Chapter 3: The Breakdown
The girls looked like something Luke would hook up with, and probably had, but the woman who I took to be the bride was the most gorgeous. She was extremely inebriated, her eyes red as blood and her limbs flailing helplessly as if reaching out to some unknown extremity, a spectre formed by alcohol. The moment her glass was empty, she grabbed the bottle and swung it back, grimacing at the taste.
A strange, almost ethereal feeling of déjà vu swept through my body like lightning on its journey to reach the ground. This was not normal. Not an hour after April had called me, slamming me back to the reality of my past, a random girl as beautiful as April had been five years earlier drinks straight tequila in front of me, the same thing April had done.
I now felt sick to my stomach; I knew something had to be done. I had to somehow cleanse myself of this past that haunted me. I rushed into the bathroom running my hands through my hair, turning on the warm water. I splashed it on my face, breathing heavily. I looked up at the mirror and was disgusted at what stared back at me.
I buried my face in my hands and sobbed silently. Why was it such a big deal, I had slept with many girls before Jessica, why was April vexing me five years after I had walked away? Why had fate stepped in, why was I being tortured like this? All these questions had answers I didn’t know, and it drove me over the edge of sanity.
I looked down at my hands, the hands that had groped April’s angelic body, her full breasts and mind-blowingly perfect thighs, during and for several hours after the shuddering climax of the best sex of my life. I decided I would wash them, purge the sin from the very tips of my fingers. I rubbed soap on my hands vigorously, my hands hot with friction. I washed every inch of my hand until they burned from the antacid in the soap.
I looked down, the job was not finished. Visions of my sexual escapade in that queen bed five years earlier still vexed me. I turned the water back on and began to wash once again, my entire body gripped in fits of convulsion. My hands continued to burn raw as I washed over and over again. Men walked in and out of the bathroom, many of them staring at me with either interest or concern.
The radio in the bathroom played song after song and still, I washed. I was blind now, my vision fogged by tears and self-hate. For thirty minutes, although it seemed like days, I vigorously attempted to expunge the sin from my hands, until the soap dispenser gave me nothing but sudsy water. I stood there, leaning heavily against the sink, wondering what I had done.
As I lay there, my eyes closed and my hands on fire, the radio in the bathroom changed songs. The musical notes of When you Say Nothing at All floated through the air, reaching me and spiralling me into a state of desperation. The lyrics of the song rang true as they sunk into me. April was communicating with me from hundreds of miles away, by what she called Fate. I recalled what she had said that night: “Forget it, what happens is up to fate”.
Even then, five years earlier, the words had sent a shiver down my spine, a truth that found its home in my current situation. April had always been skeptical, constantly confused, and extremely naïve. When she was introduced to fate through film and other aspects of her life, she was hooked on it. It consumed her, like a fog consumes a ship on the open sea. Fate had ruled her life, she owed everything to it, and now it seemed I did too. But a feeling in my gut informed me that fate was nowhere near finished toying with me.