June 26, 2008
By Shirley Ma, Toronto, ZZ

Jerry puts the flamboyant green tie around his neck. It looks nice on him, his girlfriend Kate, the sender must be happy. But, the tie makes him feel breathless. He lifts up his chin, trying to stretch his neck. “I need some air, Kate” says him. Jerry looks into the mirror, staring at the blue eyes which are brilliant like the ocean around the Mexico beach. Kate says his eyes are magical like scale on butterflies’ wings. Butterflies? Aren’t they too flirting? On the contrary, he appreciates Elisabeth’s complement: you eyes are too blue too be substantive.
This is one of the reasons why Kate misunderstands Elisabeth and him. In Jerry’s mind, Elisabeth seems a sister who can read his mind. Every time before his unexpected sickness, she is able to submit extra work to the boss, eliminating the effect of his absence. He wishes to thank her, but she is always not there when he wants to thank her.
It is when he is about to go back to the ball that he sees at the far end of the room, there is an elegant black feature in front of the crimson wall. She is facing the antiquities. Her hair is descending like a fall.
“Would you like a glass of drink?” she asks.
Trying to calm his voice, and his heard speed, he answers, “yes. It is surprise but nice to see you here, Elisabeth.”
“Surprise? Are you sure excitement is not a better word?” she turns around, facing him. It is his first time to face her directly. His heart screams when he sees such a beautiful face: her eyebrows are like the new leaves of willow in spring, the peak of the eyebrows seems to provoke everything she sees. Her green eyes are attracting all the creatures, like a hungry wolf, telling the universe that there is another enchanted world in her pupil.
“I do not understand what you are saying, Elisa.” He said, moving his eyes away from her.
“We have not seen each other for a long time. I have trying to find you for thousands years. Do not you miss the past?” says her, walking towards him. The sound produced when her high heel touches the ground wrings his heart. He is scared, somehow, about something he does not want to know from her.
“I beg your pardon, Elisabeth. Did you say thousands years?” he asks.
“You should be inquired by your own heart. It is the time for you to come back.”
“Elisabeth, I apologize for my poor understanding to your speaking, can you-
She does not let him finish, putting her index finger on his lips. His breath is frozen; his eyes directly meet with hers. Strangely, he sees calmness, like the once in a judge’s eyes, when commanding the truth from prisoners.
“Aren’t his lips hot?” a voice full of anger breaks the scene.
“Kate!” he turns to the voice, “I just wish to have a drink here, and-
“It is such a romantic room to be in, is it not, Elisabeth?” Kate says, quelling her emotion against the explosion of hatred and jealousy. She stares at Elisabeth, with sharp sight like arrows shooting. Suddenly, she walks towards Elisabeth, showing her increasing anguish to Elisabeth, who is still serene like ocean.
“Be away from him, he is mine!” exclaims Kate, aiming to let Elisabeth be swallowed by embarrassment, and be scared by her keenness and braveness.
“You are wrong, little girl, unless you can prove it.”
“Prove? You ask me to prove? It is ridiculous. I am the one who knows him best. All his relatives like me. His father is a captain who told me every single of his journey, including the one in during which his serendipity was a tennis ball size of while pearl from a lady, and-
“Watch your tongue, young lady”, Elisabeth interrupts, with aggressive clouds accumulating on her forehead.”
“I know you misunderstood me, you can punish me in your preferable way, but you mustn’t lie to me on this object: the pearl is black!”
It is Jerry’s first time to see there is something could worry her. How she knows the story of pearl? More strangely, why she is judiciously interested in a tiny detail in the story-the pearl? Or even, who is she?
“I do not need anyone to lessen me, especially you. Listen carefully: it is absolutely a white pearl”, she restores. “White, white and white!” she pronounce the word so clear that the word comes out of her voice box, her teeth and her lips and strike Elisabeth’s ear bone without losing destroying force.
Jerry is shot to see how Elisabeth reacts to the word “white”. It seems each “white” is a sword, stabbing her heard inch by inch, so that she has no strength to struggle. She is breathless, but she is holding the last strength, to turn towards Jerry, and asks,
“What is the color of the pearl, jerry, please tell me!” she beseeches with all her heart.
Jerry is very startling that her life seems to be tied to the pearl at this moment. Why the black pearl is that important to her. Is she the woman who once owned the pearl? Jerry is confused, his eyes seems darker, being confused by these miseries. He feels he is falling into an abyss where is full of mysteries. He looks into Elisabeth’s eyes which are sharp like lightening at this moment: She is inquiring him, with her last strength that is tied to his answer. He understands that she might anticipate a different answer, but he could not replace his uncertainty by any other unfaithful answers.
“I am sorry Elisabeth, it is white”, he answers, with guilt.
It seems that she has just received extreme execution. She collapses. A bloom is ruined by an explosion of volcano which comes out in a thousand of a second, without leaving it any hint of ash.
“Elisabeth, what is happening? I am willing to sacrifice everything I have to compensate the favors you did to me. Please, tell me!”
She sighs, closing her eyes, recollecting the story. She is feebly drowning in the flood of memory. “My youngest sister Sonia once was a lovable girl”, she starts. “Unfortunately, she was engaged with a married man. When the bride saw her husband was kissing Sonia, she committed suicide. My father was in rage when he heard it. He punished Sonia by confining her spirit in a giant pearl. I resolved to save her, but I had been chased since I stole the pearl. When I had no way to run, I happened to meet a brave and helpful captain, you father. In order to protect the pearl, I handed the pearl to him and beg him to do keep the pearl safely. If one day the white pearl turns black, it means that her spirit escapes, leaving the pearl dead. Otherwise her spirit would be consumed by the pearl. In order to escape, she had to have the power to struggle. And the only motivation to her was the love of the man. I therefore traced the married man’s soul through thousands years.” She pauses, opens her eyes, staring at him, “you, Jerry, are the one who lives with his soul! It would be your duty to rescue Sonia!”
She continues, “Jerry, I have been guarding you. I tried my best to help you every time you feel perplexed. You have to be good, to carry on the duty. I know it is unfair to resign you such a fate”, she said sadly, tears sweeping down her cheeks. “But this is the only way to save my Sonia”, she wails, holding his arms tightly.
“However, the pearl is still white. Jerry, do you understand? Her soul has evaporated!” she exclaims, closing her eyes. “My dream is over.”
Jerry is petrified. His brain and heart are full. He does not know what he thinks, neither what he feels. Doubt, hesitation, nervousness, fear, sorrow and helpless are like a tsunami which strikes him after kills his conscious tendency to escape. He cannot accept the legend about his last life and his sudden life duty. His fate should not be this dramatic like a roman hero’s and should not be resigned by any others. He doubly glazes the woman who lies in his arm. How could he be the one? How dare she put his fate into stakes? What this all means to him? Being loved? Being used? Or being trapped by the cycle of life and never has a chance to break out?
After a long pause to recover, Elisabeth asks, “Can you pass me one of that china vast, Jerry?”
Jerry stands up, leaving her leaning on a sofa. He walks slowly towards the shelf of china potteries. He does not know what he is doing until he passes it to her, watching her break the vast and takes one of the china debris.
“Don’t, Elisabeth, please don’t!” he cried out.
It is too late. She presses the china debris into the artery near her twist. A flow of red blood shoots out. It is exuberant like a red diamond, lighting up every corner of the room.
She smiles, with a little consolation is blemished by the poignant pity of her sister’s death. It torments him to watch this woman who has been a tentative sister to die. Gradually, she becomes transparent. He holds his benefactor until he can see her heart that is limpid like pure ice, until the light of her body is consumed completely, leaving him only recollection of her smiles.

