Wednesday, November 19, 2014
The True Story of the Vortex. The Conception Files. Chapter 13. Sabbatikos. Reconciliation Scene. 18+
Ages later I got out of the bathroom, squeaky-clean, hair brushed and blown dry, wine and tobacco stains cleaned off my teeth, eyebrows plucked, and extremities clumsily self-manicured and –pedicured, legs shaved. Almost decent.
I rummaged in the closet for a fresh sundress, pulled it on and froze on the spot. Something was wrong. It felt like a groceries bag pulled on a hand puppet. Whoa. I used to have quite some curves to clutch at. Where was it now?
‘Oh! Where art thou now, o voluptuous heifer?’ I exclaimed to the stranger in the mirror.
It mimicked me. I did a couple of ape-like grimaces and laughed. Well, I was laughing more and more lately. Good!
I reflected on near-death experiences and a potential loss of a great love being the best diet recipe, although I wouldn’t recommend it to my worst enemy. Well, maybe except an overweight Kee-Axi bitch who blamed it all on extra amount of scales while gorging on some innocent roadkill?
So here I was. Was it actually me, this unknown person with hard eyes and hollows under prominent cheekbones?
Plus, my hair was now falling down to my waist. What used to be a well-groomed shoulder-blade-length cut was now an unruly wild mane sun-bleached to the color of straw. From tasteful light chestnut I have gone blonde. Great. Well, I could afford losing an IQ point or two.
The sundress was flopping about me as I walked. What the hell? I took it off and threw it onto the floor.
Ah. Nudity. Much better.
As I was observing myself in the mirror, a silver voice came from the door.
‘Gate? Is that you?’
Six months ago I would have jumped, blushed, and run for cover. But my new badass self dictated otherwise.
Although my heart was thundering, I kept still as a statue. I surreptitiously dropped my eyeglasses on to the floor, then composed my face into a haughtily welcoming mask in the best imitation of Mother Cairn, and turned slowly to face my prodigal Ariser.
‘Yes,’ I said, my voice dripping with royal coolness. ‘It is indeed I. Good afternoon, Rob.’
I’ve seen all sorts of expressions on his face. But it was the first time he gratified me with a dropping jaw and popping eyes.
Go, Gator, I told myself as I took in his smooth gorgeous face, his otherwise unruffled appearance, his white shirt and khaki pants almost indecently crisp and fresh for this kind of heat.
Well, my Eve’s outfit was definitely the attention-grabber in that room, I thought triumphantly as I walked towards him while his shocked eyes taking in… well, everything, from the overgrown hair falling all over the place like an unkempt lawn, and down to other more conspicuous body parts.
‘Take a seat, please,’ I continued in the same high-society hostess voice. ‘Would you like some iced tea?’
Silence. He was gawping at me. I couldn’t take it anymore.
‘Oh, for the Thirteenth’s sake, Rob,’ I said lightly, letting a bit of pressure out in a small burst of giggles. I sat in an armchair and crossed my now slim, shapely, killer legs. ‘Bad sunstroke? You look like you’ve never seen me… in the altogether.’
But he wasn’t a teenage boy. Oh, far from it. By the time I uncrossed and recrossed my legs in a passable Sharon Stone imitation, he already recovered and sat on the sofa opposite me.
‘I cannot say I got tired of looking at you… in the altogether included,’ he retorted lightly. ‘But what happened to you? You look… like you haven’t eaten since I… for months,’ he finished somewhat lamely, and I saw again the shade of guilt in his blue eyes.
Go baby, go. Walk in my shoes.
But there was something strange going on. With me, not him. He continued caressing me with his gaze, this time with deliberation and relish, rather than shock, while I was analyzing the goings-on inside me.
I was still madly in love with him, I still wanted him more than anything, I’d still walk through fire for him, and yet those dumbfounding eyes lost their effect on me. They were even more beautiful now that they had this new tinge of well-earned guilt in their blue fire, but…
I stared into his eyes again, at length this time. Yes, those Luminite eyes have lost their overwhelming power on me. My heart still squeezed painfully when I registered how beautiful he was, but without the effect of being hit on the head. He was totally unchanged, if maybe more rested and less harassed, as if he was having a passably good time away from me…
I felt bucketfuls of ice fall in avalanches around my heart. Well, brace yourself, Nolementar.
I let the pause drag as long as I could, while staring at him unblinkingly, then said, ‘Anything else of interest to you?’
‘Er…’ He faltered in his would-be-calm poise.
