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I never had any reason to believe real life wasn’t like the movies. I always thought that people fell in love whilst dancing, and so, I trained to become the best dancer in the world. Dancing is easy if you’re willing to put in eight hours a day for ten years.

My evenings were filled with dark and smokey adventures in ballrooms and nightclubs. I was locked in the search for the woman of my dreams. Often a lady would approach me and ask me to dance, to which I assumed I was always supposed to reply “I don’t dance.” Just like in the movies they were supposed to beg me to come and dance, and eventually I would reluctantly agree. Then we’d dance and fall in love. Life isn’t like the movies. In real life, when you say “I don’t dance.” the lady of your dreams will simply say “Okay.” and walk away.

It wasn’t until I’d been failing to dance with women for three years that I finally decided I’d start accepting their invitations. I could see no other way of getting to display my dancing talents without going into showbusiness.

Soon enough, I met the woman of my dreams on the dance floor. Her hair was long and wild, like a nightmare waterfall. We kissed, and, as the movies had promised me, I felt fireworks inside my chest. Sadly, fireworks are designed simply for looking at in the sky. To have them explode in your chest is not a pleasurable experience at all.

After the kiss, many years passed, years filled with kisses from the same woman. As she became older her hair became shorter and less wild, like a tiny well maintained white picket fence. Although life was good and I was happy, I can’t say it was exciting. There were never any car chases, sex montages or incredible twists. Life wasn’t like any film I'd ever seen. It was boring, like a book without pictures.

On my 31st birthday, the woman with whom I had danced , kissed and fallen in love with gave me a present, as is the custom in and outside of cinema. It was a signed first edition copy of The Hungry Caterpillar, my favourite childhood book. According to every film I'd seen a similar situation, I was supposed to say “I don’t deserve you.” and so, I said it. Life may have not been a film, but I didn't want to risk straying from the script.

For a moment the woman of my dreams became lost in deep and silent thought. She got up from the breakfast table and wrapped her dressing gown tightly around her body. “You’re right.” she said. She left the kitchen and climbed the stairs. That was the last time I ever saw her. Life just isn’t like the movies.

John, Glasgow.

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