I was about to flee when the girl I had been waiting for hours appeared in front of the coffee shop. She saw me through the window and waved her right hand towards me.
Tanya is a sickly pale girl with curly blonde hair down to her waist. She’s short and was never been and will never be in the list of ‘beautiful girls according to male’s stereotypical types’ . Men who don’t look at her heart avoids her. But the thing I like the most about her is that she’s always cheerful. No matter what happened to her, she smiles. I’m a man and basically I’m the master of ignoring and I should have feel ease to people who ignore things, but I’m still curious what makes a girl with more emotional endurance like Tanya can still smile anywhere anytime.
“Hey, Peter!” she innocently shouted to me from across the room.
“Damn it, Tanya! I’ve been waiting for you for hours and you innocently greeted me?!” I shouted back when she finally sat in front of me. “Your espresso is cold right now!”
“I’m so sorry, Peter, I’m so sorry! Tyler couldn’t decide which suit he’ll wear to his interview. So he asked me to help him,” she said with a grin on her face. “What’s the matter, anyway? You didn’t sound good when you call,”
“I didn’t,” I said.
She leaned forward and took a sip of her coffee. “Tell me then,”
“Look, as Aislinn’s best friend, what do you think about what she thinks about failure?” I asked, hoping she didn’t figure out the reason why I ask her that.
She frowned for a while. I might seem like a thief watching his target when I’m looking at Tanya, waiting her answer. When she finally opened her mouth, she said, and again, with a grin, “I don’t know,”
“Damn it, Tanya!”
“Well, why don’t you ask that to herself? I’m no mind-readers, for God’s sake!”
“I don’t want her to know that-”
“You failed on something? Yeah, I get that. She’s so sensitive when something’s happening,”
I nodded. At first, I only want to talk about that to Tanya, but then every words were bursting out of my mouth. “I failed on my job interview, okay? I don’t want Aislinn to know that because I don’t want to let her down,” I said. When Tanya didn’t say a word, I knew she wanted to know more. “You see, being a professional animation maker is my lifelong dream. I know that, right now, I’m working as an animation maker and I’m making a good money, but I want more. I want to make an animation so good that everyone in the world will notice my work. And to achieve that, I gotta keep moving. I can’t stay in a company who kills every employee’s dream by being not a serious company,”
I gave a pause and drank my coffee. Tanya still stay silent. I knew she was observing me and my problem. She’s the best at that, well, the second best. Aislinn is the best.
So I continued, “Aislinn has been supportive to me everyday. She even supports me when I’m about to quit my job even though she knows that she must rearrange our monthly needs to save our money. I love her, you know? I can’t stand the idea of letting her down because of my failure. And I failed at the interview.. I guess I overrated my self,”
Tanya finally spoke, “Ah, love. So, basically, you don’t want to let her down?”
“Just tell her. She’s a gorgeous woman with a big fat heart. She won’t be disappointed by her husband’s failure on reaching his dream,” she said. “Look, you know what, Pete? I know that this is not about you telling her that you failed. It’s about failure itself, isn’t it? You feel bad for failing on something and you brought Aislinn as an excuse for spilling your heart out to me. Am I right?”
“You caught me,” I said. “But I still feel bad about telling Aislinn that I failed,”
She smiled. “I know. You see, failure is not the end of everything. Back in college, I got a B once, while, you know, I had always been getting an A+. At that point, I felt like my whole universe is sinking. Sinking, you know! I wanted to be a perfect student and having a B in my paper broke my heart. I didn’t eat pizza -my favorite food- for weeks! I had no appetite and I felt like I had no reasons to live. Call me selfish and stupid, that’s what I was,”
Tanya grabbed a french fries and continued talking, “Then one day, after sick of seeing me being weird, my ultimate best friend and roommate Aislinn talked like this to me, ‘I got a C again. I hope that one day I’ll graduate with flying colors and impress Peter,’. And I was shocked for a while. Until now, I still don’t know whether she said that deliberately to knock me or not, but what she said did really knocked me. I thought, ‘Wow, I’m such a an asshole. I still got better grades than Aislinn but I felt like giving up. But there Aislinn is, having worse grades than me but still being an optimistic. I should be more grateful for what I have,’. And you should, too, Peter,”
I nodded for a while. There’s nothing I can say. I’m too stunned by what Tanya said. I’ve never heard that story before. Aislinn is the master of all optimist. If I was Aislinn and wanted to have good grades to impress someone I love and finally achieved a bad grade, I might be stressed. But there Aislinn is. She failed but she still being an optimist.
Tanya was an asshole. And maybe I was an asshole too. No. Not maybe. I was an asshole. I gotta ask God to forgive me for being such an asshole. I gotta be grateful for what I have and I had. I gotta have the guts to speak the reality.
“Wow! Thank you, Tanya,”
I grabbed my coat and a coffee I bought earlier for Aislinn. “I gotta go. So, see you someday?”
“Okay. Just remember that Aislinn is in love with you and she’s the kind of person who will accept you whatever happens to you. And tell Aislinn I miss her,” She waved her hand towards me.
I walked through the door. The sky was dark and yellowish light bulbs lighted my path. And I suddenly knew that there’s forgiveness for every sins if you ask it with heart. I lifted my chin and walked home.