Saturday, October 11, 2008

Real Love Stories 1

The ladies at ripmybodice's posts are always hilarious to read, but today, I saw a review that reminded me of how close romance novels resembles reality sometimes. Having already commented there, I cannot seem to get the full story out of my head. It would be better if I could cry it out, but I'm a little lacking in tears at the moment and would rather vent-so to speak.

This story was real and it happened to a tv personality. I didn't know them directly, but I knew people who did (it's a long complicated thing and not really pertaining to the actual story).

Bean* and Angel* met in Junior High school. Angel was a pretty, optimistic and well liked girl. Bean was the funny guy and well liked, but not popular in the sense Angel was. Being in the same home room one year (in these schools, students remained in the same classroom and the teachers switched for the different subjects), Bean and Angel became friends. The friendship continued into High School and their group of friends had realized there was a mutual feelings between Bean and Angel.
Bean wasn't a handsome guy by any standard. He wasn't even plain. Somewhat smart, but not brilliant, Bean didn't feel as if he had a chance with the beautiful and sweet Angel. It took him six months, with encouragement from friends, for Bean to finally ask Angel out. To his surprise, but to no one else's, Angel said yes and they were together ever since.

As with all relationships, there were ups and downs. Arguments and disagreements, but having been friends first and for so long, there were never mentions of breakups or even 'taking a break.' Bean and Angel loved each other. It was a love with the gentle foundation of childhood trust, the strong camaraderie of adolescence, and the unity of friendship and passion. They were family. Their families were families - so to speak. Their friends would switch between envy and teasing at the love Bean and Angel shared.
Yet, around the time Bean needed to go to mandatory army training (I forgot if it was before or after, since the training ranged from 1 1/2 years to 2 years depending on the drawing), Angel brutally broke up with Bean. Part of the discussion had been about the future and careers. Bean wanted to risk going into entertainment - in comedy too. Angel had supported him before, but this sudden change was a rude awakening for Bean. No matter what Bean did, Angel made sure the relationship was completely cut. It probably felt like ripping out his beating heart where the empty hollow hole left Bean with nothing more than his determination and dreams.
A year passed. Then two. Bean did go after his dreams and was starting to gain ground at a host on game shows and such.

He reconnected with a few friends, but didn't see Angel. Singing, food, and light drinking later, Bean remembered how great it had been for old youthful friendships. These relationships were rarely built as adults and even less in his chosen career.

Slowly getting in touch, a friend had suggested Bean contact Angel's family without giving much reason why. Instead, Bean was contacted by Angel's family. It wasn't until Bean actually called had Angel's sibling spoke the truth.
All those years ago, Angel had went to the doctors for a checkup. They had felt something was wrong and wanted more tests. Cancer was discovered and it was metastasizing. The most extreme chemo treatments were to be needed, but Angel prepared for the worst. Despite her family's objections to her decision and the few friends' (who found out) arguments, and persuasion, Angel broke up with Bean. To Angel, she didn't want Bean to be burdened by her. In the army, he would rarely get vacations and if he knew she was being hospitalized left and right, it would have made Bean suffer even more. Angel wanted him to go forward in his life. Not put everything on hold for her. To Angel, she wanted to keep the love they had and not wear down every last bit of his strength. She wanted to fight this disease herself. Or so her sibling had said. Towards the end, Angel went into a coma and never came back out.

To Bean, there was the possibility Angel knew how severe her condition was and made her decision to go. Bean was completely shocked. Completely. He had been completely mislead and was wrong in his self dialogue and assumptions that Angel no long loved him. All thrown out the window.
A few days later, he had wandered out after work to go for a midnight snack. Bean had walked by and saw a shop he and Angel had gone to before. Deciding on there, he was led to a small table, sat and ordered something. At that moment, the radio started playing a song so familiar his breath stopped and time stopped. Bean was sitting at the exact same table he had been with Angel all those years before with the exact same song singing all around. As if seeing Angel there smiling at him, Bean began to cried. Scared the other patrons and the shop owner, but he couldn't stop. Just kept crying and sobbing as his heart broke even more terribly than it had when Angel left him, washing out the tiny pieces of emptiness.
It took a really long time for Bean to come to grips with everything. He wanted to have been there, to love her and stay with her. To have done something instead of being left alone and to have her been alone. It took years, but Bean's okay now. Despite still feeling that Angel should have told him the truth and to at least have given him a chance to truly say goodbye, Bean has come to see what Angel did as love. Even though he wanted to be there (despite the fact he probably wouldn't have been allowed to), Bean has also come to appreciate that his memory of her wasn't when she's lost all her hair, her weight, and her suffering. Still would have wanted to be there though, but at least Bean knew he was loved.
If this were a romance novel, she would have survived. Or this would have been the back story to the main hero as something he must overcome to be with the heroine. Yet, this was real life. And it sucks. Even in romance novels, why would it usually be the women whom want to spare the men they love pain? I wanted to rewrite it, but I can't.** If I could, I would be smiling and crying at the same time.
Was Angel's action really love? Would this count as a type of happy ending? What is your take on this story? Love tragedy? Doomed love? Or one of those Great Love story?
*Disclaimer: All names have been changed for a) translation purposes and b) protection of identity.

