The next three days Richard was a complete mess. His mind was in total disarray, and this became especially apparent through his outer appearance. Millions of thoughts clouded his mind every second. Doubts fogged his common sense, and to top it all off, his heart interfered with it all. He had unintentionally hurt Aimee, but that didn't matter. The fact that he hurt her at all was something he thought could never be reconciled. Reality could be this cruel, he thought to himself. Why did I ever write those books?

Over the course of the past few days he had come to the realization that this would mean either leaving his writing, or leaving Aimee. Writing was something he had always loved, but he had come to love Aimee also. His writing had provided fame and wealth, but he knew Aimee would always be there for him. He stood at a crossroad, and there was only one person who could help him decide.

-----------

"What can I get for you, Rick?" asked Jack.

"A cup of coffee, and a word of advice." And so, with that, he began to recap the past week's chain of events.

"Boy, you've sure got yourself in a bit of a predicament." Jack plainly stated. "I don't know what to say, but that I'm sorry it turned out that way."

"What should I do?"

"What do you mean, what should you do? What are you thinking, boy? You've got to choose the girl, of course!" Jack exclaimed.

"But it isn't that simple--"

"Yes it is," Jack interrupted. "Now, don't worry about this anymore, alright? Go get some rest, or shave, or do something at least, you look awful."

"Thanks, Jack."

"Anytime."

-----------

Saturday, November 26th, 2008

"Hello?" she said out of breath. The telephone rang just as Aimee had gotten out of the shower.

"Hey, Ames."

"Oh, it's you Jack. Can you hold on for just one second?"

"Yea, sure."

Only a few moments passed before Aimee was decent enough to put her morning on hold. "Okay, back. How are you?" she asked.

"I'm doing fine. How would you like to go to dinner and a movie tonight?"

"A movie? Sounds like fun. Which one?"

"I thought we'd go see Mystery of the Decade."

"Mystery of th-Oh that's your movie, isn't it?! It's finally out? How exciting!" she exclaimed.

"Yea, and there's something I need to tell you at dinner too." he commented.

"Alright, when should I be ready?"

"I'll pick you up at 5:30. It's a late movie, but I thought that'd give us enough time for dinner." he replied.

"Okay, I'll see you then. Oh I can't wait! This will be fun!"

Oh man, was all he could think, but insisted on replying, "Yea, me neither. See you then."

-----------

When 5:00 rolled around, Richard reluctantly climbed into his car, and began the trip to Aimee's house. Usually he enjoyed Aimee's company, but tonight, he felt, would be a different story. He was so nervous that he arrived a few minutes early, and so decided to wait inside of his car. As he was sitting there he realized how dirty it was, and so thought it necessary to clean it to make a good impression. He had gotten carried away, and it took him a while before realizing that and taken up a whole 12 minutes. Great, now I'm late, he thought. As he scrambled from his car, his eyes caught the reviled book that had seemingly caused all of his problems lying on the floorboard of the passenger's seat. He quickly bent to toss it in the back seat before walking up the steps to Aimee's house. There he rang the doorbell, and was greeted with a huge smile, and a hug. The car ride went by swiftly, and hardly a moment later Richard was walking round the car to open Aimee's door, they were seated to a table in the corner of a fine Chinese restaurant, and Richard announced that he had something to tell.

"So this is the reason for dinner?" she asked.

"Yes." he replied innocently.

"Hey, that's fine with me. What's on your mind?"

If only you knew, was all he could think, but knew that this time there couldn't be any beating around the bush. "Your dreams." he simply stated.

"My dreams?" she asked with uncertainty.

"They've been on my mind for quite some time, actually. And," he paused, "...I have something to confess, because I haven't been completely honest with you. I know this might be weird at first, because this was definitely weird for me, but please try to understand." He then sighed before starting, "Remember that night that we went to dinner, and you told me all about every dream that you had had?" She nodded. "Well, I was able to predict everything that you were going to say, not because I'm psychic, but because I wrote those stories."

A few moments went by before Aimee began, "I don't understand..."

"Let me try and explain. Though you have never read any of my books, and we're just now going to see the first of my movies, you articulated the storyline perfectly, as if you could have written it yourself. And, I was absolutely floored. I didn't know what to say, and I still don't know how it happened. But most of all, I'm sorry for keeping this from you for so long. Will you forgive me?"

"So, every dream that I had was because of your books?" she questioned.

"Well...yes." he replied reluctantly.

"You're saying that every dream, every nightmare, over these past years, have been because of some fiction novel? Because of you??" she was becoming flustered, and even started to get up.

"Now, look here, Aimee," he pleaded as he gently pulled her arm in a motion to sit down. "...I brought you here tonight to tell you the truth, now you've got to be fair about this." He then reached across the table and took her left hand. "I realize that this situation calls for a decision to be made, and over the course of the past week I've come to an important conclusion and I was hoping you'd be willing to hear it."

"...Alright. I'm sorry, Rick." she apologized as he released her hand.

"I've hurt you, Ames, and that upsets me. My heart cringes at the thought of it ever happening again. And so, I have decided to quit my job, and never write again."

"Oh, Richard!" she gasped. "You would do that? For me?"

"Not only that," he said as he went down on his knee beside her chair, and placed a diamond ring on her finger. "...Will you marry me?"