All Nonfiction Bullying Books Academic Author Interviews Celebrity interviews College Articles College Essays Educator of the Year Heroes Interviews Memoir Personal Experience Sports Travel & CultureAll Opinions Bullying Current Events / Politics Discrimination Drugs / Alcohol / Smoking Entertainment / Celebrities Environment Love / Relationships Movies / Music / TV Pop Culture / Trends School / College Social Issues / Civics Spirituality / Religion Sports / Hobbies
- Summer Guide
- College Guide
- Author Interviews
- Celebrity interviews
- College Articles
- College Essays
- Educator of the Year
- Personal Experience
- Travel & Culture
- Current Events / Politics
- Drugs / Alcohol / Smoking
- Entertainment / Celebrities
- Love / Relationships
- Movies / Music / TV
- Pop Culture / Trends
- School / College
- Social Issues / Civics
- Spirituality / Religion
- Sports / Hobbies
- Community Service
- Letters to the Editor
- Pride & Prejudice
- What Matters
It is a rainy day and this takes place in a café.
The lights are rather dim and the café itself is on the smaller side. The tables are circular and wooden.
In a distant corner of the café, around a table for two, sits a Man, slightly older, and a Girl, slightly younger. The Man is wearing a simple suit; it doesn’t represent wealth, nor poverty. Modest may be the most appropriate word to describe his wear. The Man also has a wet umbrella beside him, rested against a leg of the table, indicating that he had walked to the café. Opposite him is The Girl, who is also wearing simple clothing: a light blue dress, grey ankle boots, and a darker blue jumper.
The waiter has just served them: The Man is having an Americano and The Girl is having Cappuccino.
I see that you upgraded.
The Girl looks up at him, thinking whether her dressing sense used to be hideous or not.
The last time I saw you, you were ordering a cold glass of milk. But, now. Now, you’re ordering Cappuccino. In a couple more days, you’ll be ordering just plain coffee like me! No sugar. No milk. Able to withstand the bitterness. You’ve really grown up, haven’t you?
Please don’t joke like this. You know I don’t like it. I just ordered Cappuccino because…
The same waiter arrives at their table again to serve a slice of carrot cake to The Girl and a slice of plain, vanilla cake to The Man. Both The Man and The Girl give a nod to express gratitude, and the waiter leaves.
Oh, no! I was wrong! You’ve actually upgraded even more than I had anticipated. Carrot cake instead of chocolate. You really do know how to impress, don’t you?
Please! Don’t joke like this! I only ordered them because the last time I came to this café was with my father, who recommended I try these two items, and they were very nice. That’s all.
You plan to order plain, vanilla cake next time you come here?
If you recommend that. Is it nice?
It depends on what you have it with. It’s quite nice with a cup of Americano. But, just by itself…it’s not nice. Really, it’s not. It’s like watching a man dance by himself. It’s not pleasing to the eye, but when that man dances with a beautiful woman- like how I’m having this plain cake with this finely brewed coffee- it completely changes everything.
The Girl’s tone becomes a little bitter at this point.
It is always about beauty with you, isn’t it?
The Man imitating The Girl’s tone.
Don’t you think you are asking too many questions today?
I thought you liked being questioned. Because you think you always have the answers to everything.
The Man gets a little irritated.
Look at my age and then yours! Of course, I’m going to have more of an idea than you are.
Then, answer my question!
Yes, dear one! If you must know, it is always about beauty with me because that is the only thing in this world worth living for. And that is also why I shamelessly left my wife. I could no longer bear the look of crinkled skin every time she smiled at me! Whenever she’d touch me, it was like someone had rubbed sandpaper against my body. Do you know what that feels like? Do you want to know what that feels like?
You’re even shallower than I thought you could be. You’ve really downgraded yourself, haven’t you? Never fail to surpass my expectations! I’m so impressed.
The Man inches closer to The Girl in what seems to be an attempt to almost launch himself at her, but quickly tames his aggression.
How dare y…
The Man takes in a deep breath.
I’d really appreciate it if you stop throwing such allegations at me. You don’t realize what you’re saying. You and your kind words: it doesn’t matter what the person looks like; it’s all about the heart. But, everyone in this world- everyone- even you, will do anything to have beauty. At least, I was honest with my deeds and didn’t mention some pathetic reason like, “Oh, our ideologies are too different now, so we can’t live together!” I don’t buy that! I just don’t.
The Girl is now carrying a scornful tone.
You think you’re as handsome as you used to be?
No. I don’t really think anything of myself. But, you see, what I am struggling to understand is why you are suddenly standing up for my wife—ex-wife? You used to cringe even at the mention of her name, but now…now you are feeling sympathy?
Why are you blowing this out of proportion? There is simply no need. I never even asked about your wife!
The Girl points her finger at The Man.
You brought her into this conversation!
Don’t point your finger at me!
Didn’t you want me to leave my wife, anyway? So, why this sudden act of sympathy? You wanted me. Here I am.
I never wanted you. Don’t attach too much importance to yourself, okay. I just liked talking to you and asked for more of your time. It was never my intention to tear you apart from your wife.
Hang on, dear one! Now you are attaching too much importance to yourself. I didn’t leave my wife because of you. I left her because she was no longer beautiful. It simply has nothing to do with you. You don’t have that power over me.
Then, why did you say, “Here I am” as if you would do anything for me?
Oh! When did you become this funny?
The Girl doesn’t say anything but continues to blankly stare at The Man.
You didn’t understand, did you?
The Man waits a little before saying anything else.
It was sarcasm. A joke, if you like.
An excruciating 10 minutes go by, wherein no words are exchanged between the two frustrated people.
The Man sips on his coffee and The Girl plays with her food and stares at the raindrops sliding down the window. The Man looks at his watch and sees that perhaps it is getting a little too late. The Man asks the waiter for the bill and pays, but as he gets up to take his leave, The Girl anxiously speaks up.
Have I become less beautiful in these past minutes?
The Man halts in his tracks with a look of bewilderment.
I beg your pardon?
Why are you leaving?
Well…I no longer have anything to say to you right now.
I can wait. I’ll wait until you think of something to say to me again. I’ll wait here. With you.
I never said I’d wait for you. I never said I’d stay. It was never a matter of staying.
Does this jumper make me look less beautiful?
The Man intensifies his look of bewilderment and sits down again.
Look. I don’t really understand what you’re saying right now. You’re confusing me and I don’t like that. I have to go.
But, you don’t. You’re no longer tied to anything. Please stay.
The Man gives The Girl a look that seems to almost represent disappointment.
The Man proceeds to say something, but The Girl beats him to it.
Are you mad at me about the fact that I meddled too much into your past? I’m sorry.
How old do you think I am? Twelve? I don’t ponder on such things.
The Man looks at his watch again and becomes more irritated than he already was.
Look, I really must go. I don’t have the time, nor the immaturity, to talk about such things. You should go home as well.
The Man stands up and picks up his umbrella, and The Girl hastily gets on her feet as well and grabs onto his arm.
The Girl’s eyes have become teary and her voice has adopted the familiar tone when one knows that they’re about to cry.
Please! I’ll always try my best to be as beautiful as I can. Just don’t leave.
Are you even listening to yourself right now? And, now look! You’ve even begun to cry! Great! You’ve really outdone yourself today.
I’ll stop crying if you say so. I’ll stop crying if it makes me look too ugly for you.
I’ll be beautiful again if you want me to.