I stare at them as they cross the half-broken tarred road, hands clasped in each others, eyes looking at one another instead of the street they were crossing and mouths turned up with carefree, bright smiles.
My mind’s eyes sees this hazy fast-speeding car—no, trailer—fly out of nowhere and slam into her. In my head, I hear him cry out in horror and momentary grief. I see the brief pandemonium—people running helter-skelter, screams renting the quiet evening air, her body plastered on the road, mangled from the crushing weight of the tyres, her blood splattered everywhere like a sacrifice to the gods.
Then I see him, in a different place. His grief is done. He has found solace in another—in me. And it is I who now hold his hand as we smile into each others eyes, crossing the street with careless abandon.
I blink as they disappear into the eatery. There is no accident. There probably will never be, I tell myself as I withdraw from the window.
I do not wish her evil, or death. I only want him.
First time I saw him, it was inside the eatery they’d just walked into. He’d come in, wearing a straight-fitting black jeans and a dim-grey V-neck T-shirt, and on his feet were black boots. He had looked dark and masculine, and I had been beguiled by that sheer rugged masculinity.
Then he had turned—in my direction. My mouth had filtered out a smile. But it wasn’t me he’d sent his lopsided charming grin. It had been to her. I had seen him first but he had wanted her.
That is life, I console myself, picking the empty glasses and the half-empty pack of juice. You don’t always get what you want. Some you win, some you lose. Isn’t that how the saying goes?
I dump the glasses into the sink and consider returning the pack of juice into the refrigerator when I heard that door creak open.
“Big sis, we’re back!”
Her ever cheerful voice call.
I close my eyes and remind myself she is my only sister. The reminder does no good to the quick irritation I am feeling. But it makes my feet move and I return to the living room.
They are cuddled up on the couch. Odd that that two-seater sofa would be called a loveseat and two lovers sit now on it, facing each other, whispering sweet nonsense that only they can hear to one another.
“I thought you two were eating out?”
It is the best distraction question I could think of at the moment. But I am not sure if I am trying to distract his attention from her or distract myself from the gnawing tug underneath my breastbone and from the irritation that is fast becoming resentment.
She turns to me. Her smile flash and the beauty of her face glow along with her joy. “Petey thinks we shouldn’t leave you all by yourself.”
His name is Peter. Hers is Esther and mine—well, Envy would be the right name for what lodged deep in my heart.
“I figured we can all eat together. So, we opted for takeaways.” He stands up.
But he cannot stand without taking her with him. She clings to his hand. They are back to staring into each others face.
My mind’s eyes flick into motion. I see the fan swinging above them make a quick groaning sound, the blades tilt unevenly to one side and then to the other. Then it shudders and comes tumbling down. She screams, her eyes wide with fear as they fly up. But she could not escape the crushing thud. I see her, a bloody, mangled heap on the carpeted floor.
I blink. The fan is still in place and swinging in constant, unhurried pace. Again it did not happen—and probably will never happen. That is my burden.
“I’ll bring your poison.” I say, giving them both a smile.
I turn and shake my head at their bewildered look, my smile unwavering. “Plates—I’ll bring our plates.”
Their bewilderment gives away and smiles return.
Envy, the burden of my heart.