“B!! It’s B, idiot! Kuala Lumpur is in Malaysia! B!!!” yelled Benjamin.
“Yes. I’m certain Kuala Lumpur’s in Tibet. D it is..” a contestant’s voice on the game show echoed in Ben’s somewhat bare living room.
Ben snatched his remote control, changed the channel and reached for his carton of kung po chicken, “Geez!”.
Chinese takeouts and game shows for dinner were the norm for Ben, a self-confessed workaholic. He hardly ever left his home other than to go to his office. In the eyes of his colleagues and friends, he was very successful. On the contrary, he saw no worth in his assets if he’s not able to share them with loved ones. And that, was exactly what he didn’t have; loved ones.
Benjamin had never fallen in love. At the age of 40, he was disappointed at not having met a life partner while his former classmates were possibly almost ready to have grandchildren.
What made him more anxious was that he didn’t see much chance of finding love. How could he when he can’t even strike up a decent conversation with a woman? He was shy and his social life was close to non-existent. He rarely meets women and those that he has talked to, he only spoke about work and nothing else. Approaching women was certainly nowhere near his ‘to do’ list. And although some have made a move on him, they seemed to scare him off somehow. His mother leaving him at the tender age of 4 perhaps explains his fear of women.
One dreary afternoon, he was feeling particularly depressed. He had just been promoted. He should’ve been over the moon. But why wasn’t he then?
The truth is, he was fully aware of the reason. Adding insult to injury, a friend, thought to be the last one to settle down, was getting married soon. He was the only one left in his circle of friends not to have gotten married or at least have found someone.
Walking out his front door, he headed for the public garden near his apartment. Just as he stepped onto the freshly cut grass, something smacked him right on the chest. He did not see the woman as he was so engaged in his thoughts. The woman seemed to be preoccupied too. She was alone.
He wasn’t sure how, but they ended up sitting on a bench nearby. At first in silence. Not the awkward kind, both just glad to have the other’s company.
A ball rolled over to Ben and the lady.
Running after it, the little boy said to Ben, “Why hello sir, there are some pretty flowers you could give your wife. It might cheer her up,” pointing to a patch of white, blooming daisies.
A smile appeared on their amused faces and they got to chatting. They both shared their fears and longings that evening, despite being complete strangers. She was divorced from her husband and simply wanted to talk to someone who wouldn’t judge her while he had no expectations and spoke his mind. He asked her out and she said yes.
With each date, they discovered that their ideals were very much the same; to be happy, contented and to experience life with another soul. They loved kids and a house full of them would simply be perfect.
2 years on, he stared at the tiny fingers of the baby in his arms. The boy was his own and he couldn’t believe it. His wishes had come true. Married to an amazing woman, blessed with a beautiful child, he has never been happier.
“Thank you,” he whispered, “Thank you……”