[This short story love is selected for Love’2012 Story Writing Competition]
“What’s in a name?” asked Emile with a smile. She was still holding Reny’s hands under the bright white bulb.
“What’s in a name? Everythings in a name. It forms the identity of the baby” replied Reny squeezing her hands to denote the importance of the point he just made.
“The identity, her spot in the class queue, everything”, he continued explaining his point more than what the situation required, as always.
“Ok but you have to agree my mother’s name will be her middle” Emile spoke pulling her eyebrows up.
“When are we going to tell our parents?”
“This afternoon we go to my dad’s home and to yours this evening”
“Wow, this is early? I..I didn’t plan for it”
“What should you plan for breaking a lovely news? This ain’t giving a speech or something”
“No. I need to make my mind up” said Emile and pulled her hands out from his, displaying her disagreement.
“I don’t get girls, not even you. What are you people made of? What is the worst that could happen? Think about it. Are our parents going to kill us? ” Reny raised his voice in anxiety.
“That could happen with mine, you know!”
“Yes, it could. Didn’t they go through raising you up? They’d be mentally unstable after years of toil that would’ve given them” he shook his head up and down with a scorn.
“You are hurting me Ren. Its ok if you had made fun of me in school, but now I am carrying a baby in me. You are going to be a father, please understand where we are going toward. Please stop hurting me, you know…”
“Ya. I am sorry I understand”. Reny’s apology was with no emotions, as always.
Emile and Reny had been a great pair at school. He had met her during the orientation day for the mid-term transfers, she stood opposite to him. She wore a red skirt and a red coat over a white blouse. Her hair was short and dyed red. This opposing to her white flawless skin made Reny have a crush on her at that moment. He shook her hands during introduction hour and did not pull back for a full five minutes that everyone noticed it. He considered himself poet, always loved to write short poems although most of them were just prose with scrambled length. Emile became the subject of his poems then on.
“No you don’t Ren, yet another soulless apology. I am afraid of what I have done, oh God.. What have I done”. She closed her eyes with her palms and started to weep with no sound.
Reny tried to hold her shoulders but she moved away. Emile removed her palms and looking at Reny continued to weep.
“Oh, come on Em what did I do? Was my sorry so worthless to you now? Did you think you have a moral highground just because you are pregnant? Come on already!” Reny’s pulse increased.
“You don’t know what my tears mean, especially now. Your support is the first thing I need. You have never respected me Ren. I had always thought you were doing it to show your male chauvinism in front of the school, never thought it was real.”
“Stop it now Em, seriously, I am sorry, yes you need all my support, my priority is you, only you”, saying that he hugged Emile but she moved away again.
“What the f**k went into you today” shouted Reny and thumped the wall. The whole partition shook and drops of rain water fell over his head.
It had been raining heavily for the last two hours. The streets were flooded so much that Reny decided they couldn’t cross the fields. They took shade in a small bus stop, it helped them little.
“I asked what the f**k went into you, damn you girls. You worthless bit**es, can’t do s**t of your own. Need a good pizza? ‘Please Ren’ it is, need a ride to the store ‘oh Ren how I love riding with you’, need a book ‘please Ren won’t you do this little thing for your love’, that too with a fake smile. You unworthy girls” he lost his temper and started to scare her.
“I am sorry Reny, if that is what you thought of me, I won’t bother you anymore. It had all been one big lie, one big show for you. How unlucky I am to get someone like you to share my heart out to”. She had used his full first name this time. Saying that she wiped her eyes off of tears and started towards her parents’ home in the rain.
“Em, come on, sorry again baby. I am hung over from last night’s party and you know I got wrongly accused of copying the essay when that bast**d Arthur should’ve been sent out, I got an F. Me going to be a father scares the s**t out of me. Sorry Em, stop walking and come back” he tried to obstruct her walk.
“It is done Reny, here is your ring” she removed it and with no anger pulled his right palm and placed on it. She continued her walk. It was another ten minutes before which he could convince her that even if she didn’t take him back she could at least stand under the bus stop and not catch a cold, “not when you are in this delicate situation” he said.
They stood there for another fifteen minutes without sharing a single word. No car or bus came by for her to leave the scene. Emile sobbed in mute and she did not stop. Reny tried to hold her left arm twice and failed, the second time with a scornful look from her.
“Remember the day when we kissed for the first time? At the mall? You wore a beautiful blue velveteen dress and your hair was long. You dyed it beige. I still remember every detail.” She continued looking away and Zeus did not stop his work with the water from heavens.