Kate has been watched the whole play. Her love and hope have been totally extinguished by her jealousy. She walks towards him, and said coldly,
“We shall no longer see each other, Jerry.”

That evening has been a ripple in Jerry’s heart. He could neither prevent it from happening so suddenly, nor stop it from spreading and occupying his heart. Nightmares attack him night after night. Elisabeth, the white pearl, screaming, souls are like waves, carrying him travel over the peak and trough of his emotion. Is he a free person? What is waiting for him in his future? Is there a soul in the pearl? He is alone struggling with these complexities in his mind. but there are less important. What makes him suffer from headache is that his Kate has gone. Her leaving torments him with missing and loneliness. He tries to escape from the reality, by throwing himself into theatres.
Today, the movie is a thriller. A young lady is murdered in his father wedding dress store. The greedy father does not want the reputation of his business be damaged. Instead of calling policemen, he uses her body as a dress model in his business window. Her black eyes would appear as lovely summer grapes to Jerry, if they are no staring at him.
“It is just a movie”, he consoles himself.
Abruptly, the screen explores so as people’s tension. Every one rushes to exits. The whole theatre falls into uncontrollable turbulence. Jerry is pushed further and further from the exits. He struggles but fails to escape. Strangely, the smoke from the screen smells sweet. He is so familiar with the fragment but he just could not recall it. It makes him insane, his headache bursts. He faints.

