Thursday, September 6, 2012

C.N. - chapter 44

Note: I, the co-author had changed the color of the bomber's suit from black to pink, to fit the scene.

From a bird's eye view, I bet it looked as if the backyard of Theo's house had become a roosting ground for flamingos on the day of Selene's enormous birthday party. Everywhere there was pink. The women were dressed in pink dresses of various tones of the color, and the men were all in hot pink tuxedos. I didn't even know tuxedos come in the color of hot pink, and apparently neither did many of the guests at the party, many of them wore awkward expressions on their faces and their cheeks were flushed pink, just like their dresses and suits. There was so much pink, as a matter of fact, that Heathcliff nearly became blind for a few moments; he had knocked over a punch bowl and table, yelling, 'I'm blind! I'm blind, I see only pink!'
All the food and drinks were pink too, but tasted like what they are, including the pink vegetables. Boy, had food coloring technology gotten advanced these days!
Heathcliff had decided that we've had enough of being in a crowd of pink after going temporarily pink visioned, so with him leading the way and bumping into a lot of people, we made out way to the edge of the crowd of guests and waiters and security officers (who were dressed in pink too, including the signature sunglasses, also colored pink) to get some air. Heathcliff was quite downcast as he had a half-full bottle of champagne in one hand and was periodically taking swings from the bottle. Although I don't think the champagne was alcoholic, Heathcliff was flushed in his face and looked intoxicated.
Selene had not yet emerged from the house and Kyle was in there with her. The rest of us were all told carefully about what will happen once Selene comes out from the main doors; there will be a mighty explosion of fireworks, balloons and confetti (all pink, which led me to worry about Heathcliff, who might become blinded again) and we are to launch into a rehearsed version of Happy Birthday. The event planner had told us that the fireworks will be quite loud, so we ought to brace ourselves for major sonic waves assaulting our ear drums. I wasn't too anxious, because I had gone to the local Fourth of July celebration every year in Danforth County, and no firework or firecracker could get any louder than the ones back home. Danforth County is famous for its wineries like Kyle said, its fight clubs and lastly, the fireworks factories.
As Heathcliff and I stood on the fringe of the pink crowd, him slipping his champagne and me looking around, I noticed that he kept looking in a particular direction towards the house. I stared hard enough and saw a patch of green in the distance midst the pink, I recognized the green belonging to Theo's dress; she was the only one not wearing pink on this occasion, and she was chatting with a slightly taller young man in a pink tuxedo just like us two. I looked back to Heathcliff and saw a sadness in his eyes; an irresistible Prince Charming kind of sadness.
'What's bothering you?' I asked with friendly intentions.
Heathcliff looked at me bearing a forlorn expression, he sighed and said, 'I have been deep in thought, and these thoughts that come across me such days are largely unpleasant ones.'
'What kind of thoughts?' I was interested. I had been under the impression that Heathcliff may be slightly insane, but he was a confident and undaunted man, the expression on his face at that time was not of either those things.
'I have been thinking, thinking deeply regarding the subject of love, you see. I have been thinking, thinking of this marvelous feeling, this jubilation of the mind and heart. I have been thinking, how wonderful this love, yet how tragic. You see, here's to tragedy, when love put forth comes to vain, when love goes forth not returned, when love ventured not accepted. Here's to tragedy indeed, I loved and received no love, I poured out my heart into ocean, not earth, I loved, but is not loved. You know who I'm talking about, right?' Heathcliff concluded his little monologue of poetry.
'I think I do.' I said, 'You should write that down, what you just said, it was very nice.'
'Thank you, my good man, but I prefer to drown in my sorrow in silence, maybe then Theo will come to me.'
'If you drown in your sorrows silently, how will she know you're drowning in sorrows?'
'You do not understand the fruits silence brings to one who conceals?' Heathcliff lowered his voice to a whisper, 'Silence, oh mysterious silence is what draws people to you.'
'You weren't very silent when I first met you.' I pointed out.
'Yes, that was then, this is now, tactics must change.'
