Love is a compilation of our past, present, and future, and sometimes we have to hit rewind to move forward.
Rob Gordon had always been a list maker. Whether it was for the top five greatest guitar solos of all time or the top five most bewildering exchanges he had with his ex-girlfriends, Rob had a list for everything. It wasn’t just a compulsion, it was a coping mechanism. Lists helped him make sense of the world and his place in it. And when his long-time girlfriend, Laura, dumped him, he turned to his trusty top five breakups list to help him figure out where it all went wrong.
Chapter 1: Rob’s Top Five Breakups
Rob sat alone in his apartment surrounded by his record collection and empty beer bottles. He was wearing the same clothes he had on the day before, a pair of faded jeans and a wrinkled t-shirt that read “Sonic Youth” across the front. His apartment was a mess, with clothes strewn about the floor and dishes piled up in the sink.
Laura had left him the night before, and Rob was still reeling from the shock of it all. They had been together for five years, and he had thought they were happy. But Laura had told him that he hadn’t changed since they first met, that he was still the same self-absorbed, list-making, record store owner that he had always been.
Rob couldn’t argue with her. He knew that he had his faults. He was obsessive about music and had a hard time relating to people who didn’t share his passion. He was also quick to judge and slow to forgive. But he had always thought that Laura accepted him for who he was, faults and all.
As he sat there in his apartment, staring at the stacks of vinyl that lined the walls, Rob realized that he had been living in a bubble. He had been so focused on his own interests and his own needs that he had forgotten to pay attention to Laura and what she needed from him.
That’s when he remembered his top five breakups list. He had started it years ago, as a way to make sense of his failed relationships. It was a way to see patterns and figure out where he had gone wrong. And now, with Laura gone, he needed to revisit that list and see if he could figure out what had gone wrong this time.
Rob walked over to his record player and put on a mixtape that Laura had made for him years ago. It was full of songs that reminded him of their early days together, when everything was new and exciting. As he listened to the music, he began to remember his past relationships and the women who had left him.
The first breakup on his list was Alison Ashworth. They had met in high school and had been together for a year before she broke up with him. Rob remembered feeling heartbroken at the time, but he had moved on quickly. Looking back, he realized that he had never really loved Alison. She had been his first girlfriend, but he had been more interested in the idea of having a girlfriend than in her specifically.
The second breakup on his list was Penny Hardwick. They had dated for six months, and Rob had thought it was going well. But when Penny told him that she loved him, he panicked and broke up with her. He realized now that he had been using her as a rebound after another breakup and had never been fully committed to the relationship.
The third breakup on his list was Charlie Nicholson. They had been together for two years in college, and Rob had thought that she was “the one”. But when she got accepted to law school in another state, Rob couldn’t bring himself to leave his record store and follow her. They tried to make a long-distance relationship work, but it eventually fizzled out.
The fourth breakup on his list was Sarah Kendrew. They had dated for a year, and Rob had been sure that she was the love of his life. But when she got a job offer in London, he couldn’t bear the thought of being so far away from her. He had tried to convince her to stay, but she had gone anyway. They tried to make the long-distance thing work, but eventually, Rob had cheated on her with a customer at his record store. Sarah found out and broke up with him.
The fifth and final breakup on his list was Laura. Rob didn’t want to think about what had happened between them yet. He wasn’t ready to face the fact that she had left him. But he knew that he needed to figure out what had gone wrong and how he could change for the better.
As he sat there, listening to the music and thinking about his past relationships, Rob realized that he had always been looking for something that didn’t exist. He had been searching for the perfect woman, when what he really needed was someone who loved him for who he was, flaws and all. He needed to grow up and learn to compromise and communicate better.
Rob made a new list, a list of things he needed to work on to become a better partner. He promised himself that he wouldn’t make the same mistakes again. And maybe, just maybe, he would find love again.
Chapter 2: Laura Leaves Rob
Rob sat on the couch, staring blankly at the TV. It had been three days since Laura had left him, but the shock had yet to wear off. He couldn’t believe that after five years together, she had just walked out the door without looking back.
It was all his fault, of course. He knew that he had been taking her for granted, coasting along on autopilot without putting in the effort to keep their relationship alive. He had always assumed that they would just keep plodding along, never really changing but never really breaking up either.
But now, faced with the reality of being alone, Rob was forced to confront the fact that he had been wrong. He had relied on Laura to be his rock, his constant, but he had never been that for her. He had never given her the support and love that she deserved, and now it was too late to make things right.
Rob’s record store, Championship Vinyl, had always been his sanctuary, his escape from the real world. But even here, amongst the rows of vinyl records and fading posters, he couldn’t find solace. His thoughts kept drifting back to Laura, to her sparkling blue eyes and quick wit, to the laughter they had shared together.
