Saturday, May 21, 2011

Tear-Jerking Love Story





Introduction
So, I came across this tear-jerking short love story online, and loved every single thing about it but the very cliche & predictable happily-ever-after-ending. So I took the story, minus the ending, and posted it on my Facebook note to see if any of my friends's up for the challenge to write a better ending for the story. Read on to find out what's their take on this story, and do post yours up here too, if you feel like it! =)


The Story
There was this guy who believed very much in true love and decided to take his time to wait for his right girl to appear. He believed that there would definitely be someone special out there for him, but none came.

Every year at Christmas, his ex-girlfriend would return from Vancouver to look him up. He was aware that she still held some hope of re-kindling the past romance with him. He did not wish to mislead her in any way. So he would always get one of his girl friends to pose as his steady whenever she came back. That went on for several years and each year, the guy would get a different girl to pose as his romantic interest. So whenever the ex-girlfriend came to visit him, she would be led into believing that it was all over between her and the guy. The girl took all those rather well, often trying to casually tease him about his different girlfriends, or so, as it seemed! In fact, the girl often wept in secret whenever she saw him with another girl, but she was too proud to admit it. Still, every Christmas, she returned, hoping to re-kindle some form of romance. But each time, she returned to Vancouver feeling disappointed.

Finally she decided that she could not play that game any longer. Therefore, she confronted him and professed that after all those years, he was still the only man that she had ever loved. Although the guy knew of her feelings for him, he was still taken back and have never expected her to react that way. He always thought that she would slowly forget about him over time and come to terms that it was all over between them. Although he was touched by her undying love for him and wanted so much to accept her again, he remembered why he rejected her in the first place-she was not the one he wanted. So he hardened his heart and turned her down cruelly. Since then, three years have passed and the girl never return anymore. They never even wrote to each other. The guy went on with his life..... still searching for the one but somehow deep inside him, he missed the girl.


On the Christmas of 1995, he went to his friend's party alone. "Hey, how come all alone this year? Where are all your girlfriends? What happened to that Vancouver babe who joins you every Christmas?", asked one of his friend. He felt warm and comforted by his friend's queries about her, still he just surged on.

Then, he came upon one of his many girlfriends whom he once requested to pose as his steady. He wanted so much to ignore her ..... not that he was impolite, but because at that moment, he just didn't feel comfortable with those girlfriends anymore. It was almost like he was being judged by them. The girl saw him and shouted across the floor for him. Unable to avoid her, he went up to acknowledge her.

"Hi......how are you? Enjoying the party?" the girl asked.


"Sure.....yeah!", he replied.

She was slightly tipsy..... must be from the whiskey on her hand. She continued,
"Why...? Don't you need someone to pose as your girlfriend this year?"

Then he answered, "No, there is no need for that anymore......"

Before he can continue, he was interrupted, "Oh yes! Must have found a girlfriend! You haven't been searching for one for the past years, right?" The man looked up, as if he has struck gold, his face beamed and looked directly at the drunken girl. He replied, "Yes......you are right! I haven't been looking for anyone for the past years."

With that, the man darted across the floor and out the door, leaving the lady in much bewilderment. He finally realized that he has already found his dream girl, and she was.....the Vancouver girl all along! The drunken lady has said something that awoken him.


All along he has found his girl. That was why he did not bother to look further when he realized she was not coming back. It was not any specific girl he was seeking! It was perfection that he wanted, and yes.....perfection!!

Relationship is something both parties should work on. Realizing that he had let away someone so important in his life, he decided to call her immediately. His whole mind was flooded with fear. He was afraid that she might have found someone new or no longer had the same feelings anymore..... For once, he felt the fear of losing someone.

As it was Christmas eve, the line was quite hard to get through, especially an overseas call. He tried again and again, never giving up.

James Low's

Finally, he resorted to one last dire attempt to reach for her. He called his friend in Vancouver and said, “I want to her to know this NOW.”


For the 4th consecutive year, she spent Christmas’ Eve sitting on her couch of her villa, disconnected from all media gadgets. At this time for the past three years, she would rewind what had happened when he said “No.”

As the tears streamed slowly, the doorbell of her villa rang. She wasn’t in a mood to meet people and ignored the bell. But a kid called out, “I know you’re in there. I’ve seen you around my house for years but we’ve never talked. And you’ve always trapped yourself inside on Christmas’ Eves.”

