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Saturday, 17 May 2014

Absolution (The 2nd part to Frivolous)

Darkness hides itself as dawn approaches. I lay in bed as though in a drunken stupor, but not quite. I am in fact wide awake. I shut my eyes along with my thoughts and worries as hard as I can like I always did when I was little - to force myself to sleep - but to no avail. I relent. I recall the series of events that happened the night before - from the moment I met Dom till the moment he kissed me goodbye in his red Mini Cooper at my doorstep. Guilt weighs down on me like a 30kg ALICE Pack weighs down a recee trooper during route march.

I should tell Theodore. He has every right to know, and he might just forgive me. Might. I linger on the word, might. Uncertainty scares me. I skim through the consequences of coming clean in my head. The condemnation and judgment I will receive, the possibility that Theodore would be too angry to ever love me again. No, I won't tell him, I can't tell him. He is too precious to lose. It takes only awhile for my conscience and fear to be at war before fear emerges victorious. It is not like it was a grave sin, I persuade myself. My judgment was clouded by the adrenaline at that moment. It is not like I intentionally wanted to hurt Theodore...

The next time I open my eyes it is already midday. I walk to the kitchen, enticed by the familiar aroma of pasta and tomato sauce. I see the frail frame of my mother's back religiously preparing lunch for the family. Sometimes, it makes me wonder how she can remain so faithful to these mundane tasks without complaining. It makes me ashamed of myself. Ashamed of my desire for excitement and my dissatisfaction for my ordinary life. Before I call out to her, she turns and gestures me to the dining table. On it lay a bouquet of white baby's-breath with a note:

"Hey Ash,

It's been awhile. I miss you. Please call me when you are ready to move back.

I love you,
Theodore"


Tears start welling up in my eyes. "I miss you too," I gag. It's been three weeks since I walked out of his home, hoping that the saying "distance makes the heart grow fonder" would be true. No, that was just an excuse. I needed to breathe. I felt like a captive in an enclosed dungeon named "mundane", and an overgrown bird in a tiny cage eager to spread its wings and soar. I did not know what to expect when I left. I knew I would return, it was a matter of time. I just needed a vacation, I just needed a vacation. I never intended for Dom, I wasn't searching for Dom. Dom came knocking on my door.

I text Theodore the next morning, telling him that I will be moving back in the evening. I sit in bed, wrapped in my quilt, staring at my cell phone awaiting for his reply. Two, four, six hours pass by. No reply. In the meanwhile, I fall in and out of sleep, my mind occasionally drifting back to the memories I had with Theodore when we first fell in love, and to the way things are between us right now - void of passion. I witness the warmth of the morning sun on my bare face, to the scorching heat at noonday, and finally the greeting of nighttime, indicating that it is time for me to leave home. Still no reply. I pick up my pastel pink Chanel flap bag, the one that Theodore surprised me with on a normal day, and walked out to the main road to hail a cab. I do not have to carry anything else with me, I have everything I need over at his place.

The taxi comes to a halt upon arrival at his gate. The familiar sound of gushing water greets me. It is the water fountain with a white sculpture of two angels facing back-to-back, pouring water from a jug. As I walk towards the door, my heart starts beating faster. I slow my pace, drawing out my cell phone and harbouring the slightest hope that he replied. Still no reply. Has he become tired of waiting? Is he mad at me for not contacting him for the past three weeks? What should my first words be when I see him? Can I even face him after what happened with Dom? Questions after questions flood my mind. I am about to turn my back and run. To where? I don't know. As far as possible. Away from reality. Maybe I could push aside everything that is happening and just... Just... No, I can't. Escapism is temporary.

I garner whatever little courage that I have left and drag my feet to the door. I draw out my keys and just as I am about to unlock the door, the door knob turns. The door flings right open. I lift my eyes and right before me stands the man that holds my heart. My mind goes blank. I scramble for words as he stares at me. Guilt befalls me, I panic, I am suddenly defensive.

With such a great force, he grabs me by the waist and pulls me to himself, my head resting at the concaved part of his left shoulder where it fits perfectly. Instantaneously, all the defences that I have been building up for the past few moments crumble like the walls of Jericho. I start sobbing and grunting uncontrollably. Words pour forth from my mouth like I'm having a verbal diahrrea as I reveal everything that had happened when I was away - everything that had happened with Dom without missing a single detail. I can't keep it from Theodore. I wouldn't know how to live, I just can't.

I look down to the marble floor throughout the entire time. I lack the boldness to look into his eyes and speak, to witness his reaction - probably the look of horror on his face. I just keep going on and on and on until... he places his delicate slander index finger on my lips. The side of his mouth curls up, revealing his neatly arranged set of teeth. He grins, a comforting grin. But beneath that smile I can see subtle pain and sorrow.

"I already know," he whispers to my ear, as gently as a gust of wind.

"WHAT?!?! How is that even possible....." I flinch, as though offended.

"I've been following you... I was worried," he sigh, "and I had to make sure that you get home safely each time."

"So... You mean you saw everything that happened with Dom? And... Why didn't you storm up to me and slap me to wake me up or something?!?!" I was mad. I was furious. I was blaming him for my mistake, even though I know, I know, that he did everything right, and I.. I did everything wrong.

I expect him to yell at me by now, but he doesn't. I start slamming my fist into his chest profusely, throwing a tantrum like a little child. "Why aren't you saying anything?!?!?!" I am losing my mind. It would probably be better if he screams at me in the face instead of staying silent. Silence scares me, it sends shivers down my spine.

He pauses for a long time before giving a reply. "I love you and I have forgiven you," is all he says. He draws me to his embrace once again, and kisses my forehead with his soft tender lips. I am engulfed by the warmth of his embrace. I should probably feel guilty, but I don't. His love overwhelms me, it overpowers my sorrow and self-condemnation. I smile a faint smile. He lifts me by the waist and I can no longer feel the ground beneath my feet. He spins me in the air as though I am the prized possession that he finally found after a long and tedious search.

-----------

Now and then I still see Dom around. He winks at me with those flirtatious pair of eyes. I try not to look but I always end up stealing a glance. Sometimes he appears in my dreams, calling out for me. I reach out for him, embracing him with the familiar touch that I once had. But I awake. I awake to a greater certainty of staying true to Theodore. A greater resolve of fight off the temptations of reciprocating to Dom.

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