Echoes

byLaRascasse©

Idle time + bottle of beer + something stronger than beer + Pink Floyd in background + flash of inspiration = this really short story

Comments and feedback are most welcome. It's kind of an abstract monologue, so not much will be spoken. I hope I get it right.

Hat-tip to Reader's Digest and my editor NaokoSmith.

* *

It was a cold, blustery day when Victoria Jones finally breathed her last. She was strong, stronger than all of us. But even the strongest are no match for a speeding SUV. She fought gamely for as long as her body would allow. Then one day, the doctor called me to her bedside and told me there was no hope. There was a recently enacted piece of legislation I could use to put her out of her brain-dead suffering. It was like a cry of help from the still body lying comatose on the bed.

She was asking me to let go.

Letting go is always the hardest thing to do, but when Vicky asked me to let go, it wasn't really a choice. I could never refuse her.

So I let go. I have not been the same person since.

My therapist tells me that writing about it will help. So here it is -- my little attempt at telling you about my elder sister, Vicky.

"I love you, Vicky Jones."

Have you ever felt so close to someone that you became a part of them and they became a part of you? Have you loved someone so much that every bit of you would yearn to touch her? Have you ever wanted someone to lay by your side so bad that it hurt you to see someone else there?

I have felt all those feelings. As far back as I can remember, I was deeply and profoundly in love. I was in love with my sister, Vicky. She was a full decade elder to me. Our father was mostly out of the picture and our mother was hardly around. That left Vicky and me to ourselves.

Vicky was my mother, father and elder sister in one. She bathed me, fed me, changed my diapers and even read bedtime stories to me. She came to console me every night when thunder woke me up. She saved up money babysitting and doing odd chores and always spent it buying something for me. Vicky never bought something for herself.

Vicky had the body of a woman and the face of an angel from as far back as I recall. She seemed to grow overnight into a stunning beauty. It didn't make any difference to me. I was in love with her from way before that.

My therapist tells me I am still in the Oedipal stage of my psychological growth. It means that I love my mother-figure or care giver. It means I still love Vicky.

I don't know why I pay this guy so much. I could have told you that myself. Here, let me say it again.

"I love you, Vicky Jones."

My father eventually ran away with the local barmaid. It wasn't too much of a loss. My mother got over her loss by getting under her factory worker boyfriend. He was a rough, burly man who perpetually reeked of booze. The walls in our squalid little place were not nearly thick enough to block the sounds of him and my mother going at it.

Trust me when I say, the sounds were much less pleasant than you think they were.

This man, his name was Gordon, was not a very nice person to know. He was prone to violent outbursts. Every night he would come back, too drunk to walk in a straight line. Vicky and I stayed out of his way for the most part.

One night, he barged straight into the little room where Vicky and I stayed. The crash of the door opening woke her up. Today had been a particularly rough day as Gordon had finally fallen too far out of favour with his foreman, who took great pleasure in firing him. The public humiliation made him push up his bar tab considerably and he came back in a foul mood, ready to burst on the first available target.

Fortunately, his six year old step-son seemed to be on hand to scratch that particular itch. Or so he thought. He staggered towards my cowering form, his bloodshot red eyes boring into me.

He had barely taken three steps in my direction before Vicky stood in the way, her arms spread out defiantly. He was going to have to go through her to get to her baby brother. He blinked and looked at her with the same bloodshot glare. It failed to faze her one bit.

Vicky was not much bigger than me. In front of him, she was a tiny little ragdoll he could fling in any direction. Yet, there was a conviction in her stance. Gordon ran his eyes up and down her slender frame for a long while, drunkenly sizing her up. After a short while, inexplicably, he turned around and walked away.

I didn't quite know why he did that, but every bit of me wanted to thank Vicky. She was my protector. All I wanted to say was.

"I love you, Vicky Jones."

Vicky was a woman of amazing foresight. Even at the tender age of sixteen, she realized that our days in that hell-hole were numbered. There was a distinct chance Mom would kick us out soon enough based on what her paramour said to her regarding that night's events. Even otherwise, the look he gave Vicky was probably a precursor to something much worse.

I could never have discerned all that from a look, but she could.

