"I guess the first time I met Alexis was at a book signing. It was summer, I remember the birds singing and the beautiful flowers - it was the perfect day. He had just written this book - I don't remember the name now; that was years ago! I had already bought all of his other books and loved them, so when I heard that he was in town, I thought that I should go and say hi!"
Alexis was getting bored. He had been sat at that stupid table for hours on end, signing each book with the same message. He'd even been in a couple of photos, wearing his fake smile. His agent had told him that signings were important - he needed to spend more time making his readers feel important; in fact, he needed to spend more time trying to find friends. He could have been out in a bar or something. He wished he was out in a bar or something.
The next person along was a teenage girl, no older than 16. She had long black hair with a couple of dangly earrings that Alexis couldn't help but look at. As he tried to figure out what they were supposed to be in the shape of, he scribbled his name and some other words down on her copy of the book. She smiled as she left, turning away from him. Dolphins! He smiled to himself and greeted the next one.
This one was a man. He must have been nearing retirement age and so Alexis thought that his book might give him some sort of enjoyment in what must be a boring life. To Alexis, work was more or less everything and the thought of leaving it behind terrified him. Thinking about sitting in his flat, waiting for death to take him was something he tried to avoid; he made death chase fictional people instead, hoping that it might get death on side and give him a few more years. Silly really.
"And then it was my turn. I handed over his book and told him how much of a fan I was. I remember being so excited when I shook his hand - I hadn't seen anyone else get the chance to do that! He smiled at me but it was different - that smile looked sincere compared to the other fakes. I posed for a quick photo and he put his arm around me. I didn't complain! I caught him looking at me as I walked off."
The signing was over and so he was free to do what he wanted. He went to a local bar, trying to drink away some of the boredom. As he reached the bar, he recognised the barmaid instantly - it was the beautiful woman from the signing. She got him a drink, on the house, and they started chatting with Alexis turning on the charm. She told him that she got off her shift in an hour's time so he waited. The two of them walked out of the bar together, hand in hand.
"We just hit it off straight away. It wasn't the money or the fame that did it for me. He was a sincerely nice bloke. Different from all the rest I suppose. We had a lot in common but enough of a difference, if you know what I mean. They say opposites attract don't they? Well that's not always true. I've stuck with him ever since. He's changed, haven't we all? But I think it was the accident that changed him the most. It changed everything. The nice man started to fade away. I suppose the niceness was him making up for his earlier life and now that he had been dealt a bad hand, I suppose he just gave up repenting for his sins. Sad really. But I still loved him. Alexis was good to me and I don't want anyone saying to the contrary!"