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Rated: 13+ · Short Story · Cultural · #2160142
Alex considered how the word 'perfect' had changed. A Holiday Short Story Contest Entry
An entry for the "Holiday Short Story Contest

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Perfect Goodbye

Alex sat eating a bowl of chocolate ice cream oblivious to the world outside his apartment. He stared at the spoon. If only the world was as simple and uncomplicated as this. He chuckled. “I need a chocolate ice cream world.”

Helena looked at him and smiled in understanding.

He thought back to his childhood. Summer was a time when you played with your friends. He remembered sitting on the stoop of his apartment building and the joy of an ice cream cone. A chocolate ice cream cone. No, chocolate with fudge ribbon! Those were perfect days. It’s funny how that word – perfect – has changed over time.

Today had been as close to an ideal summer day as Alex could remember since those days of innocence. The sun was warm, the sky was crystal blue, and the wind was just right for sailing. He closed his eyes and sighed, remembering. On the open sea, sitting with Helena, and not having a care in the world… again.

Alex shook his head to clear the memory. He focused and stared out as the sun set over the distant hills. Perfect. He shook his head again and sighed. Everything is perfect. Too damn perfect! He reached over and pushed a button which changed the view from his apartment window to the real world.

A dingy haze covered the city in dark and light stripes, muting the glow of the buildings that crowded around suffocatingly. This is where the search for perfection had led. We’ve polluted our planet, stripped it of resources, and walled it off to feed our vanity.

"What's troubling you, Alex?" asked Helena. The sound of her voice was soothing and warm, enveloping him in a cocoon of reassurance. He let the waves of peace wash over him for a minute.

Taking a deep breath, he said, "It's over, Helena. I just can't take it anymore. I can fool my senses into thinking everything is fine but in my mind, the truth eats at me. Everything is NOT fine! I need to start over, to accept reality, and most of all, learn to live with the truth."

"I don't understand," she said, a confused expression clouding her face.

"It's simple enough. I'm through; no more tricked out apartment, no more working in an office where I accomplish nothing." He took another deep breath. "No more you."

Helena's eyes widened in shock. "But Alex, we're perfect together. Is there something I've done to displease you? Tell me."

"No, you are perfect and that's the problem."

"Is it my hair? I can change it. Is it the way I dress? Whatever it is, I would do anything to please you."

Alex felt the tears in his eyes. "I know," he whispered taking her in his arms. He gently reached behind her neck and pushed the off button.

Personal Robotics would pick her up tomorrow. He sat back suddenly as the weight of his decision and his new reality sank in.

I wonder - how do you meet real people anymore? With a sigh, he went back to his ice cream.

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An entry for the "Holiday Short Story Contest
Prompt: write a story including these two elements: Chocolate Ice Cream, Summer
Word Limit: 750
Word Count: 500

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