November 28, 2005

White Daisies

“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……”

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  1. I love your story, the strucuture is interwoven, just as Hasan said, the plot grows organnically…:)
    really admirable…

    28 Nov 2005, 11:35

  2. Thank you Iris :)

    28 Nov 2005, 15:29

  3. A warm story with a happy ending! I just love happy endings, you know. It is the sentence 'Benjamin had never fallen in love' that draws my fulll attention and triggers off my curiosity which drives me to read on until the very last word while expecting something nice to happen at the same time. Thanks for your writing which offers me another wonderful adventure in the world of imagination.

    28 Nov 2005, 18:06

  4. This is splendid!,Dina. The opening paragraphs are tempting the readers into the story.; Skillfully described his life and his characters. I thought…'Yes,yes! there are these kinds of men!' ; and the little boy's innocent question made me feel worm and smiley. I really love your stories! …I'd like to suggest something!!!

    28 Nov 2005, 22:47

  5. Thanks Junko. Of course, what is it that you'd like to suggest? Go ahead

    29 Nov 2005, 15:55

  6. I'd like to!!! but what? Just, I would like to write like you! I'll continue to look for something that I can suggest.

    29 Nov 2005, 16:45

  7. liu zi ling grace

    Just as Janny's taste ,I also like warm stories which can easily make me feel ease and comfortable.
    Although simple plot,the discription is very detailed and I can feel the anxious mood of the charactor while I am reading.
    Well done!

    29 Nov 2005, 17:47

  8. Again, Dina, you have shown great writing talent! I like the way you have shown Benjamin’s lonely life, rather than just ‘told’ it. You build up your story excellently with a constant crescendo … until “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…”, whence too much is packed in too hastily: it’s virtually a vertical ride from that point. Further, I don’t know if I would tend to buy the part where a LITTLE boy comes up to Ben and suggests to him to gift ‘his wife the flowers’ – such over-mature suggestion from a little stranger? mmm … well, well … Perhaps a flower/bouquet selling peddler – then even a little boy, all right – could have been ‘employed’ in your story for the purpose. Then that suggestion from the stranger triggering off their affair would have made White Daisies a cosy little story indeed.

    31 Dec 2005, 19:53

  9. i guess i was trying to show that even the little boy had sensed something in the air wasn't right. and that maybe the kid thought that Ben and the lady were husband and wife. in my mind, the kid might've been made aware of how flowers (like his father had always presented to his mom whenever they had an argument{for instance}) could make things better. plus, i didn't think ppl would go 'aww..' had i used a flower selling peddler instead. nonetheless, i appreciate your view and you may very well be right. just thought i'd explain why i chose the 'little boy' instead ;) thanks Hasan

    06 Jan 2006, 19:24

  10. Hi,

    I like the variety in writing so complete different stories. I admire your hope for romantic moments and to express them like that.

    Why did you split the text up into so many paragraphs?

    Last question: To whom he thanked?????



    13 Jan 2006, 02:40

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