If I lived in a movie…

“Have you ever had a dream, Neo, that you were so sure was real? What if you were unable to wake from that dream? How would you know the difference between the dream world and the real world?”
The Matrix

I am plagued by doubt…doubt about the choices that I have made, about the actions I have taken or not taken…it’s exhausting! I second guess everything and justify all decisions, wondering what could have been if it had been different. When I moan to my sister about how difficult it is to know how what to do, my main complaint is that this would never happen in a movie! In a movie, life would be simple. My purpose and destiny would all be grounded in the genre and I would never have to worry again. Coincidences are real and should be acted upon, the chances of bumping into crushes accidentally is significantly higher so I need not be sad that I won’t ever see him again, and I know that it will all be OK in the end.  I sometimes worry that novels and movies have ruined me for real life…

But if I lived in a romantic comedy, would I be the star or the friend? That generally depends on my self-esteem levels…it has to be pretty low that I do not imagine myself as the heroine of my own story.. So would I be guaranteed a happy ending just by the nature of my role or would I stay single to act as a foil for the kooky actions of my pal? If I was the star, I could pass each day in comfort, knowing that the current heartbreak is only there to make the reconciliation sweeter. Either that or it wouldn’t matter that the arrogant man that I love treats me appallingly as my beautiful friend who I have never really noticed before loves me and he will save me from the ridiculous mess I have created. Or maybe the Meet-Cute with the striking stranger actually is the start of something wonderful…

If I fought in an action film, my intelligence and looks would have to be inversely proportional to each other.  Do I choose to be the scientist with my beauty most likely hidden behind glasses and a severe hair cut? Or should I pick the femme fatale role? Evil and beautiful in equal measures, tempting the hero to his doom? Or perhaps the love interest?  Although I remain jealous of their ability to run at speed in unlikely heels, I fear that I could not keep up that level of inane chatter for long enough…no, maybe films are not for me…

If my life were an erotic novel, strictly NSFW, I would meet him while crammed together on a busy tube. Our eyes meet across the crowd and instantly my body is on fire. My breath catches as the bustling throng push me against his firm body, I fall into him arms as the train jolts to a halt and he pulls me closer. The crowd shifts and I am trapped between the wall and his embrace. I cannot escape but this realisation sends streaks of electricity through me and I start to tremble with want. I look up into his eyes and see my desire mirrored back at me. I fail to suppress a gasp of pleasure and surprise as he slips his hand under my shirt. As the train rocks us together, we are hidden beneath the folds of his coat and the surrounding crowd. I can feel his cock straining against his trousers as his fingers play with my waistband. He slowly moves his hands deeper, his eyes widening as he discovers how wet I have become for him. “Tell me to stop,” he breathes…

If I worked in a medical drama, I would definitely have had sex in a cupboard by now! Striding around looking ridiculously glamorous, I have got used to saving lives with untested methods and relying on my gut rather than evidence based practice, earning the dubious respect of my peers. When Ebola arrives in Surrey and the action plan to save the Home Counties is set in motion, I would join forces with the ridiculously-hot-but-entirely-inappropriate-for-the-context surgeon (super manly but useless unless there’s cutting involved) and, despite the obvious tension between us, begin treating the patients. A single mother and her child cower in the isolation ward as we reassure them that they’ll be OK. Hardly have the words left my mouth when she starts vomiting blood as the disease takes hold. Rushing in with no thought to my own safety, I stabilise her despite oddly ineffective resuscitation efforts and save the day! As we leave the scene, Surgeon and I reflect on the rush of battling to save the lives of others while putting ourselves in grave danger…before we know it, we are ripping off the layers of protective clothing (taking care to wash our hands with alcohol gel between each layer and NEVER touching the outside of the gowns) until we are down to our disposable underwear…infection control policies fly out of our minds as we ravage each other before the compulsory shower to prevent the spread of the disease…

If I walked through a graphic novel, it would always be raining. Tall skyscrapers create silhouettes against the looming, stormy sky. As I step out into the rain, the harsh glare from the street lights would create sharp angles of my face, softened only by the loose curls of my hair. I would pull my coat tighter around my waist to emphasise the hidden curves of my body. In the alley, The Man waits. His eyes shine as he watches me walk, the tapping of my heels echoing down the empty street. As he moves towards me, the darkness never leaves him and we are engulfed in shadow. A police car passes, it’s blue light flashing into the dark, capturing frozen images of bodies pressed together, water cascading in rivulets off his strong face as he looks down at me, lips barely touching as we breathe each other in…

If I was born into a period drama, I’d probably be married by now. My father has good standing in our village and my family connections would guarantee an appropriate match. At the Winter Ball, I would be surrounded by eligible and suitable men, vying with my contemporaries for their attention. Luckily, my charm, accomplishments and financial security catch the eye of the handsome heir to the neighbouring estate. He would ask me to dance and my heart would beat faster at his hand on my waist. We would exchange tender love notes and arrange illicit meetings where we would hold hands and plan our future. There would be no doubt of his intentions and, within the year, we would be married…

But I live in the real world where heartbreak is real and of no purpose, where saying goodbye usually means goodbye and there are few second chances, where people die pointlessly and there is no Grand Plan to guarantee happiness. Luckily, real life doesn’t end with happily ever after or when the credits roll. It is unpredictable and wonderful and awful. There are no set rules or stereotypes to follow and nothing is impossible. It’s a risk, who knows what could happen…but just think of the reward!

…Welcome to the real world.

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