Of the Mesmerising Green Eyes and Lilac Scents
“Of the Mesmerising Green Eyes and Lilac Scents” is one of the outstanding stories of the first biannual International Short Story Contest 2018 written by Nurul Khorina Ilmi, SMP Muhammadiyah 12 GKB Gresik, Indonesia.
Of the Mesmerising Green Eyes and Lilac Scents
The aroma of expensive leather and lavish perfume swirled in the air of the well-lit extravagant hall, making it obvious to whoever dare to step inside from the big, fancy oaken door who are the attendant in this evening gathering. Rich peoples¬—Neat and tidy hair, exotic perfume wafting from their new suits and dresses, jewellery hanging from their neck and gold adorning their smooth fingers—The usual rich people and their bussiness. Or at least that is how the evening gathering would look like to commoners eye.
It’s not. Because the attendant—though, sure are rich—are the mafia. There are plethora of those guys in the outskirts of city, filling the night bar and lurking in dark alleys with suspiscious bussiness.
But what is more suspiscious?
My attendance. If anyone would asked me who am I in the years of my childhood, I would lift my chin with pride and said, "I am the daughter of the Chief." with fascination and adoration filled my large iris, like stardust swirling in the vast night sky that hovers above.
But if, perhaps, anyone want to ask who am I in this few years, I would look distantly, past the hall and the reality I am in to the regretful years I have been through, and then showing a guilty smile, "I dont even know anymore." At this kind of response, usually people I encountered would brush it off as somekind of joke, or laughing awkwardly and step out to have a conversation with another person.
It all started that summer, around four years ago, the beginning of the dark hurricane I am currently trapped in. I would never ever forget about that summer, for there is nothing I would not do to return to that exact moment, to my naive fourteen years old self. My father was inside the building, attending some important business I had no knowledge about. I remember clearly how a large, prideful grin blossomed in my face as I walked around the flower-filled garden with an expensive maroon dress father had bought for my birthday.
It was my first mistake.
Just being in the garden is my first mistake, for it is the place where my eyes locked with a georgeous green, mesmerizing pair of eyes belong to a boy I had never seen before.
"Are you alone here?" my naive fourteen years old self had asked curiously. The boy, who looked no older than seventeen blinked a few times, as if he had just been awakened from his daze.
"ugh, yeah." he coughed as an act to gather himself. "what about you?"
"I think I can use a company" I grinned happily, and began to start a conversation.
My second mistake, is to trust the young boy.
Now that I remembered, it is so ridiculous how easily this boy had gained my trust, when we just met for a few minutes. I remembered how he told me that he was bored out of his mind and decided to take a look around the magnificent garden, and voila! Here he is. That night he had promised me an adventure, and I, foolishly take the devil’s hand that had invited me to his fiery lair. “Come, arent you bored? Let me introduce you to my friends” he held his hand out for me to reach with a persuasive look painted in his face.
I hesitated to interwine my hand with his, since my father had earlier asked me to stay and wait for him. But for a foolish, young, fourteen years old girl who had never been once at life feel the addicting rush of adrenaline, such offer for fun was too tempting. So I, without much care, had take the devil’s hand.
But now, as I sit on my bed, staring absent-mindedly to the city, reminiscing how my messy life begins, I can’t help the loads of ‘What if’s’ that pass through my head. What happen if perhaps I refused to go to the grand ball? Will I never meet the young man? What if I did not choose to take a stroll to the garden? What if.. I didn’t make the deal with the devil? Maybe my life would be one of normalcy, and I can breath in peace, without the haunting thought of whether or not will I be caught by the police tonight, or probably, whether or not I can live to see the sunrise tomorrow filled my head.
My biggest mistake, I decide, is the fourth mistake.
He had taken me to a dark, looming building a few block behind the place the meeting was in. It was frightening, but when I glance sideway look at my companion’s face, I was only greeted with a lop-sided smirk and an ephemeral glint in his eyes. It was only a few years later that I realized what had shone in his eyes that night—malice. That night, without a doubt, was my biggest mistake. The place he had bring me to, in fact, wass a drug party. The rest of the year had been a blur, my memories are hazy from the fog of despair and pain I had endured.
Though, I remember clearly that one night I almost gave in to despair and end my life. I had lost a lot amount of money trying to satisfy my craving for the illegal substance, and soon, I had found no more money in my saving. I was just sixteen at that time. A young, despair soul. So, to pay for my debt, I, once again, reach out for the devil. That time though, the devil did not take the shape of a young man. Instead, the devil I encountered was dressed in an expensive designer dress, and a scent of lilac radiating from her body. She had held out her hand for me to take, and that’s how I got in to the mafia—my fourth mistake that lead me to such a filthy, sinful business.
It’s been two years, and I can literally feel the claws of sin wrapped itself around my neck, suffocating me with loads of guilt that had accumulated along with the flow of time. It feels like I can’t breath, I can’t eat, I can’t sleep, and a simple thing like waking up feel like the most difficult thing to do. It was when my phone rang, I am fully awake.
It’s a message, from my father. Once again guilt hit me like a truck—I had never once tell them about my mistakes. ‘Good Morning, angel. I love you, remember that’ it reads, with a smiley face at the end.
It is only at times like this, when I feel like I can breath in peace—even though it is only temporary—because I know, at the end of the day, my parents would still love me the same, despite who am I, and what I have done. Because in their eyes, I will remain as a daughter they love—and that, if possible makes the guilt I felt doubled to infinity.
And now, after a long time, if anyone would ask me who am I, I would smile pridefully once again—because atleast I know, I have someone to wait for me.
“Who are you?”
“I am the daughter of my parents. I am simply.. me”
My father came today. There was a look of longing, of concern in his old face—of unanswered question. He talked quite a lot, maybe, as a way to calm himself or to prolong the discussion—either way, I am quite relieved. But abruptly, he stopped talking and sealed his mouth shut. He looked at my eyes, a look that held love and care for his only daughter. I was afraid for a moment that my facade would break into shreds.
"Tell me what is wrong, my child. You seem troubled." he inquired, holding my hands tenderly, as if I was a porcelain doll—dainty and fragile.
"You are growing thinner, and paler " This is it, I should tell him. I beg whoever god listening, please give me strength.
"Im afraid, father" I finally relents, barely managed to choke out the words that had been stuck in my throat for years that feels like an eternity.
"Of what?" his eyebrow furrows deeply, and I could see a fleeting look of suspiscion in his aging brown eyes.
"Myself." I whispered, then we both fall silent. There are so many thing I would want to tell him.
"Find her," I wanted to say, but no words slip past my lips. "please."
please, find the girl who was once innocent—the girl clad in a georgeous maroon dress, twirling happily in the garden with plethora of flowers.The girl who knows nothing of the devil, of the mesmerizing green eyes and the wafting lilac scents.