“So that was Ben.” Ali was straight to the point. As always.
“Yep,” she said simply.
“Are you OK?” he asked, looking at her intently. Elisa stopped writing her report and took a deep breath.
“I don’t know,”
Back in his office, Ben was trying to do his work, but in vain. He couldn’t stop thinking about his dreams last night. It was during her graduation day, their last memory together before the accident. He dreamed of the dinner that they shared after the ceremony in the afternoon. Her family had returned home to give them time together, as he was supposed to go on an outstation for three months after that. He’d looked at her all night, thinking that she was the most beautiful girl on earth, and he’s the luckiest man alive to have her by his side.
After their accidental meeting today, he kind of still believed in that. She was beautiful. And he was a lucky man who can't remember anything.
His phone rang. It was Laura. He hesitated.
“Yep?” he said nonchalantly.
“Ben. I’m in a mud, you’ve got to help me,” she sounded really serious that he shifted in his seat.
“What happened?’ he asked, his concerns riding high in his voice.
“I need to buy a dress soon. My office dinner is coming up, please, please, let us go and shop later?” she said with her usual singsong childish tone. He bit the inside of his cheek to prevent from saying things he might regret.
“I’ve got a meeting tonight. Can’t you go with your friends?” he replied, annoyance rising in his voice. What did he ever like about this girl in the first place? She’s childish, demanding, spends way too much and she needs constant attention even though she knows that he has other responsibilities.
“Aw.... I just want to spend some time with you. We could, you know, have some coffee afterwards or something. I missed you,” she whined, and he imagined that she was pouting.
He took a deep, calming breath. He can never say no to her, because she’d just pester him again and again until he agreed. But he really couldn’t afford to spend time with her at the moment. He just moved to this new place. He hasn’t even got settled in yet. The drive to pick her up and send her back would take hours. Shopping and her idea of having coffee would take even more hours. He just couldn’t do that yet.
“I’m sorry I can’t today, well, perhaps next weekend?” he suggested.
“Well, the dinner is this weekend. Come on, love, pretty please?” she said again, and he felt sick.
“I can’t. Which part of the words that you can’t understand?” he snapped. “I’ve got work to do, I’ll talk to you later,” he ended the call and switched off his phone.
Rubbing his palm on his face, Ben sighed deeply.
To be continued...