So we ran away the next evening. Rather, she threw whatever she could get her hands on into a little suitcase, grabbed me by the arm and dragged me to the bus stop. We boarded the first bus to somewhere. The destination was of secondary importance.

Once aboard, she surprised me again by fishing out a roll of bills from inside her jacket. Our mother and Gordon were hardly the brightest sparks when it came to saving up, but they did maintain a little drug fund to support their habit. Every week, they would buy a few varieties from a small time dealer down the alley and pay him off before the next batch.

I can't imagine him having been thrilled at the late payment.

Vicky knew where the hidden cash would be and managed to take it with her. It was not much, but it was a start. I remember putting my head on her lap as she stroked my neck and told me my favourite lullaby as the bus made its way somewhere.

I fell asleep and dreamt of her for the first time. There was nothing remotely sexual in that dream. It was just us, in a grassy meadow with the clear blue sky above us. She held me in her arms and cuddled me. It was calm, peaceful and serene.

I looked into her eyes and said it once.

"I love you, Vicky Jones."

Whether it was in my dream or not, I can't remember. But I said it and that's all that matters.

* *

New York was an important chapter in our lives. Mr Singh and his wife ran an orphanage off 42nd street. God bless their souls. They were more than happy to take us in when we showed up, shivering from the rain. We had a small corner to ourselves in their shelter. It was more of a home than home had ever been.

It was there that we finally had a semblance of a life. She took night classes and I went to school. I also found my second love in life, music. Don't worry, it never even came close to my first love.

Music was a release for me. When I had a tune in my head, I could forget about the rest of my life. I switched off in class, lost in a whirl of treble clefs and octaves. Everything was music. The sounds of the city, chatter and life. The birds and animals in Central Park. The sounds of cars and trains. It all became part of my "music".

Vicky saw this. Of course, she did. She was tremendously perceptive, much more so when it came to me. One day, when I came back from class, she told me that I could attend night classes at the local open school. How she managed to stitch together the money for it, I could not even begin to fathom. It was a closely guarded secret between her and Mrs Singh.

I hugged her way too tightly when I heard the news. I stood on my bed and clasped my arms around her. In the twelve years of my life till that point, I had never loved anyone else except for my angel and my love for her seemed to be dwarfed by her love for me.

I made sure to lean over and whisper her favourite five words into her ear.

"I love you, Vicky Jones."

School became eminently secondary to my music. I learnt faster than anyone in my class. My teachers were in awe and let me skip a few musical grades to hasten my progress. The notes became a part of me and I began composing some of my own songs by the time I graduated school at eighteen.

By then, she had a semi-stable job as a secretary. I finally left the Singhs' warm embrace and moved into a little flat with her. It was a small, two room establishment in Brooklyn, but it was more than enough for us.

It was also the time when we searched for love outside of the two of us. Till date, I never know why we looked, but we did. I tried dating a girl from my music class and she dove into the late-twenties dating scene. Neither ended well.

My girlfriend said I was always too distracted. My mind was always elsewhere, never at the table with her during our date. She was dead-on. I could not think of anyone I would rather have on the other side of the table than Vicky. Every ounce of my self restraint went into not screaming to the world.

"I love you, Vicky Jones."

Vicky tried again and along came Chad. He seemed like a genuinely nice guy. The relationship seemed to be going well. They went on several dates, each seemingly better than the last. He even had the courtesy to extend his friendship to me. I initially took a liking to him.

He was a young academic with a fresh take on most world issues. His views were as radical as they were captivating. Vicky was smitten by his personality, charm and razor-sharp wit.

The dates became more frequent. Some of them led to overnight stays. This was also the time I developed a strangely irrational hatred towards him. I had no right to be possessive about my sister, but I was. It made absolutely no sense, but then again, love rarely does make sense.

Those nights, when she would go away, I couldn't sleep. I tossed and turned and twisted restlessly in my bed in the hope of somnolence, but my eyes refused to stay shut. Try as I might, I couldn't sleep a wink.

How could I? My angel was not there to stroke my neck and sing me to sleep.

Yes, I was twenty. No, I was not ashamed.

