Story

The Knock Part 1

knock

I can smell the sweet aroma of earth anticipating for a downpour. The cool breeze is numbing my skin. I am with the earth in this. May the rain pour to fulfill my desire. To whet my loneliness. May its water fill up all the empty pores in my heart. May it bring to life pure memories of his tender cuddle. May it re-member the hollow parts of his warm presence and purge the emptiness.

There is a knock at the door; so gentle a knock like his touch. A hesitant knock of pure longing. There is a sweet shudder in me. What if it isn’t him? I do not want to hold back this yearning anymore. In his arms is where I belong and where I’d rather be now.

It is my desire to eradicate the wear on his face. I know that after all the toil he would use a little bit of homeliness. I want to give him that. Behind that wooden door I hope stands him who I miss badly. I walk stealthily. Hesitating from the possibility that it might be someone else.

I’d love to hate this face staring back at me blankly as if she knows it is her I did not expect. The emptiness beneath it is worrying. When I see the paleness on Josephine’s face I know that the rain is about to beat me. The kind of rain I’d not want to think about. The shameless one that pours in the middle of a drought just to wither away few surviving greens with false hope.

Josephine is hesitant to come through but she drags herself in. The shudder in my heart changes color to black. Bad shudder it is. She is as restless as a cow that is about to calf down. I loathe that calf. She paces around the living room behind my brown sofa, sits and stands and strays into the kitchen. Josephine puts her hand on her brow like Brent does when he his shielding himself from the sun.

Finally, she gulps down a glass of water and settles. Her lost gaze befalls me. And I stand over her fondling my fingers and stealing glances at her. The suspense puts me on an awkward position. But if I drive her into speaking I know my whole being will come stumbling. I don’t want that to happen just now. I want to revisit my old sweet moments with my Brent. I want the nostalgia to sweep over me and toss me away like the ocean waves does the sea shells. Would anyone pick me? And whom would it be?

I am entitled to happiness. It seems that I am the most unlucky person in the world. There’s not even a chance for me to build castles in the air. I don’t even have that. Having only two closest people in the world and one sitting agitated right before you and one so far away could never be a blessing even in the simplest of terms. There’s no way that I can even try to console myself that whatever is to come out of that mouth is about anyone other than the love of my life. I shudder again and sigh. Deeply.

Josephine asks me to sit beside her. And she holds both my hands.

“I don’t know how to say this sister.”

“Is he dead?”

“God no! Why do you say that? But he is badly injured. Am sorry.”

The world rushes by for a moment and then slows down to normal. Why does it have to be me losing them all one after the other?

“How bad?”

“Really bad. He is in ICU. Got a broken spine.”

I don’t know what to say. My head goes back a little to the relief full knock. Back to the moment of the sweet smell of the rain and the sweet memories of him. Back to the moment that the knock woke me from a sweet reverie and towed me into a white shudder. Back to the instant when I held the door handle anticipating to see that face that I dream about every night. Back until the whole world became dark.

Then I am woken again by a damn gentle knock. One that much gentler, much hesitant as if it is a pupil knocking at the headmaster’s office. My whole body is shaken, could it be that I was in a dream when Josephine said that he had been hospitalized? Or could it be that she received the wrong message? That knock hitting my head like the music of the thud of his heart is so much like him. That knuckle is the one I have slipped against my cheek every night; hard and old.

…to be continued
#thewordbrewer

The Editor

Editor

Fingers converse with the keyboard in little clicks like naughty pupils whispering in class after lunch. The clicks fill the room. He haunches over, hitting the buttons in the desperate rush to beat the deadline. It is 12.47. The news is supposed to be on at exactly one. So he fights, absentmindedly grabbing the cup and sips the tea. His eyes do not leave the monitor as if he is in a staring contest with the monitor.

This happens 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. He seems to love every bit of it for he sticks to his seat as if he has been glued to it. The cover of his arm chair is faded at the arms and the sitting area while the others bought at the same time are still shimmering and dark.

He gobbles every story. Internalizes it, analyses the slant and the scripts and the words. He transforms intros into catchy leads. He replaces words with weighty ones that convey the message. He trims the script until all the rodents are out in the light and then gives that crucial nod. Otherwise the story will die.

This is his playground and he entertains no mediocre players. If you can’t, then retire and let the able ones work. Once it is on his desk, he skims through it and snaps his finger. And that is where all the trouble begins. That is where the illness begins and the story either battles out or perishes in the ordeal.

His voice is neither soft nor husky. It is however somehow heavy. His cheeks are bloated; perhaps from all the frowning at the poorly done stories. His back is stooped from all the hunching. He is always in a hurry but never to leave his center where stories meet their ultimate fate.

He never looses his temper except when he is irritated by mediocrity in a story, which happens all the time. When he is, he loses his words. He takes to dismantling it and rebuilding it into something worth of air. Then when he finally gets his voice back, he issues a stern warning.

When the heat is up and people are losing their heads, he always has his to bring people back to their selves. The heat never bends him. It just can’t reach up to his boiling point. He is like a father in the middle of fighting kids.

And then he never laughs unless he just has to. His laughter is so rare it could be valued alongside precious metals like diamonds. Even when finally the story flies into the viewer’s TV. Perhaps one day he will laugh so much everyone will be disgusted. But as for now, we will make do with the quest to put a smile on his face.

#thewordbrewer