(Otherwise known as, what became of Ben Ashmond)
Prologue of the Epilogue: Procured Thoughts from a Agitated Mind
He was reduced to watching from the distance; waiting for a chance that was never likely to come. That's all he was right now: his existence in the shadows. He had been envied once; he had everything he wanted. The only thing he could think of was how he could let them all slip from his iron grasp.
He knew he lost everything. His prestige… his former popularity… the girls, the swarming crowds of people who wanted to be with him; the jealousy reflected in other guys' eyes as they passed him by. He could practically see the envious glints in their eyes.
He now knew that he took all of that for granted. And as each painful realization dawned on him, there was only one thing he wanted so dearly to hold on to that it was almost an inhuman passion. An unexplainable obsession cultivated in his mind that it caused him more agony than losing everything that mattered.
That inhuman passion of his was unrequited love—love that he had abused and left to rot. He wondered why regret and pain always came after realizing the value of something you've lost.
He fell for her… badly. He never knew it till the last second. Then she was taken away from him by a person he was determined to hate. And whilst he hated her boyfriend with every fiber of his being, he knew where he had gone wrong. Strangely enough, he knew why she preferred her boyfriend over him.
Life really knew how to stab him where it hurt most.
"Son, you must stop this. You don't know what you're doing." A calm voice seemed to say, far off from where Ben was standing.
"I DON'T NEED YOUR ADVICE!! No one can tell me what I have to do!!" he screamed. Why couldn't anyone understand? He didn't need their help. He was better off on his own.
"Hard as it may seem to be," the café owner continued, despite Ben's outrage, "Your girlfriend left you. Can't you face that? Just move on."
'If you just knew how hard that would be,' Ben thought to himself sarcastically. This old man didn't know anything about loving someone.
"Believe me, it's for the best. Move on."
Those stinging words again. He didn't want to hear them, not now, not ever.
"I had a wife once, and four kids. She left me for someone else when she thought that I was more in love with my job; she had the divorce papers in her hands when I got home. What else could I do? I couldn't leave my work behind. But she suspected that I had another woman. Then I found out later on after she left, that she lived with a man she was seeing while she was married to me. See what traitors women are? Would you want to have the same fate, the same destiny?" the café owner said, exasperation written all over his face.
Ben didn't want to listen, but he heard the words. Each word hit him with a stinging pain, like a poisoned dart hit him. He dropped the table he was carrying, waking up from his frenzy. He's right.
Am I just going to stand here, throwing tantrums just because I couldn't get the girl I wanted? Is that all I'm ever going to be? His thoughts were crashing over him like a wave.
Minutes later, he was outside the café, breathing in the cool night breeze that brought him a more serene atmosphere. The smoke emanating from the police vehicles and the sirens blazing through the night were gone.
Heartbroken… and Helpless
So Ben was reduced to watching from the distance. He followed Kimiko and Raimundo around, wherever they went—be it a date, romantic stroll, or candlelit dinner… he saw them all.
So it was stalking. He knew that, but he didn't care. He didn't care if it broke his heart continually; all he cared about was taking in the sight of the girl he wanted to be with, and imagining that he was the one across her, holding her hand, hugging her, giving her a sweet caress… how he would have loved to be Raimundo…
He trudged along the sidewalk. Months had gone by… but to Ben, it felt like centuries. How he missed those times that he took for granted. Here he was, heartbroken… and helpless…
Worst of all, he couldn't do anything about it. He couldn't just take the courage, go up to her, and tell her how he felt. Somehow that would ruin everything. Kimiko would think he was a jerk to try apologizing to her again.
It was raining hard. 'Great. I don't even have my jacket.' He thought, cursing himself. Kimiko and Raimundo weren't even going on a date that night… he had taken this short walk for nothing. They weren't following their usual routine by going to the restaurant, and occasionally stopping by the movies to see if anything good was on. There was no sign of them anywhere.
He took this chance to walk around dejectedly. He felt so useless.
"Oh God, please, if you can hear me… give me a sign… I feel so wretched, so useless. If I could only stop this pain… it stings like hell… come on, end my agony…"
Prayers were really not his thing, but he found himself clasping his hands together, whispering to the harsh blowing wind. If God could only see him right now… if Kimiko could see him right now…
Then he bumped into someone, unaware of where he was going. He looked up to see who it was.
Just Like Him.
"Amy Henderson? What are you doing here?"
"Ben. Ben Ashmond. I should be asking the same question…" the girl said. The jacket and hood she was wearing was shielding her practically stained mascara and her fiery red hair.
"Um… Just walking around. What about you?"
"I'm doing the same thing."
"Do you want to take a walk together?"
"Sure. I don't mind." Her voice didn't have its usual bossy quality. This time she sounded particularly… melancholy. This was not the Amy he knew.
Ben attempted to strike up a conversation to get to the real reason why she was out here in the rain. "So did something happen, Amy? Is there anything wrong?"
"It's nothing. Really."
"I'm not so sure that I believe that."
"Believe what you want to. I don't think it's any of your business."
Silence reigned. It was awkward standing there with her, when she obviously didn't want to tell him the reason why she was so upset.
"If you can't tell me, then how would I be able to help you?"
Amy sighed. "Well. I don't know… I just feel like everyone hates me, you know? I've felt this ever since the dance. I could see the look in the eyes of so many people, when I approach them. I feel like I can't get along with anybody."
Ben smiled to himself, despite his classmate's obvious melancholy. He was beginning to realize that Amy was starting to see her own arrogance. He suddenly remembered that he was practically like that before, before he lost everything.
More importantly, he thought that: Amy was just like him. He knew how she felt. They were like two lost souls…
"Amy," he said. "This may sound very weird to you, but I know how you feel."
If Amy was surprised, she didn't show it. She still had the gloomy look on her face. "Yeah… It feels like people can't accept you the way you are. Even the ones you care about… or want to make friends with. I try, but… just seeing the judgmental looks on people's faces, I get discouraged and… the nastiness comes out. I can't help it." She sighed.
He took her hand in his, feeling her sadness. "It's okay, Amy. You're not alone. I'm here with you."
Tears had actually begun coursing their way down her face. She wiped them away with a hand gesture. "Really?" she asked him, hesitant to believe him at first.
"Yeah… We could stick up for each other, you know." He smiled weakly. "You remember the girl I was with in the dance?"
"Yeah I remember her. Kimiko, right?"
"Yes. Her. Well… things sort of happened. I… I love her, but I took her for granted." Now the tears came.
The two of them said nothing, hands still intertwined. Their silence comforted each other. How had they come to be so alone… Alone with no one to care for them…
And now… they had each other.
Epilogue of the Epilogue: The Aftermath
Amy and Ben have been inseparable since that lonesome night. They became fast and intimate friends, and their understanding of each other deepened.
Amy, on Ben's advice and comfort, grew more sentimental and sensitive towards others' feelings towards her. Ben, on the other hand, learned not to take advantage of the people he cared about.
His feelings for Kimiko eventually receded and became a distant memory that served as a lesson. He stopped stalking Kimiko and Raimundo and let them resume their old lives.
Finally, he understood that it was no use erasing the past… but he could still face the future.
Life just goes on…
A/N: Um yeah, you could say… I wanted to think up a suitable ending for Ben. Hope you liked it, even if it wasn't a sad ending for him (like he so obviously deserves.) Well, I thought that it would be better for him to learn his lesson… Please review :)