Should I Stay Or Should I Go?
They have been together for more than a decade, and to take her this many years to think of this question seemed to be rather inappropriate. After all, they have been together for so long, why was there this need for a sudden change in the status quo.
After breaking up with her boyfriend number two, Scarlett thought of stopping contact with Ming. At first she thought that this was just a withdrawal symptom of a failed relationship and that she wanted to make use of Ming to hurt herself to compensate for the hurt she inflicted upon her boyfriend. However, even after getting back into the dating scene and acquiring more boyfriends, the naggy feeling of her wanting to leave Ming did not fade off.
Ming was different from her many boyfriends. Her many boyfriends recognised her as a girlfriend, brought her out to meet friends and have no idea about the relations Scarlett had with other men. How she managed to keep her many boyfriends out of each other's way and still could have enough time for all of them, and Ming, was a mystery to Ming, and was going to remain a mystery to him. Ming was different in that she knew about his personal life, he was married with a child. There was no way Ming could recognise Scarlett as a girlfriend, instead they met under the guise of being best friends. Best friends of more than a decade. Not just that, Ming too knew everything about Scarlett's private life. She made it a point to keep Ming updated about her every change in the statuses of her many relationships and her countless other flings.
In a way, Scarlett was probably tired of reporting her every move to Ming. After that break up, she realised that she did not feel like disclosing this news to Ming. She knew what Ming would say. He has been saying the same thing to her everytime she announced the exodus of a relationship. He would say, "Why don't you try staying true to one guy instead of spreading your love thin. Breaking up is good, one guy less, stay on and love the remaining few even more, okay, girl?"
Scarlett would then retort him back rendering him speechless, "And why don't you stay true to your dear Shan? Maybe we should break up, then you could love her with all your heart instead."
Although she did like all of her boyfriends somewhat equally, she did not really love them. Her first and foremost was someone else, someone she loved yet dared not love and very much afraid to let known her feelings even though she knew his. He loved her. His love for her was as simple as that, but her love was much more complicated. She was afraid of hurting him like she had done with others, she was afraid of hurting him with all the complications of her love, she was afraid of hurting him when one day she could not love him the same, and hence she decided to put that piece of love locked up in her heart and giving him the free rein to marry another girl and live a happy life but yet steadfastly remaining by his side.
As time went by, her feelings for him slowly took another shape. She was not very sure if she loved him the same way as she had when she was younger. Being older and ore jaded, Scarlett soon found herself craving for some form of security in love. She wanted a husband and a child to complement her successful career, but she did not bear to leave her boyfriends and her swinging incommitual lifestyle.
After replacing her ex-boyfriend with two new boyfriends, Scarlett reported that to Ming as usual.
"Ming, I picked up two new guys over the weekend," Scarlett reported. "One's a golf instructor, I met him over at the club, he's really very good looking and muscular. The other's that cute waiter I was telling you about the other time. He's so shy that he's so cute, too him this long to ask to get together with me. I just couldn't resist him."
"You know, Scarlett," preached Ming. "Perhaps you should try staying true to one guy instead of spreading your love thin. How would that finance manager you've been dating for the past couple of months feel about this? He'd be so heartbroken."
Scarlett bit her lip. Her usual retort was at the tip of her tongue when she thought about the consideration of breaking up with Ming. With not much to lose and regret, she took the plunge with a more callous approach.
"Perhaps we should break up then," said Scarlett in a serious tone. "I can then concentrate my love on fewer people. At least I know that they can be true to me. Perhaps, I might even pick one of them to marry and have kids with. I can feel my bio-clock ticking."
"What do you mean?" asked Ming, quite taken aback.
"I'm not that young anymore. I need some form of security in my life. I need a child."
"Who are you thinking of marrying?"
"It doesn't matter much, does it? It can't be you anyway."
Ming looked away from Scarlett. A simple retort from her struck his heart painfully, but yet a part of him felt happy that finally she admitted, though indirectly, of her feelings for him. Just that it all came too late. "You gave up that chance, don't forget," replied Ming, trying to deflect the blame away from himself.
"I didn't. Hey, didn't we agree on not seeing each other after your marriage? You really should stay true to Shan, love her, and not hurt her."
"She's quite happy with things as they are now."
"Would she be happier if we broke up, Ming?" asked Scarlett quietly. "My heart breaks everytime I lie to her. I'm tired of being the two faced creature in front of her. She's too nice for me to do this to her. And Tian, she's such a sweet little baby."
Tears streamed down her cheeks quite unexpectedly. She has always kept her emotions to herself but there was something emo about her tonight which led her to let her feelings go out of control.
Ming reached out his hand and wiped the tears off Scarlett's vulnerable face, gently brushing her and caressing her cheeks. He was not unaware of her vulnerability and was thus not shocked by her breakdown. Instead, the strong feelings of love he had for her was reignited by her display of emotions. She did have had feelings for me, he thought, smiling contentedly to himself.
However, that same display of emotions reminded him of his commitment to Shan. Mixed feelings ran high within him.
"Could you please leave me?" asked Scarlett tearfully.
"No." replied Ming instantaneously.
"Then, would you leave Shan instead?" asked Scarlett tentatively.
Ming stared at her hard.
"No," replied Ming finally.
A smile appeared across Scarlett's face. Perhaps it might just be possible to rectify a wrong decision made years ago.