In The Name Of Fake Romance.

A Girl Decides To Find Love By Starting A Fake One.

16:59. Deborah tucked her phone; her last piece of belonging, into her bag, and hurried down the hall to the ladies’ room. There, she emptied her bladder, hurriedly. And took a final look at her appearance before stepping out the door. Her walk through the foyer was dignified and purposeful. But at the parking lot, it was swift.

She didn’t want to be late. By her calculations, it was going to take twenty minutes to get to Circles; the venue of her date with the man Elsie had called her about. She wanted to get there early, before he arrived, so she could get a look at him, and begin to form an opinion about him, as soon as he was in her line of vision.

He was the third man she was meeting, since she launched her fake-date scheme to finding love.


Her first date, in the series, was with a man she’d nurse a crush on, who worked in the same office building as her. She didn’t wait to finish her food. He was a waste of good looks.

The second was with a common acquaintance, who happened to always show up single, in the same way as her, at every gathering they attended. He was a good conversationalist, but couldn’t find enough benefits to make the idea appealing to him.

Then comes Richard, who she was meeting that afternoon. He was sourced by her friend’s intervention. He was a regular at Elsie’s restaurant, and she sought him out among other diners.

When she called to say she was sending a man her way, Deborah received the idea of him with an open mind. She answered his call at the third ring. His voice, at the other end, sounded deep. In fact, too deep.


Elise had told her that there is something incredible about him. She just didn’t know what it is. And Deborah wondered if his voice was it. Or his sternness that probably go along with that deep voice.

They talked for all of four minutes and he wanted to meet immediately to assess and move forward or let go, as the case may be.

Richard wasn’t the kind of man who thinks it is necessary to feign disinterest, or form busyness, and leave them hanging for days, before showing up. He thought playing games in the arena of love is infantile.

“Why do you have to push your fated outcome forward? When you can have it today, and move along with the rest of your life?” he usually says.

With Deborah, he wasn’t going to do differently. He had been in the market for love, for over a year, and was more determined, than when he first started, to continue searching for that real thing that his soul told him is possible. That is the reason he frequented Elsie’s. Word had it that Elsie’s was the square at that part of town, and he could see why on his first visit.


The space came exquisite. The food was great. And the crowd was clean. Impressively clean, for a restaurant in the middle of lower petite bourgeoisie.

He stopped visiting other spots in other parts of town like it, because Elsie’s was it. The crowd was the same, anyway. He was positive that if he were to meet someone with mutual connection, without his money and name playing a part in making it happen, it will easily take place at Elsie’s. So, when the owner approached his table with the absurdity of a fake relationship with her friend who just wanted to get people off her back for some time, he dismissed her at first, then he became curious about the friend. Elsie painted her as a good person. Good old good person. Boring. But her scheme painted her as someone he wanted to meet and listen to. And someone who may be a hopeless romantic.

He had watched enough romantic comedies to know that when a pair get together to fake a love relationship, their scheme always lead them into falling in love with each other and making it real. Perhaps, Elsie’s friend was up to something good. And this may be it, he thought. Why won’t it be? He told himself as he stepped out of his rented car to go and meet his date.


He was expecting a girl in a blue dress. Outside that, he had no other expectation of her. His mind was a blank sheet, and he was willing to be surprised, though not in the magnitude that she surprised him.

She was sitting there charming without meaning to. A pout and a contemplative look, visibly assessing him.

Richard found humor in her action and played with it. He straightened his back and squared his shoulder. He turned his face both ways, intermittently, to give her a side view of him. When their eyes met, he smiled with his eyes, and she recoiled.

“I was aiming to be the first one to arrive. But you beat me to it. How else do you plan to get the better of me going forward?”, he commented and sat.

Deborah merely smiled.  She wasn’t going to let him stupefy her with his obviously oversaturated charm. Her plot was to control her heart with her brain, until she absolutely could no longer do so, at which point she will either let herself fall or walk away, as the occasion demand.


His words to her portrayed him as one who could handle whatever she had in store. He appeared willing and able to give her most of what she would ask of him. But at what cost, she wondered. And without mincing words, he declared,

“Just the satisfaction of proving the fake to real relationship troupe.”

“In other words, you plan to make me fall in love with you?” she queried.

“No. I plan to go with the flow and see if ours end up like all the movie ones.”

Deborah reached for water and took a gulp to swallow the statement. She spied at him through the glass, and he was too relaxed, too comfortable in his own skin. Too at peace with himself. He had the kind of confidence that is endearing and frightening at the same time.

She placed the glass back on the table and shrugged.

“Well, good luck on your goal. My only wish is that you do not let it complicate our arrangement.”

“Of course.” He affirmed with a nod.

Deborah nodded back, multiple times, and reached for a handshake, fully aware that she had just secured herself a real relationship.

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