'I see, and what happens if silence does not work?'
'IT HAS TO!' Heathcliff shouted, and heads around us all turned, 'he lowered his voice back down to a whisper and said, 'If silence does not work, I will die a tragic and broken death from that third floor balcony.' Heathcliff pointed to a third floor balcony of Theo's house.
'You mean suicide? But suicide is terrible, only people who have given up everything commits suicide!' I exclaimed. It's not possible, Heathcliff could not suicide, he's too handsome to lay himself to waste like that!
'I will have given up on everything by then, my heart will be in pieces each the size of subatomic particles no one can possibly fix, I will have nothing to live for, if my dear Theodora does not accept me!' Heathcliff sighed for the countless time.
'How about finding someone other than Theo as the love of your life?' I suggested.
'Impossible!' Heathcliff said dismissively, 'There is no other!'
'I can introduce you to a friend of mine who is also looking for the love of her life, her name is Louise.' I said, 'There's no point not to try, and even if it doesn't work out, you'll have another friend from my part of the country and another family to lodge with whenever you visit Danforth County in case my house is full, because the hotels where I come from aren't cheap, they always know how to rip off travelers.'
'Haven't you forgotten? I will have lost all will to live by then.' Heathcliff reminded me morosely.
'Like I said, no point not to try.'
'You sound suspiciously like a matchmaker, what does a simply country boy like you know about such deep matters as love?' Heathcliff's eyes narrowed.
'Because like you, I had the same experience back when I was in grade school.' I said, it was a good story and I remembered it vividly.
'What do you-' Heathcliff's eyes widened in surprise but he didn't get to finish his sentence, because at that moment the ground shook and a thunderous crack erupted from the direction of the house. I assumed it was the fireworks, so I started singing, 'Happy birthday to you...' and realized everyone else was on the ground, covering their heads and screaming. I was the only one standing and I saw that a part of Theo's house was going up in smokes.
A man (in pink like everyone else) with a briefcase in one hand was also on his feet, emerging from the smoke blowing from the house, he was running as fast as his leg could carry him across the sea of pink bodies and chanting, or shouting something rather unintelligible as he ran.
I recognized that very possibly, the man was in shock. I guess the fireworks had exploded accidentally inside the house, and the man was probably the firework handler, suffering a mental meltdown from the blast. The scenario was made evident by the incoherent speech he was blabbering as he fled, which also sounded a little like a Middle Eastern language.
If the startled man kept running like that, he might suffer cardiac arrest like some folks back home after heavy drinking at the bar followed by a mad rampage (exactly like what the man was doing). I had to go after him and calm him down, because it looked like no one else was going to do it; some of the security guys were running after him, but they were rather slow and the rampaging man was quick as a rabbit, and Theo was chasing him too.
If there was ever a good simile to describe how fast I can run when I put my mind to it, it would be that I ran like Forrest Gump. Like Forrest, I could 'run like the wind', and like him, I also got to play football because of how quick I was. So I was bounding across the field, after the rampaging man suffering from shock, sprinting past Theo and the security guards, humming Chariots of Fire, the tune I always hum when I run.
Soon, I was fifty paces, twenty paces, and then five paces behind the running man, he looked back and the look on his face was nothing short of disbelief. With another burst of energy I pumped my arms up and leaped into the air at the man just in front of me. It happened in slow motion.
In the next second I had fly tackled the man to the ground, not realizing that there was a garden hose nozzle in the ground, which connected with the man's forehead when he hit the grass and knocked him out cold. The fly tackle was the best method to stop and restrain a rampaging person, I had learned this from dad, who incorporated this move at the fight club too.
The security guys caught up to where I lay sprawled with the man still under me. Their mouths were all open, just like my high school football coach when he saw me racing the school bus (I had missed the bus that day).

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