I longed to hold her while I went to sleep and softly remove the hair over her ear so I could lean over and whisper gently.

"I love you, Vicky Jones."

The hatred festered and grew inside me like an alien being. I knew there was no plausible reason for it. I couldn't help this feeling of animosity so strong that I could barely control it. Every time I saw them together, this being reared its ugly head.

They looked so happy and contented together. A voice in some remote recess of my brain told me that my angel was going away. I needed to have her back. By any means necessary.

I had some money from composing hideously tacky jingles for suitably tacky brands. I searched the yellow pages for a PI and found one to my liking. He seemed experienced and discreet. I tasked him with following Chad around. I needed the remotest shred of evidence against him and that would be enough. Just a tiny bit and I could blackmail him into leaving my angel to me and me alone.

A part of me felt horrible for doing this, but a larger part goaded me on. I was ruining a good relationship, but I couldn't go on like that. There would be tears and heartache, mine much more than hers, but in the end she would be back where she belonged, in my embrace.

As it turned out, Chad had a big secret to hide. A secret so big, it took my PI all of one day to find it.

For starters, his name wasn't even Chad. It was Hayden. Hayden Adair. There was also a Mrs Adair. I had detailed documents of marriage registrations, property deeds and also photographs of the happy couple at various cafés.

Suddenly, I didn't feel quite so bad ruining this relationship. I waited until Vicky got home late that night before I showed her what I had gathered. Her eyes grew wide and her face became pale. A few tears crept past her defences, but her grief went beyond tears.

Finally, her dam shattered. She wailed and sobbed hysterically. I tried consoling her, but she would not be consoled. I held her in my arms, but she shook me off violently and kept crying. My heart broke into innumerable pieces seeing her cry. My conscience blamed me for making her cry. She continued all through the night, resisting any efforts at consoling her.

The next morning, she left with a resolute purpose in her stride and a bunch of documents in her hands. An ugly confrontation loomed and I could not be there by her side, as much as I wanted to. I spent the entire day feeling wretched. I knew I did the right thing by saving her from a worse shock later, but that did not change the fact that I made her cry.

I stayed in bed, unable to move. I could not think of any tunes or any notes. My music left in a flood of her tears. I cried too, unable to decide whether I did a good thing or not. I made my angel cry. No sight is as heartbreaking as that.

I tried to distract my mind by writing a song, but failed. The lyrics and tunes simply would not coalesce. My room was littered with crumpled pieces of paper by the time I gave up. Then I crawled back into bed. All I wanted to do was to hold Vicky's face in my hands one more time and tell her the words you are probably sick of reading by now.

"I love you, Vicky Jones."

Warmth and wetness. These feelings registered dimly in my mind. I moved my sleepy head, but the feelings followed me. I woke up, groping in the dark. My hands touched soft, satin skin. My fingers traced out soft cheeks wet with uncountable tears and culminated in the wet lips which caused me to stir.

I blinked and turned my head. The dim moonlight came in through the window and cast half a shadow across my angel's face. A damn tear had made its way half-way down her cheek. I reached out and wiped it away without even thinking.

She gave me a silly, lop-sided smile. In her hand was an empty bottle of cheap vodka. She put the bottle down and brought her face closer to me. Her blue eyes were very close to mine now, her iridescent irises glowing curiously in the slanted moonlight. Her sumptuous lips moved even closer and then parted. My heart forgot to beat and time stood perfectly still as my angel spoke.

"I love you too."

Before my heart could dare to beat again, her lips planted themselves on mine. Her tongue thrust out and plunged into my mouth playing with mine. I wrapped my arm around her head and returned the kiss with an equal passion. My mind was barely aware of what I was doing, but my body seemed to know exactly what to do.

Love is a primal urge which needs no guidance, just freedom.

I kissed her hungrily. Our lips finally parted and I dove down to her breasts. Her succulent nipples felt decadent on my tongue. I wrapped my lips around one and gently flicked it with my tongue, letting the taste sink in. She groaned and pushed my face into her breast.

I kept sucking and licking, switching to the other nipple. She squirmed with pleasure and pulled me on top of her. I greedily moved my lips over her torso, willing myself to devour her whole. I kissed every part of her smooth skin I came across until I reached her pants. She reached down and pulled them off and I saw her flawless pink nether lips. They were lush and spread outwards like a rose in full bloom.

