Thursday, June 12, 2014

If I had that Dollar!


It was very surprising to see Jenifer’s name in the payroll of my company. At first, when I saw her name, I was amazed and thought it was a different Jenifer. But, when I saw her in front of me, I froze for a moment.....

It all began twenty years ago.

Richard was a rich boy in our school and Jenifer was his girlfriend. Richard came from a wealthy family and Jenifer came from a middle class family. But, I was the poorest fellow in the school had a very poor life with my mom and my brother.

My mother was a factory worker & my brother was at school too. Sometimes, we didn’t have anything to eat for the whole day. Many days, I used to drink water to prevent the hunger. We were poor that much. Richard helped my studies, though he was not so good at studies, he even gave me money sometimes. He always lived a luxury life with his other friends who had money. He went for clubbing with them. Jenifer also joined them, according to them, they were enjoying their life. But, I was totally away from those things as I concentrated my mind only for education, It was because mainly I didn’t have money to waste.

Like most of the days, I was drinking water to get rid of the hunger, when Jeniffer came towards me. I did not notice that she was looking at me. She handed over me two sandwiches with a Coke. I felt so embarrassed and I rejected. But, she touched my hand and told me :

“It’s OK, you eat this”

Then, I took the sandwiches and ate. She sat down by my side and smiled.

She began to speak.

“I have seen you many times, you only drink water. I've never seen you eating in the school cafeteria. I wanted to talk with you.”

So, days passed way and she helped me most of the times after that incident and of course Richard too.

One day, she came to me and cried a lot. She told me that she broke up with Richard and he left her for another rich girl. I felt very sorry about her. After that incident, she was with me most of the times. So day by day, we became very close.

One fine evening, Jenifer came to my home for the first time to give a notebook. I was not at home but my mother was. I noticed that my mother was upset, but she did not tell me the reason.

After having 7-8 months of friendship, I felt a strong feeling about her. Day by day, I ignored my studies too. Every night, I was dreaming about her, I didn’t do any school work. I wanted to be with her every second. I began to love her. One night, I thought to tell her my feelings about her.

On the very next morning, I met her as usual and l dared to confess my feelings to her. But, she rejected me so sadly. I couldn’t believe that, I asked the reasons, but she never told me. Finally, I thought to myself... “she rejected me, because of my poverty. She must have stayed with me closely,because she might wanted to forget her loneliness after Richard left her”. That was how I justified it.

I thought to myself, how miserable to be poor. I didn’t have enough money to spend as I wanted, I could not eat, what I want, I didn’t have a proper house to live, now I could not love the person I wanted. I felt that poverty is the most miserable thing in this world. I felt like commiting suicide. I didn’t have good friends to tell about this. I had to bear all this all alone. But, everything had a breaking point. I wanted to start a new life. Same times I got angry about Jennifer too.

In the next day of morning, when i was walking to the school, I saw a blind person, who was trying to cross the road. No one helped him, but there were a lot people around. Suddenly, I realized that, this blind man was trying to live without his eyes while I was trying to kill myself, due to my poverty. I felt so ashamed of me. I wanted to be rich, that was the only way to win this world and to get revenge from Jenifer too. Then, I went to the blind man and, helped him to cross the road. Thereafter, I dedicated my entire life to studies. I never talked to her again. She went away from me.

After the final exam, I won a scholarship to a university. Then, I lost all contacts of her. and her memories were fading in my mind. In the university, I was one of the brightest students. Meanwhile, my brother got a job too. After , the final exam at the university, I got many job opportunities. I got a good job and I could save some money too. By the time, I got a proposal for marriage. She was a doctor. After the marriage, I resigned from my job and formed my own company. It became sucessful day by day by day. I got two brilliant kids too.

After the blind man incident I was happy... until today. It was almost 20 years.

“I...I didn’t know you were working here, I just saw your name on the payroll, then only I knew about you. Why didn’t you talk to me?

“I didn’t know this place belongs to you till I came here, after I knew about that, I really wanted to go away. But I couldn’t, I came through many difficulties, it's very difficult to find a job out there”.

“Yeah I see… what happened Jennifer? I was really worrued about you”.

“After one year, I left the school, my father died and I had to go for a job. But, I couldn’t find a good job, I worked in several places. Eventually, I got married to a person; he was a drunkard, every day I was beaten. my marriage had never been a good one. Then I got three children, and he left me. I had to take care of my children. My life is a hell "

I was shocked after hearing her story. I could not imagine what to tell her. Then I thought,if she had accepted my love then the story would have been different.

“I don’t know what to say… I feel very sorry abo ut you, but if you had accepted my love, when I proposed you, we could have been happy today”. Why… why did you reject my love over and over Jennifer? When you rejected me, I wanted to kill myself, but you didn’t know that. You never knew how much you meant to me.

She just smiled innocently and didn’t tell anything.

“Jennifer…please tell me why didn’t you accept my love? At least tell me now… please”

“I loved you Chris, more than my life… I loved you, I swear to god I loved you so much” Oh god please help me” she began to sob.
I couldn’t control myself and ran towards her to embrace her tightly.
“Then why didn’t you tell me Jennifer? Why didn’t you tell me?”
“If I told that I loved you, Chris you would never be the person who you are now”

“What do you mean Jennifer, who am I now?” What’s the difference? I don’t know, what are you talking”
“Chris… first it was not a love, when I was with Richard. I noticed you so many times. I understood how poor you were and how much you struggled to study & to live. I knew most of the time, you didn’t eat, you drank only water. I felt very sorry for you. Then one day I came to you and gave the sandwiches. You remember?”

“Yes…yes…I remember…just like yesterday”.
“So…day by day I felt that you were a really good person, and at the same time I felt Richard was a moron, he had enough money to spend. He didn’t love me either; he wanted me as a toy”. One day, he dumped me. I knew that he was going to leave me one day or other. After that I was close to you more and more to you. You also cared about me. When time passed, without knowing, I was falling in love with you. I knew that you were going to propose me one day. I was counting for days to reply you.... Saying "I love you too, Chris”. But remember... one day I went to your home?”

“Yes…I was not at home but my mother was”

“Yes…I met your mother there, she was a good woman, she asked me to come in to your home and we were talking for hours. That day, I realized how poor you were, it was only a room not a house, there was not even a bed, there were only two chairs. She told me how you meant for her, she told me how your family was living. She told me that you were the only hope for your family. She told me that if you were well educated, you would have a good job, then you would become a wealthy person. She dreamt you so high. She knew that you had an ability to become a rich person.

“OK…so why did you leave me? What’s the point?

“Chris…I know that you are such a good person and a sensitive person, if I had fallen in love with you, you would never study well, I saw it sometimes. When you were close to me, you ignored the studies. If you didn’t do your studies well, you would never become the person who you are now. So, I thought if I left you, your mother’s dream might come true. When I was coming back from your home, I cried a lot, I sighed for many days. but I decided to leave you on behalf of your succes. After three weeks of time, you asked me our, as I hope. Chris forgive me Chris…I loved you so much Chris, that’s why I rejected your love"

She began to cry like a little girl....

"Chris....if I loved myself, than you, I might have accepted your love. But, I loved you more than myself Chris, that’s why I rejected your love”

“Oh…God Jennifer, what are you telling me”. I don’t care this life or money. Jennifer…I wanted to be with you. I’m so sorry, I studied so hard because, I wanted to get revenge from you. I thought you left me because of my poverty. Please forgive me!!! ”

“It’s OK Chris, this is my fate, I never regret my life, but the love I had for you made the man who you are now. I’m happy about you my love...".

By Manu Fernando

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