His Angel – Chapter 2

Updated: Jun 3, 2021

By Ranudi Gunawardena | Sri Lanka


August 17th 1998


I hold the microphone with both my hands, hugging it closer to my chest. There’s satisfaction in the touch of it, my fingers softly running around its body. The golden lights fall upon my face and my hands, showering a part of my long green dress in bright light. The dress, flowing down my broad hips, almost touches the wooden floor of the small stage which now I call home. The printed fabric ripples as I move to the sound of my dancing voice, swaying from left to right, left to right. I pour all of my soul into the microphone with the hope of louder applause, greater pay. As I sing passionately to the melodies of the lone guitarist, the bar lights-bright red, blue and green, join the gold of the room, drowning me in strange brightness time could never help me get used to.


I notice him seated at a table some distance away, dressed in a full suit with a purple tie hanging around his neck. As bar lights dance upon his white shirt and seemingly expensive black coat, he turns to another man clad in a dark blue suit and whispers something to him. He is with company, many gentlemen in suits and pleasant smiles upon their faces, suggesting plenty of notes in their pockets. His face is clean shaven, with an artistic jawline that reminds me of a statue done by Michelangelo centuries ago. His skin is sunburnt and his eyes-in them there are stars that are waiting to rise, stars that could put the moon to shame, the moon to hide herself behind stalking clouds. Bright and as lively as from five years ago.


A thousand emotions crash at my heart at the same time, knocking down all my senses. Hassan. My Hassan who promised he would come back for me, my Hassan is back. All the memories I tried to keep hidden, not to resurface making me miserable, come back with ferocious vehemence, like an opened floodgate of an overflowing reservoir. His hands around my waist, burning fingertips leaving marks on my skin. His lips against my skin, tracing my shoulders up to my lips. Untroubled laughs. Holding hands. Promises made. Feelings confessed. Pain. Unmeant goodbyes. Days of aching and Weeping and crying. For him. Because of him. Because of love. My first love. My chest aches at the thought of him and his sight, his blessed presence before me brings tears to my eyes.


He knows my voice. He remembers my voice. He seems detached from his group of colleagues as he stares at me in amazement, his eyes watering from exaltation, his lips trembling. Focusing completely on me, he turns his back to his friends, occasionally turning the other way only to nod. As I feel his chocolate brown eyes, those eyes I kissed a long time ago, I feel naked as if he could see through my dress everything that lay beneath. I hear my voice crack. As my vision blurs I see a few faces turning towards me to see what had stolen the perfection out of my voice. I decide to look away from those eyes that arouse deep agony within me and continue to sing my song.


I put my hand on my protruding belly as more and more light begins to brighten The Hut – this little bar built with graceful architecture, just opposite to the supermarket that lay on the other side of the main road,this place which fed the two lives within me – me and my child. The baby inside of me kicks at my belly, creating pain in my exhausted body drenched in sweat. The light catches the golden band on my ring finger, making it bask in glistening glory. I see his eyes on my hand, my hand which is soothing the child within me, dressed in a golden wedding ring. There’s pain in his face and hurt in his eyes, pain and hurt which have replaced the stars within them.

Even as his friends leave, he stays behind. More and more drinks appear on his table and are replaced by another as soon as one is finished.


As I walk towards the road in the dead night, looking for a taxi I feel him coming behind me. It is long since the stars and the moon have disappeared. He moves his lips quite a few times, not voicing a word each time, before finally taking a decision to talk.


“Let me give you a lift” he says in a trembling voice that cracks mid sentence. There’s a Benz parked in the car park, which I assume must be his. There’s pain in his eyes that seems un-erasable. I cannot bring myself to look at him. I get into the taxi and hug myself in deep agony. Not once do I look out the window.


“His Angel” is a seven-chapter story. Click here to read Chapter 1.

 

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