Largesse

20 min read

Prologue

It has been two hours, the wheels roll on the dusty asphalt road while silence sits with the three riders. The car shines deep blue. It is two weeks old, a Volkswagen. Noah is seated at the back, he can smell the fresh leather. His brother hasn’t removed the plastic from the seat.

It was a late birthday gift from his mother to his brother Dorjee.

Englamith is lost in her own thoughts. She sits quietly, shotgun. Her hands are shaking and she has been sweating a lot this afternoon. Her first born is fuming beside her. Dorjee cannot hide his emotions, it is well known.

The Truth. Englamith fears someday he might break away.

The Truth. Noah decided to hide it while he responds to his birth name Tashi.

It is February and usually, it is the time of the year where you cannot predict the weather. Today the sun shines full and warm but Noah has his jacket on.

There is a photograph in his hand, sepia and worn out.

Today something is different, Noah wasn’t welcomed with open arms. His brother didn’t make fun of his chubby cheeks.

Last week he had strange dreams of falling. Yesterday his body was aching with a high fever when he received a call from his mother. She was calm but he could sense the scream hiding under her calm voice. He asked twice if she was okay. But she answered vaguely.

“Come, I need to tell you something” Englamith had told her son.

It had hardly been a few weeks he had returned to resume his college classes when he was called urgently back home.

He was handed a childhood photograph when he asked the reason for this urgency.

Noah questioned himself had he done anything? He is an introspective son of Englamith and he doesn’t like to annoy his mother but he also doesn’t like not knowing.

He looks at the old photograph of a baby in the cradle. The sepia-tinted picture has two infants. One of which is in the cradle and the other one is with youthful Englamith.

It was an old photograph which his late father had clicked. He had seen it before but without the other child in the cradle.

He is thinking whether the child in the cradle or the one with his mother is him. One thing is decoded from the picture, that they were twins. A twist of fate is melodramatic for the literature undergraduate Noah.

The silence spreads like an unwanted guest.

He can see Englamith drinking water incessantly. He wants to ask if he had had another brother or a sister but he feels the awkward tension in the air.

Englamith doesn’t want to face Dorjee whose temper has been rising since morning. He had broken two flower vases at home. She watches the blue mountain from the window separated by the green Teesta. How insignificant it makes her feel, the enormous green trees create an illusion of being blue. She had always wondered about the names of those trees as a child. She feels like returning to those days when she played around her mud house with her sister Bom Tsering. How ignorant she had been of nature. She wishes that the mountains would just open up and swallow her whole. Her eyes reach the foothills where the green Teesta is flowing obediently down its course and meeting the land. She wants to measure its depth. Such reckless thoughts she has allowed nestling inside her head. She invites those peculiar thoughts because today she doesn’t want to think about him. She had been living with two sons all her life. The third one was always a stranger. She finds it difficult to breathe and cannot shrug off the thoughts of him today.

Dorjee can sense how uneasy his mother is beside him. Of course, the pain is greater for her, he thinks. He softens and the car runs smoothly at a  slower pace.

” I am asking you something, mother? Who is the other child?”

Noah’s voice is calm but no more gentle.

It was always Dorjee who had an aggressive tone. He always fought with his mother and differed in opinion about almost anything and because of this,  Noah never raised his voice. He was always the peacemaker between them, a pacifier. Today everything is different.

Englamith is quiet. Her eyes are dry but her fingers run over her trembling lips. She is nervous today and Noah doesn’t know why she is acting this weird. He has never seen his mother this shaken.

He adores his mother because he cannot remember his father’s face and she was always a poised lady amidst all adversities.  Today everything is changing.

The sun hides behind the blue mountain. A shadow falls on the valley making the road dark and pensive. The road turns into stranger alleys.

Noah’s fever has returned. He is cold yet sweating. Something had happened yesterday evening before he took that call from his mother. He fainted in his dormitory.

When he woke up he had this peculiar urge to cry and he did in front of the first-year junior boys.

He is glad he is in his hometown. The dorm boys must have stories to tell.

Like yesterday evening, this moment Noah has an urge to cry. He is looking for reasons why it is so. He feels lost and hollow. All his questions fall upon deaf ears, he watches the picture with mixed emotions.

His chest rise with deep pain which isn’t physical. He bites his lips to stop himself from crying.

In these twenty minutes, he has made up stories about his twin. He is sticking with one. He believes his twin was a boy and today he would meet him.

