Nothing More Than a Fantasy: A Work of Fiction by Nicholl McGuire

“It wasn’t what she looked like,” explained Paul. “It was how she acted, the way she spoke. She was so honest and open about herself that is why I fell in love with her.” Paul, a 35- year-old teacher enjoyed beautiful beaches, breath-taking mountains and exquisite structures such as the leaning tower of Pisa, one of his favorites. “I knew she was the one. She exuded a positive energy. The kind only found in the presence of someone holy or extraordinarily charismatic! I love that woman.” Helena listened intently to his love story. She desired to experience the love that Paul had so eloquently spoke about. She wanted someone to come into her life and sweep her off her feet. Helena was a 5 foot 6 inch beauty queen with legs that any man would want to capture and place on his bedroom wall. Her dark, brown wavy long hair and full lips made women look twice with daggers of jealousy in their eyes. Wherever she went men would stare from afar and motion for her to come and talk with them. She never did, she only smiled and nodded. While committed men, with companions on their arms, would walk by her stealing glances.
Helena was an office manager for a temporary agency. She was unhappy with her job these days and found the best part of her day was having lunch with co-workers. She enjoyed Paul’s conversation. She never found him attractive in her eyesight, but he was a nice guy--the type who wasn’t very interesting, yet not necessarily boring either. Helena was in search of a man who was not only handsome on the outside, but had a heart of gold. She visited churches, libraries, clubs, grocery stores, colleges, drug stores and any other place that could aid her in her search for a good man. However, with all her searching she came up with nothing. 
“So how are you doing these days, Helena?” Paul was sincere in his questioning Helena he wanted so much for her to be happy, but he knew that she wasn’t happy with herself and he felt that this unhappiness could be one of the problems that kept Helena from meeting Mr. Right. “Oh okay,” Helena answered unconvincingly. “I could be better, but I just don’t know what is wrong with me. They just don’t like me.” Paul would use this opportunity to provide Helena with some instruction on what she needed to do to get them to like her. “I don’t feel you are very positive these days about your life. You desire love, but have you ever really examined yourself. Do you love you? This should be the first question you ask yourself before you continue your pursuit. Do you honestly love you?” 
Helena was baffled. As far as she knew, she did love herself and she really didn’t understand why Paul would ask her this question. She thought by her hair, makeup, dress and warm smile it was obvious that she was confident in who she was and that she loved herself. Paul was perking up in his straight-back chair in the lunchroom. His hands folded sitting at the lunchroom table next to his half-eaten sandwich. “I know you think I am strange for putting you on the spot like this, but if you think that wearing nice clothes and smiling is going to make a man think you love yourself, think again.” 
Paul was on a roll and she knew when he perked up he was ready to let her have it. “You are a beautiful woman, but you have to convey that beauty not only from the outside, but that beauty has got to manifest itself from the inside as well. Your walk and your talk must convey love. You have to tell yourself, yes, I am a strong woman and I do like men, but I like me even more.  Tell that man in so many ways, 'I expect you to do your best to satisfy me, because I love me.'  In time, the love you show yourself will transcend to that man who really wants to be with you.  He will experience that love and make every effort to love you. We men love through action and you women love through voice. You communicate every emotion through words. We communicate every emotion through action. Then together we find a balance where we are best able to respond to one another. The best relationships are balanced in this way.” 
Helena wanted to say something, but she was at a lost for words because she was pondering on what he had been telling her. Helena knew it was time to begin to really examine herself and build up the love she had inside than she could continue with her search. “Thanks Paul for all you told me. It is true, I must examine myself to see if I really do love myself. I believe the best medicine for me, would be to relax from all the hustle and bustle of single life.” 
Paul was happy as always to help Helena. Sometimes he thought if he hadn’t met the woman if his dreams, he may have asked Helena for her hand in marriage, but he never told her this and he vowed he never will.  Helena glanced at her watch and noticed the time, it was only a few minutes until she had to get back to work. She thanked Paul again and told him she had to go, Helena didn’t want to be late getting back to the office.
The temporary agency, Jacobs Clerical Temps, had been doing well this quarter. Clients were calling everyday sometimes twice a day seeking temporaries for home offices, large and small companies and even odd places like a farmhouse located in a rural area north of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. 
Helena had been working at the agency for over ten years, she had started out as a part-time receptionist. The thirty-year-old had seen managers and consultants come and go during her decade at the workplace and she would receive a bonus for every time a person left. Helena was exceptional at multi-tasking and would take on the roles of Secretary, Sales Consultant, Advertising Manager, Interviewer and Janitor on any given day until positions were filled. After her first five years of service, she had been asked if she was interested in the Office Manager position. The old manager had left due to her newborn son’s chronic illnesses.  She accepted the offer and has been working the position ever since.
“Helena, welcome back. Hope your lunch was good, listen type these notes for me and make copies. I will need these for my 3:00,” said Albert.  A senior executive from the Sales Department, Albert was the life of the company’s party. Short, round and bald, but cute like a cuddly brown stuffed bear, he made the most miserable person smile. 
Albert had been asking Helena for years to type his notes, even though it wasn’t her job, she did it anyway. Albert had a great sense of humor and never forgot her birthday, so she wasn’t annoyed when he asked her for favors. “Sure, I will drop them off in the board room.” With that, Albert quickly thanked her and left chocolates on her desk, not just any kind but those tasty ones that came in those fancy boxes wrapped in a beautiful red bow. “Thank you!” Helena exclaimed as she gradually unraveled the bow to take a peak. “Peanut Clusters, my favorite and its not even my birthday!”
Helena sat back in her high-back leather chair to enjoy the fresh piece of chocolate that tempted her taste buds for another and another. After three eaten chocolates, sticky fingers and a cough that came out of nowhere, she closed the box up and guilty put it away in the bottom drawer of her desk underneath some loose papers. “I just ate lunch and here I go eating again.” Helena began to type Albert’s notes. She found his notes interesting as she typed and was curious about an upcoming event entitled, “Staff Fiesta at Club Fayscos.” The thought of single, available dark-haired fit men clouded her mind. What if she met her fantasy guy at the club? Helena’s dream guy was a 6’1 tanned Latin stallion who periodically made visits in her dreams.  He would walk slowly toward her with his long black mane. 
The nameless chiseled chest man would take her by the hand while he moved his hips from right to left twirling her around her hair tossing back and fourth.  Then he would gently whisper in her ear with a Spanish accent and a deep voice, “Would you like to come with me and get something to eat?”  She would agree. Strangely, the dream would end with the sexy man leading her off the dance floor and walking her out the front door of Fayscos. Together they walk to his black convertible, he opens the passenger side of the car door.  Then he gets in the car and drives down an open highway of Nowheresville, while she is thinking about getting to Somewheresville her house or his. Helena's dream is always interrupted.  When she attempts to recall the dream during the day,  the scenes come to a halt due to a ringing phone, a complaining co-worker or an aggravated client.

A creative work by Nicholl McGuire

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