I still quaver with rage for the way I was made to depart. The hysterical wails of my grieving family made me antsy but I was helpless that day.
I’m jolted back to the present, with the warmth of mama’s hand on the granite headstone. Just like the way she’d graze her fingers through my hair when I was alive. It’s been a year today, but Juan has never visited me. Although our married life wasn’t worth talking about, our love story was one of a kind.
As a banker, I was sought after owing to my immaculate records of reaching targets complemented with an enviable level of intellect. ‘Employee Of The Year’ for five years in a row, catapulted me to the zenith of the corporate ladder at an accelerated pace. It was during one of my clients’ meetings that I met Juan, an eidolon in the field of journalism.
Our first meeting I’d rendered him speechless when I sang him high praises, resulting in me ramping up my probability to surpass my loan target.
“My brother, like many others, idolizes you.” I added.
“Aaahh… I’m flattered, but whether he’s right or not is a moot point” Juan opined with a wink!
The next few meetings were unofficial as we became close.
“My new venture of tabloid journalism is doing wonders. They say only sex and death sells, I proved ‘em wrong! Adulation from unexpected avenues can bring back zest like magic.” Juan chirped. The much-awaited marriage proposal followed soon after.
Our first anniversary celebrations were stalled as Juan’s company was declared bankrupt; and I was a bottomless money pit for him. My investments, bank balance was a colossal cushion for us where I’d put Juan as the second holder when we got married.
That night rain pounded on the windows as if it wanted to vent out. Thunder tapped its way across the sky, and lightning flashed far away, enough to show glimpses of his darkened side.
I was slipping away in the depths of abysmal unconsciousness. Lacing my dinner with an excessive dose of barbiturates, seemed to be a convenient option for him.
The lightning seemed suitable that evening when Juan unexpectedly visited with a bunch of Daisies.
“It’s been a happy year; you’re in peace. Just because I’d pulled strings to evade your autopsy, you’re in a state of upgraded peace. Don’t worry, I’m taking proper care of your investments and home too. You were an endearing, innocent soul with an amazing level of intellect. I owe you some adulation! I’m loathe to play tit for tat, but unfortunately…You taught me to mold every situation to your own advantage, and here I’m!” With a sinister curve adorning his lips, Juan muttered gazing at my grave.
I screamed in agonized frustration, yearning to be heard.
The next day Juan was found dead near my grave with a note “adulation from unexpected avenues can bring back zest like magic.”
Author’s Note: The story was an entry for a contest, (on prompt: ‘Adulatio’ meaning Idolization, Flattery, Excessive Praise) that required writing a story using the line “Adulation from unexpected avenues can bring back zest like magic” verbatim.