❥ REDRUM

prologue

 Upon my life, he had cast a certain imprecation. A curse that became the roots of my delirium, a reminder of my impending doom. Every tick of the clock had seemed like a jest to my developing fear, which permeated like a black hole in my otherwise crumbling life. Perhaps it was God’s castigation on my past undoings, or merely the salvation of my forgotten conscience. Whatever it was, it felt wrong. Terribly wrong. Like the ground just swallowed me whole, as I descend deeper into the abyss, and finally end up into nothingness…

un

 Ah! I was no saint. That I admit. There were few implications of me having anything to do with love at all. Such romances do not interest me. The possibilities of ending up with a coquette are very likely. As such I have only engaged in more important matters: my family, who, through thick and thin, had vowed to never leave me. There might come an instance when they witness the plastered wings on my back–tattered ones like those of an angel who’s fallen from God’s grace–and still make no aspersions.

 In particular my brother, Agape, whose name bears “the love of God for men, and of men for God”, professed to me the greatest love. But I did not reciprocate those affections, and maintained a frigid mien towards him. I hurt him.

 Yes, I was a devil to my brother. He was rather effeminate in his actions and quite ladylike with words. For an angel, he was an ignorant fool who resided in fantasies, lived fastidiously, and always had his head up in the clouds. For that reason I was obligated to look after him. And because of him, I cannot fly away.

 What began as a simple prejudice is now a fire that cannot be extinguished. The searing furies of my heart which, before, had only ever loathed myself and the people desperate for my affections, are now in hatred of a person who is part of my lineage. Indeed, he was the root of my madness.

 The light of Agape blinded me of my own innocence.

deux

 He looked a bit like me. Except for his eyes–those blue, angelic eyes that seemed neither happy nor sad. They became mirrors to my very soul, and travel past my dark mahogany eyes, which are devoid of emotion. The moment our eyes met, he had begun to read my very thoughts. As I look away, his intensive gaze still remains. Anxious by the thought of nearly losing my senses, I could bear the question no longer.

“Agape, what are you thinking?”

“Why do you wish to know?”

“Why must you answer with a question?”

He laughed. “I’m kidding, Alistair. Well, I suppose I should tell someone by now. It’s been tormenting me since this morning.” Ah, was it not about me?

“Alistair, you see, I had this dream.” He frequents the dream-world. I was not surprised.

“I was asleep in my own bed–at least, I think I was–but when I woke up, I found myself at the bottom of a very deep well.” It was not the first time he narrated such strange escapades.

“I fret over a means of escape. The sun seemed so far away, and it was dark, and damp in the well. But then–”

I raised my brow.

“–I saw you. You reached out your hand, and I thought for sure that you were my hero. Then I jumped as far as I could, and managed to grab hold of your hand.”

“What are the odds of me doing that.”

“It’s a dream, after all.” Then his expression suddenly darkened. “At least, I wish it would be.”

“Why? What comes next?”

“Well… instead of pulling me out of the well, I unintentionally dragged you down there with me.” I remained silent, at the same time, dumbfounded at this foreboding development of Agape’s dream.

“Then suddenly a pair of luminous, glorious wings sprouted from my back! Wings that surely belonged to an angel! It was heavenly. Why, for a second I thought we were outta that well, but–” He paused. “Turns out you couldn’t fly.”

He bit his lip, as if hesitating to continue. “Your wings were a bit tattered, and I wasn’t brawny enough to give you a lift… so I flew off on my own, and you cried a pool of tears until the water reached high enough at the opening of the well. I didn’t see the part where you get out, though.”

“That’s enough.” I finally said. “You are senseless, as always. I shouldn’t have asked.”

“I apologize. Did my dream not amuse you?”

“Not in the least. And here I thought you worry about life for once.”

“I do. I am worried for you.”

“I don’t need your concern.”

I’d rather be enshrouded in darkness than bathe in your seraphic light.

trois

Before I knew it, he had eventually become accustomed to me.

“Agape.” He opened his mouth as if to speak, but said nothing.

“Stay here. It’s cold outside.” A sad smile manifested on his lips.

