True love never fails (For zadudet1’s contest)
‘Ha ha yo’ bitch, yo’ neva gunna get ‘im. He’s all mine.’ Stephanie snapped her fingers in front of Lolita’s eyes, and said, ‘today we gon’ go date, an’ I’m gettin’ ‘im ma home. See how I take ‘im to da nex’ level.’ Staring down into the perplexed eyes, she continued, ‘di’n’t yo’ und’a’stand geek? Physical relationship, ha ha.’
The scene continued to get replayed right in front of Lolita’s mind eyes again and again. And indeed in my mind’s eye too. Though it took place this very morning and it’s almost 5 in the evening, the slides remained as fresh as it occurred just now. Memory is too powerful – Especially when it has had something to do with our composure!
I too hate Stephanie, who is my former girlfriend. She ditched me for a richer guy.That guy too is out of her tentacles, and the new addition to her list is Mikey, my innocent classmate. He knows nothing about the history of Stephanie. And I’m sure he too will get thrown out – history repeats itself!
I’ve been trying my best to warn him but he’s not at all caring my words. He’s not even lending me his ears – I know it’s her job; she would have told him not to speak to me and I can’t believe that she isolated my best friend from the rest of the world and manages to keep him away from the light of the truth. Whenever I try he would say I’m jealous! Huh, jealous! Jealous for a whore! For a ruthless parasite!
I’m Jack, yes pretty old-fashioned name – blame my parents. Lolita, Mike and I were classmates. In a year we will part with each other – we’re in 12th year. Lolita and I grew up together since birth and were next-door neighbours – technically opposite-door neighbours. And Mike’s a mile walk from here. Lolita always loved Mike – that I alone knew; I’d no idea how Stephanie knew it. Though Lolita and I had slept for at least a thousand nights in the same room neither I nor she ever had crossed the line we drew for ourselves. That is true friendship – the power of friendship.
I even frequently used to wonder why I’d never got a speck of wrong thoughts about her. It quite was strange because I always used to be the “creamy” boy-ish type who would keep on shuffling dates, have occasional sex with different girls and would be keep on looking for the next. Lolita always said that I’m one-sided and that she would not blame Stephanie for ditching me. She would say that, “If you do it for other girls, it is A JUST CAUSE and if the same gets repeated to you, you complain.” She would stress on the words “A just cause”. I never comprehended the truth in her words. But anyway, I hate Stephanie.
I even remember how she made air quotes when she said “physical relationship.” Of course, I was in the scene, but despite my efforts to rescue my friend Lolita, she won. We were in Mikey’s place (we three watching TV) when she barged in, and Mikey almost instantly sprung up to please her – his master!
The master ordered her slave to get her a drink. He almost jumped and frenzied spontaneously to the kitchen, ignoring my call, ‘Hey wait Mikey!’
As soon as he conformed to her words, she sprang up off the couch and rushed towards Lolita, who was standing with me, in an arrogant manner that threatened her; Lolita went backwards in trepidation and got glued to the wall following Stephanie’s virtual pressing. Into her unprepared trembling eyes, Stephanie shouted the same words.
I tried to pull her away, but my try was shattered with her casting on me a single “death glare”. I’m not that weak to get defeated by just a stare but due to some unknown reasons, my masculinity failed me, and I stood just a foot ahead of them letting her finish her words; grudging mentally at Stephanie. After the breakup she never respected me; neither did I.
But that idiot – yes, though he’s my friend, I must call him an idiot – returned with more “ice” in his face than in the drink he brought. The moment he’s seen into the scene, more swiftly than a torpedo Stephanie changed her words saying, ‘Wow! I wish I’d your blonde hair. You’re beautiful.’ She acted like being friendly groping into Lolita’s hair, which produced in his face a grin that widened to an extent that I’d not seen for my lifetime in him! He’s not aware of the cold war going on here.
I thought Lolita had no chance of getting Mikey as he, like me, always considered Lolita a friend, maybe a close friend. And to add fuel to the fire, there always is Stephanie.
