Beasto and Belle

This post is part of Indifiction Workshop. The plot for this Edition has been given by Prasanna Rao. The post can also be found in the Indifiction Workshop Blog.
                                              Benny Beasto

She says she can’t love me? Heck is there something wrong with me?

This was the only question that plagued my body and soul, night and day, every day for months on end. Rita was not just any another girl. She was the girl for me, the only girl. I remember seeing her for the first time standing in a long queue outside the coffee house around the alley, a couple of blocks from where I worked. She was in a beige dress with hair matching perfectly with that lovely face of her. She looked impatient as though she was in a hurry, perhaps late for some meeting. One moment she looked at the line infront of her and at the other she looked at her watch. Her beautiful eyes had urgency trying to decide on something that was going on in her mind. I couldn’t help but stare at her; she was so fine-looking and attractive. I was ahead in line from her. The queue itself was in the pattern of a ‘U’, she was at the end while I was almost there at the counter. And then I did something that wasn’t very much like me, a shy reserved guy who would rather die alone than talk to women!

‘Hey, you seem to be in a hurry. Can I place your order too’ I couldn’t believe I was saying that.

Seriously Benny, what’s wrong with you!

She looked on for a moment, startled and tongue-tied but then responded “uhh yeah sure..Thanks! A latte please!”

Her voice was like honey-mustard or the sweetness of blueberry tart, I couldn’t decide. Yes, I was way out of my head pining for a woman way out of my league. Was I in love with her from that moment onwards? I don’t know but I did feel something different that day. The way she moved her lips! Oh well it was safe to say that I was mesmerized by this woman. And who would blame me for that!

That was the first time we met and from then on I would wait for her in the Coffee Shop every day with the hope of running into her. Luck was kind to me and I did meet her daily from that day onwards. We got talking and as time passed we became friends too, not just strangers in a coffee shop but friends!

But as I lie here today, alone in a room of blue and white, in a room with no one in sight, I realize I may not see her again. As I lie here burnt and bruised I realise living with this rejection isn’t going to be easy.

Why did you leave me Rita? Why?

The weather is nasty.  The thunder and the rain make it worse. It is a winter morning, cold and freezing outside but my skin burns. The doctors think I got burnt accidently but what do they know of the dark crevices in my mind. I wanted the pain to be all over but it just wouldn’t subside. I wanted to forget you Rita but that too seemed unlikely. When you stopped coming to the coffee shop few months back; when you stopped answering my calls and messages few months back, I lost it completely. That was it, I couldn’t take it anymore. I just wanted to sleep forever even if it was in a patch of fire. But seems like even that is a luxury that I can’t afford, they had to save me and now I am here all blistered. The doctors seem to think I will make it with some deformity though. Burns don’t make you look good you see! As if obesity wasn’t bane enough for me that now they want me to live on with a face that people would fear to even look at.

I miss you Rita. I didn’t know I’d lose you the moment I’d express myself. I am sorry for falling in love with you!

I still remember her saying “ I can’t take this anymore Benny. Stop pressuring me. I can’t. We are done as friends. You got it! We are done!’

She just walked away that day leaving me stranded forever inside a time-wrap. She seemed so angry and annoyed. That was it, the last time I had seen her. I kept calling her name, running behind her but she didn’t stop.

“Rita! Rita!”


                                                Rita Belle

I am so sorry Benny, but I always thought of you as a friend.

Wonder if I hurt Benny a little too much. But what could I do. I was taken aback with his sudden proposal. He is a great guy no doubt but he is or rather was just a friend. My friends kept telling me that he was into me. They kept telling me that he was stalking me in the coffee shop and that he surely had feelings for me. But I brushed all that aside. I guess I was being too naive, ofcourse the signs were there. But what came on to me? Why couldn’t I see all that then or honestly why did I choose to ignore the obvious signs?

