Today is the day my life truly began.
I mean, I had a life before. A good one. My wife, Catherine, and I were still very much in love after twenty-four years of marriage, and our teenage sons, Richard and John, were our pride and joy. I was successful at work, having recently been promoted to upper management – with a six figure salary and a gorgeous secretary who wore Chanel in the strangest place.
Somehow, none of that seems important now. I have a new love, one whose slightest nod of approval fills me with radiant joy.
Last night, everything changed. I received a text from Mike, saying he urgently needed to talk to me. My wife had always hated him, calling him a loser, but we were childhood friends and whenever we got together we would spend half the night playing games and arguing over films. I loved my wife, but there were things she never understood and could never talk about in any meaningful way, and with Mike I connected.
He never asks me for anything, and I respect him for that, though there is much that – at one time – I found contemptible. His lack of ambition. His awkwardness with women. But he is a genuine friend in an otherwise political world, so of course I came when he asked.
“Thanks for coming, Rich,” he said. He seemed conflicted and anxious about something.
“Of course,” I said, following him through to the living room and our usual places on the sofa. “What’s the matter?”
“Uncle Bob died.”
“Oh!” I remembered his Uncle Bob, an eccentric millionaire with a weird but seriously hot wife who doted on him. “I’m so sorry.”
“He left me a bit of money. Quite a bit, actually. And this.” He handed me a gold chain, and I held it in my hand, feeling its weight and admiring its perfection. “It’s yours.”
I looked up in surprise. “What?”
“Uncle Bob said I should give it to my best friend.” He shrugged. “That’s you.”
“I can’t take this,” I said. But my words were empty. I wanted it. I would give it to my wife, perhaps, or my secretary. Or maybe I would keep it. I didn’t wear jewellery, but I would look good with this. I walked over to the mirror and circled my neck with gold. It did look good.
“Let me help you with that,” Mike said, and I allowed him to fasten it.
I saw something in him at that moment. A tenderness that I found endearing, and it seemed a shame that he was so awkward around women.
“His wife died too,” he said. “At the exact same moment. She had a heart attack. Maybe she sensed it somehow. It’s romantic, in a way. They were buried together.”
“She was beautiful,” I said. “You deserve a wife like that. You’re handsome, and kind-hearted. Any woman would be lucky to have you.”
He smiled cheekily. “I want a woman with huge breasts, and a perfect hourglass figure. With the face of Marilyn Monroe but with long, blonde hair.”
I laughed. “You don’t ask for much, do you?”
“Not too much, I hope. And I want her to be a friend to play games with and talk with.”
“And have sex with three times a day…”
He grinned. “At least.”
I laughed again. “Pure fantasy!”
A wave of fatigue washed over me suddenly. “I’m sorry,” I said. “I really should be getting home.”
“Sit a while. There’s no hurry.” He guided me back to the sofa, and I smiled gratefully. I didn’t really want to leave yet. The companionship of a true friend has a depth that surpasses the bonds of family. A sense of peace and rightness enveloped me as he cradled me in his arm, and I drifted off happily to sleep.
My delight on waking this morning, to discover that I had the attributes of his perfect woman, cannot be expressed in words. I could scarcely believe it at first, but the evidence of the mirror was incontrovertible. My hands confirmed what my eyes saw, and Mike’s passion for me on awaking was second only to mine for him.
There is nothing I would not do for him. Each moment we are apart I am impatient for his touch, his smile, his lips firm against mine. Just the thought of him gives me butterflies.
No woman has ever been happier in love than I.