Life Without ChocolateLife without love is like chocolate without sugar. It’s bitter and not worth eating. You’ll still be glad that you have chocolate but what’s the point when you can’t eat it and enjoy it? I mean, at least that’s what I used to believe and say to myself. That’s probably one of my many lame philosophies about life. I am 18 years old with shoulder length jet black hair and big big round eyes. Many people have always said my eyes complimented me and added to my beauty. I have very sharp features and my height is about 5’5. My name is Jane. I had a dream to pursue writing as my career because I felt like I could express how I feel with my words and connect with people through them. Writing gives me a sense of peace which I have always looked for so after writing a few of my own little master pieces I got into Yale to get a degree in English literature. I remember how I jumped up and down with joy when I received the acceptance letter in the mail. At the time that was the best feeling I could ever have felt within myself. Little did I know about what was to come my way in the future. This something that was even more exhilarating manifested itself in the form of a tall, 5 foot 10 inch, round faced guy with a little French beard and short hair.

So it was the first day to collage and I got up early and got dressed as soon as I could. I was never this enthusiastic about anything before, but then of course this was a turning point in my life. I got to pursue my dream. As I walked down the hall the building looked marvelous. When I came to know what great writers once walked the same hallways as I it brought about a sense of pride within myself. I reached my classes and all the seats were occupied except one. There was this guy sitting there who seemed decent enough so I asked him if I could sit with him. As I look back I wish I never would have inquired. I sat beside him and the lecture began. We had a little conversion about who he was, where he came from and why he wanted to be a writer someday. His name was Jack and he was from California. To my question of why he wanted to be a writer he gave me an answer that kept me stunted and in shock for some time. He said “I have a dream to pursue writing as my career because I feel as though I can express how I feel inside with my written words. I feel as though I connect with people through them and it brings me a sense of peace. Peace is something I have always looked for.” What made his comments so strange is that they enunciated what I have felt all along. It was like he could read my mind.

I went home when college had ended. I thought about what he had said to me. The words churned through my mind as I gradually went sleep. I must sleep I thought. I must get ready for the next day.

Time went by and with every passing day Jack and I became closer. Our passions, interests and aim in life seemed to be so similar that I started thinking of him as the chocolate with sugar making my life sweeter and sweeter. It was a month now since the first day to college and we had been talking every day so I asked me if I could join him for a cup of coffee. He didn’t mind. I was so nervous and went through my whole dresser and closet to look for something nice to wear. I never acted that way before but I really wanted to look nice for him. We met at 7 pm and he looked fabulous that day wearing a black shirt with a red slim tie and black jeans. He was like the perfect hero from a movie I imagined. I quickly brought myself back to reality before my mind wandered too far. He came to me and pulled a chair so I could sit and we started talking. He told me everything about his life and it saddened me to know that he was an orphan and lived in foster care but he never let that bring him down. He told me how he always missed the love of a mother and a father. For a moment I thanked God for blessing me with this love. I told him a lot about myself too and every time he laughed when I cracked a joke it made me feel like I had accomplished something profound. After the coffee he walked me home. Our conversion got deeper and deeper and I felt a strong connection with him. As we got nearer to my home I kept realizing how much I never wanted this day to end. Unfortunately it did and he hugged me goodnight and left. As he left he told me he had a great time. I wanted to say it was the best day of my life but I just said “Same here!” and walked inside my home.

Exams were over and results had to be out today. I studied very hard for them because I knew I wanted to ace them and I had my fingers crossed hoping for the best. As I reached the college class I saw a crowd of people trying to see their results. With a lot of anxiety and nervousness I started looking for my result. I couldn’t find my name and I thought I flunked but when I looked at the top grades of the chart the name was mine! “OMG!” I exclaimed aloud. I was first and I just couldn’t believe it. Things couldn’t get any better than this. I ran to tell jack about this and he already knew. He congratulated me and said I deserved it. He said we should celebrate and I agreed. That day we went out to celebrate my little victory. Too my surprise he proposed. He told me he loved me and I could feel my heart beating faster and faster as the words came through his mouth. I can never forget his exact words to this day. He said I was the most beautiful girl he had ever seen and told me how my smile brightened his every day. He spoke in a trance as he said he could see himself with no one but me. I did not know this was all I ever wanted to hear until now. "Will you be mine forever?” he said. Without any hesitation I stuttered “Yes!” He smiled and hugged me. We had dinner that with smiles on our faces like we had all the riches in the world.

