In the room, in the night, there was Benazir and she was dancing. Slow and steady she danced, her red skirt billowing out like a rose in bloom. Her hands and arms; pale and glowing in harmony with the moon peeking in through the open balcony, moved in patterns as elaborate as star signs. Her feet lovingly beat and caressed the floor; her legs moving and leaping from point to point. On and on, she danced, slowly moving in time with the music in her pulsing, bloody heart. For who needed music when you were young and there was the night and the full moon?
Amir watched from a sliver of open door as she danced. She did one final swirl and then she abruptly stopped dancing. She walked up to the balcony and stepped out into the night air. She climbed up on the railing and stood in perfect balance her arms outstretched on either side of her.
Amir walked as fast and as silently as he could. He clasped Benazir tightly around the waist and pulled her off the railing. She did not fight him but stayed limply in his hands. He could feel the heat of her body against him.
They both stood opposite each other in the room. He was staring at her, while she looked down at the ground and played with her fingers. He knew that she would not speak, that he had to be the one to start.
“Were you going to jump?”
The simple straight forward fashion in which she answered took Amir’s breath away. She still wasn’t looking at him. He tried to collect himself and then ask-
“I don’t know. It just felt right you know?”
Amir ran a desperate hand though his hair.
“Honey, how can that feel right? If anything is wrong…please…tell me.”
“Nothing’s wrong honey. It’s just me. I just feel so happy and so sad at the same time. It just felt right to jump. I imagined the wind rushing against me…”
“Is it something wrong with us? Is it something I’m doing?” He almost shouted the last words.
“Honey, honey…” she said soothingly. “You’re not listening. It’s just me. I just felt that way…It’s not you. It could never be you.”
Amir stared at her, “Just you…should I…Should I take you to a doctor then? Wold you want that?”
She shrugged, “If you think so.”
“Damn right I think so.”
Amir walked over to her. He took her hand and placed it over his.
“I want you to promise me. Promise me you won’t do this again.”
Benazir looked him in the eye now.
Her hand squeezed his.
Amir felt his shoulders relax a bit. He drew her to him.
“Honey you’re so beautiful.” He whispered into her hair. “You’re so beautiful. Do you know what I thought as I looked at you dance? You know what I wanted to tell you before you…?
I wanted to tell you that you were so beautiful, the moon itself was looking in through the balcony just to watch you dance.”
She did not say anything to this.
She merely smiled and placed her head against his chest; her arms around him. And he did not need much more of a reply from her.
“Honey?” she then said.
And they both waltzed silently in the night.
Of course she lied and when she killed herself eventually she left him no note. She had always been good with silence.
It was night and the moon outside was hidden by clouds. Amir lay on the floor of their room. His room now. He had not bothered to switch on the light and it was dark inside.
He had been lying on the same spot for several hours. He would get up, go to the washroom or eat something from the fridge and then come back and lie down again.
He was surrounded by her clothes. Her skirts, her blouses, her scarves and soiled underwear. There was an overturned box from which pictures she had taken cascaded.
There was a selfish yawning loneliness inside him. Nothing could silence its screaming mouth. Not these empty memorabilia of her person, nothing.
He wanted his wife back. He wanted her so badly, he wanted to talk to her, hold her, fuck her, scream at her, bite her. He could remember everything about her. He obsessively hoarded every detail of their relationship from the moment he met her. The things she used to say and do, the way she used to lie to him, the sight and sound and smell of her. He was deathly afraid of not losing a single detail.
The sickly-sweet pleasure of remembering her was marred by guilt. The guilt he felt for her death was like a piece of grit stuck in his heart, torturing and inflaming it.
He squinted at the skirt in his hand; the red skirt that had triggered the memory of her penultimate suicide attempt. Presently, he fell asleep with the skirt in his hands.
He was awoken by shadows, by a rustling noise. He sat up, he looked around for the red skirt but it was gone. He looked out at the balcony. She danced slowly in the skirt as he had seen her do so many timed before. She swirled one final time and then she noticed him looking at her. Raising a finger Benazir beckoned him over. He stood up and walked outside onto the balcony. She stretched both her hands out towards him.
“Let’s dance” she said.
He took both her hands and they began waltzing together. She turned around him and pressed her body close to him.
“Look” she whispered. “The moon, it’s coming out to watch us.”
And as they watched the moon shyly showed it’s white face from behind blue clouds.
He smiled and then as they danced he whispered in to her ear.
“I’m so sorry for what happened.”
Benazir didn’t reply for the longest time and then she said ‘Honey, it wasn’t your fault.”
Her fingers clenched his tighter. “Please don’t think it was.” She pleaded.
Amir found himself crying. “You promised.”
She sighed “And I didn’t keep it. I lied to you, I was weak. I hope one day you forgive me for that.”
“Of course I forgive you. Of course I do.”
Benazir nodded against his shoulder. “Eventually you will. But you haven’t yet.”
As they danced she now faced Amir. “Honey…I..if I have to say anything at all-I just wanted to say that…I would have danced out of this life a long time ago if I didn’t have you to dance with.”
Amir stared at her.
Then they danced in silence.
When the time came for her to leave, they still did not say anything to each other. All words were over, silence remained. Benazir climbed up on the railing and turned around smiling to wave to him one last time. After she fell, Amir would look over the railing but there would be nothing; only luminous night. He would stay there until the moon retreated behind clouds again, until the only light came from the thought of Benazir standing with her arms outstretched on the railing, glowing in the moonlight before she fell.
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