“It was the day when I forgot what was happening around me. After we kissed I kept looking at your face for ten minutes and I held your hands the entire time. I was flying above the land. You know, even when I reached home I couldn’t sleep. I listened to that Saigon Kick song ‘I love you’ and had it on repeat. I looked at the photos I took of you on the tour the whole freaking night. You gave me hope Em, after my parents separated I felt I wanted to die, just leave everything and go away. My mum rambled s**t about my dad and how he flirted with other women, my dad told me false stories about how bad my mother was drunk, and how she nearly killed him with a bottle one night.” She slowly turned and looked straight and then down.
“The next morning, although with just four hours of sleep I was beaming with energy. I couldn’t wait to phone you. I went to the gift shop and bought those stationary and made that card, I hope you still have it. It took me seven full hours to tie those papers up.” She slowly started to move her cheeks upward and widen her jaw.
“You know, I scored A in all the subjects that year. You were my future, I had to come out well. I wanted to join a big bank, earn loads of money and buy you beautiful dresses. You remember the first dress I gifted you? That night, ah the best night of my life”.
It was the first of a row of parties Pete hosted. His parents had gone on a vacation to Jamaica leaving the huge mansion to himself. Reny wanted to show off by making Em wear a dress he bought.
Luss accompanied Reny to the first four dress stores he visited. He was the only guy who did not care if the world thought two men visiting girls dress stores were gay. Reny rejected every dress the salesmen presented. It was always big or small or it showed too much of her breasts or her posterior side.
“She doesn’t have an a** for Christ’s sake” Luss commented and was replied with a strong slap that sent him flying toward the mirror. He cussed Reny and walked off.
The dress had to be perfect and the town did not have one to match Em’s beauty. He took every dress in front and imagined her wearing it, with her beautiful smile, the smile that had been patinated with words from his heart a thousand times before. Not one matched his want. It was in Samanthas that he was able to smile for the first time that day. After losing almost all of his yearly savings he gift wrapped it with a label of one of his poems.
He met Emile at her dorm’s lobby and gifted her. Every girl around them sighed in disbelief when she opened it. Em hugged him tight with a drop of tear jumping out of her left eye to show the world of the emotion. She realized what it is to be made a queen by a lover. Reny penned four poems that day of the event.
It was four when Reny met Emile in front of her dorm. He sat in the waiting room going through the pages of meaningless coffee table books when Luss’s hands squeezed his shoulder. Reny looked at her and stood up with his mouth open. She noticed it and giggled walking down the stairs. Emile kept her left hand over Reny’s thigh the entire trip in his GTO. He was the king of the world and she was his beautiful queen.
Everyone praised Emile’s dress to which she directed all the comments toward Reny. He was still the king of the world. After four hours of slow dancing and drinking wine, everyone changed to a casual attire. The sound system started to play rock music and the volume corresponded to the alcohol level in Pete’s blood. Trip hop was followed by what they called the new genre, disco followed.
After another couple of hours Reny pulled Emile from the crowd and brought her to his green mean cat. Entering through the rear doors he pulled her in and kissed her tight. They made passionate love then and slept hugging each other. Luss came after the party and saw them together. He woke Reny up with a slap and pulled him out and asked “Did you wear a rubber?”
“No man, I did not have it. I did not want to miss the moment by searching for it”
“S**t, God help she doesn’t get pregnant. What have you two done? You had the best of days wasted your life now.” Luss did not stop.
“Its ok Luss, I will buy birth control pills and take care this time” Emile tried to save Reny.
“Yeah right, you go to the pharmacist and ask for birth control pillls. Next moment your dad is going to find it and kill you or atleast move away from this place”. He had been right. She couldn’t get the birth control pills.
It had been ten weeks since then. The rain continued to pour heavily.
“We were the best of couples then Em, it had just been ten months.” continued Reny. Her cheeks bloomed to show a full smile.
“Do you really think I am a worthless girl? I can get the books myself you know? I really feel together holding you tight. I really love you Reny, when will you learn?”
“I know your love for me Em. I am really sorry. Give me one chance, one last time. If I hurt you like this ever again, you can walk away, abort the baby if you need to …” Reny never knew what to say when to say them.
“Abort the baby? What are you talking eggplant face? Never will I lose something of you” replied Emile with an assertive tone. He looked at her, caught her hands and started to cry.
“I am sorry, I love you very very much Em. You know I do. I just blabber s**t sometimes. I will never do that to you anymore”. She laughed when he said ‘s**t’, a laughter with joy, with finding something she thought she lost, with a new hope.
He sat on his bike and looked at her with a longing smile. She joined him in the back, tightly hugging him. Reny rode with his left hand holding her right. Somethings should never be lost forever.