He sat at the door as he always did
With his head in his hand as it always was
And a pain in his chest, in his head, everywhere
This time he knew nothing would change
There would be no sorries, no “ I understand”s….
Gone meant gone, and he believed he knew
She was gone and gone for good
Twenty days, and still no sign of her
Twenty days of regrets and remorse
A shrine of penitence, the new name of his seat
Waiting, anticipating, hoping against hope
He knew he wanted her back
He knew he preferred her freedom
He knew the end had come,
Yet he still wished her around.
He knew she was happier away,
He knew it was better for it to be like this,
Yet he hoped that she would drop by.
Look in on him.
Light up his day with her smile.
He mourned her absence
Craved for her presence, but
He knew all too well
He wouldn’t have her back
Couldn’t find it in his heart
To raise a finger
Watch her cry
Watch her break.
His little china doll
Now with no big monster
Hitting her everyday.
Last time he had her in hospital
And God knows the remorse he felt
But there was nothing he could do
He made her favorite meal every day
Took it to her and watched her feed
Apologized profusely and begged her to go
Leave him alone,
Him and his infernal despicable disposition.
He wondered why it had to be him
To inherit the manic trait
She had understood him, she said
That is why she had hung around, he believed
But even that soon got to him
And he couldn’t take her pained cries
And he thought it was for the better.
But by God! Why did…
Why did she look so broken,
So pained, so hurt?
Why did she go into mourning
As if she had enjoyed all the torture?
Did she have to make it so hard,
So mightily impossible,
So hard and painful?
She had gone on her knees
Begging to stay as he asked her to go
Braving the inferno as he started boiling
What was it in her that…
What did she see in him
That made her want to stay?
He looked in the mirror every day
And hatred seethed from within
At this, this…
This ruthless creature he saw.
What was it she saw in him
When all he saw was blackness
Through and through,
A wade in murky waters…
He thought it would be alright then
Knowing she was fine, but
Why did it pain him more now,
More than it did when she was in pain
Pain inflicted by his possession.
He didn’t want to let go,
But he knew he had to…
Memories of an unreclaimable past…
Threats of a looming curse…
Was she all that important to him
That he would let it all go,
All the family history, 15 generations down?
He’d lied he didn’t know,
She had believed and held on.
He needed his sanity now,
But what would he have done?
Leaving the shrine of penitence
Took all his energy because
Any time about now
He’d see her fleeting by
Fleeting, yes, but with pained grace
As she ran this errand or the other
Avoiding his direction
As it should have been,
Yet he’d feel her pain
As acutely as she’d feel his,
But history needed to be buried.
So he went to the basement
And hurled the chest in the furnace
Ignoring his grandfather’s warning,
Burning the curse chronicles.
As the last of it burned to ashes
He noticed time had stopped
And felt himself change, transform.
Excitement, worry, joy, fear…
Then it rang in his head
In the 15 cursed voices
Whose diaries – volumes – had been in the chest,
Beginning with the grandfather to his
Grandfather’s grandfather’s grandfather,
Right down to his father’s:
“For the destruction of a legend
Cursed though as it may be
Your joy shall reach a tragic end,
Worse than the millionth sting of a bee.”
With a lopsided smile he realized
His happiness had come to an end
Long before he’d done this deed.
With a spring in his step he left the basement,
Went up the stairs and demolished the shrine.
Caught his reflection in a mirror,
The haunted look was gone.
She must have sensed it,
Because she came.
And when she came,
He noticed it immediately
Waited for it to come from her.
And when it did,
He prayed he’d heard wrong
But she gave him facts –
And times, and
He didn’t have to check his timepiece,
For he knew all too well
The sound of that moment
When time froze…
And the fifteen voices…
He had her back now
She believed she’d had a vision
That asked her to come back
For he had changed…
For the love of a lover
She had lost
It ran in her family
And she couldn’t bear to lose it…
She drowned her sorrow
In glass after glass of laudanum…
Lost her vibrance.
