Jedi of CC
Joined: 01 July 2010
Jedi of CC
Joined: 01 July 2010
Jedi of CC
Joined: 01 July 2010
"The end of a melody is not its goal: but nonetheless, had the melody not reached its end it would not have reached its goal either. A parable." - Friedrich Nietzsche
Swayum Shikhawat, the widower who drove around with his friend in her '67 Chevy Camaro while not at work, sat thinking. Death had touched his life before. He recognized its touch. He could smell the rotten odor of death as he remembered his wife's decaying skin. However much he wished it would go back to being plump, it never did. And one day, the skin stopped accommodating his wife within. Rhea was gone. Swayum was sinking. Sitting on the couch beside his alcoholic father, Swayum thought about the feelings he had felt when Rhea died.
A hundred violent waves hit him, one by one, giving him no time to get ready for the next. He realized he wasn't breathing when his wife stopped breathing. The fundamental difference, however, between the two of them was that he could in fact, still breathe, if he wished to. And when he did breathe, he remembered it was like swallowing knives.
His thoughts tonight, they were sharp and drowned out the Sports News at 10 his alcoholic-and-also-half-deaf father was watching on the television. He was hit by his own memories like a truck juiced up against a hill. Blacking out, Swayum vaguely found Sharon disintegrating before his eyes into Rhea's grave.
"Whoa, there, Sleeping Sunshine!" Sharon joyously whispered to his hair.
"Whar jus happen?" Swayum was groggy and not quite ready to talk coherently.
"I just decided that Sleeping Beauty needed a revamp." She smiled at him, now introducing sunlight into his room by opening up windows. Integrating before his eyes now, away from Rhea's grave, stood Sharon. She wore a white dress under a leather jacket. Her hair was braided today and he wondered why that was.
"You were completely out on your couch last night when I came to pick you up for my appointment with the doctor. So, Mr. Shikhawat there told me he'll get you to your room and that I should go." She came to his bed and sat near his shivering body.
"Oh, so, ah, right, you're okay, you are?" He grabbed his hair in both hands and pulled.
"Yeah, I'm fit as a fiddle. But we need new phrases for being healthy too, I am sure." She looked at him in earnest.
"I'm cold." Instead of pulling at his hair, he was now pulling at the covers.
"You're also hallucinating." She pointed out as though she was breaking news of a newborn to a tabloid queen.
The truth of her statement was true enough to open up the metaphorical stitches in his soul. He had patched himself up when his wife died. Sharon had patched him up after his wife died. But he had never allowed the pain to leave him. He had never forgotten that he was in pain. The constant pain of the possibility of losing everything was remarkably unhealthy.
"But I also love you extremely." He reasoned, establishing eye contact and taking her hands.
"Of course you do, my friend-love." She didn't sound impressed with that connotation.
"I need help too, I guess." He was now holding her hands to his chest.
Anti-depressants, mood stabilizers and talk therapy were roughly a few technical terms that became a part of Sharon's life for four months. Swayum lived at a rehabilitation center for a month and the docs said that he was getting better amazingly fast. They said he should have gone to them earlier. But they also said that he was eager to get better. When Reyansh Shikhawat, who had been a part of that conversation too, tried to use it later to tease Sharon, she did not blush. Swayum's family and Father thought that Sharon was why Swayum even wanted to get better. She knew, even though she did not want to know such heavy things, that he just wanted to be fair to Rhea.
Her disease was not his fault. But he blamed himself for being busy before the disease happened. He held himself responsible for further neglect when the disease started to scare him although he did love her very much. Thus, he was consequently guilty now of loving Sharon too. Two women to love, one dead, one alive, was sufficient to drive anyone mad. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder did not take over a year to start becoming obvious, usually. The broken man, however, was being mended. Sharon, again, did not want to know so many heavy things, but knew full well that she was constantly worried about him. That and a hopeful disposition together made her support him for four months straight.
She moved into his house temporarily after Swayum returned from rehab. Joking about how their father needed it too already, Reyansh Shikhawat sat next to Sharon at about two in the morning on that January night. They were watching nothing in particular. Sharon was equal parts thinking about Swayum and her car parked back at her nightclub. She had been an idiot for letting Father drop her here.
"Your dad seems okay about the wedding." Reyansh Shikhawat said, putting the TV on mute.
"He's more okay with this than my other proposition to him." Sharon agreed smilingly.