When he revives, he is surprised about his surroundings: stars are delicate like firework in the night sky. He is lying on a lawn which continuously reaches the horizon. He stands up, looking around, but finds nothing accepts these grass on the plain. He glazes the sky which is blued like an ocean.
“Elisabeth is too naïve! So are you”, a familiar voice comes up from distance.
“Who is there?” he bids.
No one answers, except the weeping of the wind.
Suddenly, the grasses shot into the night sky, like sharp needles. Unusually, they have thin and long white roots. They swirl in the sky and cross each other, emitting thousands pieces of lights. They seems sowing something. Gradually, the shape of their work is showed: a white wedding dress, exactly like the one the corpse bride wears in the movie. Jerry frowns; The tension of his nerves is tightened by his fear. Those grasses continuously sow the head of the bride, finishing the final feature of the bride. Now, an elegant bride is rising in the air. Jerry cannot help opening his mouth which is slaved by his astonishment.
“Kate!” he ejaculates. He could not believe his eyes: his girlfriend is looking down at him in the air. Her dress is lightly winging like polar like.
“I am the other elder sister of Sonia, just like your Elisabeth-”
“Kate, what is happening?” he restores.
“however”, she continues, what makes me different from her is that I know that color of the pearl is black.” The right corner of her lip slides.
Jerry is shot. He stares at her, as if he is looking at an abyss where no sunshine ever escapes from.
“Yes, I admit that I made the lie: Sonia has already escaped. Yes, it is true that the lie kills Elisabeth. But I never regret. She and I never had any approval on any subjects since the day we are born. But I never thought her most malignant strategy is aiming to take you away from me for revenge, by using poor Sonia. Only when I take her breath away, the witch is quiet enough to stop her conspiracy.”
Jerry lowers his head, meditating. “Kate”, he lifts up his head and said, “I have never considered a person would have his last life. Even if I did, as Sonia’s lover, it is the past. I will not waste my time repeating a tragedy. That is not the goal of god who lets us live. God gives us chance to live our current life, he never tells you, or even gives you hint about what you were in you last life. This is because he wants us to understand that the most meaningful thing is the current, is this moment, not the memory.” He answers, with pure calmness in his voice. “All I want to tell you is that this life, I wish to accompany you.”
“You are self-righteous”, she smiled, with little excitement in her voice. “Do you think I will believe a man whose heart has already been changed by a princess, a witch and a ridiculous legend?”
“Kate, I do not know if it is my attitude towards Elisabeth that irritates you or the legend does. I never share my love with others than you, legend that is meaningless to my current. The only thing I know and you need to know is that, they are the virtual shadows of the past, you are the rose of the moment.”
She points at her heart. “Your speech is ineffective in this motionless zone”, “if I can kill my own sister, I can kill you.” She lifts one hand up, her white finger nails suddenly grow to the length of knifes. “Leave you last words shortly”, she commands.
Jerry is under tranquility. He acquaints with the situation for a moment, and says, “Okay, if you insist, Kate. But my last word is a song, my lover’s least favorite song.” He smiles, looking at her. “For the reason that every girl in the auditorium screamed for me when I sing,” he laughs a little. Kate turns her head away, preventing him seeing her tears sweeping her cheeks, leaving shiny path on her face. But the glassy reflection of that path could not escape from his brilliant blue eyes.

Every night in my dreams
I see you, I feel you
that is how I know you go on
Near, far,
wherever you are,
I believe that the heart does go on
Her lips are twitched. She is shaken. She is using her last strength to confine the flow of flood in her eyes. However, remorse defeats her. She falls from the air like a feather which is left alone. Only her white silk scarf is stretching and flying like a cane to support her. Jerry catches her. Now she is lying in his chest, closing her eyes, like a fragile butterfly.
She opens her eyes, seeing he is smiling to her, tears sweeping down his cheek. She smiled, for this is the warmest consolation she has ever had. He holds her face, crying “foolish girl, why you do not trust me?” she smiles, looking down at his hands. “Your love is so sweet that I cannot convince myself that I am not in a dream. I never gave you any free air, did I?” she laughs at herself. “I am so afraid you are going to leave me. Elisabeth and the legend are like swords, shattering my heart. I can use my life to be the blade during this battle of love!” Jerry watches her, at this moment, she is brave like a soldier and elegance like an angel. “Now, I understand what a comedy I had played, with the lack of trust”, she closes her eyes, drops of tears fall down on her cheek, like despaired child who lost his parents. “Jerry, I am terribly sorry. I regret. I should have believed myself as you true love; I should have-
She could not continue.
“Kate! Please don’t! Don’t leave me alone! Kate, I beseech you!”

He goes to swim these days. Surprisingly, when he swims, the chaotic noise that because his headache turns to songs, sung by her. He never had a chance to listen to her songs. He tells her through listening to these songs that, he forgives her. He loves her songs, feeling she is still with him. Therefore, He does not mind forever living in ocean to hear her.

Similar Articles


This article has 0 comments.


MacMillan Books

Aspiring Writer? Take Our Online Course!