I could see he was nervous. By some miracle the power rapport changed. Now it was I who was holding all the levers.
Well, almost all. I should keep in mind he could play the game, too. By not playing it at all.
‘Yes,’ he said finally, calm again. ‘I came to say I’m sorry, to explain myself, and to see whether you still want me.’
‘Hmmm,’ I purred. ‘Let me see… No, Rob, I do not accept your apology, I do not care for your explanations, and I don’t want you anymore.’
I observed that guilt flicker in his eyes with newfound sadistic pleasure.
‘Well, what did you expect? Three months of Robinson life would turn anyone into a Nazi.’
‘Fair enough,’ he conceded gravely. ‘I can see now you’ve really changed, Gate.’
‘Yeah, yeah… how are you, anyway? I hear Paris is lovely at this time of year.’
I was smiling, but my eyelashes were down so that he wouldn’t see my eyes screaming, I am still madly in love with you, I still want you more than anything, I’d walk though fire for you, but you must be taught a lesson, and I must find a way to forgive you for those months of purgatory… But if he came to offer me heaven as lightly as he cast me into fire, he got it all very wrong.
‘You learned how to be cruel, Gate,’ he said heavily.
‘I had a good teacher,’ was my obvious reply.
‘OK,’ he said half-angrily, half-tiredly. ‘I think I’ll have that iced tea, then you’ll hear me out even if I have to tie you down and…’
My laughter was icy.
‘You’re into BDSM now, Rob?’ I trilled, as I got up and walked to the bar.
I poured him an ice tea and swaggered back to his chair, making sure to let a drop fall off the tall frosty glass onto my bare hip.
He watched it progress down my leg and swallowed. My, I was good at this.
‘Could you please put something on? It’s distracting,’ he said, accepting the glass with a stiff hand.
Oh yes. He was a man, after all. Luminite, magical, outlandish, God knows what other fairytale rubbish, but he was a man in the first place.
‘Sure,’ I shrugged.
I went to my bedroom closet where I chose a white silk male shirt, which I left unbuttoned, then checked my reflection. Good. If I knew anything at all, this would disconcert him even more than mere nudity.
As I returned, I went straight to the bar and poured myself a glass of ice-cold white Muscat wine, then lit up a cigarette and went to see him react. If he was surprised, he hid it well.
‘Living on the edge?’ he inquired. ‘It’s 10 AM, Gate. Any new habits I must know about?’
Well, this was fun but getting too tiresome to be worth it.
‘OK, what did you want to tell me, Rob?’ I said irritably, dropping my sex bomb charade with a sharp draw on my death stick. ‘You came to talk? Talk. Don’t mind my little R movie routine, I’m just bored and trying to have fun. Well?’
‘Sorry.’ Only I could hear sadness through that businesslike manner. ‘I’m at a loss. I came to talk to my Gatie and I find an absolutely different woman.’
‘Her evil twin?’ I suggested, drawing on.
He chortled. ‘Thank heavens. It is you.’
‘Signature crackpot jokes. Now, why do you look like you’ve just escaped a concentration camp? I did make sure you are provided with everything you need or want, food included. Well, sorry I didn’t ensure you as much emotional comfort, and you’ll have a lifetime to taunt and punish me for that. But trust me, I had my reasons.’
OK, that did it.
As I felt a nice massive Gator tantrum coming, I gave it free reign.
With a quick flick of my wrist I sent my wine glass flying and crashing into the wall. Damn. He didn’t even wince.
I jumped off the chair and screamed at the top of my lungs, banshee-like, nostrils flaring.
‘Need or want? Emotional comfort? You son of a rotten goatfish! Dratted toad-kisser! Who do you think you are, coming here and trying to be funny! Concentration camp? I’ll give you concentration camp, you vomit-flavored lollipop! Go have green dragons blow their noses at you! Three months of… of… of this!’ I was working myself up into hyperventilation. ‘A holiday in KADE Continent would be enjoyable compared to these three months of hell! Shut up laughing, you dirty, vile warthog ass wiper!’
Damn. It was too late when I remembered that he actually liked shrieking hysterical women.
He was already laughing, tears of mirth springing to those maddeningly beautiful eyes. I was never able to understand this addiction for tantrums, rather perverse for a Luminite person. ‘It was all that time spent on Earth that corrupted him,’ I thought.
‘Yes,’ he said, still laughing. ‘It is the time on Earth that corrupted me… although… I’d rather call this enhancement. Oh, Gatie…’
He looked at me and I saw the old love, the love I remembered so well, that I couldn’t make myself forget about, shining bright in his eyes.
