After a month, he learned that Arnelle divorced her husband and returned home to Bittersweet. Juez Fiel was back under house arrest. He wanted to get married to an island chic. There was a row between the couple. He heard that she mocked at her husband saying, “I married you because you begged.”
Short managed a smile to hear that. However, he didn’t know the truth. Juez Fiel divorced her because she was two months pregnant and found about a connection by tapping her phone. In those days of phone chat, Short maybe hanging around the telephone booths, others in their rooms. Arnelle was under a spell of lust seeking out sexual pleasure. That diminished only after she returned home and took treatment for cure by means of fanditha. She gave birth to a daughter in September. A month later, Juez Fiel married an island girl from the south.
As his assignment ran out by the end of the year, Short left BINGRASS and became jobless for many years. He had those experiences of wet dreams and a succubus in physical bond with him.
Years went by. He never saw her again. She never knew his name. She never knew he got a crush on her.
It was 2004; Short spent his money as a cybersex addict on his favourite webcam site.
As he browsed through the thumbnails he came across a model he found stunningly attractive. Her nick read; ‘malaka’.
She was of medium height, slim-built, tight skin and olive-toned. Sharp facial features, lips puffed like a rose and natural pointed. She wore red lipsticks. Her hair thick, curly long and blown, dyed in black shines. Her hair doubled her body mass. Her backside was something to take a closer look.
Short never revealed his identity or location. His nick happened to be ‘painter’. He lied to say he belonged to Malaysia. She said she came from Hungary.
She could not recognise him. Perhaps, he did not have a proper set-up. Whereas, she sat upright in bed in a small room lit bright with a remote control for zoom. A codeless keyboard placed on the bed. Toys and pillows arranged in decoration.
Short began with his usual tricks. He asked her to lie down on her back or prone pretending to be sleeping with her underwear cascaded…absentmindedly.
She burst in laughter. She was smiling and there was a twinkle in her eyes. Short continued to take snapshots. Those lips could tell of the rose in the bush.
For two months he enjoyed to chat with her. She talked less and he was mentally sick. Then she was gone forever. It took a year for her to remove her photographs from the site. Short downloaded all of them.
And without a doubt he knew it was Arnelle. She could be thirty-six. She looked beautiful and young as she grew older.
All these years he slept with Arnelle on his mind. It was a blow to lose her on the internet and he could not trace her anywhere.
Short was able to absorb his anxiety slowly as it took time with great expectation to finally admit she was not coming back. He continued to pray in bed and think about her constantly until one day…
His world changed to a concrete jungle and he could hear no radio playing beautiful tunes over the walls. The backyard belonged to his big brother and a small house stood there rented out. He managed to raise a ten-storey building in his lot.
His doorbell rang. He opened to find Visa and a girl of seventeen standing there. This tall girl wore white top and bottom. There was something in her looks that told she carried a resemblance to him.
Short asked fluently, “How can I help?” knowing who it was calling.
Visa replied smiling, “Someone told me you have three-room apartments to rent in this building.”
“I’m sorry. You’ll have to ask the developer. He’s staying on the tenth floor.” He asked out of curiosity, “Is this your kid?”
“No…” cried Visa, “She’s your brother’s.”
“Didn’t you know about her?”
“I hardly knew any child…”
“This is Raina,” she said, “And this your uncle.”
He shook hands bluntly.
Visa continued, “Your brother had an affair with Arnelle, my half-sister. Now she lives in Hungary. I look after this girl.”
He stood stunned though it did not show on his face. That girl got his brother’s eyes and cheeks.
He dismissed them in a chuckle, “I don’t know if it’s about him or her!” As to his family values he’d rather not intervene into other’s doings.
It explained why she entered his backyard that day seventeen years ago. If he followed her she’d lead to his brother who was calling her, dating her, taking her out to resort islands.
His legacy was that it left a mark cut to the heart for he lived a lifetime with such a crush on the girl called Arnelle. Nobody suspected. Neither Visa, nor Arnelle, not even his brother knew about it. Mashiya working at the bank did not know. Arnelle didn’t even know his name to this day. It compelled him to forget her and erase the best memories of his life…drop dead. He found it hard to live to forget but that was the bitter truth.
“Would you know my name
If I saw you in heaven?”
– END –