Story from i, romantic

… one of 18 ebooks in The ‘I’ Series – flash fiction (horror, sci fi, crime, romance & twist in the tale), poetry and short essays from politics to the paranormal.

‘My favourite restaurant is …’
He stopped. He looked at the cameras, the studio audience, the inane idiot asking the questions. Revelations, when they come, are fundamental things, and he suddenly realized this was not important. He threw the mike to the floor and stormed out.

His name was Flinders Freeman – well, it wasn’t really, but his real name had no ring to it. And as he had intended to become a billionaire by marketing a brand, he may as well start with his name. And he was good at what he did, soon rising from eating in cheap fast food joints, to the top restaurants in town, and eventually he dined with royalty and presidents.
Flinders never doubted what he was about. He had a confidence greater than most people could dream of achieving. Or maybe it was simply a delusion of grandeur. No doubt that was why, once he’d made the money, he agreed to that stupid show – a game show about wannabe entrepreneurs, for God’s sake! And it wasn’t even original, with similar idiots doing it before him!

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He’d met Jessica on that first show. He’d never had any trouble with women, but Jessica? She had been different. Younger than him, yes, but what did that matter nowadays?
She was the most beautiful thing he had ever seen, and he was soon under her spell. ‘I want you,’ he had said, on numerous occasions, but always that same reply: ‘You haven’t done enough in life to have me yet.’
Of course, it crossed his mind that she was a gold digger who wanted it all, but it made no difference – she was a witch and he was under her spell. Thoughts of her consumed him. And perhaps that was why he took his eye off the ball – beginning the day he walked out on that show.
It only takes one mistake in the shark infested waters of big business. And, distracted, he had made that mistake. It took months to unravel, but the kiss of death was upon him, and people knew it. And when he finally went bust, it was spectacular.
It was a couple of weeks later, trying to eat in the cheap fast food joint, when he saw Jessica stood by him.
He seemed a different man, his shoulders hunched, his confident demeanour gone, a vulnerability about him no one had ever seen before.
He smiled, weakly. ‘Well, you won’t want me now,’ he said, ‘I’ve lost it all.’
Jessica smiled, too. She saw him as a human being for the first time, and knew he had done enough.
‘Or maybe you’ve just found it,’ she said, and she kissed him.

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