He knew that he had to do something, anything, to get her back. But he didn’t know where to start. He was too afraid to call her, too scared of what she might say. What if she had already moved on, found someone else? What if she never wanted to see him again?
Rob’s phone buzzed, interrupting his thoughts. It was Barry, his best friend and fellow music snob. Rob sighed and answered reluctantly.
“Hey,” he said, his voice heavy with sadness.
“Hey man, how’s it going?” Barry asked, his voice full of concern.
“Not great,” Rob admitted. “Laura left me.”
There was a pause on the other end of the line before Barry spoke again. “Shit man, I’m so sorry. Is there anything I can do?”
Rob shook his head, even though Barry couldn’t see him. “I don’t know. I just feel like such an idiot. I thought we had something special, but I guess I was wrong.”
“You’re not an idiot, Rob,” Barry said firmly. “You just fucked up. We all do it, man. It’s part of being human.”
Rob sighed. “I just miss her, you know? I miss everything about her.”
There was another pause as Barry thought. “Okay, here’s what we’re gonna do. I’m coming over to your place, and we’re gonna get you out of this funk. We’re gonna go to a concert tonight, have some drinks, and forget about Laura for a while.”
Rob hesitated. Part of him wanted to wallow in his misery, but another part of him knew that Barry was right. He needed to get out of the house, shake things up a bit. Maybe then he could start to move on.
“Okay,” he said finally. “I’ll see you in a bit.”
Barry hung up, and Rob forced himself to get up off the couch. He wandered around the store aimlessly, running his fingers over the record sleeves and trying not to think about Laura.
But as he flipped through a stack of old jazz albums, he heard the opening chords of a familiar song. It was “Can’t Hardly Wait” by The Replacements, a band that he and Laura had discovered together years earlier.
Rob closed his eyes and let the music wash over him, feeling a rush of nostalgia and pain. He knew that he had to do something, anything, to fix things with Laura. But where to start?
As he walked out of the store and into the cool autumn air, he saw Barry waiting for him in his beat-up truck. Barry honked the horn, and Rob climbed inside.
“Where are we going?” Rob asked, trying to sound casual.
“First, we’re going to my place so I can grab my jacket,” Barry said. “Then we’re gonna head over to The Double Door. There’s a band playing tonight that I think you’ll like.”
Rob nodded, grateful for the distraction. As they drove through the city streets, he looked out the window at the passing buildings, trying not to think about Laura.
But as they pulled up outside The Double Door, Rob’s heart sank. It was the same venue where he and Laura had seen their first concert together, a grungy dive that smelled like cheap beer and cigarette smoke.
He felt a lump form in his throat as they made their way inside, past the bouncer and into the dimly lit club. The music was loud and pounding, the air thick with sweat and energy.
Barry led him towards the bar, where a couple of their friends were already waiting. They greeted Rob with hugs and slaps on the back, trying to cheer him up.
“Hey man, sorry to hear about Laura,” one of them said, clapping a hand on Rob’s shoulder.
Rob forced a smile. “Thanks. It’s been a rough few days.”
“Well, hopefully tonight we can take your mind off things,” another friend said, holding out a shot glass.
Rob took the glass and downed the tequila, feeling the burn all the way down to his toes. For a moment, he forgot about Laura, forgot about his broken heart.
They made their way towards the stage, where a band was setting up their instruments. The lead singer, a tall, lanky guy with shaggy hair, took the mic and introduced themselves.
“We’re The Kinks Tribute Band,” he said with a grin. “And we’re here to rock your socks off.”
The crowd cheered as the band launched into “You Really Got Me,” the opening riff sending shivers down Rob’s spine. He closed his eyes and let the music take him away, feeling the familiar rush of adrenaline and joy.
For a while, he forgot about Laura, forgot about his problems. He was just a guy, standing in a club, listening to some great music with his friends.
But as the night wore on and the drinks kept flowing, Rob felt his thoughts drifting back to Laura. He wondered what she was doing, where she was, if she was thinking about him at all.
He realized that he missed her, missed her smile, her laugh, her touch. He knew that he had fucked up, but he didn’t know if he could fix things.
As the band launched into “Waterloo Sunset,” one of Laura’s favorite songs, Rob felt tears prick at the corners of his eyes. He knew that he had to do something, to take a chance and try to win her back.
But the question was, how?
Chapter 3: Childhood Crush
Rob sat in his empty record store, surrounded by dusty vinyl and faded posters. He didn’t feel like listening to music today. Instead, he wanted to think about his past, his childhood crush, and the girl who got away.