After our first lecture that day I went to see Jack as I always use to so we could get some time alone. As we were walking down the hallway together sweat poured down his face and he passed out. I shouted for help and we took him to the hospital. On my way the only thing I could plead God for was his health. I prayed that he would ok and I couldn’t help but think that maybe fate never wanted us to be happy. The doctor’s told me that both his kidneys had failed and he has no time left. He needed a transplant as soon as possible or else he will die. Tears starting falling down my face the thought of his death made me shiver and cry even harder. I told the doctor’s to do anything to save his life and that I didn’t care how much money it took. They said they have put him on the donor’s list but that may take a while. I knew he couldn’t wait much longer so I went to every hospital I could to find him a match and begged God every minute for his life. That night as I went to sleep beside him gazing at his pale face and I realized something; I have a way to save his life. With that thought all my lost happiness rushed back at once.

The very next morning a transplant took place and his life was saved. He was not going to leave me anymore. As I opened my eyes after the surgery I saw him lying next to me asleep and the doctor came to me and said the transplant was a success. My kidney had been a perfect match for him. If the body doesn’t reject it he will live his life normally. I requested the doctor not to tell him about me being the donor. I never wanted him to always feel like he owned me his life and after many requests the doctor agreed but told me that I should now take care of myself. He told me I need plenty of rest after going through such a big surgery. I didn’t care about myself. The only thoughts I had were of him being alive. The fact that I was the very reason he was alive made me feel a deeper connection than ever before. As the doctor excused himself from the room I knew that this was what true love must be.

After few hours Jack came to his senses. He had of course not fully recovered and the doctor’s insisted that they keep him at the hospital for a while. I on the other hand was discharged the same day but promised the doctor to come in for routine checkups. The next day I went in to see him. He opened his eyes and saw me standing beside him. I told him how glad I was that the transplant went so well. He smiled lovingly back at me. My only job now was to take care of him and help him get better as soon as possible. I stayed in the hospital for days left college temporarily so I could be there for him as much as possible. I made him eat all sorts of green vegetables and those sick tasting health drinks which he always use to complain about. He would playfully exclaim “If you love me so much why make me suffer?” I used to laugh and say I love you and that’s why I make u eat all this stuff.

 Days went by and I worked day and night to see to it that he got well. He did recover quite fast and was finally discharged. In all this process I almost forgot how I went through a major surgery too and ended up with an infection.

I went to the doctor straight away. The infection was pretty severe and I was admitted immediately. The doctor told me to take complete bed rest and to start treatment right away. Jack came to see me and came to know about the donor. He said I shouldn’t have done that but I said his life was more important to me than any other thing. He smiled, kissed my forehead and left. As the days went by I become more and more sick and I needed someone to feed me or walk to the bathroom but the thought of saving jack’s life kept me going. Jack use to come every day to see me but soon this went. Jack started fading away. Sometimes I would text or call him and get no answer at all. He started visiting once a week. I asked him why he didn’t visit often and he said he was busy with college or sometimes with football. He would tell me had other things to do in life. I said I understood and that it was okay but I’d like to see him more often because I am alone here. I needed him. He said okay with a straight face and left.

More days went by and I barely would hear from jack anymore. I would tell myself he was busy and stressed out. After a month of suffering and treatment I finally recovered I got discharged. In my happiness I ran to tell jack that I well now. As I walk past the collage I saw him standing with another girl. He was holding her hand and I heard him say ”Baby, just because of you I am alive today. If you weren’t with me through all this I wouldn’t have lived, I would have died”

I couldn’t stand to listen to anything anymore. As I was about to walk away he saw me. He saw my face but looked away. I just felt numb. I could feel the pain running through my whole body and it was like every part of me was hurting. I couldn’t believe what I heard or saw. I gave up everything for one person. I risked my life, my career, my dream and all he gave me was betrayal and a broken heart. He was my Jack who said he’ll love me forever but where did the forever go? Was forever only till now and all these thoughts running through my head? I kept walking. The tears kept falling down my face like a waterfall and there was nothing I could do about it. I wondered if there was something wrong with me that made him do this. Was my love not enough? Were my sacrifices not worthy to win his love? After that I couldn’t think anymore.

As days went by I become completely out of my life I just sat by a corner and pass my whole day thinking about the memories and good times me and him had. I waited and hoped maybe he would still realize and come back to me after everything he did. I still hoped for his love, at least part of me did. 3 months went by like this and I thought to start my collage again and try to move on in life. What hurt me the most was that all this time I never even heard from him. He gave me no clarification or even the thought that I was alive or dead. It was like I meant absolutely nothing to him.

I started my collage again and worked hard. I buried myself with tons of work so I wouldn’t find a moment to think of him. I eventually graduated with a first class degree in English literature. Along the way I met Robert. Robert was 5’11 with black hair, a clean shave and a quiet oval face. He was one of the bright students in our class. He was nice guy and all this time he was the only one who helped me through it al. I could tell that he found curiosity in my silence or could see the pain the no one else could but I never opened up to him. I couldn’t because I was too scared to. My previous betrayal made me too scared to do so. He occasionally used to crack jokes to make me laugh whenever he used to catch me sitting alone by a corner. He would help me out with something I found problematic on occasion as well.