She began to listen intently, wondering what a boy would say to a stranger who happened to be a mysterious figure in their area.

“But you see, we’re having a candlelight party at our house but… we’ve run out of supplies. Would you be kind enough to lend us some? Please?”

If anything, that boy had only made her sob harder. His plea ignited her mind to race back her family. She had been cruel to herself, but for a kid who was trying to keep the day special for his family, she wasn’t going to be.

She took some candles and opened the door to a beaming six-year-old. She knelt in front of him, gave him the candles and tried to smile to him.

“Do you wanna join us?” asked the boy. Without waiting for her to respond, he grabbed her hand and pulled her with him to his house.

Then, she was introduced to the family members one by one. When it reached the boy’s teenage sister, the boy asked

“Why are you teary-eyed?”

“That is one confession.” She replied as she pointed to a TV. “Read the newsreel.” And everybody, including the guest, did.

I know you’re in Vancouver now. I don’t know if you could read this, but God willing, I want you to know that I’ve finally found the right girl, and that is you.

When you and I were together, I had the sweetest moments of my life. I did things I’d never dared. Admitted feelings I’d never had the courage to reveal. But I was a moron in believing I could find a better one; a fool in letting you, my perfection, to run away from me.

Forgive me for being stupid, selfish and hurtful. Forgive me for everything I have and haven’t done. If you’ve started a new life, I hope the man loves you the way you deserve, the way I’ve never loved.

But if you’re still waiting, then please give me a chance to love you so.

Possessed, she ran back to her villa, rummaged her bag and frantically dialed her missed calls.

“Mandy? Mandy, is that you? Look I’m sorry, girl. I should have known that you’re the right one for me.”

Her thoughts flew to her family and friends again whom she had neglected just because of an unsatisfied, ungrateful man. As if a new sun had dawned upon her, she said, “But I think you’re not my right boy anymore,” and off her phone.

He put down the phone and decided that one last call was all he would give. One last call.

He picked up the receiver and dialled the number slowly. The handset was slipping out of his sweaty palm with every number he punched.

"The person you are calling did not answer. Please try a-"

That was it. His heart sunk as it were made of lead. He carelessly threw the receiver back.

Just as he turned around he heard the phone ring.

"Hello?"
"Thomas? That you?"

He recognized Jane's voice immediately

"Yes Jane."
"I'm so sorry I couldn't come down this year."
"No, no. It's alright. Listen. I need to ask you something."
"Make it quick. I've gotta go soon."
"Jane?"
"Yes?"
"Will you marry me?"

Silence followed. He got sick of waiting. Every second of silence seemed to pass like an hour.

"Jane. I love you. I know I never told you but, I really do. Please give me another chance."
"I..."
"You're what I've always searched for. I know I never looked because it was you. You were right at my doorstep! You're the one, Jane. You're the one."
"I...I'm already married, Thomas."

"Oh...I see...well. Can I ask one thing from you?"
"What is it?"
"Can you ever find the room in your heart...to forgive me for what I said?"

He could hear Jane sniffling on the other side of the line. Thomas bit his lip.

"Yes. I forgive you. I'm sorry, Thomas. I'm so, so sorry."

Tears were flowing on both sides of the line.

"Hey I've gotta go now."
"Yeah. Sure...sorry for disturbing."
"Oh no, it's fine."

Just as the call was about to end, he called out to Jane again.

"Jane!"
"Yeah?"
"Merry Christmas......."


Finally he hailed a cab to the airport after getting frustrated at listening to her voicemail over and over again. He got the earliest flight to Vancouver and looked for her as soon as the plane touches down.

He was grinning ear to ear the whole journey from the airport to her house. Finally, the cab driver couldn’t keep the curiosity to himself anymore, asked him,

“Where are you heading to young man? You look so happy!”

He smile sheepishly and said, “Chasing the love that I had foolishly chased away three years ago.”

“Good luck in that! Although I don’t believe that she would have waited for you; true love never waits for anyone,” sneer the cab driver.

