Invitation to Paradise

During an afternoon, on a street, a sleazy man named Andrew Squervil is being pummeled mercilessly by many, many angry people. This situation is the result of Andrew’s recent failed attempt to marry a beautiful heiress named Georgina for her money.

Andrew, who has major money problems, has a goal to become rich. He has intended to accomplish this goal by marrying a rich, preferably beautiful woman for her money. When Andrew embarked on this goal, he thought it would be easy to accomplish. Seducing beautiful women has never been much of a challenge for Andrew. It is one of the few things he is actually good at. So he figured it would be quite easy to con a rich, beautiful woman into marriage. But thus far, all of Andrew’s attempts have ended badly for him.

Since beginning his quest for wealth, Andrew has experienced many forms of suffering, including but not limited to: imprisonments; being electrocuted by a stun gun; being stranded at sea; intimate encounters with women he finds hideous; being immersed in animal excrement; public humiliation; and many, many merciless beatings.

While the angry people are pummeling Andrew on the street, with no end in sight, a woman is standing elsewhere on the street, watching the spectacle from a distance. Her name is Sheila.

Sheila thinks: poor Andrew.

She turns around and begins walking back to the apartment building that she lives in, the same apartment building that Andrew lives in.

As Sheila is walking, various men she passes on the streets stare at her discreetly, as she is a physically attractive woman, the type of woman Andrew would gladly marry if she was also rich. In response to the stares of all those men who aren’t Andrew Squervil, Sheila thinks: not for you, fellows.

Sheila arrives at the apartment building. On her way into the building, she passes by the apartment building’s hideous, obese female landlord. They exchange greetings as they pass each other, even though Sheila secretly dislikes the landlord. Unbeknownst to the landlord and Andrew, Sheila is aware of the landlord’s arrangement with Andrew, in which the landlord lets Andrew live in his apartment for free in exchange for being the landlord’s plaything. Because of that arrangement, Sheila is insanely jealous of the landlord, and also angry at her for taking advantage of Andrew’s major money problems. Sheila knows that Andrew must loathe every moment that he is with that hideous landlord.

Before going into her apartment, Sheila stops by Andrew’s mailbox in the apartment building’s hallway. Using a key that she obtained illegally, Sheila unlocks the mailbox and takes out its content: a single envelope addressed to Andrew. Suspicious, Sheila takes the envelope with her into her apartment, intending to further inspect the envelope in there, much like she has done with previous envelopes she found in Andrew’s mailbox.

Sheila’s apartment is directly below Andrew’s apartment. Sheila moved into her apartment shortly after learning of Andrew’s existence and simultaneously becoming romantically obsessed with him. She considers it a sign and a blessing from some higher power that the apartment directly below Andrew’s apartment was available to rent.

Sheila walks into her apartment’s bathroom, and stands in the shower. She knows that her shower is directly below the shower in Andrew’s apartment. Because of the proximity of their apartments, Sheila has been able to hear when Andrew is using the shower in his apartment. Because of various cracks in the apartment building’s structure, much of the water produced when Andrew is using his shower will leak through to Sheila’s bathroom. On many, many occasions that Andrew has used his shower, Sheila has stood in her shower, allowing the water leaking from the ceiling to rain down on her, causing her much ecstasy, as she knows she is being bathed with water that has been graced by Andrew’s well-toned body.

Sheila walks into her apartment’s bedroom and faces a large mirror that is hanging on one of the bedroom’s walls. Standing next to her and also facing the mirror is a life-size, man-shaped doll that is wearing a tuxedo. Taped on the doll’s face is an up-close photograph of Andrew’s face. Sheila took the picture of Andrew while he was laying unconscious on a street, shortly after he’d been beaten mercilessly by several people as a result of one of his failed attempts to marry a rich woman for her money. Because of that beating, Andrew’s face is very bruised and swollen in the photograph, but that does not concern Sheila at all. No matter how many bruises are on Andrew’s face at any time, he is to Sheila the most handsome man who has ever existed.

Sheila hasn’t introduced herself to Andrew, but she intends to someday. She does not think she is worthy yet. However, she is absolutely certain that, someday, she will receive a sign from a higher power telling her that she has become worthy of Andrew’s love. She intends to carry out her plans for her and Andrew as soon as she receives that sign.

While standing in front of the mirror and next to the doll version of Andrew, Sheila imagines that she and Andrew are facing a minister, getting married. In Sheila’s mind, the minister says: “I now pronounce you husband and wife. Sheila, from this day forward, you are Missus Sheila Squervil.”

Sheila closes her eyes, absorbing the pleasure of her fantasy as much as she can. “Missus… Sheila… Squervil…” she says.

Then she opens her eyes, remembering the mysterious envelope addressed to Andrew. She opens the envelope and takes out its contents: a letter and a photograph. Sheila looks at the photograph, which is of a very, very beautiful woman. Sheila then begins reading the letter, which says:

“Dear Andrew,

I hope you are well. I know that the last time we saw each other was under very unpleasant circumstances for you, but I hope you can overlook that. I think about you often, Andrew.  Before you left my island, and before I discovered your infidelity, I trusted you, and I was deeply in love with you, and I wanted to marry you, and I wanted to share all my wealth with you, including my mansion and my island. I intended for us to live happily ever after together, in a committed, monogamous marriage. But that fantasy was shattered when I walked into my mansion’s parlor and found you kissing my maid. I felt deeply betrayed by you, Andrew. That is why I canceled our wedding, and why I punished you so severely. For a long time after you left my island, I continued to hate you so very much. But then my feelings for you began to change. I’ve had much time to reflect on the situation, and I’ve come to realize that I was wrong, not you. After all, after we had met, I gained so much weight, going from being stunningly beautiful to monstrously fat. My weight gain was unfair to you. If I hadn’t gotten fat, perhaps you wouldn’t have cheated on me with that shapely maid. Or perhaps you would have anyway. But either way, I’m now accepting of that behavior. You’re my soul mate, and if it’s your desire to have intimate encounters with other women, then I should be accepting of that. I am writing this letter to you, Andrew Squervil, my soul mate, to let you know that I now see the error of my ways. Please, please, please, come back to my island and become my husband. To satisfy you, I’ve lost all that excess weight I had gained, and I’m now beautiful again. I’ve included a recent photograph of myself as proof. And, I assure you, if you become my husband, you will have full control of my wealth, and I will have no problem with you having intimate encounters with other women. Please come back to me, Andrew. I’ll be waiting for you.”

Sincerely,

Eternia”

Sheila looks at the photograph again, observing that Eternia is indeed beautiful. Sheila looks at the letter again. She knows that, in her hands, is a happy ending for Andrew Squervil, access to everything he desires: wealth; beautiful women; a mansion; in total, a life of absolute luxury. Sheila knows that all she has to do to allow Andrew to achieve his much-desired goal is put this letter and this photograph back into Andrew’s mailbox for him to find.

But this happy ending is contradictory to Sheila’s plans for her and Andrew, plans that will give Sheila the happy ending that she desires, and that most certainly will cause Andrew much, much additional misery.

Sheila destroys the letter and the photograph, ensuring that no remnant of either object remains. She looks at the bruised, swollen, unhappy face of her Andrew doll and says, in a menacing tone: “You’re mine, Andrew Squervil.”

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