Champion of the Universe

Champion of the Universe

She phones him the moment she returns home, and explains, with a few huffs and puffs, how she endured twenty minutes in a busy café for her date to show up and then walked away.

 

‘All men are only after one thing! And that’s to get into your brooks!’ he says, agitation evident in his voice. ‘How can the prick keep you waiting? If me, I’d have arrived thirty minutes early, making sure I was already there waiting for you!’

 

‘Oh, so the truth eventually comes out,’ she replies, ignoring the question as well as the sentence. ‘Why do you have to swear?’

 

Knowing how her mind works, he does not have to ask what she means. ‘Okay, most men,’ he says. ‘I did not swear.’

 

‘So, you are different; extraordinarily, you happen to be one of a kind? I’d bet all men say the same thing. You did swear!’

 

‘I don’t want to get into your brooks. I want to be your friend for life, and be where ever you need me when you need me. I’d lay down my life for you. You are the most incredible woman I’ve met in a long time. Perhaps ever. If I’d said fucking prick then, by all means, you may chastise me for swearing.’

 

‘Words are cheap! Prick is an unpleasant word – fuck is almost the worst.’ She felt prudish for admitting this out loud to him. For some reason, it’s bothering her today.

 

‘When my wife left me over ten years ago, my heart felt like it had died. Probably closer to a shatter. It had shattered into a million pieces and then took all these years to repair itself, day by day, and during these years I tried to date a woman – one woman – but the shattering agony stopped me. And then… You appeared, like an injection of sunshine into my soul; you re-awakened everything within me. This I would never want to ruin. I may be old, but I’m far from foolish. Prick may be unpleasant, I agree, but it’s not what you claimed it to be in the first place – a swear word. Besides, that prick wasn’t very pleasant, was he? What’s the worst?’

 

‘So, you’d not risk making a move on me in the name of rejection, and the possibility that I’d never speak to you again? I suppose he behaved like a prick, yes. I’ll not say it aloud.’

 

‘Something like that… You mean too much to me to not have you in my life. Thank you for finally agreeing with me. What are you, God’s sister? Whisper the indecent word to me.’

 

‘And what makes you think I’d reject you? It’s not like I often disagree, or disagree for the fun of it. So, your imaginary friend now has an imaginary sister. Your mind gets interesting the longer I know you.’

 

He laughs. ‘Sorry for being unable to contain myself. When have you ever agreed with me?’ He composes himself, turns serious: ‘Oh come now! I have many, many years’ worth of experience. I’m not what you’re looking for. You’ve described your past lovers. No match! And you deserve the world. I do not have the power to deliver the world to you. Not now – perhaps before. But I’m exhausted now, too tired to keep up with you.’ He stops for a second or two. ‘Move in with me.’

 

‘Move in with you?’ She repeats his words.

 

‘Yes! You’re not deaf, are you?’

 

‘Why would I move in with you?’

 

‘Because you ought to.’

 

‘Why ought I to?’

 

‘Why? Because I have a better ocean view, my place is triple the size of yours and you don’t have to pay a thing. No strings attached. You rent out your place, pay off your bond quicker, sell and with all the profit buy a bigger place and the cycle begins again, as often as you can handle. I’ll make you a very rich woman.’

 

‘There are always strings… What’s in it for you?’

 

‘Those delicious, chocolate muffins of yours baked especially for me once a month – provided it’s not too much trouble. And to get you to laugh – anything to hear your laugh.’

 

‘Ummm… Often I’ve wondered what it would feel like to be in such a position…’

 

‘Wonder no longer…’

 

It came too easily to her mind’s eye. Is she going mad, gone mad?

 

‘The main bedroom and en-suite with the Jacuzzi are all yours. I’ll move into the back bedroom, and use the bathroom across the hall.’

 

Her thoughts persist. Does she want to be a rich woman, a woman with more than one property behind her name? She has always dreamed of buying derelicts, renovating and then renting them out; however, not through a man… Well, she does not have the capital right now. Should she even be questioning it? Wouldn’t most people jump at this opportunity? But she is not like most.

 

She does not respond; she has nothing yet to respond with.

 

‘Have I scared you away, made you want to run screaming for the hills?’

 

She chuckles.

 

‘Now you think I’m a joke?’

 

‘No,’ she says. ‘You said something a friend always says; never mind, it’s unimportant. I know what it is! You want me to do your ironing – well, I’m not domesticated in the least.’

 

‘I have a maid that will do your ironing too. And before you say it, I’m a damn fine cook so I don’t need you for that either. Simply, I’m not a master in the baking department, and my only desire is for those muffins of yours. Simple! And who in their right mind would want to rattle around in a huge 3-bed penthouse all on their own?’

 

‘Sell and buy something smaller.’

 

‘I’d never get anywhere else with such a view. Besides, I love it here.’

 

‘Find a woman whose brooks you do want to get into… What will your daughter say?’

 

‘Hey, sweetness, teach me how to make those amazing muffins of yours! My dad can’t be a better baker than me! In over ten years I haven’t met a woman I wanted more than my wife so your plan flops into the ocean.’ She smiles; he can sense her smile. ‘Okay; I’ve got it,’ he says. ‘I’ll make it my mission to find you your ideal man. Let’s stop worrying about me and concentrate on you only.’

 

‘You will?’

 

‘Without a doubt!’

 

As he puts the receiver down, he is as certain as the Indian Ocean across the road has waves that he will soon become champion of the universe as far as baking muffins go.

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