He leaned back in his chair, closing his eyes and letting his mind wander. In his mind’s eye, he saw her, clear as day. Her name was Ali, and she had been his next-door neighbor when he was growing up. They had played together as kids, riding bikes and chasing each other through the sprinklers in the summer.
But as they grew older, things had changed. Rob had started to see Ali in a different light, noticing the way her hair shone in the sun and the way her laugh made his heart skip a beat. He had a crush on her, but he was too shy to do anything about it.
One summer day, when they were both thirteen, Rob and Ali were sitting on her front porch, sipping lemonade and talking about their favorite bands.
“I really like The Beatles,” Ali said, twirling a strand of hair around her finger.
Rob nodded. “They’re okay. I prefer The Rolling Stones, though.”
Ali’s eyes lit up. “You like The Stones? I love them! We should listen to some of their records.”
Rob felt a flutter of excitement in his chest. Maybe this was his chance to impress her, to show her that they had something in common.
They went inside and dug through Ali’s dad’s collection until they found a dusty copy of “Let It Bleed.” Ali put the record on the turntable, and they sat cross-legged on the floor, listening as Keith Richards’ guitar riffed through “Gimme Shelter.”
As the record spun, Rob glanced over at Ali, taking in her smile and the way the sun streaming through the window caught her hair. In that moment, he realized that he was in love with her.
But he didn’t know what to do about it. He was just a kid, and he didn’t know how to express his feelings. So he said nothing, just listened to the music and drank his lemonade.
As the summer wore on, Rob and Ali grew apart. They went to different schools, made new friends, and drifted apart. Rob dated other girls, but he never forgot about Ali, the girl who had captured his heart.
Now, sitting in his record store years later, Rob wondered what might have happened if he had told Ali how he felt. Would they have fallen in love? Gotten married? Had kids and grown old together?
He shook his head, knowing that it was all just a fantasy. But a small part of him still held onto the hope that somewhere out there, Ali was thinking about him too.
Rob sighed and stood up from his chair. It was time to close up the store and go home. As he locked the door behind him, he glanced up at the starry sky and made a wish, just as he had done when he was a kid. Maybe, just maybe, he would get his happy ending after all.
Chapter 4: College Sweetheart
Rob sat cross-legged on his couch, a record player whirring softly in the corner, as he flipped through an old photo album. He stopped at a picture of himself and a beautiful redhead, her arms wrapped around his neck, a huge smile on her face.
Rob’s college sweetheart.
He had fallen hard for her during his freshman year at the University of Illinois, and they had spent the next three years together, inseparable. They had danced at frat parties, studied late at the library, and spent lazy afternoons in bed, lost in each other’s arms.
But as graduation loomed on the horizon, Rob began to feel restless. He had dreams of opening up his own record store, and he didn’t want to be tied down to one place. Charlie, on the other hand, had landed a job in Chicago and was eager to settle down.
Rob tried to ignore his doubts, but they festered just below the surface, poisoning their relationship. He started taking her for granted, snapping at her over little things, and spending more and more time at the record store, even on weekends.
One night, Charlie confronted him, tears streaming down her face, and told him that she couldn’t be with someone who didn’t want the same things as her. Rob was devastated, but he couldn’t bring himself to change his plans.
Now, years later, Rob realized that he had made a huge mistake.
He picked up the phone and dialed Charlie’s number, his heart pounding in his chest as he waited for her to answer.
“Hello?” Her voice was hesitant, wary.
“Hey, it’s me.” Rob cleared his throat. “Rob.”
“Rob. It’s been a long time. How are you?”
“I’m good. I’m good. Listen, I was just going through some old photos and I saw one of us. It made me think about…you know…how things ended between us.”
There was a long pause on the other end of the line.
“I think about it too, sometimes,” Charlie said softly. “What if we had stayed together?”
Rob felt a thrill of hope in his chest. “Do you want to meet up? Talk about it?”
Charlie hesitated. “I don’t know, Rob. I’m married now. My husband might not like it.”
Rob felt like he had been punched in the gut. Of course, she was married. Why wouldn’t she be? He had lost his chance.
“Right, of course. I’m sorry, Charlie. I shouldn’t have called.”
“No, it’s okay. I’m glad you did. It’s just…complicated, you know?”
Rob did know. He knew all too well.
They said their goodbyes and Rob hung up the phone, feeling a sense of finality wash over him. He had spent years pining after Charlie, imagining what could have been if he had just been a little more mature, a little more ready for commitment. But now he saw that it was pointless. Charlie was happily married, and Rob had to accept that he had missed his chance.
He sat back on the couch and let out a long sigh, the record player still whirring in the background. He picked up his guitar and began strumming absentmindedly, the notes drifting aimlessly through the air.
