The Last Date
Scarlett and Ming had known each other for more than ten years. They were friends for more than ten years. They were very good friends. In fact, they were so close to each other that most people around them often mistook them as a couple. But they knew that they were not as what people thought they were. Yes, sometimes they might kiss, sometimes they might do some other stuff, but they were still friends.
A couple of times Ming did want to take their relationship further, but every time when Scarlett sensed something like that was to happen, she would pre-empt him and involve herself with another guy. It was not too long later did Ming give up hope and found himself a girlfriend. Ming, being the good guy he was, was quite committed to his girlfriend, although sometimes things still happened between him and Scarlett. By this time, all those around them, even Shan, Ming’s girlfriend, came to accept that Ming and Scarlett were just very close friends. Of course, only Ming and Scarlett knew the truth.
Ming was the kind of person who wanted love and security. To him, Scarlett was the epitome of love. The passionate beauty who lit up his life and brought him immediate fun and joy, but he found no security in her. She had her slew of men, and wanted to make no commitments, and he knew that, he knew that she was involved with many men other than himself. Sometimes, she would proclaim herself to be in love with some guy, which would instantly disappoint Ming. In stark contrast, Shan was the perfect, faithful wife any guy could ask for. Even though Ming felt no burning passion for Shan, he knew he could count on her forever.
As time ticked on, Ming knew that the time has come for him to stop playing the field and settle down. He needed to get married. He needed to placate his parents, and to propagate before he could not make it. But did he really want to marry Shan? Or was he going to marry Shan but still continue his affairs with Scarlett? It was a tough decision for Ming.
One night, as Ming stayed over with Scarlett, he told her his thoughts, and made her a proposition.
“Would you marry me?” asked Ming.
Scarlett was taken aback by his sudden proposal. “What about Shan?” she asked.
“Nothing about her,” Ming said. And after a short pause and taking in the full connotations behind Scarlett’s words, he continued, “I’d of course break up with her, leave her, whatever.”
“What about her feelings?” Scarlett probed.
“What what about her feelings?” Ming was frustrated. He only wanted Scarlett to say yes. Once Scarlett said yes, he would break up with Shan, leave her and be happy with her. Shan was not in his plans. He did not care about her. He never knew what he wanted to do with her. Ming, in most people’s eyes, was a nice guy, a responsible person whom they could all rely on, but little did they know. However, in this Ming that stood before Scarlett, she saw nothing about that Ming everyone thought they knew.
“I won’t allow Shan to be unhappy.” declared Scarlett finally. Not that it was really because she did not want Shan to be unhappy, but it was the only excuse she could think of at this moment.
“I love you. I want to marry you. How do you feel about it?” Ming tried another stance.
“I don’t want to marry you,” Scarlett put it across as simply as she could.
That night ended with Ming leaving Scarlett’s place. He had some sort of expected Scarlett’s answer, he knew Scarlett well enough to know that she was not the kind of person who was willing to settle down. She did not even want to be his girlfriend, so why did he think that wife was ever a possibility.
Although earlier Ming appeared to be irresponsible and insensitive, he was actually very committed to his girlfriend. Since Scarlett did not want to marry him, and he wanted to marry, he was going to propose to Shan. He knew for sure that Shan would marry him. In fact, she has been talking about getting an apartment with him and having kids – even though they have yet had sex – and other aspects of married life.
A few nights later, Ming dropped by Scarlett’s place again.
“I’ll be marrying Shan,” Ming informed Scarlett.
“Am I supposed to congratulate you?” asked Scarlett.
“Maybe, if you want to,” replied Ming. “I think we should stop seeing each other,” Ming dropped the bombshell. “I’ll feel bad to Shan. I mean, all along, what I wanted was some form of security from her and I think it’s time for me to repay her with the sincerity that she’s been showering on me all the while. She’s a nice girl and everything.”
As Ming went on explaining, he was silently hoping that Scarlett would cut short his speech and say she wanted him instead, but she just watched on him just as silent as his hopes.
After Ming left, Scarlett felt a sense of loss. She had been together with Ming for more than ten years, even though she had never openly felt any love for Ming, she did have a part of her heart stuck onto Ming. As Ming was talking, many moments had Scarlett wanted to stop him and just hold him tightly in her arms forever, but she stopped herself. She knew clearly what kind of girl she was and what kind of girl Shan was. She also knew which girl was better for Ming. If she kept Ming by her side, Ming would never get to marry her. Even if marriage was not on their cards, she was also currently involved with two other men whom she was not planning to leave. This, she knew clearly, was not fair to Ming. He deserved better, he deserved a Shan who could give him her whole heart and soul and body.
However, as time wore on, as Scarlett saw Ming making wedding preparations with Shan, the more envious she felt. That could have been me, she thought, ignoring the other thoughts that cried out that it was also her who did not want to be in that position. Slowly, she drifted apart from Ming and Shan, partly because they did not need her around, but also partly because she could not bear to see them so sweetly together.
Slowly, Scarlett purged Ming out of her life. First, they stopped meeting up, then they stopped communication with each other, next Scarlett decided to return all of Ming’s stuff he had left at her place, clothes, DVDs, even the lovers’ couch they had bought together which they always used to sit on and watch DVDs together and sometimes spend the night on. One by one, piece by piece, Scarlett confronted all their past as she cleared out Ming’s personal items and all their memories.
Then she saw this lying in her drawer. A pair of concert tickets of their favourite rock group. A pair of tickets to a yet-to-be-held concert. They bought the tickets three months ago when they were first released so that they could secure the best seats, and indeed, there were to be seated in the first row, right in front of their idols. But that pair of tickets meant that Scarlett and Ming had to go on that last date two weeks later, the day after Ming and Shan were to be married.
to be continued...
(but will not be posted on the blog, what would follow would be the actual date and the resolvement of Ming and Scarlett and Shan)
1. Thanks to Aikhui who proof-read this piece even though I didn't ask him to. He has sharp eyes, and I have bad typing. He was the one who also helped me correct a word from Yu Yi.
2. This was written last semester during the time when I was collating pieces about Fuck Buddies, or Friends with Benefits, since some people think it sounds crude. Maybe it's because I was first exposed to the term FB that's why I tend to use the term Fuck Buddies instead.
Anyway, look at the insight which explains why I'm writing all these. And these other Ming and Scarlett and Shan pieces about their relationship. Each is a standalone story, each character is circumstantially different but fundamentally the same, if you understand what I mean.
Can We Return To The Old Times Again?
3. The characters are all taken from Scarlett Flight, only that I've given them different developmental circumstances. But I distinguished Adele from Scarlett because I want to let Adele be the victim, she deserves it. Anyway, even if Adele didn't die she won't turn out to be as fickle as Scarlett, so I'd leave only that distinct difference. Yes, and Ming is really not that bad a guy fundamentally.
4. Most importantly, all my writings are totally fictional and stemmed from my hyperactive imagination and not related to any persons dead or living. Any resemblence is either because you inspired me, totally coincidental, or a figment of your imagination.