By Marlon Bute
Seetha awoke from her sleep. She remained on the sofa. She was in a fetal position. Her arms were wrapped around her shoulders. Her knees were pulled up to her breasts. She was oblivious to her surroundings. She could not remember the night before.
It was not the first time that she had awakened from her sleep and had had difficulty remembering what she had done the night before.
Sometimes, a few days might pass and Seetha’s memory would come back when she least expected it. But, she never knew- and she had come to accept, though unwillingly, that she would never know, if some memories had eternally fled her and were never to return.
But, whatever Seetha remembered, she had come to acknowledge it as part of a puzzle.
Sceetha had found that once she racked her memory to remember something, that her head would hurt, and the harder she tried, the more agitated she became, and her headache would intensify.
Sceetha’s mouth and throat were dry and she was finding it hard to swallow. She turned her neck, and yelped in pain. It was sore from the constant tossing and turning. So, she turned her upper body slowly and looked around the sparsely furnished room. Then, it returned to her that she was somewhere up north in a cottage in the woods.
The cottage sat on the bank of a stream. Since the land was slightly rolling; the stream had mirrored it; and so the stream moseyed quietly past the wooden cabin; that was otherwise nestled, in the middle of the woods.
Seetha, had at times, stood at the cabin’s kitchen window for long interludes, contemplating the stream. She had found it soothing; the nonchalant flow of its water calming. Yet she had also found the stream boring. It rarely changed course and if it did change course, it was a gentle meander. It didn’t bend sharply, it didn’t gush by; it didn’t overflow its banks, it didn’t fall over bluffs. It didn’t make a splash. It didn’t become aggravated by anything. It reminded her of someone.
Though, just who the stream reminded her of, had escaped her.
Seetha gathered what little strength her body could muster and delicately raised herself from the chair that she had occupied for the past several hours. She fell back on her first two attempts, but on her third try, barely made it before her knees gave way beneath her.
Seetha managed to reach the icebox on the other side of the room after a grueling walk and removed a bottle of water. She drank it thirstily. She let the empty bottle fall to the floor.
On that morning, when the dusk of night had only just begun retreating behind the mountains, and lakes, and, when the grass had turned orange, like the leaves from the trees, above it, Seetha remembered who the calm and unassertive stream reminded her of.
Ramnarine waited for the traffic lights to change before running across the street to the club. He passed the hot dog vendor who was telling a customer that he had already given him his change. The customer remained there, unconvinced. The clubbers whom he had earlier seen from his window were no longer there. Ramnarine paused a bit at the entrance, unsure whether he should enter. The bouncer at the door beckoned to Ramnarine to make up his mind.
Seetha opened the door intending to get some fresh air. The man with the crocus bag heard the door open. He looked towards it. He saw Seetha standing in the doorway. His jaw dropped. The knife fell from his hand.