As he played, he realized that he didn’t want to spend his life pining after something that could never be. He wanted to focus on the present, on what he had, instead of what he had lost.
He set down the guitar and walked over to the record player, flipping through his collection until he found an old Beatles album. He put it on, the crackling of the vinyl filling the room, and lay back on the couch, letting the music wash over him.
It was time to move on. To let go of the past and embrace the future.
Rob closed his eyes and let himself relax, feeling the weight of the past slowly slipping away.
Chapter 5: The One That Got Away
Rob sat in his record store, staring at the wall of vinyl in front of him. He couldn’t focus on anything except the memories of Sarah, the girl who got away. They had dated for a few months in college, but their relationship had ended just as abruptly as it had begun.
He remembered the way she had made him feel, like he was the only person in the world that mattered. They had spent countless hours talking, laughing, and exploring the city together. He had thought that they had a real connection, but one day she just stopped returning his calls.
Rob had never been able to get over Sarah. He still thought about her from time to time, wondering what could have been if he had done things differently. As he sat there, he decided that he needed to find closure and figure out why their relationship had failed.
He started by reaching out to some mutual friends to see if they knew anything about what had happened to Sarah. He discovered that she had moved to New York City after college and had become a successful writer.
Rob felt a pang of jealousy as he thought about Sarah’s success. He wondered if she had ever thought about him since their breakup, or if he was just a distant memory to her now.
Determined to get some answers, Rob decided to call Sarah. He hesitated for a moment, wondering if he was making a mistake, but then he dialed her number.
“Hello?” Sarah answered, and Rob’s heart skipped a beat at the sound of her voice.
“Hey, it’s Rob,” he said, trying to sound casual.
“Oh, hi Rob. It’s been a while,” Sarah said.
“Yeah, it has. Listen, I was wondering if we could talk. Maybe grab a drink or something?” Rob asked.
There was a pause on the other end of the line. “I don’t know, Rob. I’m really busy with work and everything.”
Rob felt his heart sink. He had hoped that Sarah would be more receptive to the idea of seeing him.
“I understand. I just wanted to catch up and see how you’re doing,” Rob said.
Sarah sighed. “Okay, fine. Why don’t we meet up next week?”
Rob was ecstatic. “That sounds great. How about Thursday night?”
“Thursday works for me. There’s a bar near my apartment that we can go to. I’ll text you the address,” Sarah said.
As soon as Rob hung up the phone, he felt a rush of excitement. He couldn’t believe that he was finally going to see Sarah again after all these years.
The day of the meeting, Rob spent hours getting ready. He wanted to look his best for Sarah, to show her that he had grown up and become a successful adult since their college days.
When he arrived at the bar, Sarah was already there, sitting at a table in the back. She looked even more beautiful than he remembered, with long dark hair and piercing green eyes.
They hugged awkwardly, and Rob could feel his heart racing. He had so many questions to ask her, so much he wanted to say.
“Thanks for meeting me,” Rob said, taking a seat across from her.
Sarah smiled. “Of course. It’s good to see you.”
They caught up on each other’s lives, talking about their careers, their families, and their friends. Rob was happy to hear that Sarah was doing well and had found success as a writer.
As the night went on, Rob started to feel more comfortable around Sarah. He was no longer the nervous college student he had been when they first met. He felt like he could be himself around her, like they were picking up right where they had left off.
Finally, he broached the subject that had been on his mind for years. “Sarah, can I ask you something?”
“Sure, what is it?” she asked.
“Why did you break up with me back in college? I’ve always wondered,” Rob said, his voice shaking.
Sarah sighed, looking down at her hands. “Rob, I think you know why. You were so focused on your music and your record store that it seemed like you had no time for anything else. I felt like I was always competing with your passion for music.”
Rob felt a pang of guilt. He knew that Sarah was right. He had been so wrapped up in his own world that he had neglected their relationship.
“I’m sorry, Sarah. I wish I had realized how much you meant to me back then,” Rob said, reaching across the table to take her hand.
Sarah looked up at him, her eyes shining. “Rob, it’s okay. We were both young and naive. I don’t regret our time together, but I don’t think we were meant to be together forever.”
Rob felt a wave of sadness wash over him. He had hoped that Sarah would feel the same way he did, that they could pick up where they left off and give their relationship another chance.
As they finished their drinks and said their goodbyes, Rob knew that he needed to move on from Sarah. He realized that he had been holding onto the past for too long, and that it was time to focus on his present and his future.
As he walked home, Rob felt a weight lift off his shoulders. He had finally gotten the closure he needed, and he was ready to move on to whatever the future held.
