Friday, January 4, 2013

clementine: story of a sunset

Friday, January 4, 2013

the veranda is cloaked with the day’s last rays of the sun. clementine leaned on the baluster feeling the dolour slowly creeping in. she closed her eyes listening, waiting for a sound from the empty road across the 30-year old bungalow where she stood, telling herself to stop counting the hours. it’s silent. the house stands at the far end of the road, its facade boasting of senescent beauty. it is no home to her but a refuge from years of mislaid youth. it’s where she embraced age and began to understand that happiness does not always present itself as an ally. most of the time, clementine even failed to understand what it stood for. happiness, like love, would come and leave at every command of the earth.

the sun behests everything it touches. plants bow down to kiss the ground when the sun starts to hide, and people become leaden near dusk. nothing and no one is spared. i would like to know though, how it would be like to be free. but be free from what? my despair is unknown. it has no name, no face. it has been there ever since i can remember. it’s like a story where everything is the same even after the hundredth time you read it. how you begin it or how you end it is how you want it to be. but what happens in it is like the sun; always setting the moment it gets its cue. how did all this begin? she thinks to herself as she does every single day.

“it’s here again,” she tells benedict.

“i know. pushing the rays to one side again, yes? you like to think of the impossible,” benedict teased.
clementine picked up a tiny orange santan before answering. “reading my mind again?” she smiled at the thought of benedict knowing exactly what she wanted to say. reading each other’s thoughts happened too often that every bit of excitement in those unlikely coincidences had been exhausted. when arguments erupt between them they quickly turn to silent rage and allow voicelessness to bind them back.

benedict moved a pile of papers away from his desk and blankly stirred the mug with stale coffee in it. he’d been staring at the dummy of the magazine the whole morning. benedict could not deny that the odds worked overtime against him. he had been working on every section of the magazine with unceasing ardor for four six weeks when the publisher called him up to tell him she had changed her mind about publishing it.

"budget’s gone awry and we need to cut back on expenses. it’s not something i can or want to deal with at this time," the sonorous publisher told him. from the other end of the line, all benedict could hear was a mumble. he knew the product of his hard work had faced its demise even before benedict got to the last page.

he had waited two years to leave. i can’t sit hit here and let time to go by, benedict thought to himself. clementine’s sunset has come again, he said with finality.

balcony, condo view, cypress towers, manila, penthouse, philippines, romance, short story, sunset

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