A Story by Georgina V Solly

A man falls in love with his idea of the perfect woman.




As Conrad was going to get into his car, Sonia had grabbed him around the waist and began kissing him. They were standing on the driveway just below the steps that led up to the front door of her house. The trees and lawns were of a brilliant shiny green after a cooling shower. The grounds were extensive with a small wood just beyond the lawns. The house itself was impressive, painted white with large windows and a long balcony that ran along outside all the bedrooms on the top floor. Conrad and Sonia had been travelling down a rocky road for many years. Theirs had been a push and pull relationship ever since they had met when young. They had never got married, and had chosen others to be their spouses. While they were standing outside the house, the trees and lawns gave off the smell of freshness.


The funeral cars came through the cemetery gates from the street in a purring procession of shiny black elegance. For one brief moment, Conrad’s eyes met those of a young and beautiful woman, he glimpsed golden-brown hair and golden eyes in one of the first cars to drive past him. The vehicles were going at walking speed which made it easy for him to follow the face and the car for longer than if it had been in the street.

Conrad was at the cemetery for his grandmother’s funeral. He had laid a cushion of white roses, which she had always loved, on her grave and then stood up. His family was not a large one and there were only his mother, brother, and a few friends present.

The glamorous funeral party had left, and Conrad’s family got into their runabouts, and went to a restaurant to continue with the funeral of their beloved and late relative, that had started at the church a couple of hours before.


Conrad was puzzled about the identity of the person who had been buried at the same time as his grandmother, “Do any of you know who the deceased was who was buried at the same time as grandmother?”

“It was Henry Johnson, you must have heard of him! He was the owner of the local football club for many years. Even though he had retired he was still active, although nobody outside the club knew that. He was the silent voice that had the authority,” Conrad’s friend, Arnold, commented.

“I saw the face of a young woman inside one of the cars while we were waiting for them to leave. Who was it?” Conrad asked, trying not to sound too interested.

“If it’s who I think it might be, it’s probably his current girlfriend,” Conrad’s brother, Gabriel, said.

“What’s her name?” Conrad asked.

Everyone stared at Conrad.

“I’ve never known you show much interest in anyone before,” Conrad’s mother said.

“Her name’s Janine, and she was the apple of the old man’s eye,” Arnold added.

“Thanks for all the info,” Conrad said, tucking into his food.

Conrad was unmarried at that time, but he had a girlfriend called Cassandra. In spite of being involved with her, Conrad found it impossible to get the image of Janine’s face out of his mind.


Two evenings later he saw the funeral of Henry Johnson on the television news, and Janine’s name was mentioned as the football club’s owner’s young girlfriend.

For a long time, Conrad was fascinated by Janine. As the director of a frozen food company, he was invited to many events, and on one occasion he was invited to a cocktail party at the tennis club and he saw Janine’s lovely face and hair. She was surrounded by a group of very young, good-looking men. Arnold saw him staring at Janine and said, “Janine’s on the look out for a new man. She’s not one to live alone.”

That evening Conrad was still unable to get close enough to her to speak to, but he managed to smile at her when she was looking in his direction, but she barely raised a smile at him.

It was a fact that Conrad was obsessed with Janine. There was something about her that he found fascinating and strange. Perhaps it was because he had never spoken to her or got near enough to her. He knew that he had a problem staying away from Janine. He went to any benefit that he suspected Janine would be going to. It got to such a point that he took the decision to tell Sonia, his best friend.

“Sonia, I think I’m going crazy. I can’t get Janine out of my head. I’ve never even spoken to her, although we’ve coincided at several do’s, and I’m sure she’s recognized me, but she’s never made a move.”

“Have you ever made a move in her direction? You have to do something to get her attention and gain her trust if you want to get to know her,” Sonia told him.

Conrad went home with this idea in his head; that he would have to think up a way of getting closer to Janine.