‘My sun, you didn’t change, after all. And what perfect use of Luminite expletives, although I’d skip the KADE holiday part if I were you,’ he added, suddenly serious. ‘You don’t know what it’s like…’
‘Of course I do, you dung-brain cheater!’ I screeched. ‘Where do you think all of this came from? You think I spent three months waiting for you on the porch, you moronic roadkill eater! Do I look like bloody Penelope? I almost died of mental hunger in this blasted bookless place, you disgraceful kisser of unwashed horse undertails! Where – have – you – been? And now you show your crap-stuffed face here and snigger at me, you miserable booger!’
I stopped, unable to breathe. I guess I was done for the day, what with teasing him and yelling quite nasty things at him. Well, they were nasty in any terms, not just Luminite. Unless they made one laugh themselves stupid, that is.
‘OK, OK, plead guilty,’ he said, clearly restraining his laughter, quite unsuccessfully at that.
It was rather putting me off my shrieking match as I was feeling ridiculous. All right, time to change tack.
‘You are an asshole, Rob,’ I said weakly, falling into my chair, my barely covered chest heaving. ‘OK, as an afterthought it came to me you were right to leave, but you could at least warn me. Tell me. Kiss me effing goodbye! Not break up with me by a note like in some lame third-rate TV show! And what right did you have to lock me up here? I was going mad with doing nothing for weeks! You could at least have those guards bring me normal books!’
‘Oh, crap…’ He ran his hand through his hair, guilt now obvious on his face. ‘I forgot. I am sorry, my sun, I forgot. The books. Damn, I thought you’d ask the guards to bring you some!’
‘Do you think I’m stupid? Go get the chicken droppings removed out of your ears! I said NORMAL books! They kept bringing me paperback romance and Hello! magazines, you furball-eating dog hairdresser!’
He suppressed another guffaw.
‘Yeah right, you forgot! No Internet, no phone, not even bloody TV! Right! Do you think I have swamp ooze for brains like you do?’
‘I didn’t want you to degrade to TV.’ He was trying so hard not to laugh, I almost pitied him beneath all my anger.
‘Rob, I am in no joking mood!’ I growled. ‘My next glass of wine will fly at your head, I promise!’
‘All right,’ he said decisively, seeing I was at the end of my tether.
He streaked to the bar, poured me another glass, and shove it into my trembling hand.
‘Listen. You’re not going to like it, but I left because you needed to remain alone and sort out your guilt issues. Alone. Without me reminding of them to you. Right?’
I reflected on that for a moment. ‘Right.’
‘I left because it was the only help I could render. Do you think it didn’t break my heart? Leaving you there in bed, pale, twitching, crying in your sleep? I was a dead man walking. Trust me.’
I fought back furious tears.
‘Hello, do you even listen? Why – didn’t – you – tell – me?’
He streaked to the bar again, brought me my cigarettes, and clicked the lighter.
‘There. Stop yelling, darling, you’ll hurt your throat. Again,’ he said with a pained expression, and I realized he knew I shouted myself hoarse while looking for him all over the island.
He must have received reports on what I was doing every day of those interminable months. At that thought, I burst into tears. However, he didn’t dare approach and take me in his arms, although I could see through salty streams that his urge to do so was overwhelming.
‘Did you… hic… get reports on me?’ I spluttered. ‘And why didn’t you tell me when you’d come back?’
‘Because I knew that’d make you spend your energy on waiting for me. Focusing on me instead of your own self. I wanted you to focus utterly and completely on you and none other but you. And see me… well, from another perspective… to see the dung-brained dog hairdresser warthog ass wiper that I am. And then indulge in yourself a bit. As if I was deleted from your life.’
‘But… you could call… or let me know you were all right,’ I continued weakly. ‘You’ve no idea how much energy I spent worrying about you!’
‘Silly girl,’ he chuckled softly. ‘What was the Ring for?’
‘Don’t tell me about the stupid Ring,’ I sputtered, my last sparkles of anger dying away. ‘It was always clear!’
‘Which means you’re OK, but…’
‘So what was there to worry about?’ He dared to sit on the arm of my chair as he saw the change in me. ‘I know what you mean. It never shone other colors.’
‘What if it did turn red? What if anything happened to you, and I’d be just stuck here not knowing where are you and what’s wrong with you!’
‘Well, if it wasn’t for that prophesized connection between us… I’d say you’re well shot of me,’ he said gloomily.
