Emily  Harper

“Can I ask you a question?” he asks as we complete our first loop on the train.

“Okay,” I say, warily, not sure what to expect from him at this point. I mean, he arranged a date that I had no idea about. The possibilities here are endless.

“You’re writing this big love story,” he says, his arm casually slung over my shoulder. “What do you think love is?”

I can’t help the laugh that escapes.

“What?” he asks.

“That’s not a question, that’s thequestion,” I say, shaking my head at him.

“Okay,” he starts again. “Can I ask you the question?”

I look at him for a minute, trying to think if I’m ready to answer this question considering all the things that are happening right now.

“Do you know who my favourite fictional character is?” I ask him instead.

He shakes his head.

“Mr. Darcy,” I answer.

“He’s every girl’s favourite character,” Travis says.

“And there is a reason why,” I say. “Mr. Darcy was a self-important man. He met Elizabeth Bennet and immediately dismissed her because she didn’t fit into the life that he was comfortable with. Once he got to know her, he discovered that what he should have wanted and what he actually wanted were two completely different things.”

“That’s every chick flick I’ve ever watched,” Travis says as he we pass the bumper cars again.

“Yes, but here’s the kicker. Hechanges. Not because Elizabeth wants him to, or tells him to. He changes because he wants to be a different person, a better person. Someone who is worthy of her. And in order to do that he has to act in a selfless way with absolutely no hope of reward,” I say, and I know my voice has taken on a slightly dreamy tone. “That’s what I think love is. Loving someone who makes you want to be a better person.”

As we make the final turn and the train comes to a stop, Travis still hasn’t said anything.

I lightly laugh. “At least I hope that’s what love is.

I dart my eyes in Travis’s direction, expecting him to be a little uncomfortable with my declaration, but his face is soft and he seems pleased with my answer.

As we stand in line waiting to get on the Merry-Go-Round I turn to him.

“So, who is your favourite fictional couple?” I ask.

Travis seems to think about it, scrunching up his mouth with the effort.

“Mickey and Minnie,” he nods decisively.

“As in Mouse?” I laugh.

“They like each other, they’re nice to each other, and they always look like they’re having a fun time,” he says, shrugging at his explanation.

And the more I think about it, it’s actually a pretty good choice. I mean, obviously it isn’t Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy, but it has some worth.”

Emily Harper, My Sort-of, Kind-of Hero
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My Sort-of, Kind-of Hero My Sort-of, Kind-of Hero by Emily Harper
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