Updated: Jun 3, 2021
By Ranudi Gunawardena | Sri Lanka
August 28th 1998
As I step into the black of the night, finally allowing myself to breathe fresh air free of intoxicating odour which makes me feel sick with an urge to throw up, I notice the Mercedes-Benz parked in the car park, the moon shining upon its smooth surface. The silver of the moon bathes the car in golden dust as the blinking stars begin disappearing one by one.
He is walking along the concreted ground- stalking from left to right continuously along the narrow space left in the car park, left to right, left to right. There’s impatience and unease in his way of moving, his legs seem untired yet his eyes suggest otherwise. Those eyes-they are reddened with lack of sleep, bloodshot, those beautiful chocolate brown eyes. There’s a cigarette burning in his hand as rings of smoke escape his blackened lips. The cigarette is still lit, orange sparks shining in his hand and grey ashes on the ground he walks on.
He pauses and stands still as a figure of bronze when he sees me approaching him. I walk to him in short silent steps and stop a few feet away from him, lifting my head to meet his reddened eyes finally. He let’s go of the cigarette in his hands and crushes it under the sole of his brown leather shoe, before finally gazing directly into my eyes with eyes that give away nothing.
“Can you give me a lift?” I ask in a very polite tone. He doesn’t reply but starts walking towards his car. He holds the door open for me. And as I get in, I see him notice my ringless ring finger with a shocked expression on his face. I offer him a mild smile. He closes the door and starts walking around the car to his seat.
“He died in a car crash” I tell him with the hope of putting an end to the disturbingly uncomfortable silence that prevails in the car. He says nothing but increases the speed of his car. His expressions are unreadable as the emotions in his chest. “Did you love him?” “Yes, I did. His name is Vinuk. His name was Vinuk” My voice breaks in misery and hopelessness of my plight. He increases the speed of the car and I hug myself, my arms carefully holding onto the child inside of me.
As Clara reads the pages of scribbled letters, a letter in a yellowing envelope falls out of the brown pages of Jade’s journal onto the damp floor. She picks it up with trembling fingers, noticing that the handwriting on the envelope addressed to “My own Jade” is different from that in the journal.
“His Angel” is a seven-chapter story. Click here to read Chapter 5.
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