** More Disclaimer: This is based on a true story, BUT was written mostly from memory from a few years back so I'm sure a few of the dates and situations probably didn't happen exactly the way it was written. The actual events happened nearly 17 years ago. Please also excuse my quick write. I would have loved to go all novel, but my skills still fall more in reporting. Besides, I just wanted to get this all out.


  1. Oh, gosh, that is so sad! No wonder I read romance. So sad. This is also like an old Bettie Davis movie, Dark Secret. Sigh. Hey! Love the new look!

  2. It is a very sad story. Yes, it's true - if this was a romance book then it would have never happened that way.

    I understand Angel's desire to be remembered as she was in Bean's eyes. But IMO that should have been Bean's decision. Just my thought.

  3. CJ- Isn't it? That's why I keep wondering if Angel's act was really an act of love >_<. I think the Bettie Davit movie is called Dark Victory. I wiki-ed it and Dark Secret's a Christine Feehan novel. ;) Thanks! I think a nice change is good. :D

    Tracy - I agree that Bean should have been able to make the decision, but from what I heard, Angel didn't want to it to become Bean staying out of pity. Also because the army wouldn't have let him out for any non-family related reasons and such.

    Aymless - He's doing well now, so it isn't all bad. They did have a good relationship for years and have lots of good memories. Besides, there's a high likelihood I'm going to rewrite this and change it! Happy Endings forever!!!!!

  4. Break my heart! I think it was an act of love. A selfless sacrifice. Yes, please re-write this with a HEA.

  5. Speaking from experience, I think Angel was wrong to rob Bean of the time they could have had. Some of my best, though saddest memories of Ron were near the end. She may have done it out of love, but IMO it was a selfish kind of love. Although I also believe that when Bean heard that exact song at that exact shop was Angel reaching out to Bean in the only way she could.

  6. How sad. I think it is a love story of sorts, but very tragic. I understand Angel's desire to let Bean go like she did because she loved him and didn't want him to suffer with her. But I don't think it was right that she took that choice away from him.

  7. Katie - I have another story that has a HEA. Will do that one soon.

    Kristie - I agree, it should have been his choice, but I think I should have emphasized that while he's in the army, there really was no way he would have been allowed out to see her in the hospital. IMO, only mine, I think that might have been the biggest aspect. Bean was just starting. They're usually there for over a year to two and allowed visitation, but no real holiday. I remember some saying she passed really quick, like 3 months or something. So, in essence, I think Angel was thinking that letting Bean know while there wasn't any possibility of him seeing her would have made him more miserable.
    I do agree that Angel was reaching out to Bean that night too. I think it was her way of telling him everythings fine.

    Christine - Ditto. Since Bean is usually this very happy guy, comedy and everything, I think quite a few people were crying while he talked about it. He got a bit teary too. Especially the part about the music at the restaurant. It does make me wonder what she was thinking back then, since no one really knows.

    *sigh* I need to go read something happy.

  8. I'm not sure what happened to my comment (BAD BLOGGER) but I liked the story and I felt bad for both of them. This is why I take breaks from fantasy b/c sometimes there isn't a happy ending.

  9. Sarai- I think it's in the post below. I remember seeing your comment in my inbox so I'm POSITIVE you wrote it. :)
    I agree, I've stopped more fantasy and Sci-Fi since all they seem to have are wars, battles, and depressing endings. Bleh. There's a reason I read romance, dangit!