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Wednesday, 21 October 2015

The Dream

The Dream

By
Alexander Gordon Jahans


“Oh yes! I’ll take it.” says a tall overweight man in lounge pants to an estate agent.

The rented accomodation in question is a tiny place with one room barely big enough for a double bed and a desk with a shared kitchen, bathroom and living room.

The man’s name is Frederick Hamish Pearson and he has just moved back to Wolverhampton after staying here in his university days.

*

Frederick turns up to Fibdems, a large department store for his first day at a new job.

A large overweight and balding man has been lecturing him for half an hour on the health and safety of the store then he shows Frederick round his department “You will be selling games, dvds, books and gadgets. Now you know how to use the till but remember push the items at the front, really give em the hard sell because that is where your commission comes from.”

Frederick nods, understanding.

*

Weeks pass and things are uneventful as Frederick settles into his new job. Pay isn’t too bad, work not too strenuous, doing something he has a mild interest in.

One day, during his break he finds himself idly looking through the suits department. A large dark haired woman wanders over, she looks to be about 5 years older than him. “Good evening, Sir, is there anything I can help you with?”

“Ah ha, no, I’m just looking and in fact I work here” says Frederick.

The woman nods “Oh yeah, you’re the new guy right? Frederick? Well I’m Christina, nice to meet you.”

They shake hands and Christina says “If there’s anything I can help you with, let me know.”

*

Weeks pass again and Frederick and Christina pass occasionally like ships in the night.

Finally as they’re setting up shop one night one of Frederick’s work mates Hoss days “Hey, you should come to the pub with us tonight. We’re celebrating a successful quarter for Fibdems.”

Frederick frowns, he had a lets play lined up to watch when he got home but sod it. The letsplay could wait.

During that night Frederick and Christina met up again.

“Still not wearing a suit I see?” said Christina.

“Yeah...” said Frederick “I used to be big into them but then I realised I didn’t have anybody to impress any more.”

“Shame” said Christina.

As the night wore on and Frederick found himself on his second pint of cider he found himself talking about his online stuff and giving pout his business card.

“You do reviews?” said Christina.

“Well... it’s shouting mostly” said Frederick “And incidentally sorry if I ever, forget about the volume thing.”

Christina nodded and stowed the card “I’ll check it out.”

*

A few days passed and Christina approached him during his work at the till.

Frederick nodded appreciatively “The Doctor Who revival boxset, good choice madam.”

Christina smirked “Well I thought it might be wise to see what I was missing. I checked out your stuff by the way, it’s not bad, ever thought of doing it full time?”

Frederick chuckled and scanned through the dvd boxset “I’m not that good.”

“Then improve” said Christina “Leave this place, do things.

Frederick smirked and gave her her change and receipt.

*

A year passed and during that time not only did Frederick and Christina become friends but Frederick found his work online became more focused and organised. Plans were tentatively thought out and made, research was underway, the mad chaos of his youtube channel began to be broken up into clearly branded series, money began to be saved up.

Then one day Frederick found himself asking Christina out to dinner and she said yes.

They ate at Pizza Hut.

“Ah” said Christina “Pizza Hut, truly the classiest of dating venues.”

“It’s not a date” said Frederick “It’s dinner with a friend and I prefer Pizza Hut to Pizza Express. This is like the one thing America does best.”

Christina snorted and they took a table, naturally they each took unlimited refills of pepsi soft drinks.

“So if you didn’t invite me out to take me in a manly fashion, why are we here?” asked Christina.

“Because I have money now that I didn’t before.” said Frederick “And I soft of owe it to you. This is a thank you.”

The waiter arrived and they ordered food.

Frederick had the largest pizza with the most dead animals and least plant matter on it as possible.

Christina went for a four cheese pizza.

“So?” said Christina “How is your having more money down to me?”

“You said I could be more.” said Frederick “That motivated me, maybe not necessarily because you said it or because of what you said specifically but because everytime I felt overrun by negativity and include to just fart out something that was under done I’d think of you and.. umm... I’d keep working.”

Christina smiled “And you’re sure this is just a friendly meal?”

Frederick chuckled “Yes.”

Christina frowned “Is it because I’m fat?”

“What?” said Frederick “No. It’s just that I- I’m not that - forward a person. I don’t ask people out. I sit in my room and watch other people play video games. I am not a people person.”

Christina studied him for a long moment then asked “Do you ever go out?”

“Why?” asked Frederick “Going out is boring, why would I leave the place where I’m happiest?”

Christina nodded “Well I can’t judge you too much, after all I am a goth who writes vampire fiction in her spare time.”

Frederick gave her a long curious look.

Christina smirked “It’s alright, I don’t bite.”

Frederick swallowed.

