O, my aching heart!
Dawn rose majestically over the golf course, hitched up her skirt and headed for the club house. She glanced at the luminous dial on her watch. Two-thirty in the morning. What was she doing at this unearthly hour? Fleeing from her demons? Or was it fate had brought her to this place at this ungodly hour? She glanced up at the stars, but they gave nothing away. O, my aching heart! she screamed aloud. Her heart? She could hear it - boom! boom! - pounding inside her chest. But was it truly her heart she could feel and not her merciless soul deriding her for her inconsequential existence? My life, she thought, an unstamped letter lost and abandoned in life’s sorting office. If he wanted to leave why didn’t he just leave? Go back to his wife and his brats if that’s what he wanted. Why did he have to prostrate himself over the railway line and wait for the night express to tear him asunder? Her soul convulsed at the thought of it and she tried to shield herself from the feelings that were ripping her in half like a chain saw through a giant oak tree. I have my life before me! she heard herself scream just before she crumpled into a heap on the grass and listened again to her pitiless heart repeating its terrible litany.
For several moments she lay prostrate and then dragged her weary body to its feet once more. She struggled forward and it was like she were feeling her way through a swamp. If only her head would clear, she thought. If only my head would clear, she said aloud, as she fumbled forward to the club house door. It was here she worked and here that she first met Boris. O, that awful, magnificent, terrible day! Was it destiny had brought them together? Was there some fateful event at work of which they were ignorant of the machinations and of the consequences? She collapsed in front of the club house door and beat it plaintively with her fist and pleaded Why me? O, ye heavenly ministers, why me? And then her heavy eyes closed and she fell into a slumber.
Two hours later, as the sun, its golden helmet shimmering in its brow, was scaling the wall of the glittering east, she roused herself from her slumber and clambered to her feet. Her head was heavy and hazy, and through the mist she could see the distinctive and unhappy figure of her father. Her father? Had she dreamed him alive while she slept, or what was it had disturbed his lost memory that now rose up inside her? Lost memory? No, it was never that, she could never forget her father, never forget cowering in a cupboard while he rampaged in a drunken rage around the house, never forget how he would take his anger out on any being that crossed his path, never forget his cussing and swearing as he tried to disentangle his own demons that were to torment him into an early grave. But was she not like her father in her savage loving of Boris? Was it not this that pushed him to that fateful, final act? I am my father’s child, she said aloud, and sank pitifully to her knees. Then she raised her arms imploringly to the heavens, and then beat her chest in a woeful and pitiful contrition.
Somehow, she would never know how, she made her way to her home and her tiny room, took a tin out from the cupboard, poured its contents into a small saucepan, and now sat nursing in her tiny hands a bowl of celery soup. She sipped the celery soup with a seductive celerity as though it were her last meal. Through the tiny window she could see raindrops forming on the glass and beyond them grey storm clouds sweeping in from the horizon. O, ye fates! Why are ye conspiring thus to bedevil me? She finished the soup and placed the bowl on a small table at the side of the chair. She looked at the ceiling, then at the wall, then at a floor, then raised her hands and cried: Oh, Boris, Boris, Boris!
To be continued........