Benny is a good company actually. He is funny, spirited and always full of life. I certainly miss him but I had to stop seeing him for it would only end up hurting him more. Moreover, I felt constantly pressurized to make him happy. As if I had committed a crime. I just didn’t feel about him the way he wanted me to.

Benny is tall and would have appeared taller if it wasn’t for his weight. He is too obese for a young man. He certainly has a kind heart beneath all those layers of flesh. There was an ease with which he would make me laugh. But why am I thinking about all these things when I wilfully moved away from him. I don’t know but somewhere inside I feel a certain level of guilt perhaps for having broken his heart.  But it’s not like I didn’t try, I did. Anymore of it would have simply led him on with a hope that never had the chance of turning into reality I thought, so I left him there. I left our beautiful friendship and never looked back.

But I miss him so much these days. I have even stopped having coffee because it just reminds me of him. I loved our brunches together. We were so alike practically having the same interests. Sports, books and good food, we could both live our lives that way. But why am I thinking about all that so frequently these days. I am virtually stalking him online but there are no updates. He seems to have disappeared. Sometimes I worry about him. I can’t help it but there is a certain concern I feel for him. It’s strange but it makes me wonder why?

I want to meet him atleast to see that he is alright. He had called me so many times but I never replied. But I want to today. I want to go and check on Benny.

I am sorry Benny! I left you alone for so long.

I still remember the day he came to meet me at the cafe with a huge bouquet of flowers.

“Who are those for” I asked.

“Are you going for a date Benny?”

“Uhh..No” he said. He looked really nervous. He was panting and sweating profusely. He had told me once that whenever he would be nervous or anxious, his metabolism would go for a toss. He would sweat like a pig and even have difficulty breathing.

After having a glass of water Benny caught a hold of his breathe and looked at me saying “I have to tell you something. Look I am not very good at this. But I have to”

Uh oh where is this conversation going!

There I was fidgeting with my purse as I knew where this was headed.

“I have been meaning to tell this to you for a long time now Rita” he said. He looked nervous and scared. The classic signs of things going awry! I didn’t know what to do whether to let him go on or just stop him then and there. But what if I was wrong and he was on the verge of saying something else. So I let him speak.

I looked towards him and said “Go on”!

“I love you. There I said it.”

He was ofcourse expecting an answer, any answer and I didn’t know how to put it to him. Ofcourse, the clichéd lines of ‘I never saw us being more than friends or I could never love you that way’ would do the trick but there I was standing wondering how to let him down slowly so that it would hurt him less. But then was there any such way at all?

“Benny umm I don’t know how to say this but I don’t love you.”

Wow could I have been any more blunt!

“What I mean to say Benny is that as a friend I do but not more than that. I can’t love you”

What was I saying? I had no clue but the expression of his face changed from one of being nervous to that of being dejected. I felt sad for him but that is not a reason to say yes to someone, is it? I should have listened to my friends about Benny. Perhaps this situation could have been avoided.

He didn’t say a word after that. Infact, neither of us did. I for one didn’t know how to soothe him. What could I have done? The only thing that would have helped him was my saying yes but that I couldn’t do!
Since that day every time we met, Benny went all out to impress me. I could see he hadn’t given up yet. But Benny was not the kind of guy I planned on spending my life with. It might have been wrong on my part but I always hoped for the tall, dark handsome types to be in my life. It sounds shallow but is it so wrong? Benny was the sort of guy one would be friend with but not the kind of guy a girl would fall head over heels in love with. He was too obese, I didn’t see how I could fit in with him? It was a wrong scale to judge a person I know, but I couldn’t help myself think that way.

I remember as days passed it grew increasingly uncomfortable being with him. I kept feeling these huge pangs of guilt for breaking his heart. I met him to be able to comfort him and help him move on. But it wasn’t working. He kept trying. Every time we discussed this topic, we would end up sad and withdrawn. It was then that I realised there was no point in continuing our friendship in this manner, atleast till he got a hang of his feelings, till he moved on. And I couldn’t go on blaming myself for what he was going through. So I decided to move away from him. The last thing I remember of my association with Benny sadly was him running behind me calling out my name “Rita! Rita!”