For several weeks Conrad sat and thought, even though he was technically with Cassandra. He was so obsessed, that Janine’s face would often appear in his head, and once, while he was having a bath he fell asleep, and only when the bath water was getting really cold did he pull himself together and get out and dry himself quickly before either drowning or catching a bad cold. He looked at his reflection in the mirror and told himself that he was a stupid fool carrying a torch for someone who didn’t actually know who he was, and more than likely wasn’t even interested in knowing anything about him. Conrad read up all he could about obsession, and thought that he was possessed by some sort of a demon that was beautiful; namely Janine. He did everything he could to put her out of his mind. That Janine was a suspicious character was evident. He understood that his salvation lay in paying Cassandra more attention.

During that time of putting Janine out of his mind, he spent more time with Cassandra, who was keen to get married. He kept stalling and then the bomb dropped, and one day he read in a gossip column that Janine had got married. Conrad didn’t know the name of the lucky man but knew his face, he had been one of the entourage surrounding Janine at the tennis club cocktail party. So, unwittingly Janine did Conrad a favour by removing herself from her usual haunt and going a long way off, to live out her new life with her new young husband.

As the object of his desire had gone far away, Conrad was both sad and relieved, then he would be able to get on with his life. Conrad and Cassandra got married, and had two children in a short time.


From time to time, Janine’s name would crop up in newspapers or on the television news. Janine was usually identified as Henry Johnson’s girlfriend, and was still vaguely associated with the football club benefits and parties.

At one of these benefits Conrad was attending, he saw from the photos that Janine was as lovely as ever. The photos of her that were published in magazines still had a tremendous hold over him.


On the sixth anniversary of his grandmother’s funeral, Conrad, his mother and his brother Gabriel were in the cemetery. They looked up as the sound of a large, glamorous, black car crunched along the gravel path to the grave of Henry Johnson. There were no other cars. Conrad saw Janine get out alone, and stand in front of the grave and place an enormous bouquet of red roses on the gravestone. She stood still for some minutes and then, as she was getting into the car she turned her head and saw Conrad staring at her. For a moment she was puzzled and then got into the car.


Conrad discovered that Janine and her husband and children were back and living in a large house just outside the town. The husband was no longer the pretty boy she had married, the good life with a wealthy wife had gone to his head, his hair was thinning and his stomach had a paunch. Rumour also had it he was well-known for spending the fortune that Henry Johnson had left Janine in his will. This time, Janine and family not only left the area but the country too, when it was blatantly obvious that her husband would take them to a ruinous state.


Nothing more was heard of Janine for a while, and for no good reason Conrad became obsessed with her looks again. Conrad was no longer young, and he was the father of two adolescents when Janine returned with her family, minus her husband, who was languishing in a foreign prison. Janine’s husband had been accused of fraud and her lawyers were unable to get him off the charge. So there he was and there he would stay for quite a long time till he had served his sentence.


Ten years later, Conrad bumped into Janine as she was leaving a boutique. She hadn’t seen him, but in spite of the years that had passed, he knew who she was. He recognised her at once and went up to her and said, “Hello. How are you?”

Janine gave him her usual stare of: Do I know you? Have we met before? I don’t remember.


Conrad’s and Janine’s paths crossed several times more. It was inevitable due to how small a town they lived in and the society they moved in. After the incident outside the boutique, Conrad began to really get the message that she wasn’t interested in him. It was then he began to ask himself what he had seen in her. After all, she was now only a middle-aged woman and no longer the young and beautiful one she had once been.


It was after Christmas when everything was reduced in price, that Conrad went to the local large music store. He loved taking his time when choosing DVDs and CDs with the idea of how best to spend his free time when Cassandra was doing the garden or baking. He felt someone was looking at him. He turned round and saw Janine coming towards him. She came closer to him and stared into his eyes, but recoiled when she saw the look of indifference on his face.


Conrad went back to perusing what was on sale, and Janine turned and walked out of the store and his life through the swing doors.  

© 2014 Georgina V Solly

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Added on April 27, 2014
Last Updated on April 27, 2014
Tags: fantasy, beauty, money, glamour, football, funerals


Georgina V Solly
Georgina V Solly

Valencia, Spain

First of all, I write to entertain myself and hope people who read my stories are also entertained. I do appreciate your loyalty very much. more..