Friday, August 24, 2018

[Kembali ke Pojok] I Must Have That Man

I don’t know what happened, but jazz seems to be back in style lately.

It’s quite common to have people blasted John Coltrane or Billie Holiday from their overly expensive speaker. Once again internet prove to be a much powerful medium of music enlightenment for the mass market. Maybe God can try to spread His message through internet as well, maybe open a social media account that millions can follow? Maybe those mid-up educated class can be more open to the idea of divine being when they can click “like” or “love” over their phone display.

Oh yeah, I’m raving, I’m sorry. My sarcasm usually goes stratospheric after a full session of Billie Holiday. Not because of miss Holiday specifically, it is more because of one particular person that I’m unintentionally associate with miss Holiday. Let’s call him Hades, just like how miss Holiday describe such a person like him.

So, I met Hades in one damn cold fall day in New York City. See, just like a very good recipe for disaster. NEVER, and I meant it, NEVER try to fall for a guy… in the fall… in New York City. I bet all the common sense of a human being fell to the ground in the same rate as those leaves in Central Park. And I forever blame those cheesy romcoms in the like of Serendipity, You’ve Got Mail, Two Weeks Notice… everything! It practically brainwashing practice! Thank God Hollywood is totally over with romcom. Back to Hades...

The best way for me to describe Hades physically was like Adrien Brody in Devil Wears Prada. You know, that unruly curly hair, with 5 o’clock shade and eyes that bore into you like… “yeah, like I care”, and yet… the smile. Oh damn! That smile was my undoing. Damn you dimples!

We met at a photography exhibition… his exhibition. He was a portrait photographer. Not the type of fashion photographer that wear scarf and suede jacket everywhere and every season. He captured people likeness and made some trick that makes the portrait looks dreamy… cloudy. If you look at his works, you’d feel like you look at people in a dream. You can see it, but not really figure out the detail. I remembered looking at a portrait of Misty Copeland in her tutu. Actually, I couldn’t make out the face… but that ballerina figure was no mistake is Misty. Not quite petite with her broad shoulder, but graceful beyond anything. It was black and white with a touch of that cloudy style of him. The overall portrait looks like it was printed on rough surface using shiny paint. Made no sense, I know. That’s why I was so mesmerizing by it.

Then I heard a chuckle behind me…

“That’s a portrait, not a math equation”

I turned and found him there, standing right beside me with that smile. I still remembered the faded black t-shirt he wear, over dark jeans and beat-up boots. I supposed I already got a sign that this one walk out right from the underworld to become my worst nightmare. But I think those romcoms had brainwashed me good… I thought that was a beginning of a romance.

We talked for the whole night. First at the gallery, then at the bar nearby, then at my place. Back then I know it was meant to be. Everything’s so perfect. I imagined we'll spend the holiday at his hometown, maybe in Ohio? He seems to be a midwesterner. I'll make sure to ask him in the morning. Then maybe he will introduce me to his family, to his brother and sister. He must have siblings. Then on our anniversary he will brought me to dinner at a nice place, maybe the Garden? I like that place. We could go on vacation to Cabo or Morocco, buy a decent apartment in Brooklyn, watch concert together, go on a roadtrip. I fast forward an entire decade before morning come. I had laid the entire lifeplan with him, all started from that moment. It was meant to be. It was suppose to be a real-life romance.

Then I woke up in the morning and find him gone. I looked in the bathroom, in the kitchen, in the living room, until the coffee shop downstairs, he was nowhere to be found. I panicked. Was something happened to him? Then I calmed down. Maybe he just gone to his place to brought back some stuff. I knew that he meant for me. We meant to be together. So, I waited.

I waited that day, and the next day, and the next. I texted him. I emailed. He didn’t answer. Why he didn't answered? Did I get wrong number or email? I got it from his website, it supposed to be trustworthy. I got worried. So on the next night I went to the exhibition again. He wasn’t there. I asked around. His team said that he was on anniversary dinner with his girlfriend. What? I said, “that must be a mistake, I am his girlfriend, and our anniversary won’t be until next month”. They just looked at each other puzzled. 

"what?" one of them said, "but they've been together for 4 years, they co-owner this gallery together".

I knew something was wrong then. ‘It can’t be!’ I thought. I didn’t want to believe it, he cheated on me. 

I waited and waited, and he cheated on me. I asked them where he had his dinner. They didn’t want to tell me first but I pushed them until they finally gave the place away. It was The Garden, near the High Lane. How could he! I imagined that as our place and he brought that woman there?! Or was it actually his place? Where he brought all the girls he picked up for wine and dine?

My mind clouded with anger. All of that potential memory. All of my lifeplan with him. I rushed down several blocks to the Garden. It was quite busy, but I managed to sneak into the cocktail area to stalk on him. They played Billie Holiday that night, I Must Have That Man, how proper. Miss Holiday know for sure how to paint my feeling. Or maybe God really exist and sent me that song to remind me what I have to fight for. The life plan that we would have had together. If it was not for his cheating mind.

I found them there, him and the woman. She was not even pretty, quite plain. I couldn’t believe that he cheated on me with such woman. She looked at him with wonder, clung unto his every word. She looked dazed, and I realized, she was just like me. Swayed by the curled hair, lazy eyes and dimpled smile. She was just another me, waited to be ruled out and drove mad. I pitied her, but he was mine. Our lifeplan together was ruined. I wouldn’t let anyone have him. He supposed to be mine.

I walked toward them, picked up a steak knife from a table on the way. When I finally stood next to the table, he looked up at me. A confusion appeared on his handsome face. His brow knitted together. The woman looked back and forth between me and him.

“Baby do you know her?” She asked him with puzzled face. He looked at her and shook his head. Anger got the best of me. I looked at her.

“I’m sorry you have to gone through the same thing as me” I said. Then I took a deep breath, “but I must have him”, I continue. She looked more confuse.

“What do you mean?”

Before they could talk more I jammed the knife to his throat.

My anger fueled me. I felt heat in my head, in my body, on my hand… or was it because of his blood? I saw him drop to the floor and a shrieking scream beside me. The next thing I knew I was pinned down and someone tried to wrung out the knife out of my hand. I let go willingly. I saw people surrounded him, and that woman cried and scream. She will understand later, I saved her.

Billie Holiday continued to sing in the background. Swayed me to oblivion. I Must Have That Man. I laughed, how proper it was. He was Hades, and I must have him.

This is a work of fiction. Please do not assume that I murdered someone in the past and that this is a confession. Nope, it is just an idea that pass by when I listen to Strange Fruit. Pretty weird I know, but please don't judge me to much by one short story. Love @puthid.

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