Posted: April 10, 2015 in Prose


Saturdays weren’t meant to be this cold. The Great Mall stood in its tall, intimidating beauty as the wind shivered it seemed with both cold and reverence. It is the longed-for splendor this ancient city needed to come to life, David thinks as they drive into the parking lot alive with bright faces and staccato sounds of heels bouncing off the tarmac.

The world is a collection of ill-fitting aggregates forced into a glass and affluence is the liquid that fills the gaping holes between them. His Father was somewhere in that mix, somewhere down and close to the bottom, subsisting as one of life’s sediments. There was no affluence in his glass to fill the holes, and so, when the fragile aggregates of his existence were stirred, his livelihood was blown away.

The auto shop was not much to look at but it put food on the table each grumpy night. “What was demeanor when filling an empty stomach?” his father often asked in a wry tone. Hard labor, it was, that broke the man and put his son through school. He had done it alone; his wife had died bringing forth their only child into the cold, hard life that was all the little rascal had ever known. With a shadow for a father and a ghost for a mother, he bullied his way through school, hiding the lonely ache in his heart. He was a depressed child.

She gasps in awe at the sheer beauty of the edifice and regrets that it had taken her till now to agree to come with them. The government really outdid themselves this time. Everything was sparkling and bright and you couldn’t quite shake off the smell of chocolates and roses as you walked by. An instant cure for a hurting heart and a balm for a broken one, she thinks and steals a glance at “the culprit”, her husband. ‘Oh well’ she says, making sure to conceal her pleasure with the mall. There was never a worse time to let a man know he had done something right than when he had done something wrong. For now, she would let the tense truce remain. He looks at her with what he calls his x-ray eyes and giggles.

While every other person was rapt and ogling eye candy, his task was of a different kind. Having worked through the early hours of the morning setting the charges in place, his “shift” was over. He had studied the blueprint, memorizing every curve, every pillar. Four charges diagonally placed would see this abomination crumble to its knees. He smiles, nods and walks by a couple with their son trailing behind, dazed and lost in the beauty of the abomination.

He had to make things right. He could see her smiles were merely obliging, emerging from a mushroom cloud she tried to hide, one that meant her joy was not complete. David had spotted a flower shop as they drove in and artfully signaled him with a tug and a nod in the direction. Quite the artful dodger, that kid. The plan had been simple and unrehearsed. When the movie was over, they were both to rush out and leave Mary lost in the crowd. He would head to get the flowers and David to the car. The second penance would then commence atonement for sins uncommitted.

The simplicity of the plan was followed by a near perfect execution. He was thrilled at the “mission”, helping Dad win his Mom’s affection easily surpassed the exhilaration of seeing the new Spiderman movie. He literally could not wait for the movie to end. After dragging on for an hour and thirty minutes, he had his wish when Dad signaled that the Mission was a go. He looked up at his mom and politely asked to be excused. “Don’t be gone too long” she yelled behind him. She obviously enjoyed the movie more than they did, he thought as he fled towards the car park.

She could not help but notice the distraction of father and son in a plot she felt locked out of. Ignoring that observation, she turned her mind back to the movie. To think that David chose this particular movie with a man in spandex tights that could climb and spurt webs like a spider…LOL, these kids would watch anything. The movie was nice nonetheless, although showcasing “Too much unnecessary destruction of property, if you ask me”, she says to no one in particular. None of them seemed to be listening. How odd? Something was definitely up!! It must be one of their zany schemes again, she wonders as she chews her popcorn slowly. The men in her life kept her heart full, at the point of bursting with love.

He folds a three-day old paper and wipes his brow free of a rivulet of sweat. His heartbeat races faster as he tries to catch his breath, the adrenaline kicking into overdrive as he fumbles with his coat trying to get a cigarette.  When out of nowhere…


He too excuses himself with one thought in mind: Roses. His wife has always loved roses. “The scent of fresh roses could mend a broken heart”, Jacy had once quipped. 

Damn!!! Why was he thinking of her at this moment? She got him into this mess, with her shameless teases and taunts, barraging his phone and mail with messages. He loved his wife dearly but he also relished the thrill of being chased by the most enchanting woman he had ever seen. Thankfully, he had deleted the last pictures he received from her. Had those gone out…these roses would have been black and purchased for his funeral. “That would be 5999 for the whole bouquet”, the salesgirl jarred him from his wandering thoughts. “Oh, ok” he says offering her his card.

She is getting restless, wondering where they both have gone. She senses something is afoot again and guesses they are probably trying to spring a surprise on her. “This wouldn’t be the first, but never for another woman.” She muses sadly. She trusted him, she had no choice…she trusted him because she loved him.  The late night messages and calls weren’t making things easy. She sighed. Spotting a jewelry shop, she decides to window shop to clear her head and numb her fleeting thoughts.


…He almost gets knocked over by a child. The boy must have been running quite fast because the impact shakes him to his core. He bends over to pick up his phone cum detonator, cursing furiously. He looks over at the boy and his anger softens. “I am so sorry sir. Please, don’t hit me” his eyes seem to say. His mind races back to when he was a child and recalls how much his cheek would have been smarting if he were his father and that boy were him. He reaches over, picks the boy up and wipes the dirt off his jeans and tells him to be more careful. “Thank you so much, Sir” the child whispers and runs off.

The movies have ended and the halls are getting filled up. Any moment now. He shuts his eyes and inhales….in anticipation of the ghosts that are about to haunt him.

Written: The Aventurine.

Edited: Otbor 

  1. Quincy Antak says:



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