Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Yesterday and Today

Yesterday was 14.2.2005, they first met. Today, one year later, he has changed, she had changed too, circumstances changed, their relationship changed.

Yesterday, he asked her out, but he asked her too late, she had agreed to go out with someone else. He was disappointed. However, he still tried his very best to try and please her. He offered to give her a lift for her date. It wasn't something just about anyone would do, especially not if you were just rejected by her. She hadn't wanted to accept it, she felt uncomfortable by his actions, but in the end, she agreed.

He had hinted he wanted to ask her out in the weeks before yesterday, but she never did give him a reply. In fact, it wouldn't be factually accurate to say that he asked her out too late. It was just that she hadn't even wanted to accept his date in the first place. She gave excuses, she said she had a meeting with her friends regarding her school activities, then she said she had made plans to meet other people. But it was all bullshit. The other guy only asked her out yesterday, that morning. He was but her spare tyre, only if all else failed then only she would consider him.

Never would she think that a year later, on the night of 14.2.2006 she would regret her decision of yesterday. Give a choice that that events of yesterday could happen again, she would give anything in the world to spend tonight with him. What other guys, what other friends, what other school activities can all be thrown into the rubbish bin. She only wanted him. But of course, yesterday and today are two different days altogether, there was no chance that she could have yesterday repeating itself again today.

She tried to be tactful when she rejected him yesterday. She told him about her priorities clearly, and when there was a chance in plans that the other guy had asked her out, she told him truthfully, there was no reason to lie to him, or maybe she just wanted to hint to him that she did not think that he was anywhat important to her. But he was persistent. Even though he knew that she had a date with the other guy, he still offered to give her a lift to where she was heading. It didn't matter to him whatever his position was to her, he just wanted to do all he could for her. Or maybe, with today's hindsight, he was but lonely.

After his persistent attempts, she finally relented, also because she was running late and she didn't want to be very late for her date with the other guy. Still she felt bad to him. She felt she was just making use of his kindness in achieving something totally selfish. She felt as though she was bruising his ego and she didn't like it, but he assured her that he was fine with it. He just wanted her to have a nice date be it whomever she was having it with.

Today would be the opposite. She would give everything up in the world just so that she could send him for his date. She would even be willing to be his cook and waitress and prepare dinner for his date and wait on them hand and food just so that she could be with him, but of course, he would never allow that to happen today.

It sounds so ironic that yesterday when he was such a nice guy, she didn't like him, but today, he treats her like a piece of dirt but she's still so besotted with him, even when she knew that he was married, that didn't stop her from continuing to love him even more.

She first met him yesterday at the carpark in her house basement. Her first impression of him was nowhere close to quite bad, it was very bad. He had already appeared to her as persistent, clingy and very desperate, qualities that she did not like very much, in fact he almost irritated her. Today the tables turned and she was the persistent one, clingy and very desperate for his attention when he just treats her merely as just another being.

When her eyes first set upon him, the very first thing that flashed acrossed her mind was that he looked uglier than she had imagined. She had seen a photo of him before yesterday, but he looked very much uglier than the photo portrayed. She didn't even dare to stare directly at him yesterday because she thought he was too ugly even to look at for anything longer than half a second. Today, her greatest desire is nothing more than to stare at his face the whole day and every day. Today he isn't ugly anymore to her. Sure he is nowhere from being drop dead georgeous, but his well weathered face made him the most pleasant guy in her eyes. They say beauty is in the eyes of the beholder, and she just proves what they say is right.

Her first impression of him was not just only that he was ugly. He also looked a lot older than she thought he was, okay, she did knew his exact age, he just looked older than what was stated in his identification card. He was old, ugly and balding. And yesterday when she first set her eyes upon him, she regretted immediately over her decision to meet him, but of course, one year later today, she regretted her decision not to have accepted his date and went out with him instead. Life was just like that, full of regrets, yet full of surprises and changes.

She can't remember what happened during the journey from her place to her date venue, just that he redeemed himself of his lack of looks for his verbal abilities to put her at ease. He was conversant and rather pleasant a person as long as she looked straighted into the glass window in front of her.

But as she looked forward, she saw seeds that would later translate into her eternal misery. In front of her in front of the front glass window hung a pair of wedding dolls. That was the first perculiarities that she saw but she tried to reasonate herself by saying to herself that this might be a family car instead of it being just his car, although she knew deep inside her that that possibility was close to zero. Stretching her imagination a little bit more she thought that maybe he might once had a fiance but things didn't work out between them. She gave herself more excuses by stretching her imagination just so that he could be claimed not guilty.

Then came the next oddity she noticed. He was wearing a ring on his fourth finger, but the ring was on the wrong hand, or so she tried to calm herself. Similarly she made up more excuses for him, perhaps the ring was to ward of something, or for good luck and prosperity. The she thought about the story of the fiance who didn't work out, then she gave him that tall story and even started looking at him with a sympathetic vision.