“You are colder, Alistair.” Then he left.

The next succession of days–he did not return. Mother was furious, and naturally when you’re furious, you can’t help putting the blame on someone.

Everything was to be my fault. But I did not feel the least bit of remorse. I was more relieved to be rid of that sickening seraph. His eyes would torment me no longer.

Days passed, and I lived on without a care that my beloved brother–the one who looked so much like me and reminded me of my inner demons–was gone. The love of Agape disappeared without a trace. I was free.

Or so I thought. On the twelfth night of his absence, there came a tapping on my chamber door. It was Mother. She was smiling.

I had a nightmare that night.

quatre

“And, as the days go by, my love for you has begun to change.”

Is that you, Agape?

“Only you are capable of bringing this agony, so easily even without trying.”

So it seems, that even in dreams you would not leave me.

“I want to be rid of it, to break free from this excruciating feeling that gives me, now, the least happiness.”

Ah, such lovelorn words. Do you tire of my cruelty?

“Why do you hate me, brother?”

His sudden utterance of the last word had awoken me from slumber. In a daze, I quietly made my way to his bedchamber.

Sure enough, Agape slept fitfully. He looked more innocent than ever–it vexed me. Never did I regard him as family; he only knew me as “Alistair.”

“When was the last time,” I whispered under my breath, “you called me brother?”

At this, his blue, angelic eyes suddenly popped up, making me jolt. I stifled a scream and fell to the floor.

“Are you alright, Alistair?” He offered his hand, but I returned it with a smack.

“Why did you come back?”

His face dimmed. “You put me in the well, brother.”

“You’re being senseless again.”

“Why did you do it? You knew I would come back.”

“No, this is a dream–”

“Yes, it was just like in the dream. I was the angel. I did not perish in the well.”

“Enough!”

“Say, Alistair–or should I say, BROTHER.” A childish grin emerged on his face. “Do you want to do it again?”

“What do you mean?”

“This time, shall we make your dream come true?”

epilogue

The day I made enemies with Time, and finally succumbed to my impulses.

I took him to the same place–the desolate graveyard near the old community church, the deathbed he slept on for eleven consecutive nights.

“Do you promise,” I asked, “not to disturb me anymore?”

“Nevermore, Alistair.”

“Then, goodbye, Agape.”

Silently, the ground swallowed him whole. The angel has finally left me. He cannot breathe a word about this. Just as I find it extremely suffocating to breathe under this mahogany wood.

He must be happy by now. That angel. His wings were starting to rot, anyway.

fin
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❥ trois

Fate must’ve hated the very idea of us.

To be able to meet the most perfect thing, that does not spare you a single glance, and couldn’t care less about who you are, is what fate had in mind when we heard of each other for the first time.

Fate does not stop to listen to the beating of our hearts, nor does it attend to the yearning in our souls. To us, it is a cruel thing that gives momentary happiness, yet suddenly decides to take it away when we least expect it.

But I don’t hate it.

It built a path between you and I.

Less traveled, but never forgotten.

❥ deux

She, who was used to warm smiles on sunny days, never knew of winter snow.

It was a chilly night, so cold it made her curl into a ball in the corner of her room, haunted by a strange feeling of emptiness. Ever since he left, she had forgotten the warmth of his hand, and everything she touched had felt the same.

Cold. Empty. Lifeless.

He was still there. She refused to believe that whatever they had shared in the past was gone. Maybe when the sun comes up he would show up at her door again, ready to pull her into a hug and give her that heartwarming smile she hadn’t seen for a long time. And suddenly, he might want to forget about that particular day, when it was raining and the closest she got to snow was the coldness reflected on his beautiful eyes.

It was hope which drove her to sleep, wishing that tomorrow would be a sunny day.

 

❥ un

He is the personification of beauty.

The world lights up in his mere presence, shining over a dim heart agonized in wistfulness, and in that moment he stood it is impossible to look away.

People who thought he was an angel wondered if this outlandish being would one day sprout his majestic wings, and fly somewhere farther than the heavens.

But only I knew about everything that he is.