I never made any friend during my whole time in collage and no one bothered why but him. One day he came to me and asked me why I acted the way I did. I didn’t know what to say and I thought of just avoiding the question altogether like I always did. This time I finally gave up. I couldn’t hold it in much longer so I told him about what happened to me. I saw tears running down his face as I told my story and I couldn’t believe that someone would actually cry for me or feel my pain. He held my hand and spoke some consoling words which I was longing to hear for so long. He said “I feel sorry about what happened to you and you deserved better. You did all you could for him and he left you hanging. Some people don’t realize what they have until it’s gone or don’t realize the worth of something as precious as you.” He continued on saying that I was not alone and he would be there for me. Jack had said the same thing to me before so I didn’t let my guard down no matter how much I wanted to. I kept my guard up no matter how much I wanted someone to make me feel special or happy again. I couldn’t risk another broken heart and I left before he asked me the name of the man who made me suffer. I just walked away keeping it a secret in my heart. After that day we never talked about it again.

It was our graduation day and everyone seemed so happy and the hall looked really good. Everyone was wearing their gowns and had those smiles on their faces that people get when they finally get their reward after 4 years of hard work. I on the other hand was glad about graduation but had nothing much to look forward to in life like all those people did. Maybe I should burden myself with more work to keep my mind away from it all. I was glad that I was leaving collage so I didn’t have to see Jacks’ face again. I changed my class long ago to get away from him but the hallways, corridors, walkways and every part of this collage reminded me of him. Moving on seemed harder than it was. Robert was one of the organizers of the graduation day and he came to me and asked me how I did with preparations and I told him he put in good effort. He said ”Hopefully you smile today. It’s our graduation and I bet you have pretty smile” I smiled a little just to make him happy but my natural smile wouldn’t come and he knew I faked it. He still smiled back.

The graduation ceremony started and everyone went to receive their degrees. Robert was the valedictorian and it was his turn to deliver his speech. He thanked all his teachers and their efforts for making him who he was today and then he said something that my ears couldn’t believe. He said that all this time a girl had come into his life. She was sad and lonely and I could see it in her eyes the pain she kept bottled inside. She made me curious about who she was and why she acted this way. I came to know her story and recognize her great struggle. Her story inspired me. It made me fall in love with her. I fell in love with her story and it made me realize that some gems are actually there in the dark. Her pretty face held an ache. I couldn’t take it and my only mission in life became to make her happy and to see her smile. She changed my life forever. He looked at me and I looked back I didn’t know how to react. Someone actually feeling something like that for me raised questions of its authenticity. Was it just another heart ache waiting for me? He came to me and went on his knees in front of the whole college. He proposed and said he wanted me to be his. He said I won’t say forever because I can’t promise that, but I’ll try to be yours as long as I breathe my last breath. I stood up and ran away.

He came to me outside the room and asked me why I left and whether or not he had offended me. I told him no quietly.  “Then what is it he said?” I told him I am not meant for happiness. He quickly turned me around, looked to my face and said that’s what you believe but I beg to differ. Every one is meant for happiness and so are you. I want to make you happy if only you say yes to his proposal. I didn’t know how to respond. I told him that he should talk to my parents whatever they decide shall be my decision too. He nodded and left.

The very next day, as soon as I woke up, I could hear noises coming from the living room and quickly went to see what it was. I saw Robert and his parents talking to my parents. My parents knew Robert all along as he used to come over sometimes to work on different projects. My parents always liked him so they were very happy to hear what Robert has to say and quickly agreed to it. They did ask me if I had any objection to it and I said “There will is my will.” and everyone was happy. Our wedding day was decided to be 25th of May and it was the same day to which I came to know the truth about jack. Thinking about the wedding with Robert made me neither happy nor sad. I knew he was a good guy but a part of me always imagined it to be Jack. Whenever I pictured this perfect day I saw jack holding my hand as walked down the aisle. He would tell me how he couldn’t find anyone better than me and how he loved me more than anything. Sometimes reality is not as beautiful as we hope it to be and it was Robert instead of Jack. I just bottled up my emotions and accepted the reality. Now I my only life was with Robert, my husband to be.

It was our wedding day and everyone was full of happiness and joy, especially Robert. It was like he finally had everything he wanted. My wedding dress was white in color and a beautiful long gown. Everyone complimented how beautiful I looked that day. The time was finally here when we had to make our vows. As I walked in I looked at Robert and the smile on his face was priceless. The way he looked at me made me actually feel good. He whispered to me that I looked beautiful. We took our vows and we were now married. I was Mrs. Roberts’ now.