‘What?’ I felt outrage being replaced with… I didn’t know how to define that emotion. He thought he didn’t deserve me?
‘Rob, you fool… didn’t it occur to you I’d die in all possible outcomes? Including if the Ring just slipped off my finger?’
‘You know it will never do so. And I’m made of stronger stuff than you give me credit for,’ he said, looking straight into my eyes but still not daring to come closer and hold me. ‘And your Ring… it was indeed always clear, because I wanted it to be so. Unless when you were sleeping.’
‘What? You were missing me or thinking of me only when I was asleep? But…’ I couldn’t make myself believe it. ‘What an outrageous lie!’
‘I’m not lying,’ he said, looking down at me, the familiar blue twinkle in those gorgeous eyes rekindling. ‘I did let myself think of you or drown in longing for you only when you went to sleep. Again, in order to not distract you from the most important thing – yourself.’
‘How is that possible?’
‘I come from a dynasty of Sages. And I’ve lived a long life, Gatie,’ he said seriously. ‘I am certainly able to exercise mental control over myself.’
‘But how did you know when I was asleep?’
‘I watched the progress of my own Ring… letting go when it went clear. It meant your mind was at peace. And your sleeping hours were criminally short, if that comment is allowed.’
I exhaled. ‘You filthy swamp ooze eater,’ I said, leaning onto the chair back and draining my glass. ‘You put me through hell.’
‘I’ve been through one myself.’ He took the empty glass out of my hand, then seated himself back onto the sofa, looking braced for something. ‘OK. Do you think you can handle another rage match?’
‘Why?’ I asked warily, jerking out my weary and – I should be honest here – half-drunken relaxation. ‘What now? OK, bring it, Torquemada.’
He sighed. ‘This is the worst, and the one I feel really guilty about. I… it’s just so unimportant under our circumstances, and may seem quite petty to you… Anyway, I used it as a pretext to leave because, to tell you the truth…’
‘Rob, please! You’re a walking torture device! What else did you do?’
‘Well…’ he stared at his impeccable brown loafers. ‘It was this contract I signed ages ago… to cut it short, I had to do a European tour. Concerts, you know…’
God. I almost forgot he was a freaking rock star, to top it all off. He looked at me guiltily. It was now my turn to gape, paralyzed with this piece of information. As I stared, his voice was growing more and more hesitant.
‘The band was irate because we didn’t rehearse, and the performances were, well, total crap, because I had other things on my mind…’
He paused. I inhaled.
‘Are you through?’
‘Well… no. I also noticed how you seemed unable to come up with a single idea or impulse when you were… with me… so I just sort of let you alone… for reasons of having the SLB written inclusive. Boost your creativity, so to say. There.’ He sighed. ‘You can kill me now.’
‘I sure as hell will!’ I hissed, flaring with rage again, this time in real earnest.
And I lunged, shirt hems flapping around me.
I blamed it all on the alcohol later, but in that moment I wanted to hit him even more than have him make love to me, and that I was longing for ever since he entered my shady, white-and-blue living room.
He didn’t let me hurt him or, rather, myself. He caught me deftly, taking the shock of my weight, rolled gingerly off the sofa, and pinned me to the floor. I writhed and hissed, staring into those maddeningly beautiful eyes with rage.
‘I think this is when we kiss,’ he said in a whisper rough with anticipation.
Then he did it. He kissed me. I would be right to say he kissed me like never before.
My sizzling rage turned into pure lust, my hiss turning into a calling purr right there on my lips.
His glowing heat engulfed me into an intoxicating haze, and everything vanished. My hatred, dismay, pain, and urge to cause him as much pain as I’ve suffered – it was all gone.
I knew he wasn’t lying. My absence from his life was as excruciating as my own experience. Really, what did I care? I realized then, as I soaked in his glowing heat, as I stared hungrily at that haunting face, that we’ve actually done it. I sorted out what I had to sort out, I created what I had to create, and he just stayed out of my way in order for me to do it.
Yes. He knew me better than I knew myself, and he was right. He helped me immensely by giving me the chance to fight my own dragons alone.
And in another blinding flash of realization, as his lips crushed mine, I knew one more thing.
He couldn’t help me slay my own dragons just because he loved me too much; he worshipped me wholly and absolutely. Dragons included.
We didn’t notice the night fall; we were too absorbed with each other. And when I woke up after hours of refreshing sound sleep, he was there to kiss me good morning.
I felt amazing. All in all, it was a good summer.