Faith, Art, writing and learning are Tim’s passions. Tim loves working in education. He has a BS in Psychology from Albright College.
“You know Harold for two years now you’ve been telling us about this sweet girlfriend of yours, but you've never brought her here so we could meet her. Are you ashamed of us or what?”
“Yeah, you claim she’s a real looker.”
“You sure you didn’t just make her up.”
”Yeah, dream her up in your imagination.”?
“Yeah, you made her up just so we’d stop bugging you.”
“Come on guys. I’m not making her up…”
“What does she look like again?”
“Well, she has black hair, good figure, nice smile… you know someone you’d like to spend more time with.”
“Except we’ve never met her.”
“I can’t help it if she works a lot. Her parents own a Chinese restaurant down in Chinatown and she helps out a lot.”
“Which restaurant, I’d like to go eat there sometime.”
“Umm…I don’t remember the name. I’ll have to ask her sometime.”
Harold’s friends laughed.
“It’s not convenient…” Harold stopped. He stared towards the door to the coffee shop.
There at the entrance to the store stood a woman with long black hair, who by all accounts was a looker. The woman gazed around the coffee shop until her eyes settled on Harold sitting at a table with three other men. She smiled and mouthed the words, “There you are.”
She made her way to the table. She gazed at the three other men sitting there.
“Harold, these must be the friends you’re always telling me about. Let me guess, she pointed at each one you're Danny, you’re Joe and you must be Carter.”
All three looked at her. “You do exist.” They said at the same time.”
She laughed. “Yes, I do exist.” She looked at Harold. “Have you not mentioned me to them.”
“No, no.” said Danny. “We just thought…”
She smiled. “Thought what?”
“We just thought you were too good to be true.” Said Carter. “I mean we’ve known Harold for years and he’s never had a girlfriend like…”
Harold stood there. His mind was trying to process what was going on. Who was this woman anyway? She looked like the woman of his dreams. Well at least the imaginary one.
“Earth to Harold. Earth to Harold.”
Harold looked up into the beautiful almond eyes staring back at him. “Are you ok?”
She leaned over and kissed him on the cheek. “Now are you ready to go? Remember we have a big day ahead of us.”
She pulled him to his feet. They left the shop. Harold spent his day being drug from shop to shop wondering who this woman was. Finally they ended up stopping at a small Italian restaurant,
They sat down, ordered some food. Harold looked at her. She smiled back. Harold had, had enough. He looked at her. “Who are you?”
Her smile faded.
“Who am I? I’m Lucy. You know that. We’ve been dating for about 2 years now.”
“No…wait. We’ve been dating for two years now.”
“Yeah, isn’t that about how long you’ve been telling your friends about me.”
“Well then stop acting like you don’t know who I am. Now let’s enjoy our meal and see where the evening goes.”
The food came and Harold sat there eating and thinking at the same time. During the meal they had moments of awkward chit chat. The one thing Harold knew was under normal circumstances he could fall for this woman. She was everything he obviously wanted. He’d been talking about her for years. The meal ended and he walked her to the bus stop. The bus arrived a few minutes later. She turned towards him.
“I had a good time today. She leaned in and kissed him firmly on the lips. “See you tomorrow.”
Harold watched her board the bus. The bus door closed. He looked up as the bus pulled away. He saw her throw him a kiss. He stood there a moment then turned and walked home.
The next day as Harold made his way to work his mind swirled with thoughts of the day before and the girl named Lucy. He’d never met her before but still she looked so familiar. Maybe it was because he’d dreamed her up in his mind but how was a figment of his imagination now here? He walked into his coffee shop, Janice, his sister and part owner of the store looked up and waved at him from behind the counter.
“Good morning bro. You confidently missed the rush again. Oh yeah and your girlfriend Lucy was here earlier. She said she’d be back later.”
“Thanks Janice but she’s not my…oh never mind. If you need me I’ll be in back doing the weekly order ”
“Ok, I’ll be out here holding down the fort like always.” Janice laughed.
”Yeah, yeah…it’s what you get for going into to business with your brother. Now, if you are done picking on your brother I will be in the back.”
Harold was deep in thought counting coffee flavors when he heard the door to the back room open. He assumed it was Janice coming to give him some more grief. When he turned to find Lucy standing there.
She smiled at him. “Janice said you were back here.”
“Who are you?” He blurted out without thinking.
