“Smile Charlie! You are supposed to at least like me!”
“Listen Raelene, remember we are doing this for the money!
I’m not really into you, I already have a gorgeous girlfriend!”
“Then why didn’t you have her with you?”
“Only because she didn’t meet their criteria, otherwise I would have.”
“Here they come, hold my hand, and smile, we need this money!” Raelene whispered.
Raelene lived in a small town, and worked at a dreary job day in, day out. She wanted a change, perhaps move to a nice warm, coastal town, somewhere. She had been saving to move for a few years, but it never seemed to be enough, she had to do something drastic if she was ever going to get out of this small hick town.
A few weeks earlier she had a call from Charlie, a friend from High School who she had kept in touch with.
“Hi Raelene, I have a very lucrative proposition for you, if you are interested?”
Charlie explained about the reality dating show “Blissbomb” and how it could be possible to win $250,000.
That made Raelene sit up and listen.
“Charlie, we are just very remote School friends. How on earth could we pull this off?”
“Come on Raelene, it’s not as if we have to go to bed together. We just have to look a bit dewy-eyed at each other, maybe have a quick kiss now and then, and just keep up appearances.”
So, here they were. They had been accepted separately, by the show, and were in the process of “dating” each other. There were others on the show but they had made sure they got together before anyone else got too friendly.
The producers now wanted them to go on a date to a very expensive restaurant, where they were hoping Charlie would kneel down and propose, with all the cameras on them.
As they were walking up the steps of the entrance to the restaurant, dressed in their trendy outfits, suddenly Charlie stopped and turned to Raelene. “Remember this is all for the money.” He whispered in her ear.
Then he put his arms around her, pulled her towards him and gave her a long passionate kiss. A bit longer than he expected.
When they pulled apart they looked at one another with wide open eyes and red cheeks. They didn’t speak.
The producer was forcing them to go inside, explaining time was running out for the segment.
Raelene was shaking inside. “What the hell just happened?” she thought to herself. “He isn’t supposed to really like me, but that kiss was real!”
She had felt the connection, and she was sure Charlie had too. Her cheeks were glowing and her heart was fluttering.
They entered the restaurant and were ushered to a small table which looked very romantic. Small candles glowed in the low light of the room, and beautiful roses with exotic scent were in the middle of the table.
The scent was very heady and sexy as Charlie pulled out the seat for Raelene, at the table. As she went to sit down, she accidentally brushed his arm and an electric shock rocketed through her, almost putting her off balance.
Just for a few seconds they locked eyes.
Charlie sat opposite her. He tried not to look at her, but it was to no avail.
He couldn’t take his eyes off her. This feeling in the pit of his stomach told him she was the one.
“This can’t be happening.” He thought. “I have a gorgeous girlfriend!”
He knew in his heart he would be telling his “girlfriend” it was over.
He didn’t understand how this had happened. Raelene had always been just a friend, not someone he was attracted to.
Yet here he was, looking at Raelene and wanting so much to keep on kissing her.
“No, no, no!” Raelene thought. “I am not letting this happen!”
“We are in this just for the money! I don’t want to be tied down, I want to move somewhere, change my job, take a cruise and enjoy my freedom!”
She pulled her eyes away from his and looked at the menu. She ordered a small cocktail for entrée, a Greek salad with red salmon for main, and a lemon meringue tart for sweets.
Charlie was still sitting staring at her. The producer cued him to get on with it, pointing to his watch. He reluctantly picked up his menu and ordered.
The restaurant night went very well. The food was delicious, the atmosphere electric and they had small talk in between meals, just like any other couple. The producer was very happy, especially with the kiss at the entrance. He was hoping for a proposal, but time had ran out, so that would have to wait for the next show.
They were put up at a very expensive Motel and Raelene made sure she kept her door locked, and went to sleep early.
“It’s been a long day Charlie I need my beauty sleep or I’ll have bags under my eyes! That won’t look good on camera!”
Charlie tried to make excuses why they should go down to the bar and have a talk. He needed to understand what was going on.
“Good night Charlie!”
The second date was a night out at the local Easter Fair.
They arrived at the gates around 7pm, hand in hand.
The large crew and the photographer followed them everywhere, which didn’t worry the couple but made other people act strangely, like poking their head in front of the camera.
The fair was very popular and there were thousands there, so it was very noisy and colourful.
“Let’s buy some fairy floss!” Raelene suggested. “I need to talk to you privately Raelene.” Charlie said.
“Not now Charlie, let’s get on with it, I want to win that money!”
They bought some fairy floss, then headed to the shooting range.
Raelene tried to shoot the ducks and missed them all, then fell into fits of laughter. Charlie got three, so he picked out a large teddy holding a red heart and gave it to Raelene. “This is my heart.” He whispered in her ear.
“Don’t be silly Charlie, remember you have a gorgeous girlfriend!”
They went on several small rides, but Raelene avoided the Love Tunnel.
Lastly they went on the carousel wheel.
The carousel slowly turned stopping every few minutes to let someone off, then another get on. As the carousel approached the top, Charlie suddenly leant over and tried to kiss Raelene.
“Cut that out! Are you trying to get us killed?”
“Raelene I love you.! I spoke to my girlfriend last night and told her it was over.”
“Charlie I don’t want this, I just want to get this over with and hopefully win the money. Whatever I do I am only doing for looks, it doesn’t mean anything. I want to move away, have a cruise, have my freedom to enjoy myself and not be tied down!”
Charlie looked heartbroken. “But couldn’t we do those things together?
I want a change as well, I would love to go on a cruise and I don’t want to be tied down to one place either. But I would love to do those things with you!”
Raelene didn’t know what to say. “Okay Charlie, later on tonight we will talk this out. But for now, let’s just enjoy the ride!”
That night they went down to sit in the bar. “We have a lot to talk through.” Raelene said
“The Producer has promised we are on track to win the money, but there is a catch. You have to kneel down and propose to me, and I have to accept!” Charlie grinned. “I’m willing, if you are!”
“Charlie, I don’t love you!” “Kiss me, and then tell me that again.” Charlie said.
Raelene knew she could do this, she wouldn’t fall for him, she would prove it was all for the money.
The next day they were taken to a vineyard for lunch. They held hands as they walked to the table under the alcove, with the blue mountains in the distance and the sun shining down.
They ordered a bottle of red with their lunch of steak and salad.
When they had finished eating, Charlie knelt down beside Raelene’s chair.
“I will always love you, please marry me?” Charlie whispered with tears in his eyes.
“I love you to, yes I will marry you!” Raelene said.
Years later she would remember the kiss which had sealed her fate, that night in the bar.
The producers were ecstatic, they loved it all, sure that they were the ones who had brought this couple together.
Charlie and Raelene won the $250,000, moved to the Gold Coast and went on an exotic Island Cruise together.
They often have a laugh about being on Blissbomb “just for the money”, and thinking how lucky they were.
If they hadn’t gone on the show they would never have realised they were meant to be soul mates, not just friends.