Today, she knows that everything was just a bullshit and she was just lying to herself. She just wanted herself to sound innocent and willing to accept whatever bullshit that was presented to her. She thought she had been trying to act as though she was easily convinced and not a suspicious person. If only she was willing to question the truth earlier, then perhaps she could have prevented all her future miseries from happening. It was her fault, she could only think. He hadn't tried to cover up all those little oddities by removing the dolls all the ring, it didn't seem that he was intentionally lying to her. It wasn't his fault at all.

The journey was only half and hour, marked with her disappointment in him and the out of place matters that she noticed but didn't question, at the point of yesterday, she could not have ever imagined that this today would have happened.

Yesterday, his wife was away, he was lonely, he needed company and he tried to find that in her. He was willing to do whatever she wanted just so that he could be relieved of his loneliness. Today, she lay in her bed crying out for him, missing him badly, and he lay in his bed sleeping soundly with his wife just beside him in his arms. What they did before was something which she could speculate the whole night and just get even more upset by each piece of imaginary possibility.

What happened in between was a story nobody would have guessed. Even she did not realise all those little bit of changes that were occurring beside her as yesterday slowly became today.

To him, it was all a calculated farce. He just wanted company and he was willing to go to great lengths to get a girl and once he got her, it didn't matter anymore. It was all about demand and supply. When she didn't want him, he had to do whatever he could do to get her, but now that she wanted him, he had the purchasing power whether he wanted to accept her and hence she was subjected to his whims and fancy.

To her, she was just a masochist. When a nice guy was presented to her, showering her with attention and love, she couldn't care less about his presence. But when he started shying away from her, she found herself wanting more and more of him. And when he finally did not want her anymore, she fell in love with him. Isn't she just courting trouble herself?

The date she went out with shared an opposing fate. With her engineering that date yesterday, that date was important to her, but as time passed and that other guy started showering more attention over her, she got less interested in him. She started feeling irritated by his constant presence and finally decided to go missing on him. One year later today, he remains forgotten in her history.

Maybe it is what can be translated as karma. How she treated the other guy was how he treated her and how he treated her was directly in inverse proportion to how she would return that treatment to him.

Yesterday and today is but one year apart. But the changes made during this one year apart seemed more like a decade apart to her. Things happened so fast that she was not fully able to fathom how she managed to fall in love with him given that her first impression of him was this bad and the dubious pieces of evidences she had sighted on their very first meeting. She also didn't very clearly understand how was it that she could finally found out about his marital status and how they could be still together given that he didn't want her and that she could still want to want him. She didn't understand anything.

Today, as she lay on her bed remising about yesterday, she continues to wonder about tomorrow. What can happen on 14.2.2007?


Jasmine said...

Hey Joanie

You asked me to comment on whether your post had literary value.

I find the use of the phrase "literary value" very troubling because it certainly isn't up to me to judge. It was once said that "there are as many texts in the class as there are readers". This means that every visitor to your blog will probably have a different take on your short story.

For me, I found your piece very interesting because it seemed to be semi-autobiographical and yet fictional (in terms of stylistic features like your choice of tense and third-person narration with limited consciousness) at the same time. It's actually quite a pyschological piece because the reader is given many insights into the girl's frame of mind, and this is just me, but your voice as an author somehow appears to be intertwined inextricably with the voice of the narrator of your story.

How does this story tie in with your previous? How come some biographical details of your protagonists are similiar?

But in the end, literary merit... that's a tough one. Individual experiences of the text are emotive, subjective and invariably different. I like to think that the most important thing is not so much gauging the "worth" of the piece as much as it is enjoying it, identifying with it, and appreciating the TEXT in the CONTEXT in which it was written.

But what do you yourself think of your story? I mean, that's the most important thing.

Okay this "comment" has turned out a bit longer than I expected it to=)

cindy said...

I guess that after churning much of my brain cells, i manage to get some 微不足道 comments.. haha coz my english is very bad. i judge this from teh pespective of literature.. hmm... i duno how much gd stuff i can give to u..

but i guess form the 3 stories of yours, i realised they lack something.. teh characters lack names. its very important. beacsue it can help readers liek me.. with weaker brain power to dicepher it.. haha.. i get confuse sometimes like which guy u are tlakign about atthis point of time.. the 'current bf' or the prev old flame..

all these 3 stories are written to tell the story from the perspective of the female. maybe u can try to write some stories in the POV of the men? showing how a woman might think how a man thinks.. that will give your story more credit and depth. not venting out how a female feels inthe situation but also the man and his thoughts. eg instead of just wrtting the feelings of the man.. u can write what the man does on the journey to pick up the girl, revealing his thoughts trough his actions ratehr than let the girl speculate about how the guy might feel.

overall, i like your story~ its exciting to read, but i guess you would love to edit it thats y u ask me how i feel abt it rite? haha.. thanx for writting all these long long stories, it made me reflect and have a clearer view of who i am and how i should deal with the problems if i EVER get into such deep shit as the characters. =)