Now she’s sitting next to me – in this park, in the same bench, burying the flank of her face into her left palm. Her blonde hair let to fall free and she’s in her simple black tank tops and Lee jeans, watching the kids who play see-saw at a distance. It appeared that she saw the kids’ play, but I know she’s just looking into emptiness; just into the air. She looked as beautiful as she ever was. I must concede that Stephanie is prettier than Lolita was, but only by flesh-depth. But Lolita is beautiful both internally and externally.
I saw my childhood friend in anxiety that gave in my throat a strange gulp and that made me almost cried. I sighed in high decibels trying to grab her attention, trying to keep her entertained, lug her into a conversation, but she just chose to let the intended sigh go into air. In such a depressed state, I know no matter what can I say, it would yield nothing. She’s always the same, like a rock, when in despair – I’ve known her since we started to babble as a child.
I saw a silhouette at a distance whose gait I’m very much wont to. Wearing my spectacles and focussing through the little glassy area, I found Mikey coming at a distance. My specs further helped me to see a red rose in his hand. I wondered what is he doing at this hour as he’s supposed to be in date with that devil.
He inched closer and gestured to me to move and sit. I tried to move closer to Lolita and leave the other end for his rear, but when I tried to move, he hindered my move and pushed me the other way. He grinned more widely than ever at me saying ‘Hi ya!’ and filled the gap. I also observed that Lolita’s eyes were insouciantly fixed on him the entire episode. No one spoke anything.
Their eyes lingered into each other’s for an indefinite time. It indeed appeared to me awkward. What the heck?
She then turned away her field of vision and continued to inspect the children. He pulled her chin to face his and again stared into her eyes. I’ve never experienced it though Lolita always would say that eyes speak! Yes, eyes speak, provided the other eye is your lover’s. I practically had never been in true love. That Stephanie is just for flirtation, for lust, but alas that didn’t happen either. Lolita had already told me that I can never experience that eye-speak. I mocked her then but now I realise it.
Every time should such a conversation arise between me and Lolita, it almost always ended up into an altercation. She always would say, as if it is her own, though I known it is the words of an anonymous wise one, “Just because you can’t see it, don’t tell it is not present. Take for example the air, it...” she will be lecturing and it happened not just once or twice, but almost thrice a week for a year now! No matter how hackneyed it is, neither did I nor did she lost interest in fighting so. I always wondered how it was; till date I’m not able to find an answer.
I saw a crystal teardrop fall from her eye. Every time would she cry, I always would go to her rescue – hugging her, comforting her etc., but now it never occurred to me that I must step forward.
He said firmly, stressing the three words that she craved for a year subtly inside herself, to escape from his lips, to get addressed to her – which I alone know. He finally said it, ‘I LOVE YOU!’
I saw my heart bump in joy but she cried and looked the other way. He again forcefully made her eyes face him and said it again, ‘I LOVE HIM!’ he added extra stress on the words.
He said again and again, ‘I truly love you Lo.’
Lo – that’s how “we” always called her – a habit that he copied from me. She couldn’t monitor the tears that got pumped out of her eyes. She said in a troubled voice, ‘But you got Stephanie.’
‘I LOVE YOU!’
‘I’m a cancer patient.’ Her tears flooded more.
‘I LOVE YOU!’ he kept on pressing the words the same way.
‘I’ll die in six months or so.’ She stood up facing to her right. He stood up, thrusting the rose into her hands, hugging her, and said again, ‘No matter what, I love you. You don’t have to say, I know you love me too.’ This time he said gently. I too was moved seeing it and I couldn’t help but saw myself unconsciously having got up and my eyes too are welling up!
She tried to free herself out of his hold initially, but as his force kept her pressing against his bosom, she got soothed with the sift of a few more seconds in his leather jacket and laid her red eyes on his shoulder. She saw me over his shoulder and simultaneously let out both tears and smile.
It was indeed a special moment. Yes, only a very few moments will come in one’s entire lifetime when tears will cooperate with happiness. It was Lolita’s special time now. I waved her goodbye and without alarming their serenity, made my way towards the exit gate of the park. Once I reached the gate, I turned and saw them kissing each other. I said to myself, “True love never fails!” and went away with satisfaction.