Beautiful Girl, Lost in Beautiful Darkness
June 10, 2012 § Leave a comment
No one’s coming.
The beautiful woman realizes this as she sits at the edge of the ancient courtyard, her eyes flickering through a slate of clean darkness. Her round eyes are white, white, white. Her dress gleams. Her necklace sparkles. The man had boasted about the carats, she remembers. She had been too embarrassed to ask why more carats meant more value. Clearly, the man thought more carats meant more Her. Meant more time in the motel. Or the back of the car.
White, white are her eyes. White, white is her dress. But still, the darkness is ceaselessly, relentlessly black.
The stone wall beneath her is cold. Limp hangs her dress. An ant is making its way across the wall now, enchanted by the luminous wonder ahead. It scurries and scurries with determination, with ambition, closer, closer still. The ant is as black as the night. Finally it reaches the frilly lace of her cuff, the beautiful lace from the shop downtown. It’s discovered beauty out here in the dark.
How stunning! the shopkeeper had cried. The beautiful woman twirled round and round in the beautiful white dress, watching her reflection blur. A blur of white, a blur of yellow, the color of her curly hair. The many carats of her necklace were sparkling in the light.
Stunning! cried the shopkeeper again, too overcome to find another word. Round and round went the blur of beauty. What a wonderful night in store. What happy memories await. What built-up and long treasured fantasies certain to come true.
No one’s coming.
The girl sits in the dark, watching her breath melt into the darkness. Little bits of life fading into nothing. Into blackness. Into death. And she can’t stop all the dying, all the draining of the life force, because the breath keeps pushing its way out, and the darkness keeps swallowing it up. Swallowing it so fast it may have never been there at all. A life, a puff of air. Puff and it’s gone.
The little blond hairs of her arm stand straight up, ready, at alert.
But no one’s coming.
There is a glimmer in the distance. Her heart races, pumping fresh blood, waking up the sleeping organs. Here, here! She leaps to her feet and nearly falls off her heel, now dirty with crushed gravel. The ant is flying back into blackness, insignificant, lost. And she cries out for him foolishly in the night.
Her cry is caught up in the sound of bells. Big, brass bells clanging together, clang, clang. Clang, clang goes her heart right along with them. Clang, clang, filling up the darkness.
The church in the valley below has begun its evening service. Its windows are alight with sudden hope, renewed belief, overwhelming praise, adoration. A hundred voices chanting skywards, chanting to God. Together as one.
And the beautiful girl does not slump right away. She stays, swaying upright like a ship lying adrift at sea. Like a silly toy before it retreats back into its box, waiting to be spun again. Like a man whose decided to leave it all, who can no longer bear the pain, who knows she’ll never see him, that it’s better that way, though she’ll never know that, and he hardly even thinks of her at all as he grabs a gun from the top shelf of a musty closet. He sways, sways, and then
She falls to the cold ground, and her head is in her hands, and the beautiful, beautiful dress fans out around her like a thousand dying doves, and the darkness swallows them all.
Clang, clang go the bells. Sing, sing to God.