He believes it to be a brother because his heart tells him so.

They pass through a bottleneck road with a wide ivory milestone that reads “Dhil Jhora” in bold black letters in English and Devanagari script.

He has heard this name before. He is trying to remember where and when.

He remembers Englamith mentioning this name. It was her village where she grew up but He was never allowed to meet her family.

Why today?

Even his maternal family never asked about him. Now he wonders why his mother never spoke a full sentence without meeting his gaze about this village. They cross a bridge over a shallow river. The wind has turned chilly. The car suddenly stops near a big stone wall. The white wall has maroon letters drawn into it. Each script embossed on the white coarse wall is a work of art like you want to wait for these letters to move. In this pursuit, you wait for eternity to pass.

They can hear the bells and lama chanting mantras.

Somewhere faintly a woman’s wailing is heard.

Noah can see his mother clutching her seat tightly which tells him this is where the answer lies. Though with immense difficulty she is the first one to come out of the car. Dorjee watches his mother. His rage softens to pity. His puffed chest rises and falls with emotion unbeknownst to Noah.

Englamith is a poised woman in her late forties. She wears a neatly draped indigo saree around her hourglass body. She hates jewellery but she never parts with the gold band that’s been on the middle finger of her right hand for over two decades. It is the only thing other than her sons that reminds her of her late husband.

She wipes the sweat off her face with the edge of her saree’s anchal.

She has to climb the sixty-two stone stairs, she remembers the count very well.

Noah watches from the car window at the massive architectural beauty. The stone wall is almost ten feet high and it looks more like a Buddhist monastery with dancing deities and demons embossed on the wall with gold, red and a hint of black. He could see the flag flapping against the wind. He comes out of the car to smell the incense. A cold chill passes through his chest. The mantras become louder and so does the woman’s wailing.

Englamith ascends the narrow white stairs with her head bowed. At the top of the stairs, half of the village is gathered to welcome her with sad eyes.

Englamith can smell the incense in the air, her leg is becoming a stone heavier as she ascends each step. Her chest burns, eyes moisten and throat aches, she has held her voice for many years, they are all seeping out. She puts her hand on the wall, the stone wall that is somehow different today. This is where she grew up with her sister.

There are tales that she thought was forgotten resurfacing.  She once had pushed her sister down these very stairs. Her mother had punished both of them with nettle leaves.

She can hear her sister screaming, now. She wants to tell her she deserved it but what about him.

As she reaches the top, her face becomes calmer. She can hide all her emotions with a smile and she turns with a namaste to the old wives of the village.

They greet her with sad eyes and pitiful humming voices.

She can see the house is crowded with strangers hustling here and there. In the middle of the ground, a group of about seven bald lamas chant mantras in their gold and maroon attire.

There is a white corpse laid in the middle and a photo above on the table with incense burning on either side. They hadn’t placed him upright. The Buddhist corpse is placed in an upright position with legs folded like the Buddha in meditation. Bom Tsering did not want to break her son. She was waiting for Englamith for her permission as if the dead son was suddenly Englaminth’s.

Tsering has the permission of the liberal Lamas.

Englamith is panting with grief and exhaustion but her face betrays no emotion, only a smile and namaste to everyone around. She cannot identify the sea of faces in front of her. They all look the same to her.

She decides to look away from the corpse. She isn’t ready.

Somebody has just informed the lady, mourning, inside the house, about the sudden appearance of her sister.

Englamith sits on the wooden floor of the verandah and turns her head away from the white corpse that is her own flesh and blood.

She can only hear the constant gibberish utterance of the mantras by lamas. Her mind is somewhere lost, far from reality.

Her sister Bom Tsering is a plump lady, she has unkempt hair and a swollen face.

She comes sobbing beside her sister with hands joined humbly and falls at her sister’s feet.

“Ai, Maaf” she cries.

Englamith doesn’t look at her sister. Her eyes are dry. She turns away to face the feet of the corpse. The feet are pale white. She turns around to face the crowd. They all watch her waiting for her to break down. Waiting for the chance to console. She remains adamant. She can see the squash vines. They have made a new roof for it. It is not the same squash she had seen decades ago. Her head turns to see the white altar that her mother had prepared so that she could pray to the lost ancestors.

She looks around to see the mud walls of the house have been replaced by wood and bricks. Her sister has added two more storeys to the house.

This is no more the house that belonged to her mother. It entirely belongs to her sister just like her second born son who is lying on that very ground.