Chapter 6: Casual Fling
Rob sat in his empty apartment, staring blankly at the wall. It had been a few weeks since Laura had left him, and he was still struggling to come to terms with the breakup. He had tried to distract himself with music, movies, and nights out with his friends, but nothing seemed to work. The pain was still there, gnawing at him like a hungry animal.
He sighed and picked up his phone, scrolling through his contacts. He came across Penny’s name and paused for a moment before deciding to text her. They had been intimate a few times before he started dating Laura, and he knew that she was always up for a good time.
“Hey, you up for a drink tonight?” he sent the message and waited for a response.
A few minutes later, his phone beeped. “Sure, where?” Penny had replied.
Rob grinned to himself. Maybe tonight would be the night he finally got over Laura.
He met Penny at a local bar, and they grabbed a table in the corner. They ordered drinks and began to catch up on old times. It was easy to talk to Penny, and Rob found himself enjoying her company. She was funny, smart, and beautiful, and he wondered why they had never pursued anything more serious in the past.
As the night wore on, they both became more relaxed and playful. They laughed at each other’s jokes and shared stories about their lives. Rob felt a warmth spreading through him, something he hadn’t felt since before the breakup. It was nice to be wanted, to feel desired by someone.
Penny leaned in closer to him, her breath hot against his ear. “You know, we could go back to your place if you want,” she whispered.
Rob hesitated for a moment, then nodded. “Yeah, that sounds good.”
They left the bar and walked back to Rob’s apartment. Inside, they poured themselves another drink and sat on the couch. Penny snuggled up next to him, her body pressing against his.
Rob felt a surge of desire, and he leaned in to kiss her. She responded eagerly, her hands running through his hair. They began to make out, their bodies entwined in a heated embrace.
As they moved to the bedroom, Rob felt a twinge of guilt. He knew that he was using Penny to avoid dealing with his emotions after the breakup. But he pushed those thoughts aside, telling himself that it was just a casual fling. He needed this, he deserved this.
The sex was good, better than he had expected. Penny was passionate and skilled, and Rob felt himself losing himself in the moment. For a brief time, he forgot about Laura and his problems, lost in the pleasure of the moment.
But as they lay in bed afterwards, Penny curled up next to him, Rob felt a sense of emptiness. This wasn’t what he wanted, wasn’t what he needed. He wanted love, commitment, someone who would be there for him through thick and thin. Penny was none of those things, just a temporary distraction from his pain.
He sighed and got out of bed, beginning to get dressed. Penny looked up at him, confusion in her eyes. “What’s wrong?” she asked.
Rob hesitated, then told her the truth. “I’m sorry, Penny. This was a mistake. I shouldn’t have slept with you.”
Penny’s face fell, and she looked hurt. “What do you mean? I thought we had something good going on.”
Rob shook his head. “I was using you, Penny. I wanted to forget about my problems, and I thought this would help. But it didn’t. I can’t keep doing this to myself, to you.”
Penny looked at him for a moment, then nodded. “Okay, I understand. I’m sorry, Rob. I didn’t mean to make things worse for you.”
Rob smiled weakly. “It’s okay. It’s my fault, not yours.”
He walked her to the door, giving her a kiss on the cheek. As she left, he felt a sense of relief. Maybe it was time to stop running from his problems, to face them head-on. Laura had been right, he needed to grow up and learn from his mistakes.
He lay down on his bed, feeling exhausted and drained. But also, strangely, a little bit more at peace. The road ahead was uncertain, but he felt ready to face whatever lay ahead. One thing was for sure, though. He wouldn’t be using other people to fill the void in his heart anymore.
Chapter 7: A New Love
Rob was still reeling from his breakup with Laura, but his friends were determined to get him back on the dating scene. They set him up on countless blind dates, but Rob found himself comparing every woman he met to Laura. He knew he needed to move on, but he just couldn’t seem to let go of his past.
One day, Rob was browsing in a local record store when he saw her – Marie. She was flipping through a stack of vinyl, her long brown hair falling over her shoulders as she hummed along to the music. Rob was immediately drawn to her, and before he knew it, he was chatting her up about their shared love of obscure indie bands and old school hip-hop.
They exchanged numbers and started dating soon after. Marie was unlike any woman Rob had ever dated before. She was smart, funny, and independent, and he found himself falling for her more and more each day. They spent long hours talking about their favorite albums and debating the merits of different genres of music. Marie challenged Rob in ways that no one ever had before, and he found himself growing as a person because of her.
But it wasn’t all smooth sailing. Rob was still struggling with his own insecurities and baggage from his past relationships. He found himself comparing Marie to his exes, wondering if he was really ready for a new relationship. In the past, he had always struggled to commit, afraid of being hurt or rejected. But with Marie, he couldn’t help feeling like he was ready for something real.
