Wednesday, August 03, 2005

the forbidden fruit, finale| banished from paradise


these sharp yet waning reminiscences have allowed me to forget the 24 story drop to the streets below. i awaken from my elation and jerk back to reality. my cheeks are wet remembering these beginnings, and sweat lines my brow. the lights still calling me, i sway a bit, clutching a note in my hand. so much has happened. that fateful night seems so far away; i find myself going back again.


for 7 days, i was completely and absolutely free.

my mother and i continued to visit your family's house every day after that night. sometimes we would meet downtown at our grandmother's house, but either way, i was beyond the point of happiness. at the dinner table we tended to sit across from each other, a few suggestive glances and bitten lower lips from both of us throughout the meal only anticipating what would come afterwards. every moment not touching you was torturous, and with my mother sitting right next to me i would brush your legs with my toes. there were times i would dare to move higher, resulting in you coughing on your water. it was these times that i would wear longer sleeved shirts and no shorts around the adults. if they noticed the finger and hand prints on my arms and chest and thighs left by you, there would be questions.

rushing upstairs after excusing ourselves to play some videogames you would take me, over and over. each time our hushed gasps and quiet moans grew louder, and soon your lips or neck were barely enough to silence me. after the tumultuous chaos of our bliss, my tight, strenuous hold on your dark curls would relax, and we would lie down in your dark room listening to the night breeze coming in through the window. we whispered about our dreams again, which superheroes were still the best. you told me that for years you had loved me, but couldn't possibly have let me know. from the very first kiss we shared on our grandmother's front steps you had loved me. and i realized that i had loved you since then as well.

"sometimes i wonder if i was adopted," you confide to me one such day, your hands trailing down my spine as we lie intertwined on your white sheets.

"why?"

"because then maybe it would be okay for me to love you."

a pang hits my heart, and i sense it hit yours too. the darkness of the crimes we have committed creeps into the room, chilling, and we move closer together.

"i can't believe that something this right is so wrong," you whisper, your eyelashes brushing my cheek.

"maybe god wants us to be like this...he wouldn't have had us meet if we couldn't be together," i murmur, aware of the childishness of my statement.

you pause, thinking.

"but we can't."

you stop stroking my lower back and roll over, your back to me. i stare at the ceiling above, the sounds of trees swaying entering through the window. i pull my t-shirt over my head and slide into my jeans.

"we should head downstairs, before they get curious."

sitting up you pull me back to you, your face buried in my chest.
"i don't think i can live when you leave," you murmur into my shirt. "even just sitting next to you watching tv is too hard...not being able to even look at you...i can't imagine when you're gone, away in another country completely."

"we'll face that when it comes." i tilt your face up to mine and smile. you smile back, the same sly one that weakens my knees.

"you stay up here and play with grazela for a few minutes, and i'll go down before you," you say, pulling on your pants. i nod and you kiss me before running downstairs.



after a few minutes of admiring grazela's barbie dolls, the next scene that i witness turns my legs to shit. your mother is crying.



i look to your father and he is blue in the face, grabbing you by your collar. tears are streaming down your face as he screams. i cannot hear what he is saying. but the sickly feeling that has suddenly poisoned my body knows. i search for my mother amid all of the commotion, and see her, sitting in a chair staring at the ground. i rush from the foot of the stairs to go to her, but am stopped by a thunder of hands attacking my face and arms.

"YOU FILTHY WHORE! you have sinned against your own blood! you have condemned my son to hell, you traitorous slut! whore!," my aunt screeches as she pummels me.

tavito rushes forward to restrain her, hands still clawing and reaching for my face; i cower on the dirty floor, whimpering for my mother. she does not move, only sits, fixated on one spot somewhere on the ground. through my tears and hair i see vanessa, standing slightly to the side of everything.

the sneer she wears along with a white ruffly dress brings me to a sickly realization.

it was you...you knew, about that night...!

she laughs. her white teeth gleam perfection, and the shrill mock of a laugh echoes through them. in the laugh are all of the years of our rivalry. my many victories outnumbered hers, but she had finally won; and given me the greatest loss. that last laugh's echo reaches me on the rooftop. i shiver.


the few hours after the explosion are a bit of a blur. all i can remember of it was getting whisked into the car to leave; your frantic yells to stop faintly in the background. i look out the back window as we speed away and see you running desperately after us, calling my name. after about 3 minutes you give up, falling to your knees as we exit the suburb. my mother did not speak to me that day, or any day after that until we were to leave the country.



we left two days later. the car ride to the airport is silent. my aunt driving, angeles, is too ashamed to even speak to me, and has forbade alejandra, linda, and alan to do so either. we sit miserably in the back seat, my mother in the front seat, silent and indifferent as ever. very few people are there waiting at the airport to see us off. my grandparents, emerson, jose, my aunt veronica, and assorted little ones. we all exchange half hearted hugs and dry kisses, the scandal rocking each and every one of them out of their comfort zones. no one makes eye contact for more than a moment. i move down the row of little ones, kissing their heads goodbye. a small one, melissa, motions me to come closer. she then whispers, as if it's a secret,
"why are they making you go?"

"...because i did something very bad, and i can't stay here anymore," i whisper, a dry lump in the back of my throat.

she nods, but does not understand. i kiss her cheeks and stand up. i am very startled to see tavito rushing towards me.

"tavito! what are you--"
"i cannot stay very long, i only told mama that i was going to the market. i have a note...he asked me to give it to you," he stutters nervously, closing a folded piece of paper into my hand.