“Maafi, Ai,” Bom Tsering cries holding her feet.

Just then her brother in law joins his wife at Englamiths feet. He tries to beat himself with Englaminth’s sandals. This act of humiliation is instantly put to a  stop by the nearby neighbours. They all curl around Englamith’s feet to free the couple from grief. They pull away the mourning couple who beat their chests.

Englamith nearly smirks at the act as her lashes turn heavy, a pungent feeling rises inside her throat. She swallows it anyway.

The neighbours watch coldly at Englamith who doesn’t give any air of being shaken. How vain they presume her character to be. Drunk in her wealth and prestige, how cruel and bitter.

They cannot sympathise that she has every right to be bitter or sour.

By now Dorjee is in view. He walks staggering near his brother’s corpse. He kneels and touches his brother’s cold feet. The boy under the white shroud is young, only two decades old. He looks similar to Noah yet different somehow.

He cups his brother’s face with his warm hand and kisses his forehead.

“Bhai” Dorjee’s voice is faint, a whisper. He bites his fist and weeps. “My brother, wake up” cries he.

Samden, is paper white, as the cotton balls inserted inside his nostrils. His youth was frozen with his age. Such a handsome face with prominent cheekbones. His throat is long. He looks like he is sleeping. His black long hair flows around his head to his shoulder. He is buried in the heap of creamy khadas. His lips are blue. His skin is cold porcelain and the veins on the hands, a deep blue. There is a tattoo inscribed on his dorsal side of the hand that reads “SS”

Somebody has found Samden’s old tape recorder and pressed its play button. A piece of melodious indie music is heard. Samden sings softly, with his guitar. The song is about how death will free himself from the loss of reality.

Bom Tsering weeps loudly.

Samden Ongyal Lepcha had talents.

For a while, the lamas stop the chanting. They see a tall boy in front of them that looks exactly like the boy lying on the floor. He looks similar yet somehow different. He has short hair and a round face compared to the dead boy. His cheeks are fuller. His face is round. He is full of life with a broad built. The one on the ground is paler, with dark hair, skinny and dead.

Noah watches the photo in front of him, then the corpse beneath. He can see Dorjee caressing the dead brother. The song doesn’t stop. It is considered blasphemous in the house of mourning. Almost everyone starts searching for the tape recorder. Englamith smiles with teary eyes. Her son was indeed very talented.

Noah looks at his mother quietly sitting at the verandah floor with her eyes blankly staring at the feet of the corpse. The song has ended and there is a new song. It has a youthful rhythm.

Someone found the recorder and decided to put a stop to the music.

The village grandmas gather around Englamith and demand her to shed tears but she is adamant not to show weakness. “Cry my child, you must cry,” they tell her as they wipe the invisible tears away from her face.

The evening sky has a faint blue glare and the cricket and cicadas immune to this cold weather are making a noise. It is too early for the cold February evening. The incense smells strange to Noah. His head spins. The lamas resume their chanting. Dorjee wails louder and the face keeps his silence with him. There are a voice and emotion stuck in the throat of Noah, he finds himself nauseated and soon he limps away and pukes on the nearby wall.

Englamith turns to her sister and takes her into her embrace and pats her head while the latter sobs bitterly.

Forgiveness is a sad and strange word.

……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

If twenty-nine-year-old Englamith had known she would have to attend the funeral of her second born, she wouldn’t have parted with him in the first place. She would keep him safe with her. She would do anything to change the course of time.

Englamith was born to change. Her father had told her so.

Her mother who was his second wife was a beautiful but stern lady. He had left his family to be with her.

Englamith was born when the land they were living was under a siege. They had travelled a long way from the village to this land and built a house in the mountains. She had heard stories of mountain bears and yetis. When Englamith was ten she told her father she had a dream of an earthquake that separated the land from the living and the dead.

That day her father suffered a headache and passed away. She vowed never to share her dreams with anyone. Her mother ruled the household with an iron fist. At sixteen years of age, Englamith had attracted enough attention to her beauty and elegance. Her mother had warned her to tone down her fire but she wasn’t a wildfire that could erupt suddenly and vanish with the rain.

Numerous proposals from different communities poured in for her but she rejected every one.

When asked she told them that she had taken a vow of celibacy.

It was in her early twenties she caught the eye of a Tibetan travelling merchant who himself had vowed celibacy. He learned her language and wrote her letters and poetry. She ignored them as foolish entreaties. But he remains loyal and persistent for many years.