Thinking that he was just an old and bitter man, he brushed off the cab driver’s comment and remains happy throughout the whole journey. Unshaven, grubby and jetlagged he finally reach Jane’s house and knocked on her door. No one answered. He knocks again and again and again. Finally her neighbour heard the knocks and approached him.

“Who are you looking for?” asked a fiftyish woman in her pyjamas.

He replied nervously, “Jane. I’m looking for Jane. Where is she?”

As soon as he finished talking, he realized that the woman’s face was washed with grief. She smiled solemnly and asked him to wait for a minute meanwhile she hurried to her house and took a white envelope and passed it to him. Without saying another word she headed back to her house.

Suddenly he seemed to be shaking with fear; He was afraid to know what was in the envelope. Could it be that Jane had found someone else and this is the letter that said she has moved on? But then again why Jane would write him a letter and not mailed it to him and instead passed it to her neighbour? He was confused. Contemplating no more, he ripped the envelope apart and read the letter.

Dear Alex,

If you are reading this letter, it can only mean that you have realize how foolish you were by pushing me away and it also means that you have realized that I’m the one for you. I really hoped that you would have realized earlier because by the time you’re reading this, I’m no longer here anymore. Remember the time I professed everything to you and you pushed me away so cruelly. The afternoon before I professed, I was diagnosed with a stage four cancer. I had professed to you, hoping that you will be there for me during my last phase of life but sadly you made a choice that hurt me terribly and in the end you hurt yourself too. There’s nothing more I can say to you and there’s nothing more that you can do because you had made that decision long long time ago. Goodbye and I hope you will be happy.

Sincerely,
Jane.

He did not break down nor did he shed a single tear. He hailed a cab instead and headed back to airport hoping to get home as soon as possible. He was terribly wounded by the decision that he had made three years ago and frankly speaking, knowing that Jane had died, he felt that a part of him had vanished along with her. He didn’t dare to ask Jane’s neighbour where she was buried because all he wanted to do was to burry all these behind of him and move on. He might come off as selfish and cold blooded but he knew himself that if he didn’t do what he was doing he would never be able to face life again and so he took the earliest flight home and move on.

He never found anyone like Jane and he never found anymore reason to smile again. He had contemplated to commit suicide the first few months after finding out that Jane had died but he never managed to do that. It was not because that he was afraid of dying but it was more of the fact that he knew committing suicide would be a pleasure death for him. Because of his foolishness, he had cause Jane to die alone and thus he believe that he should have the same fate as her. He took care of his health and lived till he was eighty. He too died a lonely death like Jane, with no family members or friends by his side. 



Mine
Finally, he got through. Someone picked the phone up,

"Hello, who's there?"

His heart stopped beating for a minute. His breath was caught in his throat. It was a voice of a man. Not losing hope, he said, "I am looking for Jane.."

"Oh, Jane is not in... but she will be back soon... Maybe you can leave a message?"

"Tell Jane it's Thomas.", and then he hung up.

Jane never called back. But life goes on. Thomas found himself a pretty decent girl, and they got married. But all his life, he's never for one moment stopped thinking of "what if?", what if it's Jane that he wakes up to every morning? What if it's Jane who snuggles up to him watching his favourite sport channel, what if it's Jane... And it kills him inside how Jane's never returned his call, that she's completely erased him out of her life, and how he's been never able to completely get over her, the only girl he's ever truly loved.




14 Comments:

Lord Hamstera said...

Nothing.
At that moment the world swirled around him and there was nothing he can do about it. Except...
Maybe if he boarded the next flight to Vancouver. Yes, that might work.

Filled with the determination that he never knew he had, he traded his prized possession, a limited Harley Davison jacket, to a hippie at the airport for a one-way ticket to Vancouver. He had no idea what he was going to do next, nor did he know where she lived. All he had was an old photograph she sent him many years ago that he kept in the wallet. If somehow, someway, he could find where the photo was taken, he might just find the love of his life. His odds weren’t good. The only things fuelling him was the hope and believe that if true love was meant to be, he would find her with his heart.

Untrue to most Hollywood fashion, he never found the girl in Vancouver. After searching for three days, he had ran out of cash and out of ideas. It was finally time to go home. He never saw her after that whole incident, but he never forgot how love came so close to his grasp, when all he ever wanted was staring him in the face, and he did nothing.