One night, Marie called Rob out on his behavior. “You keep talking about your exes,” she said. “But what about us? What are we building here?”
Rob was taken aback by her words, realizing that he had been so caught up in his own past that he had neglected to appreciate the present. He apologized and promised to do better.
Over the next few weeks, Rob worked hard to let go of his past and focus on his relationship with Marie. They went on long walks together, discovering new parts of the city they lived in. They danced together at concerts and stayed up all night talking about their hopes and dreams. Rob felt like he was finally growing up, finally becoming the kind of partner that he knew Marie deserved.
One day, Rob surprised Marie by taking her on a picnic in a nearby park. He had packed her favorite foods and brought along a portable record player so they could listen to some music in the sunshine. As they lounged on a blanket, Rob took out his phone and played a song he had been working on for months – a love song for Marie.
As the music swelled, Rob sang the lyrics he had written just for her. “You’re the one I need, the one I want to hold tight. You make everything feel right.” Marie’s eyes filled with tears, and Rob knew that he had found something special with her.
After the song ended, Rob took out a small box from his pocket. “Marie,” he said, nervously. “I know we’ve only been dating for a short time, but I feel like I already know that you’re the one for me. Will you be my girlfriend?”
Marie smiled and threw her arms around Rob. “Yes,” she said. “Of course, I will.”
As they hugged, Rob felt a weight lift off his shoulders. He knew that he still had a lot to learn about love and relationships, but he also knew that he was ready to take the leap. With Marie by his side, he felt like anything was possible.
Chapter 8: Dealing with Adulthood
Rob Gordon had always prided himself on being a bit of a Peter Pan, never really growing up and holding on to his youth for as long as possible. But after his breakup with Laura, he was forced to confront the fact that he couldn’t just float through life forever. He needed to grow up and start taking responsibility for his actions.
Rob quickly realized that being an adult was hard work. He had to juggle his struggling record store, his friendships, and his new relationship with Marie. It was a lot to handle, but he was determined to make it work.
The first hurdle Rob faced was trying to save his store from going bankrupt. With the rise of digital music, fewer and fewer people were buying physical albums, and Rob’s store was suffering because of it. He had to come up with a plan to keep the store afloat, but he was running out of ideas.
One night, Rob was lying in bed with Marie, discussing the store’s financial woes. She suggested that he start selling more niche genres of music, catering to a smaller but more loyal audience. Rob was skeptical at first, but he took Marie’s advice and started stocking more obscure albums.
To his surprise, the strategy worked. People started coming to his store specifically for these unique albums, and he was finally able to turn a profit again. Rob was grateful for Marie’s help, but he realized that he needed to be more open to other people’s ideas if he wanted to succeed in life.
Rob soon found himself struggling to balance his new relationship with Marie and his friendships with his two co-workers, Dick and Barry. He was used to being a bit of a loner, but he didn’t want to lose the people who had been there for him through thick and thin.
One day, Barry approached Rob about his recent behavior, telling him that he felt like he was being excluded from Rob’s life because of his new relationship. Rob was taken aback at first, but he realized that Barry was right. He had been so focused on Marie that he had neglected his friendships.
Rob apologized to Barry and Dick, promising to make more of an effort to include them in his life. They all went out for drinks that night, and Rob felt a sense of relief wash over him. He realized that he didn’t have to choose between love and friendship, he just had to be more mindful of both.
But the biggest challenge Rob faced in his journey to adulthood was his relationship with Marie. They had been together for a few months now, and things were going well, but Rob couldn’t shake the feeling that he wasn’t good enough for her. He was still carrying around the baggage of his past relationships, and it was starting to take a toll on his current one.
One day, Marie sat Rob down and told him that she was worried about their relationship. Rob was shocked and hurt, but he knew that he had brought this on himself. Marie explained that he needed to stop dwelling on his past mistakes and start focusing on their future together.
Rob took Marie’s words to heart and started seeing a therapist to work through his issues. It was a difficult process, but Rob knew that he needed to confront his demons if he wanted to be the partner that Marie deserved.
Eventually, Rob and Marie were able to work through their issues and come out stronger on the other side. Rob realized that love was about compromise and growth, and he was willing to do whatever it took to make their relationship work.
As Rob looked back on his journey to adulthood, he realized that it wasn’t always easy, but it was worth it. He had learned to embrace change, to be more open to other people’s ideas, and to take responsibility for his own life. And he was grateful for the people who had helped him along the way.
Chapter 9: Happily Ever After?