Her mother would have happily agreed but they decided to elope.

It was the most beautiful seven years of her life she can ever recall. Her husband passed away soon after the twins were born.

There was nothing that could make her smile. Her head was always bowed and her mind was adrift. She was a young rich widow yet lonely with three sons to look after.

There were many young men who wanted her but she ran away to her mother’s side.

She had vowed before and she vowed never to awaken love again.

Her own sister was barren for many years.

Tashi and Samden were eighteen months when her mother put forward a wish. To save her sister’s marriage if she could give one child, it would be an act of supreme sacrifice. Englamith could say nothing but agree to this humble demand. Thinking Dorjee could manage without her.

Bom Tsering, however, had another child in mind.

How she loved being around round and adorable Samden. He gave her the widest smile. Her husband too was very fond of this child. Tashi always clung to his mother. But Samden was a free bird. He would love anyone and anyone would fall for him.

Samden was always clinging onto Bom Tsering’s wrapper.

Englamith was uneasy at how her son wasn’t her son anymore though she had agreed on the terms.

At first, she was reluctant but seeing how happy her sister was with her son. She finally plucked her child away from her bosom. He hadn’t even spoken his first word. He was still taking milk from her breast. It was a pain too immense, a sacrifice she thought was worth making.

Her mother passed away happily thinking how happy both her daughters were.

“Englamith” she had said at last “Why fear? Aren’t gold and jewellery worth a thousand husbands?”

Englamith had remained quiet like she had remained when she wanted to keep calm.

What gold against the warmth of the body that knows how to love. What jewellery against the thousand kisses of her beloved. And what is life but a big burden without the one who had vowed to share the joy and sorrows? Oh, mother, she thought she had mistaken her mother for a wise woman.

Over the course of years, Bom Tsering had become distant and cold. Whenever Englamith visited her. She wouldn’t meet her eyes. Her own son called her aunt. She would bring him expensive toys and sweets.

“Don’t spoil my son” her sister would tell her jokingly. The words pierced her sharp. He was her son as well.

She wouldn’t bring Tashi with her in fear of confusion. Bom Tsering had always admired everything that Englamith owned.

Englamith had understood that she was least welcome in her own house.

It was when a seven-year-old Dorjee exclaimed how Samden looked exactly like Tashi, Bom Tsering slapped the boy before he could finish the sentence. That was the last straw and the last meeting between both the sisters.

Englamith was always blamed, for having a bigger ego.

Everybody blamed either her beauty or her obstinacy.

For the next decade, she only heard news about how her sister had managed to climb the political ladder along with her husband. She heard how neglected her sister’s son was. She heard how gifted he was in music. She heard about his ventures and his substance abuse.

In this fear that the twins might clash face to face someday, she took Tashi away from her to a boarding school in a neighbouring state.

Once she decided to attend her nephew’s gig. She stood at the farthest end of the stage. He was indeed popular among local youths. He looked just like Tashi but she could find traces of her late husband when he  smiled shyly

How beautiful he was in front of her, how real. She wanted to touch his face and tell him that she loved him dearly and that she was his mother. She wanted to tell him how all those years she had kept all the love for him and she always loved him even though she had reluctantly given him away. He wasn’t abandoned. She wanted to tell him.

But she maintained her distance.

His fingers made magic as he played them on the guitar. It ran softly making melodious music. The crowd gazed in awe, and when the song ended, they cheered and whistled their praises.

That was one ominous evening when she received news of him.

She felt like the earth beneath her had suddenly lost its strength to hold her. She felt it could open anytime to devour her alive.

After all, her sister called but with news that shook her bones. Without any delay, she called Tashi home. He was recovering from a fever. How twins know each other without any knowledge of their own existence was an unknown science.

Dorjee didn’t take things lightly. He threw away almost everything around him.

He was born when the earth shook with a thunderstorm that’s why her husband had named him. Dorjee. She had told herself how soft Dorjee was that he couldn’t handle the shock of having a dead brother.

Her son didn’t weep like her but the shock and the pain didn’t leave him too.

He turned towards her “You will explain this to Tashi” he warned.

……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

Cicadas, crickets and grasshoppers are singing as the night is lit by the fire. The sky looks calm with the wide navy sky. The stars above sparkle into glittering dots.

Noah has found the tape recorder. He still responds to the name Tashi.