____________


It was getting cold and distant sound of aircrafts taking off brought back memories of the time she stood at this particular airport that had given her a certain sense of hope. Jane picked up her phone and looked at the familiar face that was on the wallpaper. At that moment, Jane knew that she had made the right decision. To move on would mean that she had to put these feelings behind her. It had been exactly 3 years ago, if he had wanted her back, he would have come running for her, but he didn’t. In what was her last tie to the world she had known, Jane dropped her phone into the recycling bin in a final attempt to rid of all memories related to him. She picked up her passport and her air ticket to New Zealand. Place everything neatly into her handbag and walked towards the check in counter. Jane walked across the boarding bridge and the first step into her new life.

As Flight NZ131 destined for New Zealand was taking off, a phone lit up in the weirdest location possible, a recycling bin. Janitor Jim was listening to his headphones when he cleared the bins around the airport, at the same time grudging that he had to work on Christmas Eve. Things might have still worked out for Jane and the guy, had it not been the final twist in this tragic love story. The ringing phone dropped into a cup of unfinished Coke in Janitor Jim’s waste basket, and with that came an end to an almost love story.

ken said...

wah u and your friends all story-teller ah... i wont be able to write such dramatic story :P

enjoyed reading anyway! :D

k0k s3n w4i said...

Your version of the ending reminded me of Murakami Haruka's South of the Border, West of the Sun. It's about one man's journey through life. He eventually got married to a nice girl - but he had never forgotten his childhood love. It's very heartbreaking, and really deconstructed the idea of dream girls. If anyone must read one book about the nature of relationships, I believe it's that book.

There's a plot hole in your version of the ending though. They only stopped seeing each other for 3 years. How did she find the time to give birth to school-going kids?

Pou Leen said...

The point is not if she has kids, but the fact that he didn't try hard enough. He didn't make the effort to see her in person, but simply concluded; well, whatever he concluded. Men and their ego. I find them always jumping to conclusions, and the worst ones too; without even trying to at least ask?

k0k s3n w4i said...

Perhaps I am too dense to grasp the finer meanings of your story. Forgive my egoistic male brain. I personally think it's reasonable to surmise the worst if when I call a girl's private number, a guy picks up and says that she's out to pick up their kids. It's not much of a jump to that conclusion really. Unless, when the man said "our kids", he really meant his children with another woman and Jane was merely helping out? (which would make his choice of words very odd indeed) Of course, they could also have been adopted or kids from that man's previous marriage - hence the disparity in age.

Or are you saying he should try harder and bullishly go right on ahead and tear this new family with their prodigious schoolgoing two-year olds apart? That maybe she'd be willing to leave it all behind for him?

You must help me grasp the nuances of your intent then. I, unfortunately a male, am no match for your labyrinthine female understanding of the politics of relationship ;)

Pou Leen said...

I guess if I am the girl, I would want the him to go all out, to take the chance to come see me; knowing that he'll most probably be crushed to see that I'm happy with another man.

After all, all these years, I am the one who's going after him knowing that I'll am gonna get crushed, yet I still hope for that one time, when he might just change his mind.

Regardless is she's with another man, or if she will accept him if she happens to be available, he ought to try harder. Regardless of all other things

HE OUGHT TO JUST THROW HIMSELF OUT THERE FEARLESSLY

a very labyrinthine female understanding of the politics of relationship of mine

Nava Krishnan said...

Very touching story.

Maxzinx said...

chia hui's reply seem to content from the books she utterly reads :)

cpydiana said...

luv daniel's and ur ending!!!! made me teary~~

goingkookies said...

hI,

really like this post! do you mind if i do it for my blog too and give you the credits, of course... including my version of the ending? though i m scrambling to think of one good one.. lol

btw, where's the original ending to the story? is it the, he tried and tried never giving up bit?

Mandy Choong said...

what an interesting blog :)

Zazabong said...

interesting story and I like the ending w the one tt she died of cancer. =x

Alvin Lim said...

hmm this kind of story is pretty popular. :P and most of them don have a good ending. :P

there's this jap movie...i forgot the name. very nice movie but the ending is wayyyy too sad for me.

Christine Ho said...

OH!! James Low's one is the best!! He has the potential to be the next best novelist! Be the next John Grisham, James! with a romantic twist.