                                                Benny Beasto

I miss her so much that even the blisters and the pain of the burns don’t equal the hurt of not being able to be with her.

I have heard miracles do happen. Was it wrong for me to still hope against all odds that Rita would come back to me? But wouldn’t she have come back a long time ago. Why would she come now? How could she possibly know the pain I am in?

It’s silly of you Benny to think this way!

It was visiting hour in the hospital once again and I looked longingly towards the door of my room knowing well that the only people who would walk through this door were the hospital staff. Just then the door flung open and there she was standing in the same beige dress I had seen her in for the first time!

“Benny” she said and I could see tears roll down her eyes.


                                               Rita Belle

“Hi, I want to meet Benny Beasto. He works here.” I said to the receptionist at the front desk of Benny’s office. The spectacled woman without bothering to look up sifted through a list of names and dialled Benny’s number. There was no answer and she then appeared to dial another number. After some uh huh’s, hmm’s and ok’s, she hung up and again without even looking at me told that Benny had been in an accident.

“Mr. Benny is on long term sick leave Ma’am. He has had an accident and is currently admitted to St. Teresa’s Hospital downtown”

I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. What sort of accident I wanted to ask her. But judging by her mechanical response, I figured the best way to find out is by visiting Benny himself.

I felt sick in my stomach wondering what could have happened to him. I had the feeling that I was the reason for it. I felt responsible.

I reached the hospital and felt the instant urge to find Benny and hug him tight and tell him how sorry I was. But I didn’t know where these feelings were coming from. The front desk lady pointed me towards the Burn Ward.

Why is he in the burn ward? Oh dear God I hope he is alright!

Room 380 the nurse said and I can’t seem to find it. There was a sudden surge of nervous energy in me.

Where are you Benny Boy!

After moving through a maze of floors, wards and hallways, I finally saw Benny’s Room.

Should I go inside? What would I tell him? Oh hell just go in Rita!

I held the door knob, turned it and it flew open. There he was, my Benny!

Did I just say My Benny?

He was covered with a sort of cylindrical mesh. All I could see were his eyes. He was burnt badly.

Oh God what happened!

At that moment as I stood there looking at him, I realised that I really cared for this man. Yes, strange but true. I actually loved this man. It was a mistake moving away from him. I loved him. I was so naive, I couldn’t care less if he was obese or now with scars all over his body. All I wanted is for him to recover and live so that I could make this man happy, so that I could live my life with him.

“Benny!” was all I could say as I choked with emotions and tears rolled down my eyes.


                                          Rita Belle & Benny Beasto


“Yes I am. I am here for you and I ain’t going anywhere else Benny!”

“But why? I thought you didn’t...”

“Don’t say it! I was wrong. I thought about you every single day. I was such a moron for not realising it earlier. I dreamt of a knight in shining armour when you were right there infront of me. I love you Benny! I really do and I hope you still love me too!”

“But Rita look at me. How will you live with me? Heck I look disgusting!”

“I love you. I love you. I love you. I will say that out aloud every day till you believe me. All I want is for you to be ok. I want my Benny back and we will live our lives talking about sports, books and food. We will be happy. Give me a chance and trust me”

“What more could I want Rita? But are you sure it’s not out of pity? Don’t say you love me just because you feel sorry for me.”

“No it isn’t. I was restless even before I knew you were in the hospital. I need you Benny. You’ll get better for me, wouldn’t you Benny?”

“Yes, yes I would. I want to more than ever!”

Everything stood still as they talked their hearts out to each other. Benny truly loved Rita. Yes, it took her a while to recognise her feelings for him. But in the end they came together, in the end they joined in to move towards their destiny together. True love triumphs over all odds, certainly!