And then he realized
It would have been better,
Far much better,
To suffer alone
For hitting her manically,
For missing her presence,
Than to have her back
A mere shadow
Of what once was…
For the destruction of a legend
His joy had met a tragic end…
She would never be, again
And he would never see,
Feel, hear, enjoy –
Of his true love.
For the destruction of a legend,
He had lost his soul.
Wed, Nov. 3, 2010
I hope the holidays have been kind to you and yours as they have been to me and mine… This post and the next couple will be throwbacks, I wrote them between 2010 and 2011… This particular one is part 1 of 2, penned in 2010 as a creative writing CAT… 🙂 Hope you enjoy, and feel free to comment!
Mark sat down on his bed, heart still pounding, and let out a sigh of relief. His twin, John, fastened the brass door lock and joined his brother, giggling like an excited schoolgirl. Truth is, they were both very excited. They had just sneaked into Scarlet’s bedroom and stolen her most precious belonging – her diary.
You see, Mark and John were alike as two peas in a pod, and they acted that way. They were forever together, locked up in their bedroom doing everything else except studying. Unruly brown hair topped their heads, falling into their laughing brown eyes full of mischief. So inseparable were they, in fact, that their parents had taken to calling them ‘JohnMark’ whenever they needed either or both of them. A rather interesting pair, they had a knack for finding all sorts of mischief and trouble wherever they went. Like now. Scarlet, on the other hand, was blonde and fair and could very easily have passed for an airhead if not for her horn-rimmed glasses. Quiet as a mouse, she stuck to her books and forever maintained an impeccable order in everything she did or handled.
At sixteen, the pair JohnMark had no business reading a twenty-one year old’s diary, but their classmates had always complained over their alarmingly low levels of maturity. Page after page they flipped, and grew increasingly disappointed that it was written in some kind of code they could not even understand. As they slammed it shut, it somehow managed to slip through their fingers and fell onto their carpet, and all they could do was watch in wide-mouthed horror as the neat binding broke and fell apart. Frantic and panicky, they picked it up and took it to their shared study table, looking for glue to patch it up. It was then that Mark chanced upon a well-worn paper on their messy carpet.
He picked it up and unfolded it oh so carefully, with trembling fingers and bated breath. Surprised by his brother’s silence, John turned around and then walked up to Mark, anxious. He too got enveloped in the air of mystery and sat down slowly next to Mark. They read the letter, word for word, then turned to look at each other, stupefied. Who could have known that the dear egghead they had for a sister would have this big a secret to keep? Pieces started falling into place – things about her general demeanor that had never made sense now seemed clearer. So that’s what had happened during her one and a half year overseas trip? “We have to return this,” John whispered.
Scarlet walked into her room and flopped onto her four poster bed, exhausted. She was too tired to notice that the lamp she always kept to the left of her table was on the right, or to even see the twins clinging to each other in one corner, petrified. She fell into a deep sleep almost immediately, giving them the opportunity to flee unnoticed.
In another seaside village thousands of miles away, little Pablo played with his Abuelo, oblivious to the fast approaching storm. When his papa called him in, he ran to his knee and demanded for a story that would engage his soon-to-be-three-year-old mind while the storm raged. His papa, a fine young man, was glad to oblige, and soon the two of them were lost fighting dragons and rescuing princesses. Abuelo watched silently and gave a wan smile in appreciation of his son’s and grandson’s resemblance. Little Pablo took after his papa in all senses, from the name to the thick, black hair, dark bouncing eyes, elegant nails better suited to nobility than their lowly fisherman status, and that million dollar, breathtaking smile.
After Papa Pablo had tucked his boy in, he came back to the porch and watched his father watch the rain as it fell over the ocean. He then spoke up and told his father of his plans to leave the village and go work elsewhere, taking his son with him to go see the world. He got into a detailed explanation designed to counter his father’s arguments even before he raised them, and was surprised when his father agreed with him, saying that that boy deserved far much more than their village ever could give him. So without further ado, plans were made for the two to leave their sleepy village.