They both knew the other option was that she should not be married to anyone at all. Father simply could not live with the idea that his daughter would still be a virgin at thirty-three. Reyansh Shikhawat and she had gone over this joke a lot of times since the day Swayum and Sharon had mutually decided to get married in the first week of February. So, the joke was not that funny right now.
"You checked out that letter from the court, right, it was on Swayum's desk?" he asked, suddenly realizing.
"Oh, no, he went through it and phoned me in the afternoon. It's the 7th, I believe." She replied and hummed Hedwig's Theme by John Williams.
"Alright then, I'll be sleeping now, goodnight." He kissed the top of her head casually and left to crash with Swayum.
Sharon hummed until the end of the melody and then, she was asleep too.
On the fourth of February, three days before their registered marriage and four days before the reception party, Swayum and Sharon were found sitting on Sharon's bed. The dim and yellow lights in her room complemented the starless sky that was visible through that glass window of a wall in her room. Sharon was packing her books and vinyl records to go. Rey had hoped to look gallant in front of Sharon and Rinni (who was in town for a show) the other night, deciding to move in to take responsibility of their father. Swayum knew it was rather stupid. But Rey, too, needed to be away from the house his ex-wife constructed with her alimony anyway. This allowed Swayum and Sharon to move somewhere closer to the outside of the town. They would be surrounded by diners, highways and fields. Sharon liked that.
It was her sudden wish to dance a bit that brought college to his mind. Swayum used to be a dancer during college. Simmi, Rhea, Vicky, Nilesh and Sharon were dancers too. Of course, Rinni went on to become one of those engineers who follow their hearts after following their parents' instruction throughout their youth. Vicky and Nilesh were IT consultants, still the best of friends and still dancing at clubs with the ladies on the weekends and in Nilesh's basement every now and then. Simmi was in great shape too, the pre-nuptial agreement with her surgeon husband allowed her time in her Yoga pants and ballet shoes since there was a lot of time and no children. As for Sharon, she danced mostly for herself and to herself.
"I thought we were going to get back to packing." Swayum said, looking sideways at her.
"Let's dance, you haven't danced in years." She said it and they knew she said so because he needed to hear it.
He needed to dance. He hadn't in so long that he was worried if he would know what to do once the music started playing. Sharon played a piano piece on her iPod Shuffle, anything newer was too modern for her. Anyhow, the music filled the room and she gave him her hand. They swayed to it. He saw her swirl around, holding his hand all along. So, he must be the one leading her. He was certain that he was dancing indeed when he lifted her in his arms and revolved about the place. He put her down and not knowing what to do next, he found a place in her shoulder blade for his head. Their feet were in an impressive sync with the tune, considering they were mostly unfamiliar with piano pieces and Swayum had not danced to anything in over a decade.
When the music went off and Swayum looked up at her face, he smiled and kissed her. His hands knotted with her hair and his chest rubbing next to hers, the kiss deepened. Then they needed air. Eventually, they needed to get back to packing up Sharon's stuff because Swayum's was still as far away from being packed to go as ever.
Father was happier to see Sharon married than Sharon was to see herself married. Swayum was happier than he ever was, but still, Father outshined everybody in question. Reyansh Shikhawat seemed increasingly taken by Rinni at the reception party, might we add. Her friends from college were there too, some from her school and then the friends she had made in the city where she opened her first nightclub several years ago. She observed all this on her way back from the photo studio in late February that year, looking at the pictures from her wedding. She was basically there at the wedding for the music she had decided to play throughout the night.
Today was also the first time ever that she had allowed Swayum to drive her car without worrying too much. Her '67 Chevy Camaro was being handled well by her husband. She was going through her wedding pictures, no longer a chaste s**t. They were going to go to the diner for beer and hamburgers tonight. It was The Beatle's Day on the radio.
"You look cheerful," Swayum noticed.
"Funny you should say that, I feel the same way about you." She grinned at him.
Swayum danced more often. They met their friends for trips and it became frequent when Reyansh Shikhawat got married to Rinni on a beach. Sharon's nightclub chain was expanding every six months. Swayum's job was great and he was better off again. In summation, their children, Rhea and Armaan had busy but fun parents. That's what Sharon told Swayum, at least, when he expressed that they did not give the kids enough time.
And they lived happily ever after until they were about fifty two years old each. After that, it was just Sharon, Armaan and the '67 Chevy Camaro. Rhea went off to college for a Liberal Arts program. Swayum's grave was constructed to the right of Rhea's. The tombstone said, "Let us step into the night and pursue that flighty temptress, adventure."
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