Kaptain's Blog

The writings and musings of The Kaptain

Monday, October 20, 2008

Through The Godless Hours (76)

Detective Adi had been lucky to avoid the collision that seemed, for a moment, inevitable. Running a red across such a large interchange was not exactly the brightest idea he had ever conceived, but he needed to get to Endang’s, and fast. Standing on the brakes, the young man had actually closed his eyes when nearing the point of impact only to find, miraculously, that his battered Toyota had somehow managed to stop just before T-boning the big red-and-white elpigi tanker crossing in front of him. Now stationary, stranded in the middle of the junction and with cars streaming around him front and back, the young Detective slapped the steering wheel, angrily. Idiot, he thought to himself. That was a crazy fucking risk to take. Must’ve been a matter of millimetres.

Now accelerating as the lights changed once more, Adi sped down the wide boulevard ahead of him, his face a crimson mask. Take it easy, he coached himself, trying to shake off his embarrassment. It’s been a fucking awful day as it is, without smashing up the car… “Just be honest with her,” he suddenly said aloud, while giving himself a reassuring glance in the rearview mirror. Then easing into a steadier driving rhythm, the Detective began to form in his mind some of the key messages he would deliver to Lulu. The girl for whom, he now realised, he had fallen. Totally. Now that we’ve met, those days are over… I’ll take you away from this place… To come and live with me… he mused. But then, as he reflected upon the significant change in lifestyle this would require, he questioned momentarily whether he was genuinely capable of giving up the thrill each of his daily encounters currently delivered. But why am I making this journey, then? If I won’t be able to accept the change? he further challenged himself. No – she’s the one. I know it.

And it was as these reflections were floating in and out of his mind that he turned into the street on which Endang’s was situated, his reverie suddenly shattered by what he instantly saw. For there it was. Directly outside the place. Captain Farid’s army issue Timor. Fuck! he reeled. Not again, please… Not today… Running up his spine, a shiver caught hold of him, causing the car to swerve, its hubcap scraping the high kerbstone. Shit! I’m not ready for this, he now thought. But Adi knew that it would be impossible for him to back down: he just had to get the girl. And then it dawned on him: is that why the bastard’s here? For Lulu? Maybe: if he’s made the connection, he surmised.

Frantically, he kicked open his door, leaving it swinging wildly as he clambered out and sprinted into the lobby of the building, wincing with every movement. Too late to make it into the lift, the Detective watched while its level indicator flashed up through the floors – 5, 6, 7, – before reaching the top. It seemed to stay there an eternity until at last beginning its descent, the doors finally opening to permit his entry after what felt like a significant interval. Adi quickly pressed the button marked ‘6’ before hammering repeatedly on another that read ‘Tutup’; the doors eventually closing after what seemed an interminable delay. Taking a number of deep breaths, the young Detective then instinctively patted the place where his holster should have been, feeling instead just the fabric of his trousers. Fuck!

As the doors slowly opened on to the sixth floor with a mechanical wheeze, Adi emerged cautiously and turned left, to enter the snaking corridor that led into the bowels of the brothel. Pitch dark almost immediately, he stopped for a moment in the vain hope that his eyes would acclimatise to the brevity of light. And that was the moment he heard it. A shuffling sound. And something else. The sound of… whimpering, perhaps? It was clear to Detective Adi that there was someone else along the corridor. Nervously, he crept forward, making sure he made as little sound as possible. The noises from the other person, meanwhile, increased in volume. Whoever it was, he or she was coming Adi’s way.

Suddenly, something careened into the wall ahead, just at a bend in the passageway. And now the sobbing was clearly audible, along with some unintelligible murmurings. The vocalisations were clearly those of a man… and it was not too long before Adi came to realise which man…

It was over in an instant. They brushed shoulders – the military man barely noticing the presence of someone else in the corridor. Adi stood stock still as the feral-like wailings tailed off behind him, before resuming his path towards the reception area and, ultimately, Lulu. For a moment, he wondered whether he might have challenged the Captain, in case something terrible had happened to the girl. But somehow, he sensed that he had been listening to the rantings of a defeated man, that the ordeal was coming to an end, in victory. Pressing on, he returned his thoughts to what he was going to say to the object of his desire: the girl who now dominated his heart.

posted by Kirk at 5:36 am  

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