Kaptain's Blog

The writings and musings of The Kaptain

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Through The Godless Hours (56)

Apart from the odd twitch, Detective Adi had stopped shaking when he pulled up outside his apartment block. Half falling from the battered vehicle, he turned to kick shut the door that was flapping open, before feeling his way around the front of the car to cross the uneven pavement. During the early part of his flight from Sate Blora, Adi’s first instinct had been to make a beeline for Endang’s, to seek Lulu’s comfort, confessing everything. He needed her endorsement of his actions; craved, in fact, her recognition of his bravery. For Adi had a growing sense that he had precipitated a set of circumstances that were quickly escalating beyond his control. He needed reassuring, fast. But on glancing at his reflection in the rear view mirror as he neared the fork in the road he would need to take, Adi had chosen instead to return home directly. There was no way his pride was going to allow her to see him in this condition.

Wearily, he climbed the four flights of stairs to the door of his modest rooms, wincing at each step. The sounds of a family from the floor above echoed through the fusty stairwell, reminding him of the simpler life he had once lived, of domesticity. Falling through the door he flopped instantly on to the bed, undoing his belt while kicking off his shoes, untidily. Then taking a deep breath, he pulled up his knees to slip off his trousers, which he threw tetchily into a corner of the room. Realising his moment of weakness, Adi then closed his eyes for a second, to pause for reflection. But the horror of his encounter with the Captain was swift to return, taunting him. Abruptly, the young Detective sat up. And in addition to his annoyance at this intrusion, there was something else that had begun nagging at him, which for the moment refused to surface. What is it? he frowned, with little expectation of a reply. I’ve got to see her, he suddenly determined, now deflecting his confusion through a device called distraction. Reaching gingerly down to retrieve his chinos, he smartly relieved them of his cell-phone and wallet, inside which he knew he had previously slipped Lulu’s calling card.

After three rings, she answered with a purr: “Hello, this Lulu. Dari mana?Who is it? “It’s me, sayang. Adi. The Detective. Remember?” There was a short pause before: “Ah… Lulu remember. Hello, sayangku. You want come here?” “No, Lulu. Look – I need you to come here, to my apartment. Need you to come now. Right now. Something’s happened. Please. I need you.” “What happen, handsome boy?” Lulu then asked, becoming concerned. “I’ve had a… Look – I’ll tell you when you get here. Can you come now? Please?” “I try,” she replied. “If boss let me leave for while, I come there.” Spelling out his address, Adi instructed her to take a taxi, the cost of which he promised to reimburse. He then put the door to his apartment on the latch, and ran a bath in which he aimed to soak away the pain, and try to forget.

It was a little over an hour later that Lulu pushed open the door and cautiously entered. “Sayang?” she called out, softly, into the stillness. Hearing nothing in response she began to grow afraid, shivering suddenly at whatever it was that was spooking her. For earlier, she had detected fear in Adi’s tone, and now the silence of the room added to the mystery of his plea for her presence. Slowly, she moved past the bed, noticing the discarded clothes that were strewn all about the place. The lack of care did not match, somehow, the profile of the man she was coming to know. Reaching the other side of the room, she could smell the perfume that wafted through the door. Lulu realised at once that it led to the bathroom. Taking a deep breath before pushing it open, she took a cautious step forward.

“Oh, my poor baby,” was all she could gasp, on seeing her lover’s slumbering face. For Adi’s face and body were etched with the scars of battle. His eyes looked puffy and the bridge of his nose was split horizontally. Scratch marks adorned the circumference of his neck, while liberal bruising played havoc all across his torso. The young Detective began to stir as the pretty girl then began dabbing at his body with a sponge. “What happen, sayang?” she quizzed him, through her tears…

Inside the Timor, the rest of the journey had passed in silence, with each of the three men alone with his thoughts. The General was turning things over in his mind, thinking with some urgency. Not about his elder son’s impending confession, but rather what he would be saying to the Chief of Police – a longstanding friend who would no doubt assist him in covering up the mess that had unfolded, back at the restaurant. Yudi, meanwhile, was beginning to wonder what had happened to the rest of the family – the women they had left behind at Sate Blora, and his two young boys. Reaching into his pocket he pulled out his cell-phone, to dial his wife.

Captain Farid’s mind, meanwhile, was abuzz with a myriad contemplations: his soul consumed by guilt and fear. Dare I tell… everything? he pondered. No. Impossible. He could not imagine there would be any chance of forgiveness, were he to reveal all. And yet he knew, as a clarity that had long been absent returned to him, that his father was right: that to conceal any detail, leave anything unsaid, would maintain the spell that had been cast upon him, lengthening the term of his mental imprisonment. I must rid myself of everything that has infected me, he now determined, urging himself to bite the bullet, to resist the urge to back down. For one last time, the Captain then steeled himself for what he sensed would prove the greatest challenge of his life. And right now he was far from confident. Twitchy, even.

posted by Kirk at 9:20 am  

1 Comment »

  1. Can you tell me who did your layout? I’ve been looking for one kind of like yours. Thank you.

    Comment by Eric Lee — June 25, 2008 @ 9:33 am

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a comment

Powered by WordPress