Fantasy Romance

He pushed her gently against the wall and kissed her. Sunshine streamed in the window; an orange butterfly danced along its frame. Her mind was filled with his heady sandalwood scent and her skin tingled where he held her arms.

Enya sighed, first contented by the kiss, then frustrated at being dragged back to the world by a lorry beeping outside. She picked herself up from where she had half-slumped against the wall and sat back down at her desk. He stroked her hair.


On the other side of the country, a flame-coloured butterfly pulled itself out of an unfortunately misplaced cocoon. It flitted across a dark basement room, briefly taking a break on a leather jacket slung across the back of a chair, before fluttering upwards in a vague attempt to get back outside where it belonged.


She told him all about her shadowed past, so carefully hidden from so many, on the bus into town. He listened carefully, as of course he always did. He occasionally offered intelligent insights into her drug-addled father or her disappearing, reappearing mother. With these, he was always scintillatingly correct. It was as if he knew her life inside out; better than she did, She felt quite talked out by the time she arrived at her appointment, reluctantly kissing him goodbye.

The chill of the office made her shudder, after the warmth of the air outside and him. The faux-cosy, carefully placed, scatter cushions made her long for institutional coldness; at least that would have been honest.

"How much time would you say you spend on the fantasies, these days?" asked the therapist, the perfect cool stereotype of her profession.

Fantasies. What a deplorable word. It made her little world sound tawdry, cheap, perverted. She preferred daydreams - and wasn't that what this Expert had called it a few months ago, anyway? Maladaptive daydreaming.

"An hour?" Enya said, not to pin herself down to any particular answer.

"An hour a day? Week? Month?"

(He rolled his eyes when she told him, later.)

"Are you sleeping any more?" quizzed Ms Profession.

"I can't be bothered." she replied.


Samir sighed.

"What's up, mate?"

"Just not with it today. I feel kind of drained. The heat, maybe." He tried to open a window; it just rattled.

"Nah. That is called a hangover."

They both laughed, but it was true that he was a little paler than usual.

He didn't sleep that night. He felt weak, somehow too tired to pass out. It was too hot, that was for sure. Thank god the window of his bedroom did open. A strangely pretty moth took advantage of this, flying straight through his dark room and into the hall, on a foolhardy mission to reach the moon of its light.


She held his hand in bed. It was too warm for proper snuggling up; she almost missed the weather of April or May at night. He squeezed. She squeezed back. Much better than the tedium of her dreams.

She lay awake all night, firstly just rejoicing in his presence, then horrified by the intrusion of a moth. She hated moths. Christ alone knew how it had got in. There must be a space somewhere. Disgusting.

Naturally, he awoke at her first hiss of distress. He kissed her cheek when he returned to bed after chasing it out the window. He would never kill something, unlike her.


Samir was getting sicker. Everyone said he'd lost weight, but where was he burning the calories? He barely got out of bed. They insisted he see several doctors, but they all came to the same conclusion: Nothing Physically Wrong. Stress, maybe. He was sure he hadn't been stressed before all this started. And always so hot, like some flame was tearing away just beneath his skin.

When was the last time he'd been well? Maybe three months ago. They'd been out. He'd met a girl, liked her actually, but never got round to getting in touch. What would the point be now?

One scorched night he dreamt of her. They were back in the bar they'd met in, laughing and chatting. He woke in fits and starts. Sometimes she was in front of him, smiling; glowing. Sometimes he was alone in his dark room. Enya. In his fever, he loved her.


Enya was never alone. He was always with her. Sometimes they stayed up all night, talking. They argued only one or twice, little things. Every day he seemed more beautiful to her; radiant, alight. His scent filled her home. He massaged her shoulders at the end of the day.

They walked in the park; they lay in bed and ate ice cream. She stopped going to see the psychiatrist. Why pay someone to tell you things you didn't want to know? He told her it was the right decision.


The funeral was on a Tuesday. He was cremated, and his loved ones scattered his ashes in a river, though he'd been the furtherest thing from religious. It seemed the right thing to do. His parents had passed away themselves; there was no-one to consult.


"FRIENDS MOURN MYSTERIOUS DEATH OF YOUNG MAN" screeched the news notification on her phone. It was from a national tabloid she never read, but for some reason she pressed it.

The 32-year-old had hardly been ill in his life, until suddenly, inexplicably, unbelievably beginning to fade away around four months ago. The article was punctuated with disbelieving social media comments from friends and admirers. She felt sorry for them; what would happen to her if Samir left? She shuddered.

She recovered from this unpleasant vision and kept scrolling and skimming until confronted with...Samir. She was startled to find his face staring out at her; she looked over at him, then back at his likeness in the photo, then back. It was the same handsome face, the same thick hair, the same slighly too-pointy nose, just to stop him being too perfect. Yes, it was.



You're dead." she suggested tentatively.

He smiled. "Only to them."

July 29, 2022 22:37

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