Rob woke up to sunlight streaming through his window and the sound of birds chirping outside. He turned to his side and saw Marie sleeping peacefully next to him. A smile spread across his face as he remembered the events that led up to this moment.
The past few months had been a rollercoaster ride for Rob and Marie. They had faced their fair share of ups and downs, but they had come out of it with a stronger and deeper love for each other. Rob had learned that love wasn’t just about the good times but also about the hard work and compromise that went into making a relationship work.
He got out of bed and made his way to the kitchen, where he started brewing a pot of coffee. As he waited for it to finish, he thought about the journey he had been on and all the lessons he had learned. He realized that he had finally grown up and was ready for a real, adult relationship.
Marie walked into the kitchen, rubbing the sleep out of her eyes. She smiled at Rob and wrapped her arms around him.
“Good morning,” she said.
“Good morning,” he replied, kissing her forehead.
They sat down at the kitchen table and enjoyed their coffee, talking about their plans for the day. Rob had to go to the record store and Marie had a meeting with one of her clients. They said their goodbyes, with Rob giving her a kiss before heading out the door.
As he walked to the store, he couldn’t help but feel grateful for everything he had in his life. He had a successful business, amazing friends, and most importantly, he had Marie. He knew that he had a lot to be thankful for, and he made a mental note to always remember that.
When he arrived at the store, he saw his friends, Dick and Barry, arguing about the best Rolling Stones album. He shook his head and smiled, happy to be surrounded by the people he loved.
The rest of the day went by quickly, with Rob helping customers and talking about music with his friends. As he closed up the store and headed home, he couldn’t wait to see Marie and tell her how much he loved her.
When he walked into their apartment, he saw that Marie had cooked dinner for them. They sat down at the table, enjoying the meal and talking about their day. As they finished up, Rob stood up and made his way to the living room.
“I have something for you,” he said, reaching into his pocket.
He pulled out a small box and handed it to Marie, who looked at him with a curious expression.
“What’s this?” she asked.
“Open it and find out,” he replied, a smile on his face.
Marie opened the box and gasped when she saw the contents. Inside was a beautiful diamond ring, shining in the light.
“Rob…what is this?” she asked, tears in her eyes.
“It’s a promise,” he said, taking her hand. “A promise that I will always love you, support you, and be there for you no matter what. A promise that I want to spend the rest of my life with you.”
Marie looked at him with a mix of emotions, her heart bursting with love and happiness.
“Yes,” she said, nodding. “Yes, I’ll marry you.”
Rob pulled her into his arms, hugging her tightly. He knew that this was just the beginning of their journey together, but he was excited for what the future held.
As they embraced, the scene faded to black, the credits rolling. The audience was left with a feeling of hope and joy, knowing that Rob and Marie had found their happily ever after.
Some scenes from the movie High Fidelity written by A.I.
EXT. STREET – DAY
Rob, a 30-something record store owner, walks down the street with a dazed look on his face. His best friend and employee, Barry, catches up to him.
BARRY: Hey man, you okay?
ROB: Laura broke up with me.
BARRY: Oh man, I’m sorry.
ROB: I just don’t get it. She said I haven’t changed since we met.
BARRY: Well, have you?
ROB: (pauses) I don’t know.
Barry nods in understanding.
INT. RECORD STORE – DAY
Rob stands behind the counter, staring off into space. A customer, a young woman named Veronica, approaches him.
VERONICA: Hi, can you help me find a record?
Rob snaps out of his daze.
ROB: Oh, sorry. What are you looking for?
VERONICA: Do you have any rare jazz records?
ROB: (smirks) Do I have any rare jazz records? Lady, I am the king of rare records.
Veronica smiles and follows Rob as he leads her down the aisles.
INT. ROB’S APARTMENT – NIGHT
Rob is alone, sitting on his couch surrounded by records. He begins to make a list of his top five breakups.
ROB (V.O.): Alison Ashworth. Penny Hardwick. Charlie Nicholson. Sarah Kendrew. Laura.
Rob looks pained as he writes Laura’s name.
EXT. RECORD STORE – DAY
Rob, a disheveled man in his thirties, stands outside his record store, staring blankly at the street. His friend, Dick, approaches him.
Hey man, you okay?
Laura left me.
Dick puts a hand on Rob’s shoulder.
I’m sorry man. Want to talk about it?
Rob shakes his head.
Not much to say. She said I haven’t changed since we met. I don’t know what that means.
Dick nods sympathetically.
Women, am I right?
Rob forces a laugh.
They stand in silence for a moment before Dick speaks up again.
You want to come grab a drink with me and Barry? Get your mind off things?
Rob considers it for a moment before nodding.
Yeah, that sounds good.
