my head through words. His hair would be bronze; an unusual combination of brown and red that was short, tousled, and perfect for having hands ran through during a feisty make-out session. I giggled, having a little too much fun.
Next up was his facial structure and body. His cheekbones would be angular, and he would be clean-shaven, his jaw narrow, his lips full and his eyebrows an appropriate shape and thickness, I decided. He would have no flaws, none at all. My hands clapped together with excitement when I imagined how his chest would look. He wouldn't be overly buff but he would have abbs – an impressive six-pack – and his chest and arms would be absent of hair.
As for clothes, he would never wear anything grotty; always jeans with button downs or something of similar style. It had to be articles of clothing that were neat. He could wear hoodies and converse as well… I didn't want him to be too prim.
His voice would be deep, sexy…
He would be the same age as me, twenty one.
Now, for personality…
He wasn't going to be an asshole, I was sick of them, he would be the opposite of what I'd constantly encountered with men. He would be polite, a gentleman and always put the people he cares about first before anything else. He would be selfless, considerate, kind and romantic. He is heart-stoppingly sexy and a good lover, I couldn't help but add to my paragraph about him when I was just about to stop.
Now the hardest part…
No name fit this alluring man whom I'd created; none seemed good enough. I scoured the Internet for another hour, searching endlessly for the perfect name for my perfect man.
Just as my eyes were beginning to flutter constantly in an effort to stay awake, I found what I was looking for on a site regarding baby names, and his last name came to me straight after with no apparent trigger.
"Edward… Edward Cullen," I whispered.
Satisfied with my assessment of my fictional character, and postponing details like hobbies and behaviours until later, I pressed save, closed the lid of the laptop and shoved it away from me.
But not before stupidly, but also wistfully, typing that he loved a woman named Bella Swan.
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