Unable to contain myself, I dove into it. She screamed with pleasure and clamped my head in place. I licked her nectar with an intensity I did not know myself to be capable of. I slurped and licked for an eternity.

There was a frantic urgency, a desperate intensity in our motions. We were like two caged animals, suddenly let loose. I clambered on her and positioned the head of my erection against her orifice. She grabbed my hips and thrust upwards, embedding my entirety into her in one fluid stroke.

My hips reciprocated by plunging downwards, pulverizing her into the mattress. Her arms wrapped around my back and she dug her nails into the skin. Her legs went around my waist and she began lifting her body off the bed with each thrust of mine. I flipped her over. Now she was on top of me, gyrating her hips in sync with me.

The frequency increased until I couldn't hold back any more. I held her tightly and ejected multiple bursts of cum deep into her. Vicky collapsed on top of me. The feeling of our sweaty skins touching was indescribably erotic. She turned to face me and we kissed again. All the love we ever shared went into this kiss, drowning me in the multitude of emotions.

Somewhere in all those emotions, I remembered the one that mattered the most. I said it again.

"I love you, Vicky Jones."

She smiled again and once more, sang me to sleep. The melody from her stuck in my head as I drifted off.

The next morning, I was a man possessed. The night had sparked my muse into producing such a wondrous symphony that I had to get it down on paper before it left me. I drew the notes and then found the lyrics to match. Everything just flowed. It sounded beautiful in my head.

Beautiful, just like my angel who had inspired it.

My agent passed it on to some people and they loved it. The phone did not stop ringing that day as a major label wanted to sign me on. I was going to be part of an emerging singer play list and from there -- the sky was the limit. All that I had endured in my life was finally paying off. I could see the light at the end of the tunnel.

We celebrated it privately. I was initially afraid that she would regret what she did that night with all that vodka in her system, but she didn't. As I always knew, love had no boundaries or types. It was a bond that could bring any two people together, even us.

Vicky and I made love once before we broke open the bubbly. It finished way too soon for us. We made our way down and headed towards the store a few blocks away. I guess we were both a little tipsy, given how we leaned on each other and laughed at nothing. I staggered and stopped in the middle of the road to get my bearings straight when I saw the lights.

Two glowing headlights thundered towards me. My legs turned to jelly, but I remained rooted to the spot in anticipation of my doom. My arms went across my face, bracing for impact. I closed my eyes and, in that moment, wished that I could tell her how much I loved her one more time.

I felt a push, but from the wrong direction. Even as I fell away, I opened my eyes to see Vicky Jones standing where I was a moment ago. That same smile played on her face which was turned in my direction. I couldn't even close my eyes before I heard the sickening splat.

Damn you, Vicky! Who gave you the right to do that? Who gave you the right to decide for the both of us? You think you saved me, but you were wrong. There is no way you can imagine what I felt in that instant and have felt ever since.

I hate you, Vicky Jones. I fucking hate you. You promised me that you would protect me. You promised me that you wouldn't let me cry. You promised me that you wouldn't leave me alone. What happened to all those promises, Vicky? Answer me, Vicky. What happened to all those promises? You lied to me. You lied to your brother. How could you do that?

I hate you, Vicky Jones. I hate you for making me see you die slowly on a hospital bed. I hate you for not being there by my side. I hate you for not being there to sing me to sleep at night. I fucking hate you, Vicky!

I'm sorry for the rant. It's been a while since I took my anti-depressants. Mostly, I can control myself, but there are times when I think of Vicky and I am nothing more than her scared little brother again.

Every time I take one of my pills, the temptation to take the whole bottle is overwhelming. After all, if there is something beyond this life, maybe I will meet Vicky there. But each time I remember that gentle smile on her face even as a car rammed into her side. She went through that pain with a smile so I could live and make more music and I am not going to let that be in vain. So, I will take my regular dose of one pill. Okay, two, because writing this has taken so much out of me.

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byLaRascasse© 20 comments/ 45532 views/ 14 favorites

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