The zaniest ideas always hit me on Friday evenings, even before I have sipped my first glass of Chardonnay, she mused.
Sitting on the broad windowsill in their living room, from where she beheld a panoramic view of the ocean, she smoked a More Slims, expertly blowing rings that took on the shape of her puckered lips and floated away and out the window, growing larger and larger until the fumes could no longer hold on to each other and dissipated in midair, fourteen storeys above ground level.
For a long time, she sat in silence, mesmerised by the duel in the crepuscular skies, awash with myriad colours, a melange of purple, orange and red that set the scene for a battlefield.
It had become a daily ritual. The sun hovered over the far end of the sea, preparing to retire for the night. On the opposite end, the moon rose, pale and timid in the presence of the setting sun.
There was a moment when the two seemed to be eyeing each other carefully, waiting for the other to make the next move. The sun, merely a shadow of his former raging self of the day, yet more than a match for the moon. Holding on, unwilling to descend lest the moon should take over. The moon, flimsy and shivering, unsure if she ought to rise further. Crawling upwards stealthily, waiting for the sun to disappear.
For one fleeting moment, it almost seemed as if the sun would regain his rightful place in the sky. It was that moment of uncertainty that spelled his doom. He plunged into the bloody ocean, spilling the last of his rays all over the world, conceding defeat, having overstayed his welcome. As the sun bowed out, the moon sailed higher into the sky from the other end, gracefully, shining more lustrously with every ascent. Having conquered the sun, she rightfully claimed his light as her own. And then she covered the ocean with a silvery sheen, laying the sun to rest in peace.
She exhaled in relief. Dear cosmos, if I had a choice, I would be the moon, she whispered. The waxing and the waning moon, the full moon and the new moon, the restless shape-shifting moon, the one that makes oceans roar and wolves howl, whose light clandestine lovers seek out in the night, the one that drives men stark raving mad, frightening and alluring all at once, the blue moon, the orange moon, circling the earth until eternity, sometimes too close but always out of reach.
She lit another cigarette.
Night descended on her part of the world. Twinkling stars burst into view, Venus standing resolutely bright in the western sky, guarding the grave of the defeated sun. I could be Venus too, she thought. Venus, the evening star. Venus, the Goddess of Love. Venus, the Roman Aphrodite.
Fantasies are delightful, she concluded. But in reality, she was perhaps more like the princess trapped in the witch's tower. Fourteen storeys above ground level. Confined in midair, in an enclosed apartment. Their lovers' nest. Their first home, where she waited every evening for him to come back to her. He should be home any minute now, she told herself.
Her mobile phone beeped. It was a text message from him. Honey, just exited the MRT. Walking home now.
She leaned over the window and scanned the roads below. She squinted her eyes and saw him enter the gateway to their apartment building. Baby, she called out loud and clear. He looked up, not because he heard her but because he knew she would be waiting for him by the window. She always did. He waved out to her. She waved back.
She had to decide quickly. The moon, Venus, the princess - which one would she be tonight. The princess, she chose. The princess, whose knight in shining armour had arrived.
Ecstatic, she punched the numbers on her mobile phone and called him.
Darling, I'll let down my hair, so that you may climb the golden stair, she said.
He paused. Why honey? Is the lift out of order?