"be careful nena." i smile, tears welling, blurring my vision of his caring features. i had never taken the time to notice how genuine his incredibly bashful smile was. this would probably be the last time i would see it.

"thank you tavito." he touches my cheek, then quickly turns, disappearing into the crowd.

my mother and i were lucky enough to be seated seperately, with her in first class and i in coach. i am seated by the window, my favorite spot. i carefully unfold the note crunched in my hand.

MY ONLY WISH IS TO KNOW THAT YOU WILL SOMEHOW READ THESE WORDS. I HAVE WAITED MY ENTIRE LIFE FOR SUCH A FEELING OF REAL EMOTION. YOU ARE THE ONLY PERSON WHO HAS EVER AND WILL EVER INSPIRE ME TO LOVE. YOU HAVE ALWAYS BEEN MY EVERYTHING, BEFORE I EVEN KNEW WHAT LOVE WAS. YOU ARE WHAT I THINK ABOUT WHEN I FIRST WAKE UP AND WHAT I THINK ABOUT BEFORE I FALL ASLEEP.
"i'm sorry. they said that it wasn't an accident...that he did it on purpose.."
I LOVE YOU. MORE THAN ANYTHING, INCLUDING MY OWN LIFE. AFTER ALL...WHAT IS A LIFE IF YOU AREN'T THERE? WHEN THEY FORCED ME TO WATCH YOU DRIVE AWAY IN THAT CAR, AWAY FROM ME FOREVER, I KNEW THAT IT HAD TO END. WHEN YOU SAID THAT GOD WANTED US TO BE TOGETHER, I BELIEVED YOU--HE JUST DOESNT WANT IT RIGHT NOW. I KNOW THAT IF I DIE, ALL I HAVE TO DO IS WAIT FOR YOU.


"they didn't find any note, any indication as to why he did it. they believe that he threw himself off of the bridge onto the expressway, obviously with an intent to end his life."

AND I WILL. IF I HAVE TO WAIT 100 YEARS. I WILL WAIT. IF THEY WON'T LET ME LOVE YOU IN LIFE...BE COMFORTED THAT I WILL WAIT FOR YOU IN DEATH. ELYSIUM WILL BE OURS. I LOVE YOU.


elysium. we had talked about it once. you told me that yours was a beach, with water so blue is outshined the sky. the sun would take hours to set, allowing its' beautiful colors to expand across the heavens. and when it finally did set, the stars were so close you could touch them. mine was quite simple. it was that warm day downtown, with the sun shining through the trees, the pulperia on the corner. i can smell the breeze wafting the smell of summer, the meats cooking, and i can taste the mangos in the cart passing by. all made perfect by sitting on the stairs, a coke in hand. with you.


"your aunt and uncle sent me some papers...they are documents certifying legal custody."
"...what does that mean?"
"you two weren't really cousins...your aunt had an affair with another man...they kept it a secret from everyone else, including him. he was not your blood relation."



the lights below me glitter as my tears fall thousands of feet.
i crunch the sharp cornered note in my hand, pinching my skin and raise my arms to my sides. what do i have to lose now?



the pavement nears so quickly, i can barely enjoy the feeling of flying. everything that was miniature just a mere few moments ago now grows larger, the cracks in the sidewalk more distinct. i can't remember if i said anything. i know that i kept my eyes open, tears streaming up behind me into the sky; which is strange. all i could see when i plummeted down was you.
then finally nothing at all.



when i awoke you were sitting next to me, the warm breeze rustling your black curly hair. you smile down at me, setting an already bitten mango down on the steps next to two glass bottles, and help me to my feet.

9 comments:

colonialave said...

All I can say is Wow. You have done an excellent job with this. It's amazing how you convinced me that it was "OK" to make love and fall passionately for one's cousin. Though . . .I'd never do it myself.

Isn't lost love such a tragedy? Is pure love ultimately forbidden?

Again. Great work.

Hermes said...

Hauntingly beautiful piece... brilliant. My hats off to you.

the green fairy said...

@colonialave: Thank you so much for the positive feedback! I'm very glad you enjoyed it. Falling in love with your cousin is seen as so, say, Tennessee, but I tried to make it as real as I could. I'm glad that my main message of love with no reason came through:)

@hermes: Thank you. Your hat seems to mean quite a bit in the literature world as of late, so I am grateful. ;)

colonialave said...

LOL Tennesee. That's great. Praise the lord for those damn der red necks.

Oh since we're on the subject:

What do Rednecks consider fore play?

"Come on Sis - get in the truck!"

Eww. Yes I know. Forgive me for my sick sense of humor. :)

RockDog said...

That was amazing! I really liked how you mixed his Note with people talking about his death. That was really cool the way you made it all flow together.

I also enjoyed the way you described her death, particularly the first line "the pavement nears so quickly, i can barely enjoy the feeling of flying".

Well done!

Hermes said...

The new layout looks great...

The new banner is absolutely stunning.

the green fairy said...

@colonia: HA! Don't worry, I have the same sick sense of humor. After all, I did write the kissing cousins story. ;)

@rockdog: Thank you very much for stopping by:) The death scene(s) were difficult to write. Having never experienced death I wasn't quite sure how to describe it.

@hermes: Thanks. Spent hours trying to figure out the code:)

The Snakehead said...

Wow. Stunning.

So beautiful it's..... pretty.

:-)

By the way, can you let me know what software you used to create that banner? It's awesome.

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