The Actress

​She was just an actress. He knew that, but his brain thought differently. From the first time he’d seen her character on the popular television soap opera – which he believed was a reality television programme – he was smitten. Her nasal tones and screechy laugh made him feel all giddy inside. Her lines, though mindless dribble such as written by chimps, were like poetry to his ears.

He’d met her only once. She was at a book signing. He saw her in the queue and mustered up the courage to talk to her. It took him several minutes, as he debated with himself whether he was man enough – and indeed if she was woman enough – to go talk to her. When he eventually did approach her, she was polite enough, but to his horror, she was not in character. She refused to be called by her character’s name, but he didn’t know her by any other. He asked her trivial questions about plot lines from months prior, which she did not know the answers to. Why should she? The plot had been done and she was now busy learning new lines. She could not retain every detail of her character’s long and dull history. Besides, she was now working on other, more exciting projects. Despite her obvious fear of the man – who was now interrogating her as to why she/her character had cheated on her boyfriend – she did her best to satisfy his devoted fandom, before discreetly gesturing for someone to call security. He was dragged away before he could ask her why she was 50 miles away from her home/the set on a Saturday when she/her character always played tennis on a Saturday afternoon.

Today he was preparing to meet her again. This time he was visiting her at her home/the set. He had decided that he would take her flowers. Women like flowers he thought, but he was not sure what kind, so he bought one of every flower in the florist to be on the safe side. Despite the foul collection of smells and the ghastly bunch of colours, the sentiment was clear and he knew she’d be impressed. He was wearing his best outfit for the special day: a blue suit with a red cravat. The outfit had been handed down from generations within his family. It was originally a green suit, but time – and moths – had not been kind to it. Still, it served his father well and his father before him, so it was bound to bring him luck. In one of the inside pockets of the blazer was a poem that he had written for her. It was only four lines long, but he felt it summed up his undying love for her quite nicely:

I love you
I love you
I love you
I bloody love you

It had taken him three hours to write, after having considerable difficulty with the third line. On the back of the paper, he’d translated it into French. He knew she didn’t speak French, but everything sounds so much more romantic in French he thought.

Ah leuuurve yeuh
Ah leuuurve yeuh
Ah leuuurve yeuh
Ah bloodee leuuurve yeuh

It wasn’t perfect French, but it was definitely a French accent. At the end of both versions of the poem he’d drawn a little smiley face using a colon and a bracket symbol. He knew she was a big fan of text messages and something called ’emoticons’ from watching her constantly communicating on her phone on the TV.