He plugs the earpiece inside to listen to the voice. His brother’s voice introduces the song. He says it’s about finding self in chaos. The guitar between his fingers makes a serene sound, pleasing to his ears. He knows he wouldn’t be able to sing and play like him in a million years.

Dorjee has his head on his mother’s lap. Bom Tsering is seated at the other end. Her head is aching because of prolonged lamentation. The crowd has dwindled. A Few men and women loiter around offering tea and food to the passersby. The lamas are preparing for the ceremony that is going to be held tomorrow. The white corpse is placed inside in a lonely room.

Englamith wants to wake up from this realistic nightmare. She wants to wake up with her eighteen-month boy who would only look at her, who would only love her. She wants remuneration for all the time she lost without him. There were years she had cried for him. His absence had created a void that she tries to fill but now this absence is far too great. She tells her brain to wake up and she occasionally closes her eyes, tired now she tells herself it’s just a dream. The night is long and dark, darkness is plain deep blue. She can smell the incense and hear the cricket cry for her instead.

It’s midnight and the old wives take Bom Tsering to her bed. She doesn’t want to sleep and vents out a monotonous cry calling his name. Dorjee and Noah are told to share a room. Noah is replaying all the songs. The battery is dying, the song stretches itself towards a rough baritone. The Walkman eats the reel slowly.

He will need a pair of new batteries tomorrow.

The crowd dies and Englamith looks up to the sky and its vastness. She stands, her knees are weak. Pins and needles prone limbs jerk as she walks. This pain is nothing compared to the pain the heart has tonight. She walks silently inside the room. Half of the residents are aware of her whereabouts. The gentle quietness surrounds the household.

Samden is at his eternal sleep. She wants him to wake up and call her mother. His beautiful face, silent and his blue lips would not sing songs about lost love and the despondent life he lived. How cruel of them, they had buried her son in this pile of pale khadas. She removes each layer mumbling words irritated at how this household is run by savages. Layer after layer, when she is removing the slippery khadas, a drum beats inside her heart and her eyes are already betraying her. She sees her son wrapped in white, his fingers white with “SS” inscribed at the back of his hand.

She puts her warm hand against his cold cheek. She kisses his head and breathes warm breath unto his cold fingers as if to animate them, to infuse them with life.

She watches her son sleeping silently. How dreadful it is to see a young son dead. It feels like the nerves of the heart is being ripped off the pericardium. It aches too much that she wants to die with him.

It is her eyes that first betray her. She sobs. Her warm tears fall into his cold face. He lies on the floor, immobile. She watches him while caressing his handsome face. “My son” she whispers softly as if  Bom Tsering might hear her and tear the wall down and charge at her.

” My son” she cries this time the rumble inside her chest rises up slowly. Her face cannot hide its grief, she first turns pink . ” my son” she kisses his face

Her vision gets blurred now and then with big tears. The sobs don’t stop but become louder. Her cry is for all the years she had suppressed the pain of parting. Tonight he has finally departed.

The outburst is so pitiful no one comes forward to hold her.

All the evening women had turned their head to gossip how heartless she was. This was her moment of grief. She has chosen this time to pour her heart out. She alone wants to lament for her son. She wants him all by herself. This is her moment with her son.

Dorjee wraps his arms around himself as his mother weeps. The woman he had thought incapable of shedding a tear is screaming.

Noah presses his ears with his palms.

Bom Tsering is wide awake with dry eyes.

The screaming is deafening and violent.

Dorjee walks over to her and calls her softly

“Ama”

“My son” she is hugging her dead son closer to her bosom.

She is a mother after all and he was kept away from her. He was never abandoned.

She cries that he had no knowledge of how he was missed and loved.

All the songs he wrote of despondency, about loss and life without love and harmony. She wished if he knew how much love she had for him, a share that was only his.

Dorjee watches his mother, dumbstruck. A woman who had never shown dejection or weakness.

She is a mother after all he thinks. A mother who lost her child.

No one knows how the clouds gather to produce dark Nimbus. No one can explain how a night with a clear sky with stars can give a day like this. The day is gloomy with a wind that carries water. A chill is present with the wind. It feels like heaven itself is mourning his death.

They broke his body and shaved his head. A boy who came naked to this world departs naked.  Samden is Buddha, naked, bald, porcelain skin and dead. His legs twisted confined in the small wooden coffin box, his face is bright with enlightenment, death is nirvana for the atheist soul.

