“I love you,” said Rachel.
“I love you too” replied Marcus , as he dreamily stared into her eyes.
They smiled at each other as they held hands and enjoyed the sunset. It was a lovely afternoon, with the sweet scent of flowers in the air.
The couple looked at each other and shared one final kiss, before the lights dimmed. Their hands instantly pulled apart and the smile left Rachel’s face.
Rachel stood up and started to head out of the studio, but before she could leave, Marcus called her name.
“Hey Rachel, uh- you did a really good job today”
After Rachel did not reply, Marcus continued,
“Well, I’ll uh- I’ll see ya tomorrow. Have a nice evening. Have you got any plans for tonight? I was thinking maybe you would want to… I don’t know, maybe come over for a bit…”
“Sorry, I’m busy” replied Rachel quickly, without even looking back at Marcus as she exited the door of the studio.
Marcus sighed. He had been working with Rachel for three months now, and it seemed like she had no interest in him at all. They were both on a reality TV show called “match made in Heaven” in which two people basically pretended to love each other. The whole point was to get more views and make the viewers believe that you are the “cutest” couple. Marcus and Rachel were in first place. They were definitely the fan favourites.
The only thing is, the love Marcus felt for Rachel was not acting. It came purely from his heart. From the moment he saw her, he felt like she was the most special girl in the world and he wanted her to like him. He tried everything, but he could never get more than a quick response out of Rachel.
Later that night, Marcus was thinking. If he could get Rachel to actually like him, maybe he could trick her into loving him. A grin came across his face as an idea came into his head. He reached across his bed stand and phoned the local engagement ring company. After the call, he slept peacefully, dreaming of the wonderful day he was going to have tomorrow.
The next day, Marcus entered the studio with an extra bounce in his step. He waved to all of the other contestants on set, receiving confused waves back. Marcus happily walked right by Rachel, who curiously looked up, wondering why he did not try to have a conversation with her like usual. “Something is not right” thought Rachel right as the cameras started rolling.
The day continued as normal. The cameras followed the couple as they pretended to be in love. They went shopping together, had a romantic lunch, and even went parasailing in the evening.
“It’s so beautiful tonight,” said Rachel.
“Reminds me of a girl I’m sitting with…” began Marcus.
Rachel gave a high pitched giggle and stared dreamily into his eyes.
“You know,” said Marcus, “today is our three month anniversary.”
“Is it really?” Asked Rachel, “time has gone by so fast! This has honestly been the best three months of my life.” She gave him a kind smile, but realized that something was different. He was different. Normally Marcus was so into his character and he was so over romantic. But instead, he seemed to be holding back.
There was a pause.
“Is everything okay sweetie?” Questioned Rachel.
“Rachel Daniels” said Marcus, plainly.
Rachel was shocked. They were not allowed to reveal their last names while the cameras were rolling.
“S-sorry?” Asked Rachel. She looked at him sternly, as if asking “What on earth are you doing!?!”
“Rachel, do you even understand how much pain you have put me through? I have tried so much to make you love me.”
A bell in the background indicated that the viewer rate had just increased by 5%.
“Rachel, everyday I work with you. Everyday I tell you how much I truly love you. Everyday I come here and try to show you that you are the most special girl in the entire world.”
The bell chimed again. 15%.
“Rachel, you mean everything to me. I have tried so hard and worked so much to get her, yet you treat me like I am nothing. You pretend I don’t even exist. Still, I am not giving up on you.”
“Rachel, you are the girl of my dreams. You are all mine.”
60%. Fans all around the world were going crazy. Everyone was watching.
Marcus leaned in to Rachel’s ear and whispered, “if you say no, the fans will never forgive you. The producers will be mad, they will fire you and you will be publicly disgraced across all social media”
“Rachel, will you marry me?” Asked Marcus. He grinned and looked into her eyes. He was on one knee and presented a beautiful diamond ring.
The show's ratings reached an all time high, with a more than 500% increase in viewers.
Rachel didn’t know what to say. If she said no, she would never be forgiven. If she said yes, she could never back out of the marriage. Their life would be full of cameras, a broadcasted wedding, and probably a reality tv to document the rest of their lives.
“Yes, I do,” said Rachel.
Marcus grinned. They were together at last.