Thirty ninth night.
I reached my home and sneaked downstairs right into the basement before my parents could spot me. I really wanted to be alone for a while because that is what everyone does when they have a secret thing hidden in their front pocket since last few hours.
So, it was the letter meant for Marry green. Apparently I had not given it to her. I just did not feel like it.
I locked the door, turned the A.C on and took off my jacket after pulling the letter out of it.
I was in my bed, still with my shoes on, collapsed in between pillows with the ‘yet-unopened’ letter in my hand.
And before I could have read it, there was a knock at my door. A big knock, kind of which you see on T.V when they break the gates of fortresses with logs. I knew it was my dad there on the door.
I hid the letter beneath the bedsheet, ran to the gate and opened it quickly.
He stood there with a baseball bat retracted back to his shoulders ready to hit my head, with my mother standing behind him.
“Wait, wait, it’s me, Ian.”
I was like shit scared of any probable hit coming from my giant built dad.
“Whoa! You just fucking scared us.”
He said loosening up his grip.
“Yeah, sorry I have just come back.”
“Yeah, Okay, we just heard the stairs creak and thought it might be some nasty bastard in our house. Anyway, were not you supposed to come back on Monday? It’s just Sunday today.”
“Looks like you have got some plans for tonight.”
I said with a smirk on my face.
“Well, right, I and your mom have planned to go for a movie.”
He was still talking with his waist resting upon the bat’s head.
“Sure, carry on. I have also got some plans for tonight.”
“Study and shit?”
“Yeah, Study and shit.”
My mother started dressing up later in the evening. She would wear a black pearl necklace every time she’d go out, now maybe half or all of those pearls were not actual pearls but my mother liked to wear it. Unlike dad, she was small. And she still looked well. Perhaps because she had a smaller body to maintain than most of us guys. With her brown hair having strands of grey in middle of them breaking the dawn of her old.
“We’d be back by midnight.”
She said from her room still adjusting her dress.
I replied back from my room.
They were happy going out.
After they had left, I thought of going to the basement to read the letter where it was kept safe beneath the bedsheet. But an idea of watching T.V for a while took over my mind. I was dead tired of the day I had had.
I made a safety boat out of my pillows on my bed and turned off the lights and switched on the T.V and A.C and jumped right into my boat hopping across the table in between.
And the bed was ocean and I was safe.
I fell asleep in a while.
In the middle of my night, or maybe it had been some time around the same. I felt my throat drying out of thirst. I woke up to have some water from the lamp table. Rolling on to my left I glanced at the table clock. Hands were at 11:23 pm. I pulled myself out of my pillow boat and sat up on the bed resting my back against the headrest. There was still time for my parents to get back.
I reached out my hand to the phone on the table and dialed to Cheryl.
So, it takes a moment before the lines get connected. In between you send the signal from here and some machine in the sky gets to know you want to talk to someone on this earth and then it tells them. In that moment, I thought about Cheryl.
“The life is afflicted. You don’t get to have a say in when things come and go and what you get from them. Most often, people get what they want and they start believing this is the secret. But the secret is not this. The secret, is that people can have their wantings but they will always be deprived of what they deserve to have.”
She said while we were in the park, I remembered her eyes from there. The corner of her eyes welled up with tears, resisting her say.
Everyone at some point wants to believe most in the thing they firmly hold disbelief for. And maybe she always knew what she was saying, like everyone else. But then she always possibly knew a little more than that, she knew that most of what she said was true while it should not have been.
I heard the dialer’s ring. She attended it up after four of them to be exact.
She said in her imperceptible breath.
“The phone rang like a death metal band at this hour, mom was this close to waking up.”
“Could you talk?”
I was already feeling guilty.
“Oh dear, sure I could. In a low low voice, but yeah I could.”
“I had a bad dream.”
I sunk in my pillow boat back.
My parents were out for some movie, Cheryl’s mother was probably sleeping, the rest of the world was possibly doing some other sort of shit and I could not care lesser about everything. But the point was that we have gotten some minutes, important silent minutes. Where nobody would have noticed us and for a short while, I felt important. And we could sink together deeper than anyone else could in middle of indiscernible breaths.
“What kind of bad dream my dear had?”
I went lower in bed, pulling the blanket up until the top of my head and tucked it back of it and breathed.
“I saw you, not that I could see your face but I most certainly know that were you. I could feel it. In the middle of a lush green garden, rows of mountain laurels, and you were running away...”
“And you could not catch me?”
She breathed. I could hear the buzz through the speaker.
“Yeah, I could not and when I was about to, you just disappeared.”
“Maybe when we live, we dream. And when we dream, we live.”
She took a pause.
Perhaps she always had the idea that I always fail to understand what she’d mean with her words.
“I want you to know a thing.”
She said after thinking for a while.
“I am here.”
“Yeah, and when it would be morning, we can go have a coffee and if you want we can try the running part at the park and you could most certainly catch me.”
It was the most comforting this I had had heard in a while.
“I am in love with you Cheryl Campbell.”
“And you shall always be loved by me, Ian Martin.”
In her swayed breath she muttered.
It was a promise. I knew. That is the thing about promises, they are made long before they are said.
I heard the intercom ringing in the main hall.
“Mom and dad are back, I need to go, see you, take care.”
“You too, see you tomorrow at the store. Love.”
She whispered back.
I held the phone closer to my lips and planted a kiss on her lips across all the distance between us.
I said and kept back the phone and rushed to the aisle to get the door.
Mom and dad ambled right into their bedroom without saying a word, they had a sly smirk on their faces. Secret and secrets of the world, I thought.
I passed out on my bed after a while.
16 JUL AT 22:20