Days went by and it almost 6 months had passed since our wedding day. I kind of started to smile occasionally and Robert turned to be a very loving husband. He used to bring a rose from work every time he came home and say “I wish I could find a rose as pretty as you.” I used to laugh. He sometimes used to make me his special soup whenever I was sick. He helped me around the house and took care of the kids. Yes, we had twins, a son and a daughter, and they both pretty much looked like him. Life was good after all and maybe I did get what I wanted in the form of Robert. He took care of me like no one ever did. He made me feel like I was worthy of something and the love he had for me was visible in his eyes. I couldn’t tell how it was possible but it was. I never told him I loved him. Those three words I wasn’t able to say. I did care for him and I guess he knew that but I couldn’t express it to him and he never asked me to. It was like he could read everything through my eyes and tell exactly how I felt. I was still not very open about everything to him but I tried so hard to let my past remain behind me. Those memories still haunted me sometimes but I learned to live and try to be happy. My life was my family, my own little family.

One day Robert came home and he seemed a little upset so I asked him what it was. He said he has a colleague and something that happened to him was very sad. I asked him what it was and he wondered how someone can do something terrible to their own husband and to the one who loves them the most. I was still in confusion to what his colleague was blabbering about so I inquired further of my husband. He told me his colleague loved his wife truly and she went through cancer twice. He told me he was there with her through all this time and he was almost broke after spending all the money on her treatment. I had sensed his suffering and exhaustion at work as he stayed up day and night taking care of her. She meant the world him and they had a son too and as soon as she got better they were happy. One day he developed a kidney infection because he had been through a kidney transplant a few years back. He was bed ridden and eventually she got sick of taking care of him and left him dying at the hospital. She took his son away with him and all his wealth too. He was left there alone dying without anyone to look after him and no money for his treatment Robert said that he lent him some money for his treatment and that his colleague was good man and he didn’t deserve this. I saw Robert tear up a bit but he controlled his self and said what happened to you was happening to him and he couldn’t believe how people as monstrous as his colleague’s wife could exist in this world. I told my husband I could his friends’ pain as I went through something similar. I couldn’t help myself and started crying. Robert calmed me down. I told him that I wanted to meet this guy to tell him how he will find true happiness one day. We quickly got in the car and left for the hospital. To my surprise I saw my husbands’ colleague laying on the bed it was none other than Jack. It was him this all happened to him and I couldn’t believe it. I stood there for a while and there were absolutely no thoughts in my mind I could express. I couldn’t believe what I saw. Robert left to talk to the doctor and it was me and Jack in the room.

He looked at me with those regretful eyes and he realized what he did to me. He cried uncontrollably but I could not. Not a single tear came down my face as I looked at him stunned and with emotions that I can’t describe. He went for my hand but I took it back. He said ”Sorry about what I did, your love was true and you gave me a new life and I didn’t respect that. I never deserved your love and that’s why I let you go. I broke your heart and now the same happened to me and I am in a state that turned out to be worse than yours. I have no family as I am an orphan and now the love of my life left me dying. I deserved this. I deserve all of it.” He couldn’t breathe as these words come out of his mouth. He continued and said ”I wish I realized it all back then. Will you forgive me? Please forgive me! I don’t want to die with this shame and guilt! I beg your forgiveness!” I said nothing more than “I hope your sufferings end and you live a good life. I forgave you long ago. If I didn’t, I wouldn’t be here” and I left

I couldn’t believe that fate would play such a game. Maybe it is true that good people get good no matter what they go through. I guess all those lessons weren’t so bad after all. I rushed home and quickly hugged Robert and told him that “You were a gift in return to all my sufferings and my patience. God brought you into my life as a reward for me and nothing more. I could never ask from Him anymore.” He smiled, hugged me back and we cried a little. These were tears of joy to have each other in our life. To have someone who could care about you more than themselves. Maybe not everyone is lucky at their first chance. Maybe bad things happen but eventually God has something good for every one of us and so did He have for me. I have everything I ever wanted.

That night before putting kids to bed I told each of them that ”Life without love is like a chocolate without sugar, but life without pain is like a shell without a pearl. Unworthy and a mass with no value. In order to become worthy we have to suffer which helps us grow and achieve better in life.” They laughed as they didn’t understand what I meant. I understood it well, extremely well.


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Narjis Malik

Narjis Malik

Senior Student at Pakistan Education Centre
My name is Narjis Malik. I am 17 years old and in 12th grader in the Pakistan Education Centre in Doha,Qatar. Writing is my hobby and slowly becoming a passion. I mostly write on things that I see happening around and that intrigue me most. I just want my writing to put a positive impact on people reading it and the realization of the wrongs is my main goal 🙂

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