Real Love

Alan J. Schwarz
4 min readAug 10, 2019


Matty Simons was tired from shlepping boxes of fish into his family's kosher fish shop. ''Simons Kosher Fish Food'' had been located in the Kensington market in Toronto for over a hundred years, and even though the majority of the store's customers were not Jewish, the Simon's family proudly kept their kosher designation for the store.

Matty's Dad had inherited the store from his Father who had inherited if from his Father and the list went on and on. There was something about the Simons Family and fish that was symbiotic, you seemingly couldn't have had one without the other.

When it came to making life choices, Matty's brother and sister had taken alternative routes. His brother Mark had become a very successful accountant and his sister Yenda had become a top flight lawyer, which left him with Herring and Sable. Matty had thought about becoming a Dentist, but the lure of Carp had held him back. He was a true sentimentalist and didn't want to see the family history just disappear, so he was planning to continue running the store.

Matty took a break from unloading fresh fish and went in to the store to talk with his Mother behind the counter. She was taking an order and when she saw her son her eyes lit up. ''Matty, I was talking with Mrs. Sheinbaun and her daughter Helene is home from University and she would like you to take her out. I have her number for you to call.'' The woman who was on the other side of the counter waiting on some nice whitefish, said to Matty, ''I know the Sheinbaun family they are very nice people. Take out the daughter, you are going to like her.''

Besides feeling embarrassed that his social lie was a topic for discussion, Matty wasn't crazy about the idea going on a blind date, especially one that was arranged by his Mother.

Matty went back to uncrating fresh fish and weighing the pros and cons of calling Helene Sheinbaun. Finally, the call side won and Matty found himself dialing Helene's number. He went immediately to voice mail and he left a message introducing himself and telling Helene he looked forward to getting together.

Within minutes Helene called back and Matty took this as a good sign or a bad one. Either she was interested, or desperate, and desperate was never good.

Helene sounded pleasant on the phone and they made plans to get together and go for a bite that night. They would go to La Mexico, a very cool cantina.

Matty always had to take extra long showers as getting the smell of fish out wasn't always easy. He didn't think the smell of pickeral would be an aphrodisiac. When it was time to leave, he felt fresh and ready.

Helene was beautiful. The second Matty saw her he felt like he was in love. She was short and dressed casual but classy, and she had a big smile on her face when she saw him.

He got out of the car to open the door for her and when she got in, she thanked him profusely and there was undeniable chemistry between the two of them, like they had known each other their entire lives. The night flew by and everything was perfect.

Helene came and visited the fish shop (she had to get an order filled and Matty made sure she got the best of the best fish he had) and they went out that night.

Two weeks after they met, Helene was returning to her University which was located in Boston, and Matty proposed and she accepted.

They both commuted to visit each other and their love grew every day. Six months after the engagement, they set a date for their Wedding. The Simmons family and the Sheinbaun family were delighted and excited.

The Wedding took place at the Windsor Arms Hotel and everyone had a magnificent time. It was one of the nicest weddings of the year. After the Wedding the couple had their Honeymoon in Greece.

Everything in Matty's life was perfect. He had never been happier and his parents were extremely pleased with his life choices. They adored Helene.

When she finished school, Helene decided to join Matty in running Simons Kosher Fish Food. After a year at the Kensington location they decided to open up a new store at Bathurst and Steeles in North Toronto. The response was overwhelmingly positive. Before long they were opening a new store once every two months. Simons Kosher Fish Food was becoming the place to buy fresh fish.

Five years after marrying Helene, the Simon family were approached by a major grocery chain who offered huge money to buy the Simon Kosher Fish Food chain. After a long meeting, which centred on what Matty and Helene would do if they sold the chain as they were the ones running everything, it was decided to sell out. The only caveat was they couldn't open any fish stores to compete against the chain for at least ten years.

It took Matty about six months to figure out his future but he was a happy man. He and Helene started a family and then he went out to Newfoundland and bought a fish processing plant. He would become a supplier to Simons Kosher Fish Food and other chains. If he couldn't sell retail, he would provide wholesale. Helene was happy with the decision and on their anniversary they clinked wine glasses and expressed their true love for each other. Matty also talked about his love for the fish business, he said there was something about Simons and fish, there was an unbreakable link and bond and Helene couldn't have agreed more. The same passion Matty had for Herring, he had for her, and even though it seemed fishy, there was nothing better than true love.



Alan J. Schwarz

Alan Schwarz loves life. He is the founder of JAMS Productions, a television production company based in Toronto . His passion is writing.