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
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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”
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
“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.”
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
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!”
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?
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.
“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
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
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.
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.
After moving through a maze of
floors, wards and hallways, I finally saw Benny’s Room.
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!
He was covered with a sort of
cylindrical mesh. All I could see were his eyes. He was burnt badly.
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.
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
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!