PART I: The Song.
She once said, “I can feel it on a spiritual level, the cosmic sound of the Sitar played by Harrison. Lennon, so close, standing right in front me, right here, singing, to me. It awakens a feeling, a long-lost one.” Norwegian Wood by The Beatles was playing on the gramophone.
“A happy feeling?” I ask.
“I wouldn’t know. Maybe the one that feels like a Riptide trap. Just maybe.”
She would never know, almost always.
She had a peculiar look. Eyes lined with kohl but always sunken.
She was lonesome, yet so wholesome.
She talked about million small things, details mostly, but never about feelings.
That gramophone night she spoke about Antonio, a past lover.
This song must be special, I thought.
It went like,
I once had a girl
Or should I say she once had me
She showed me her room
Isn’t it good Norwegian wood?
PART II: The Book.
She read a lot on her good days. On her bad ones, she crept into the woods beyond the backyard and walked silently.
She smoked a lot, intensely, like an hourly ritual.
She always fell asleep on the couch, never without a book.
Something about the couch.
The couch. The sheets. The pillows. The curtains.
All dark. Not a slight hint of lilac or amber.
Although she liked growing Dahlias in the backyard.
There was something so tragic about her, which made me fall for her. Know more about her. Fantasize about the realities that hid beyond her stoicism.
I once read a novel to her.
Norwegian Wood. A love story.
And when she fell asleep, I discovered tiny notes inside the jacket of the book.
“Will you come to Japan with me?”
“I watched while you were bathing today.”
“Your hair is the perfect color.”
“We can still be amazing friends, can’t we? Midori to my Toru?”
Clearly, someone had read this book to her, long ago.
I flipped over the last note. The December one. In a different handwriting, it read,
Our Love has starkly died. And with this one of us has to die.
One of us has to.
This book must be special, I thought.
PART III: The Woods.
It took me nine months to decide to leave.
There were so many mysteries yet to be unraveled.
Why would she listen to Iron Maiden the day she seemed calm and composed?
Why wouldn’t she invite her friends at home?
Why wouldn’t she talk about her family?
Why would she sleep on the floor right after making love to me?
What was that sound she made when we disagreed?
What was that tinkling sound of her anklets, that followed her everywhere?
She was easy to fall for, easier to fall out from.
When I told this to her, she ran into the woods. I followed her. It was a cold December morning. When she made it clear that she be left alone, I walked the opposite way.
The stream wept gently. The wind, chilly.
As I walked further into the woods, I spotted a stone shaped something.
I walked furthermore, towards it.
There were the two of them. The Graves.
Freshly picked flowers were scattered around them.
I felt a sudden rush of blood to my head as I knelt in front of the graves. Dahlia flowers.
The graves read,
The sound of universe boomed into my ears, ringing so loudly,
“Love has starkly died. And with this one of us has to die. ONE OF US.”
I felt being dragged into this abyss with a harsh momentum. It all happened within a fraction of a second. It was a penultimate blood rush, the fear rising as I heard footsteps behind me. I turned around, still kneeling. There she was, closing in on me. She had a knife. She was smiling, obviously.
The Third Grave in those Norwegian Woods is now named, Alexis.