But this time, things were different. Instead of wanting to cry, he felt disgust, repulse and indignation. This time, he was leaving before things had really come to an end, placing him in a situation out of his control, unable to really understand the facts that had led things to this point. He didn't have to prepare his suitcases, they were made up for him and strategically placed at the door when he got home. All was meticulously prepared with zeal and unconditional love. The kind of love that endures pain without manifestation of sorrow, that says no when it wishes to say yes, and says yes when it is supposed to say no. He knew that all too well, even though only from his lover’s perspective. For him, saying yes or no made no difference, he was unaffected by its consequences. It was never up to him to end a relationship anyways, he was incapable of it, so he never ended anything. Life for him, had been a succession of starts and new begins, but never endings. He preferred to always live something or someone hanging on. But there was nothing he hated the most than to have to depart at the wrong time, when he didn't have a clear view of where to go. And now, there he was, holding his winter jacket while it was 90 degrees outside. To his right, two brown leather suitcases, a black leather brief and a small wooden box wrapped with the Sunday newspaper. His eyes were fixated on the box, perplex. He knew what was inside, but could not believe she had dared to return it to him. In front of him, the open door to the streets and an impatient taxi driver waiting outside. - "Are you coming Sir? I don't have all day you know! You go you go, you stay you stay, but do something!"
" Do something"... He froze at the door, immobile, as if his body had been suddenly swept from the ground. He felt himself suspended three feet above the surface where his entire life was confined in million little words that now, had no power to change anything. His journey had been summarized inside that box by these very same words echoing in his head..." Do something ". He tried waving his hand to the taxi driver to make him wait a little longer, but he couldn't. His arms would not move, his mouth could not make a sound. He felt being taken away from the picture, becoming an auditor of his own fate, baffled by all the good moments he had spoiled by choosing the wrong actions. He saw his life playing back before his eye, he was reliving it again, but this time, understanding each one of his mistakes that had led him to where he was right now; being taken away from it, without being able to come back to it, to touch it again, to make changes and adjustments. It was too late, and none of his apologies would save him from the ultimate outcome. He had lost his chances, and nothing he would do would bring him any closer to that moment, when he was important, special, dear to her. When she spent the time to read his words and ponder in the nuances of his thoughts masked by the ink on the paper. He knew it was too late. She had not read his last note, nor had she cared to reply to his call.
His face was becoming purple-red, his eyes blowing out of their cases. He was suffocating, dying asphyxiated by his tie, too tight on his neck, removing the life out of him. He felt his body violently hitting the ground, facing down, his arms underneath his stomach. The pain was excruciating, as if he had a broken bone. He tried leaning on his left shoulder and pulled himself near the wall so he could rest on it. Seated on the floor, he gazed around and saw the two brown leather suitcases standing there and the winter coat lying on top of them. He was on the hallway of a house he did not recognize. The door was open and someone was screaming something outside. He put himself on his knees and placed the right foot on the floor to attempt to get up. The pain was enormous, but he sensed the need to get out of there urgently, a strange feeling that he was not welcome in that place. He needed to get out and fast. The pain on his right arm was too great for him to concentrate on what else was wrong with the rest of his body. His head was light and his clogged vision did not let him see things well, all seemed to be in a trance, a frenzy of images kept appearing, spirals,stars, black holes, a sharp pain pulsating on the back of his head. He couldn’t remember what he was doing there.
Outside, the cab driver had already turned on his engine and gotten out of the cab to close the trunk. With his bad temper cursed out through his broken Armenian accent, he bang the trunk door with force. “Bastards rich people! Do you think I am stupid? That I don’t get to...what the..." Before he could finish his speech, he saw a man seating on the passenger seat. He approached the passenger's door, half astonished, half mad, and inquired - "What is that? Who the heck are you? I mean, is that you? Edmond Allas? My passenger? How did you get in like that?...fast i mean...ahh...". The man was bluntly looking at him, saying something he couldn't understand - " What? Where are your luggage? Do you want me to go inside the house to get your luggage? You will tip me extra you know?...Fine! Fine! I go get them!...Enough of waiting!"