The lama in accented Nepali informs, “say your goodbyes”

All tears are dry but the mothers’, their sobs they don’t die.

Some watch in awe at such beauty of a dead, a fallen star. Some whisper a prayer and bow, pay their respect hastily. Some just watch because it is omnious to bow at the funeral of those who depart to the other world on their own terms.

Says some, even Hell doesn’t accept these souls who give away what’s not theirs to give.

And in this funeral, the ground where men stand, only death and tragedy rule the conversation.

The sky has begun to sing.

The coffin descends the stairs, the sky weeps, drizzling. In the distance, the two clouds come together and lightning strikes. The loud crash is heard soon after.

At the foot of the white stairs, a group of local journalists and a few fans gather to bid his final goodbye.

The narrow stairs are crowded as six men meticulously carry folded Six feet tall Samden , carefully sheltering him from the rain.

Old wives cry out from behind to be careful.

Noah and Dorjee carry Samden on wood. It is indeed a heavy burden.

The placard of fans read in the black background, R.I.P Sam.

And few read his lyrics “Yes, no tears in your eyes” redundant Lines from one of his songs.

Englamith has her arms around her sister. The sisters look like twins with swollen eyes and lips. They watch their son go down. The pain is immense and deep. She looks away as if it would subside with ignorance. As her son moves away from her. She feels a strange feeling that she doesn’t know him. For a few seconds, a numb feeling occupies her heart. He is just another stranger with the face of her son. But if so Why can her heart not watch him go away.

The fans weep and offer khadas and wreaths.

Half a mile away the fans and media are refrained from following, there lies a forest of young trees. In the middle of which is a shallow pond. A few feet away a fresh stream flows silently. Dorjee cannot stop his tears. He wasn’t prepared for such farewell without a proper hello.

There is some wood for cremation.

The brothers and village men pile them, 6 ft Samden is placed on the timber wood.

The lamas chant and the fire on the pyre burns.

Dorjee weeps silently.

Noah can feel a burning sensation.

As the fire eats into the flesh of his twin, he can smell the flesh burning. He feels as if the pyre is inviting him. He slowly walks away. The smell suffocates him. How suffocating it must be for Samden? He, being alive cannot understand the logic of the dead.

He feels that his soul is burning with the fire as if he is separated for the first time. He walks away to sit under the tree. He watches the men feed the fire, as the burning flesh revolts and water pours from the flesh to put out the fire.

He hears a girl sobbing some feet away.

There is a young girl sixteen- seventeen watching the cremation. She is on her knees. Her face hidden behind her hands and bushy hair. It seems she has a hastily made perm. A blue jeans jacket and dirty jeans make her look like she time travelled from the late ’80s and suddenly everything about her is blue. Her face is still hidden behind her bushy hair and swollen palm. As she lifts her head Noah can see the blue marks above her eyes. There are small cuts that are bruised. Her lips are puffed and so are her eyes.

She closes her mouth to stop screaming. Tears run down uncontrollably. Hiccups rise from the throat but lose its voice. Her head moves soundlessly as she bites the back of her hand.

He is shaken to see the girl dishevelled. How could they do that to her? Why would she walk this far to watch him? She must have been a fan of Samden, he assumes. She must have liked him a lot.

She turns around to meet his gaze. Her eyes open wide to see a similar face. He is similar yet different. By now Noah is familiar with the shock that his face has caused the people around him. She stands and turns around to walk away. She picks up a few pebbles and throws at Noah.

Noah watches her calmly. A Few pebbles land on his white Lee tees.

“What are you doing?” He asks her, annoyed.

The girl freezes and resumes again by blinking her eyes.

He has warm eyes just like him, similar yet different structures. Almost the same voice, yet the soul is different. She turns her back on him and runs far away.

Noah pulls out a fresh pair of batteries for the Walkman. He presses the play button.

Samden’s voice is heard as he introduces the song. Noah likes this song,

*It’s for you ” he begins. As if talking to Noah directly.

“I was parched

You quenched my soul

Oh, Suzanna Suzanna

Now that we know

What we know

My darling,

Suzanna Suzanna,

I was lost when you found me

Please, Suzanna Suzanna

Don’t let them win, We

Were always meant to be.

And

Across the galaxy,

There’ll be a star watching over you

Suzanna, don’t you cry for me

I’ll always love you

Till my last breath

Or maybe after that…

Suzanna, Oh Suzanna”.

…………………. To be continued.

Chapter II – The Great Fall

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