Lucy’s smile wavered for a second but only for a second. Her smile returned. “Harold, I don’t know what’s gotten into you these last couple of days but I’m Lucy Kee, the woman you’ve been seeing the last couple of years. I mean if you want to break it off. There are better ways…”
“No, no, no.” He stammered.”You’re beautiful and truly the best thing to ever come my way but how come I don’t…I mean can we get to know each other?”
Lucy looked at him. Harold thought he saw a little hurt in her eyes but also love. He wondered how someone he didn’t know love him so much.
She smiled again. “Now that we got that all worked out can we go to lunch?”
Harold started to protest but changed his mind. He was a little hungry after all. Still, he had just come in to work about an hour ago. On the other hand he also didn‘t want to hurt Lucy’s feelings. He made up his mind. He would go to lunch with Lucy. His sister would just have to understand affairs of the stomach and heart must come first.
“Sure, let me wrap this up so we can be on our way.”
A few moments later Harold dropped the clipboard at the front counter.
“Here’s the clipboard. Sam is here. When he comes out can you call in the order?”
“Sure boss.” Janice laughed. “Enjoy your lunch.”
”What, not going to give me a hard time about leaving?”
”Nah, glad to be rid of you for a little while so I can get some work done.” “She laughed.
Harold gave her a scolding look then left with Lucy,
Over the course off the next few weeks Harold and Lucy spent a lot of time together. Against his better judgement Harold found his love for her growing stronger each day he was with her.
Still there was the nagging question of where she’d come from. Deep down he didn’t believe she’d just appeared out of nowhere. One of his friends had to have put her up to pranking him but none of them would admit to the prank. He’d also tried to follow her home a couple times but somehow he’d managed to lose her each time. It was like she’d just vanished into thin air. One day when they were walking down by the waterfront Harold decided to seek out the truth from her.
“So, we’ve been together for a what a couple weeks…I mean a couple of years now but I feel like I know very little about you.”
She looked into his eyes and laughed. “It’s funny you would say that. You of all people should know the most about me. You’ve talked me up to all your friends for what, two years now?”
“What are you talking about?”
“You created me in your mind. I’m imaginary…remember?”
“But, I’m sorry to say if you don’t truly want to accept me as real in your heart I will have to go.”
“But, I can’t…”
“By Harold, I’ve had a good time these past weeks but sadly my time has come. You truly can only stay imaginary for so long,” She turned and walked up the sidewalk and into a store.
“Wait…let me explain.” He ran after her. He ducked into the store. There were only two customers in the store. He looked at the clerk.
“Did you see a woman come in here. A woman with long black hair…”
The clerk shook her head. “No, haven’t seen her.”
Harold turned and dejectedly walked out of the store. He sauntered back to his coffee shop. As he walked in the door Janice smiled. “I see your back from your date.”
Her brow wrinkled. “I said. I see you’re back from your date. Where’s Lucy?”
Harold looked at her. “I think I screwed up. She told me I must see her as being real. I don’t know if I know how. I spent two years creating her in my mind. It’s hard to see her as real.”
“What are you babbling about?”
“Well, she was my imaginary girlfriend. I created her because I got tired of everybody harassing me to get a girlfriend. Even you, my own sister.”
“I was only joking with you.”
“So, back to this imaginary girlfriend thing. Lucy seemed real to me. I mean I hugged her.”
“I guess…I mean I’m not sure of what is real anymore.” He looked his sister in the eyes. “The only thing I’m really sure of was…is I feel in love with her.” He waved his hands in frustration. “How do you fall in love with someone who is imaginary?”
“There you go again with the imaginary thing again. She was real to you, to me to all of us.”
“It’s too late to explain to her how real she is to me in my heart now, she’s gone for good.”
“How do you know she is gone for good?”
“She told me if I didn’t believe in her then…”
“Well as I see it you have two things to do you can believe in her and then find her.”
“Let’s say you’re right where do I start looking for her?”
“Well start by going to Chinatown and looking for her. Then let her know you believe.”
“It won’t be necessary Harold.”
They both looked up to find Lucy standing there.
“All I needed was for you to say you believed in me.”
Harold took her in his arms. “I do believe in you. I mean these last few weeks have been the best of my life. I no longer wish for an imaginary girlfriend. I wish for you.”
“Would you stop talking and kiss her already.”
They came together and kissed. Something washed over Lucy. Like a wave of warmth. She broke free from the kiss. “Did you feel that?”
Harold looked at her. “Yes. what did it mean?”
She gazed into his eyes. “It means I’m not goin anywhere. You’re stuck with me now. Oh yeah, and I’m going to need a new place to live.”
© 2022 Timothy Whitt