As they walk away from the record store, Rob can’t help but think about his past relationships and the mistakes he’s made. He knows he needs to figure out what went wrong if he ever wants to find happiness again.
INT. ROB’S APARTMENT – NIGHT
Rob sits in his living room, surrounded by his vast collection of records. He stares off into space as he recalls his childhood crush, Emily.
Emily was my first love. We grew up together, but I was always too shy to tell her how I felt.
A young Rob and Emily run through a field, laughing and playing.
YOUNG ROB (V.O)
We were always together. She was my best friend.
YOUNG EMILY (V.O)
But I always knew there was something more between us.
Young Rob looks away, embarrassed.
But I was too scared to make a move. And when she started dating someone else, I was crushed.
BACK TO PRESENT:
Rob shakes his head, as if trying to shake off the memory. Suddenly, his phone vibrates. He looks down to see a text from Laura.
Can we talk?
Rob hesitates for a moment, then types out a response.
He lets out a deep breath, unsure of what the conversation will bring.
EXT. COLLEGE CAMPUS – DAY
Rob walks around the college campus, his mind full of memories of his college sweetheart, Charlie. He spots her sitting on a bench, reading a book.
Charlie looks up, surprised to see Rob.
Rob? Wow, it’s been years.
Yeah, it has. Can I sit down?
Charlie nods and Rob takes a seat next to her.
I was just walking around, thinking about old times.
Me too. Are you still working at the record store?
Yeah, I am. It’s been good to me.
That’s great. What about love? Have you found someone special?
Rob looks down, a hint of sadness in his eyes.
I’ve had my fair share of relationships, but nothing ever seems to stick.
That’s too bad. I always thought you were such a catch.
Rob smiles, feeling a little better.
Thanks, Charlie. What about you? You seeing anyone?
No, I’m focusing on my career right now. But who knows? Maybe one day.
Rob nods, the conversation starting to feel a little awkward.
Well, it was nice seeing you again. Maybe we can catch up properly sometime?
That sounds good to me.
They exchange numbers and Rob gets up to leave.
Rob turns around, curious.
I never forgot about you.
Rob smiles, feeling a rush of emotion.
I never forgot about you, either.
As Rob walks away, he can’t help but wonder if maybe, just maybe, things could work out between them after all.
Genre: Drama, Comedy, Romance
Logline: Record store owner Rob Gordon revisits his top five breakups of all time in order to figure out what went wrong and learns to embrace the journey of love along the way.
Scene 5: The One That Got Away
INT. RECORD STORE – DAY
Rob stands behind the counter, flipping through albums as usual. Suddenly, a woman walks in and his heart skips a beat. It’s Sarah, the one that got away.
ROB: (stunned) Sarah? Is that really you?
SARAH: (smiling) Hey, Rob. It’s been a while.
Rob can’t believe his luck. He hasn’t seen Sarah since their breakup years ago. He can feel his heart racing and his palms sweating.
ROB: (awkwardly) So, um, what brings you here?
SARAH: (shrugs) Just passing through. Thought I’d stop by and say hi.
Rob can’t help but notice how beautiful Sarah looks. He feels a pang of regret for letting her go.
ROB: (hesitant) Listen, Sarah, I know I messed up. I should have fought harder for us.
SARAH: (smiling) It’s okay, Rob. We were young and foolish back then. We both have our own lives now.
Rob’s heart sinks. He can’t believe he missed his chance again.
ROB: (disappointed) Yeah, I guess you’re right.
SARAH: (reaching out to him) But I’m glad we ran into each other. We should catch up sometime.
Rob feels a glimmer of hope. Maybe this is his chance to make things right.
ROB: (smiling) Yeah, that would be great.
Sarah smiles back at him and walks out of the store. Rob can’t stop thinking about her and wonders if he’ll ever have a chance to make things right.
INT. RECORD STORE – DAY
Rob is behind the counter, flipping through records when Penny walks in.
PENNY: I was in the neighborhood and thought I’d stop by.
ROB: Right. How have you been?
PENNY: Good. Listen, Rob, we need to talk.
Rob’s heart sinks. He knows what’s coming.
PENNY: I’ve been doing some thinking, and I don’t think this is going anywhere.
ROB: (sighs) Yeah, me neither.
Penny looks relieved.
PENNY: I’m glad we’re on the same page.
ROB: Yeah. I just want you to know that I’m sorry for how things ended between us.
PENNY: It’s okay. It wasn’t all your fault.
ROB: (smiles) Thanks for saying that.
PENNY: I should get going.
ROB: Okay. Take care of yourself, Penny.
PENNY: You too, Rob.
She gives him a hug and leaves. Rob watches her go, feeling a mixture of sadness and relief.
FADE TO BLACK.