Opposite Cults
By Deandre Sanchez
Date: October 4, 2016
Ch. 55

“She knew you were coming?”
“Yes, she gave me the house number.”
“Ah, I see. Well, she is inside.”
“I presumed. She was always fascinated by kitchens even when she was a child.”
He laughed. Beckoning her in, he closed the door behind.
Maira made her way into the kitchen which was smaller than the living room. The floor was lined with small slabs of white marble and the walls around were colored in beige. The kitchen paraphernalia hung upon steel holders that clung to the wall.
Maira found Emily in front of an electric stove cooking sausages in a frying pan.
“Emily!” she shouted, her voice ecstatic.
Emily turned and hugged her. “Maira, how good to see you. I hope you did not have difficulty finding your way here.”
“Of course not. This is not such a big town to lose your way, Emily. Your house was easy to find, alright.”
“Good, why don’t you go outside and have a seat? I will just finish with these sausages and be right there.”
“No!” Maira replied, shaking her head. “Your husband is too formal. You have married a serious type.”
Emily sobered for an instant, at first hesitating whether she should tell Maira about her husband but then Maira was her best friend. She was always her playmate although she was much more silent and a follower of rules. Emily, she was the only one who schemed and defied and although she did not remember much of what had exactly transpired, she knew something bad had come of it.
Emily did not want to get reminded more of her blurry past. Save for the dream she had had a few moments ago, she had no recollection of her past. Whenever she tried to delve into her memories, which she had to when people asked, she found a wall but after today morning, she felt a part of her breaking inside, like a dam overflowing with water unable to bear its pressure.
“My husband lost most of himself when his first wife died thirty years ago. When I found him, he was sitting alone on a bench in the church, sobbing and crying.” Emily said, her voice having a sad tinge.
“Your husband was married?” asked Maira, her mouth gaping open.
“Why? Is it that hard to believe? He might look serious to you but I believe, in him still lies his inner self and with me around, he tries hard to cull his sober side. Many times he does succeed. He becomes himself around me. He loves me, maybe not as much as his first wife, but he does in his own way. And I love him too.”
“How romantic! Tell me everything. How you met? How you fell in love? When did you marry?” said Maira in her usual girly self.
Emily smiled. She remembered. Maira had been always this happy go lucky type. She was bubbly and cheerful and mostly, she was blunt. She would say anything to anybody’s face if she felt that she should. She was not scared of that but she did not go about breaking rules. It was not Maira who was a brat, it was her – Emily.
“Enough with the questions already. You have lots to tell me too, you know. You now know I am married and all but I still do not know anything about you.”
Maira giggled. “I asked first and you would do better to answer me first. Do that and I will tell you the story of me, Maira!”
Emily smiled. There was no getting around her.
He sat on the couch listening to the giggles and chatters of his wife and her friend. He shook his head in exasperation.
“Women!” he uttered under his breath.
Trying to get away from the girly exchanges in his kitchen, he made his way out of the door and passed through his garden to the swing he had had constructed when they had first moved in.
He had let her go years back when he had met Emily at the church but letting her go had consequences. Something had happened to him. Not only his memories of his first wife had disappeared but he had lost half of himself. What was left was a body with little memories. But he had not forgotten the swing. The swing had been Natalia’s favorite and he was not letting it go.
He sat upon the swing and pushing his legs hard on the ground, the swing began to sway, slowly at first and then faster.
A cool breeze gusted in and smote his face driving back his wavy hair.
His head started to feel a dull throbbing and he felt a crack appear in his mind. And then, memories started flooding his mind.
Soon after the encounter with the old man whose words seemed very wise to him, he reached the Church.
It was an ordinary Wednesday and there was but little crowd at that place. His hallucinations had stopped for the time being but he thought the Church would be the safest spot. At least God would see to it that in his sanctum, his mind would find solace and would stop from its path of insanity.
The old man’s words began to reverberate in his mind, they telling him to let her go. He had spoken of souls and imprints and true love and emotions. But he had scarcely listened. How could he? In that state, the only part of his mind willing to listen to him was the part telling him that Natalia was not real, that she was a ghost and that part agreed with the old man but most of him had blocked away the wisdom in favor of the belief that his true love might yet come back, the hope that God would return her to him, the expectation that God would finally right the injustice.
But all his hopes, his desires had failed to deliver. They felt washed away seemingly with cold water.
Despite the fact that God had failed to serve justice to him, he still believed that the sanctum of God would protect him.
He scrambled across the stony pathway that led to the church. Gardens surrounded it on either side, the pots blooming with flowers of myriad colors. The gravel crackled as he ran across, his brow sweating as he did.
Soon he reached the wooden gate and pushing it open, he ran through. His breath became heavier and he felt weary. A guardsman hailed him from afar waving his hands but Roger, oblivious to him, did not notice his greeting. He had eyes only for that huge lone building that stood at the center.
It was said that this Church was built during the medieval ages. There were carvings so extrinsic that it always left the people awed. But he, Roger, had seen it many times and in the present state of his, he cared neither for the beautiful carvings nor for the man who was waving. Fearing he would also turn into his dead wife, he shunned him even though if he had taken a closer look he might have even known him.
The bells rang inside the Church and despite the hour of the day, the great hall lay empty before him. Several benches were assembled together in three rows set beside each other, a small gap between either of them.

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