Monday, February 25, 2008
A painter's gloves..
Pre-Script: Long short story ahead... so beware!!! :D
He shaded his eyes from the glaring sun with one hand, and used the other to dip his brush into the blinding white paint. He was suspended on the outside ledge of the highest story of The Royale, which at 40 stories would stand as the tallest building in Shellsville on its completion.
He looked down to three stories below, where a blue scarf with silver birds flew in the wind, and a dash of red gloves worked against the pristine white they created wherever they touched the wall.
As if sensing his warm fond gaze, she looked up to raise her hellcat black eyes to his soft Grey ones, their gazes met and relived the secret laughter they had shared from the first time they had met, 18 years ago, as toddlers on a construction site just like this.
He left the brush on the platform and cupped his hands around his mouth forming the words "meet me at the gate after the night shift, there is something I want to show you."
That night, after everyone had left, they slowly made their way back over the fence, and up to the top, on the rickety service ellivator, as it creaked and heaved up the inky sky, against the white mammoth they had been painting.
As they neared the fortieth floor, he slowly slipped her scarf off her hair and tied it on her eyes, gently. She didn't utter a word.. If there was one person she could trust dying, it was him. He put his hand on her waist next to where her beloved red and white painter's gloves hung, and slowly took her forward to the very edge of the grill less roof. He softly slipped the scarf off and let her look at her surprise. Her breath caught in her mouth. There, spread before her, was the whole city.. down on its knees in a courtesy to its queen. Yes, there she was the mistress of the world, at her feet... their feet. She turned to him then, and he saw the light in her eyes, thinking how like the night sky they looked.. the fathomless darkness with the twinkling stars.. her eyes..
that was the first time they kissed.
And later, as they lay there, wrapped in each other's arms, spent and glorious, tucked in the warm blue blanket of the midnight sky decorated with a million diamonds strewn in a careless pattern.. their eyes sharing their languid secret laugh, they knew what they had was more precious than the world spread out below them. "I am leaving tomorrow", she said into his chest "hmmm.." he murmured burying his nose to smell the secrets of her black hair. "I mean I am really leaving to make my fortune. I don't want to just make buildings any longer, I want to own them.." she went on.. "but"... "no, please, I know there are a lot of questions you want to ask.. answers I don't have, or may be just can't give.. just let me go.. please don't stop me.. let me follow my dreams" "Go.." he said as he moved down to plant a kiss on that high forehead. She reached up a little to where her overalls lay discarded and from its waist plucked out one half of her favourite pair of gloves.. "there keep these for me will ya? then i'll have to come back for it, if nothing else", and their eyes met.. his, a soft forgiving Grey, hers, a determined dreamy black and they laughed out aloud..
She laughed out again as she stood on the 40th floor of "The Royale", thinking of that night she had spent there 30 years ago. Today she owned this building, and thousands like it in a hundred different cities and in over 50 different countries. She was The Queen. It had taken a successful career, a broken marriage, a sense of dissatisfaction, 30 years of running away from God knows what and a hasty visit to New York the week before, to get her back here.
She thought of the day before. She had dressed in a black suit and with the old blue scarf with the silver birds, tied around her neck. She had built up the courage to go to his old house and knocked, standing there, waiting for the door to open, she had thought of what she might say...
A lady about her age and with soft Grey hair had opened the door. "err.. I just wanted to know if Mr. Todd Goodingson still lived here? " she had asked. The woman had looked her up and down, then turned to go back in, saying, "Wait right here now would ya, don't go away.. i'll be right back eh.." She had stood there at the door for 5 minutes.. wondering, anticipating, fearing.. The Grey haired woman had returned with something clutched to her heart, which she held out to her as she reached the door.. It was a frayed old red and white painting glove.. "He always said, you would come back.. ya loved that glove too much not to.. he used to say.." and they had both smiled..
She felt the breeze play with her scarf, unfurling it in little circles. Her soft hair got whipped about her face bringing her back to the present.
As she clutched the glove pair in her trembling hands, she could almost feel his nose burrowing into her hair taking in her scent, could hear his laughter calling out to hers, bubbling in return.. She swung her legs around the protective grill to reach to the other side and in that last moment as she let the railing go.. as she heard the whoosh of the wind, she outran.. as she saw the Grey of the ground rushing up to hug her.. Grey like that of his soft enveloping eyes..
she felt no fear.. she felt no ties.. she felt no pain..
she was free at last..
free of regrets and games.. free of guilt and nightmares.. free of dreams and unfulfilled desires.. free of the weight of freedom itself.. and free at last of pain and the cancer her doctors at New York had told her, had eaten her body through..
And as she met her kingdom in that royal clash.. the gloves hanging high up on the parapet, gave a tiny flutter, as if paying one last salute to the great queen and her hearty king.
PS: hey everybody.. this above was my first ever attempt at a short story.. Its very amateurish.. but I hope you like it