Chapter i: Requiem Aeternam - First Instalment
To my Yang, who inspired me and whom I will always love…
THE SHINNING RADIANCE faintly colours red when comes in through the carmine translucent curtains covering the tall windows at my side. I stealthily walk towards the reddish light, rising from the darkness. First, my hand clinging my cherished knife and then, my spectral face.
Is it me or the me that isn’t me?
The reddish shaft of light makes the dust specks flying in the air visible while spilling directly upon the opposite corner of this dark room, thus, revealing the face of my prey, the face of Constantine. He always fascinated by the immaculate white of the cedar-wood walls decorating this room, which now, he conceives behind him when feeling them with his hands.
Circumstances led us to this crucial moment happening here, amongst the shadows and the scarce light, to cast the lot into the lap of fate. To cast a lot to determine who’ll be the hunter and who the prey.
The old wooden gramophone on the other side of this large room plays Mozart’s Requiem Aeternam, emitting a dull sound that harmonises with the organic hum from my circulatory system. The gramophone’s tonearm holds the needle while the nonstop vinyl spins clockwise, recalling me of the relentless time, which, like the gramophone, won’t stop so quickly.
The die is cast.
I approach Constantine with steady steps, like a clandestine wolf lurking in the nightshadows as it waits for its prey. He’s shivering in fear inside; I can see it in his terrified visage. Same visage that seems perfect marble-carved as a Hellenistic sculpture, but which at this moment, shifts away from the virtue of the harmonious and ideal. He never foretold this coming from me. He boasted of taming me, and his hubris has been assuming his vindication from my bloody rage against the world. He turns the prey besieged between my flickering knife and the whitish wall behind him. I hold his gaze as he frightened yells:
“MADS, THIS IS MADNESS!”
Yes. This is madness — I say to myself — . Folie à deux is how shrinks call it. He knows well. This is a reciprocal madness we’ve shared since the exact moment we met. Madness: you embrace it, or you annihilate it.
“Just let this happen, Constantine. Close your eyes and wade into the quiet streams of your mind. When you open them, you’ll see that, as in all the occasions I’ve painted you, both in my mind and my canvases, you’ll be overwhelmed by the final result.”
“You aim to make me prevail over death. Can I posit this as your intention?” he asks me perplexed studying the situation and me intently.
As I approach him, the look in his deep dark eyes begins to get lost in his face’s reflection in the chromed blade of the knife. His breathing turns agitated and rapid; I can almost hear his heartbeats coming out of his chest. His eyes, whose pupils still fixed in the knife, seem liquid.
I see a lump forming in his throat.
I grasp the wrist of my metallic gloved right hand, holding, in turn, the knife handle as I revolve it around the wrist axis. I seek to bring it the same dexterity required to wield a brush. I push back the metallic hand without letting go of the knife until the joint rattles, and then, our eyes collide again. Like the first time.
“My only design endeavours to save you and our friendship,” I explain him breaking the ominous silence. “I must restore everything is broken between us. I placed you higher than all stellar divinities. Nevertheless, you coveted more,” I say warmly welcoming him with open arms and beckoning so that he approaches me. “I know you came here with the clear intention of doing this same to me. This is reciprocal. But unlike you, I’m not going to backnifing you,” I add, holding his right shoulder to pull him towards me and thus prove once and for all he isn’t another of my delusions.
“You’re too vicious to be God, and I’m too naive to be Lucifer,” he says finally approaching and laying his head down on my chest.
Being in my arms, Constantine settles among these trying to soothe me with his mere presence. The wan daylight is getting scarcer. This extinguishes, dying and dying, little by little. He makes a vain attempt to take my right hand to disarm me, an act to which I immediately react with a subtle headshake in disapproval.
“Can we leave hostility aside and speak calmly?” he asks me, taking his head away from my chest for a moment and looking me into the eyes. “All this only happens in your mind. You’ve to be aware this is not the first time you do this. Don’t repeat this story. Our friendship may prevail,” he avows patronising.