Elena was top of the honor roll, student council president, campus beauty. Under the glare of her fairness and intelligence, we were all humble shadows. One girl said Elena would make an incredible doctor. Another believed she would become a top lawyer. I thought such a lovely face would be wasted living outside the light of fame.
This was before a car crash took her father away. We were there for his funeral and said goodbye to Elena when she left to live with her aunt, her last surviving kin. As we plodded through life, someone would occasionally wonder where she was. Probably topping law school, completing medical school with honors, some would answer. We would then return to thinking how factory work would be like after high school.
Life in the factory was as cold as the machines. It was colder in my apartment because I had pillows for bed companions. Sometimes a movie from Ben’s Manly Videos provided me company. Feeling particularly lonely one evening, I went to Ben’s and rented his newest title, Not Hard Enough for Sapphire Jade.
Back in my apartment, a woman lovely and voluptuous filled the television screen when the film started playing. Three naked men were calling her to bed. She took off her bathrobe and the camera panned around her stark loveliness, passing over three moles arrayed like a triangle on her left upper arm. I hit the pause button and stared at the marks. After confirming that I had seen them on someone I knew, I replayed the film back to the part where it focused on the face of Sapphire Jade, the movie’s female star. Certain who she was, I shut down the player. Living a life above the ordinary was a great waste for someone so lovely.
published 14 November 2012