The cab driver disappeared inside the house. Two minutes later he came out, screaming in terror - "Some woman is dead inside! Some woman is dead! Oh no, I have nothing to o with it! Oh...someone call an ambulance! Where is my taxi? My taxi! Where is my taxi? Someone call the police! That man stole my taxi! ".
"A taxi cab was found only 3 miles away from the house, an autopsy of the body is being conducted, no sign of the suspect....and yare yare yare...well done my dear! I wouldn’t have done it better! Now what? I give you a fake passport, you leave the country to a paradisaical island with lots of sexy girls, and you will live the rest of your life like a rock star! Happy ending! ". Raymond Clowdel snapped the newspaper on the edge of the table, but kept it rolled into a cone in his hand, as if he was holding the Ten Commandments in it. The words he had just read had said it all of a master plan that had gone way too well for him to really believe it. Things did not happens always so perfectly in his world, there had to be a failure somewhere, something left behind that would hunt him later. He knew that if he let it loose things would escape from his hands and get out of control. But he could not really keep them so uptight either if he ever wanted to climb that ladder he had been reaching for a decade now. He had messed up the last job so badly that it had cost him an arm and a leg, not in the real sense of the word, but for him it had been worse. The things he lost had broken him apart. Many times he wished to have been killed on the mission, than to have escaped to see his own end, slowly and powerlessly.
"Listen! Listen carefully now!” He held the newspaper stronger in his hand, lifted it up above his sight, opened it wide and let it slide slowly on Edmond's face. - "Do you see this? Do you understand what this all means? You are a free man now! How many of us can say that heh? How many of us will grasp a little moment of freedom like that? How many of us can have all their sins wiped out and replaced with a brand new blank page where you can write a new story? Just look ahead of you and leave it all behind, as if nothing has really existed! No stories, no attachments, no laments, no guilt, no memories to hunt you down, just white! What are you waiting for? There is nothing to fear for the unknown! It is the known things that scares us to death, you know? Those dark little secrets that we try to hide, the little truth that we hold inside pretending that we are still naive about them, that we can let them sit there and no one will ever discover our well confined defects. After all, as long as we never admit ourselves guilty to others we continue innocent right? The world may already know all about us, figured out the holes in our essence, but then, until we are still capable to hold on a cynical face, we can trick a pretty large crowd to make them believe we are for real. All that a man needs is at handful of blind followers anyways, right?" Edmond did not blink an eye, looking ahead to a point on the floor, arms crossed around his knees, shoulders tight, seating on the corner of the room. Next to him a timer clock, almost reaching the end of its one hour set...
Clowdel was heavily breathing, staring at Edmond's face like a hungry coyote faces its pray. This was a rare chance Raymond Clowdel had to say something that had been kept on his chest for so long. He needed to let it out, and there he had an audience, quietly listening, the way he had always wished that someone would at least listen to what he had to say without interrupting him in the middle of his third sentence. He was oblivious to Edmond's true attention to what he was saying now; it was to himself that he was pleading, trying to make a point inside his own head before he would loose it and commit the unthinkable. "Oh boy! Do you know what we all think? We all think that we must get stuck! Yeah man! We think that we must stay stuck and that we must go back and try to fix things. That we must live in regret and in this anguish of mind for the rest of our lives! Because that is our destiny, the sins of our fathers that are upon our shoulders for five generations, right? We need to redeem them and set them free with our own sacrifice heh? The way all is supposed to be, they say. So no one is free to escape this fate then? We must accept it with grace! But I tell you my friend..." He stopped, got up, rolled gently the newspaper in his hand back into a cone again, pulled it over his chest, walked to the other side of the room and stood in front of the small window, looking outside. The light coming in illuminated half of his face, making it yellowish, almost gold. He could see outside the sun was still strong, the ray of light penetrating his right eye made it clear, he was crying.
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