The waiter arrived with their pizzas.

As Frederick started eating his pizza Christina asked “So what’s your dream?”

Frederick looked at her oddly. “How do you mean?”

Christina smirked “Well none of us think working at Fibdems is our endgame. What are you working towards?”

“Well I was going to be a script writer” said Frederick “But then I realised I am exactly the kind of script writer I don’t want to ever write scripts again so instead I guess I’d like to be the Doctor and just take off into wide blue yonder and see people and places and really wild things.”

“But you don’t go out?” said Christina.

“Ah but I only don’t go out because I get bored easily” said Frederick “The beauty of a tardis is that if you ever get bored you’ve got your home and computer right there.”

Christina nodded “Nice plan.”

“Plan?” said Frederick. “It’s totally impossible.”

Christina shrugged “Anything is possible given enough time and money, have a think about it. Don’t give up on your dreams, make them a reality.”

*

Years passed and Frederick worked harder and harder and planned bigger things as his online stuff grew and grew.

Frederick and Christina became firm friends during that time and even shared the odd drunken night out where they shared their deepest darkest secrets and fanfics.

Finally Frederick asked Christina out again.

“Pizza Express this time?” said Christina as they waited for a table “What must I have done for you to be willing to eat here.”

Frederick snorted.

When they were shown to their seats and had ordered drinks and their pizzas Frederick cleared his throat.

Christina readied herself.

Frederick said “Christina, you are and have been a really great friend. You are a delightful individual and umm... I don’t know quite how to say this but I’m leaving Fibdems.”

Christina stared at him.

“I handed in my notice a while back, I’m like properly rich now thanks to my online work and... I wanted to tell you in person.” said Frederick “You said I should find a way and I have.”

“Oh really?” asked Christina “What is your way?”

“I found an electric Campervan” said Frederick “I mean it’s not the ritz and I’ll hardly be able to fit a gaming pc in there but I can make my videos and watch my lets plays and I’ve got a double bed so... that’s good, means I can stretch my feet..”

“Nice” said Christina “See the sights and take your home with you. Where are you going first?”

“Scotland” said Frederick “I wanna make the Edinburgh Fringe and uh... and when it gets cold in the winter I’ve got a place down the Isle of Wight. Big enough for five people so I can have tenants in to reduce the mortgage cost. I expect I’ll turn up Christmas Day.”

Christina smiled and nodded “I’m really happy for you.”

“Thanks” said Frederick.

Their pizzas arrived and they ate in silence.

*

The next day, when Christina’s shift ended Frederick was waiting for her.

He was dressed in a three piece suit and held a box of chocolates in his hands. He smiled nervously as she approached.

Christina was stunned “What are you doing here?”

“I’m a coward” said Frederick “Just standing here, talking to you now, all I want to do is run, run far away and never look back.” he swallowed “And the only reason that I can have the courage to do this now is that I know I can run so these are for you.”

Frederick handed Christina the box of chocolates.

She took them and looked into his eyes expectantly.

“Christina Sullivan, you are the most beautiful woman I have ever laid eyes upon and the entire time I have known you I have had a war going on inside my head between the side that thinks I’m a useless pathetic idiot and the side of me that cares so deeply for you... But I am able to achieve my dreams now because you believed in me so please... come with me.” said Frederick “You, me and the open road, what do you say?”

“Yes” said Christina “Dear god, yes!”

She hugged him and said “I’ve seen you struggling with that side of yourself for as long as I’ve known you.”

Frederick pulled back and looked her in the eyes “Then why didn’t you ever ask me out?”

Christina blushed “I didn’t know if I was just projecting my own struggle onto you.”

Frederick looked at her, at his dear Christina.

Christina looked up at him longingly and pulled him closed.

He kissed her lightly on the lips.

She kissed back.

They headed to the campervan.

“Lets stop by mine first” said Christina “There are some things I need to collect.”

*

The Campervan drew up outside Christine’s house and Frederick followed her inside as she fetched her stuff.

To his surprise he found two suitcases and a bag packed.

They shared a look and Christine smirked “Just because I didn’t know doesn’t mean I haven’t been planning.”

Frederick chuckled.

*

Their first year travelling together went well but there was one last surprise in store as they drew up to Frederick’s winter cottage at mid day on Christmas Day.

Frederick parked up the campervan, unlocked the front door and headed to the dining room.

He was staggered. The table was laid the heating was on there was a turkey and potatoes on the table with all the trimmings including pigs in blankets, stuffing and gravy.

Then she entered.

She was tall, young, slim and blonde. She wore a green bikini and what appeared at first glance to be a rather large belt. “Hello” she said “I’m Lisa.”

Frederick stared at her.

Christine silently approached and handed him a collar “Merry Christmas, honey.”