It was a deceptively beautiful summer night in the month of July; Resplendent and artistic to people with discerning tastes and sensibilities. The sky was ornamented by splendiferous celestial beings. The waning moon was accessorized by the clouds, suspended mid-air in a picturesque, aesthetic fashion, wanting to augment the peculiarly blissful setting. The violet sky couldn’t have been any more sublime.
The night descended into a haunting quietude notwithstanding, as the tranquility was overwhelmed by the benign yet mournful screech of a night owl, perched on the lowly branch of an elm tree.
It was perhaps the most idyllic night in a long, long while. It was the perfect night to die, and Ms. Brundidge couldn’t have been any prouder of her decision to let go, tonight.
Alison Jean Brundidge would’ve been so proud of me. She was getting her ostentatious, theatrical, and kitschy epithet; A eulogy she always wanted. The rest of the world would call it a demented death wish. But, that’s Ms. Brundidge for you – Crazy and neurotic to the very core.
Yes, Alison Jean Brundidge had chosen to die, this night.
Ms. Brundidge had never surmised that her death would be upon her so soon. Alas, it most certainly was.
Ms. Brundidge had lost everything. Her seemingly happy, gay life had turned into a jocular disaster. The sad part was, no one would ever really know how much she was hurting for the last 19 years, 7 months, and 22 days. No one would ever know that Ms. Brundidge had lost the battles she valiantly fought in the inner chambers of her soul. She wanted a way out of her labyrinth of sufferings, loneliness, and misery. Death was her prize – her ultimate exit.
As Ms. Brundidge sat on her bed, she remembered a saying,”There are some things you learn best in calm, and some in a storm.”
And just like that, Ms. Brundidge broke into a hysterical laughter.
Alison Jean Brundidge was a revelation born in Hubert Givenchy’s ‘Little Black Dress’. She was the queen of the sixties, impeccable and perfect in every sense, but, audacious, draconian, and insolent to the very brim – She ruled her small universe with a velvet fist. She was a paragon of beauty, no, she was pulchritudinous. She was prettier than any Jean Shrimpton or Marianne Faithfull. Everybody loves pretty, everybody loves cool, and everybody loved Ms. Brundidge. She was the kind of girl guys wanted to be with, and girls wanted to be.
Ms. Brundidge kept secrets. Oh, she loved keeping secrets. She was cloak-and-dagger to the world. She was incomprehensible to them; A mystery and conundrum they never understood, and perhaps, will never understand.
Ms. Brundidge was a superlative actress, by her admission, of course.
She lived a life of facade; being pretentious was a second skin to her. She dissolved into laughter when melancholy hit her; She intimidated men with an icy stare when she felt timorous or insecure; She feigned fondness and endearment for people who adored her withal of how she never truly loved anyone, ever.
Ms. Brundidge was a pretty little liar – Lying came to Ms. Brundidge as easily as breathing. She could lie when you stood beside her at the bus station, she could lie when you were enjoying mushroom ravioli with her at the newly opened Italian restaurant, she could lie when you held her petite waist in your arms, she could lie when you leaned in to kiss her pretty face.
Alison Jean Brundidge was the mediocre imitation of Holly Golightly, from Breakfast At Tiffany’s.
Ah, Audrey Hepburn would have been so proud of Ms. Brundidge.
But just like Holly Golightly, Ms. Brundidge was flawed. Profoundly.
Ms. Brundidge had a lover – David Miller, an assiduous, handsome young man in his early twenties.
Mr. Miller had fallen prey to Ms. Brundidge’s alluring and bewitching charm. Ms. Brundidge was the apple of Mr. Miller’s crystal blue eyes. Mr. Miller loved Ms. Brundidge, truly and irrevocably. But, not Ms. Brundidge. To her, Mr. Miller was nothing. Ms. Brundidge never, ever showed solicitude of any kind towards Mr. Miller.
Alison Jean Brundidge did not love David Miller. Did she care? Absolutely not.
It was Mr. Miller and Ms. Brundidge’s second anniversary. No, they were not married. But, they had been courting each other for the last 2 years. Unfortunately, Mr. Miller and Ms. Brundidge will never get to celebrate any more anniversaries, ever.
It was half-past midnight. Mr. Miller had taken Ms. Brundidge out for a stroll down the lane. The glistening moonlight illuminated Ms. Brundidge’s face in a complimentary manner. Mr. Miller took Ms. Brundidge’s hands into his and looked devotedly at her.
Mr. Miller: (sincerely) Alison, I love you.
Ms. Brundidge: (callously) So what?
Mr. Miller: So what? So plenty! I love you. You belong to me.
Ms. Brundidge: No, David. People don’t belong to people.
Mr. Miller: Of course, they do!
Ms. Brundidge: I’m not going to let anyone put me in a cage.
Mr. Miller: (earnestly) I don’t want to put you in a cage. I want to love you.
Ms. Brundidge: Oh, honey. It’s the same thing.
Mr. Miller: No, it’s not. Alison…
Ms. Brundidge: I belong to nobody and nobody belongs to me. We don’t even belong to each other.
Mr. Miller: (heatedly) You know what’s wrong with you, Miss Whoever-You-Are? You’re a cowardly woman, you’ve got no guts. You’re afraid to stick out your chin and say, “Okay, life’s a fact, people do fall in love, people do belong to each other, because that’s the only chance anybody’s got for real happiness.” You call yourself a free spirit, and you’re terrified somebody’s going to stick you in a cage? Well, baby, you’re already in that cage. You assembled it yourself. And, it’s not bounded in the west by Texas, or in the east by Somaliland. It’s wherever you go. Because no matter where you run, you just end up running into yourself. I… I can’t do this anymore. I’ve tried to reason with you, a million times. But no, you were right. You don’t deserve to be loved. You’re a sad, wretched woman, Alison. And, take it from me, you’re going to rot alone, with no one at your bedside.
And with that, Mr. Miller let go of Ms. Brundidge’s hands, and he started to walk away from her.
Mr. Miller: Goodbye. It was a pleasure to be able to afford your company, Alison. Lead a wretched life, like you always have.
Ms. Brundidge: David, don’t you walk away from me. (pauses for a second) I said, Stop!
Ms. Brundidge stood at her assigned spot for exactly 348 seconds.Ms. Brundidge was oblivious to the matters of the heart, or so she projected. She adjusted the hem of her low-neck sweater, and with a feeling of absolutely no feeling she exclaimed,”Loser“, and walked away.
David Miller or no David Miller, the moon followed Ms. Brundidge like a faithful dog.
Ms. Brundidge lost her immediate family in an untimely mishap. She was barely 6-year-old at that unfortunate time. Eventually, she inherited 3 sizeable houses, and a monumental amount of money to splurge. But, what money could not buy her was‘love.’
Alison Jean Brundidge had always yearned for the love of a family. She hardly remembered her mother, but she legibly remembered her mother’s chidings. She vaguely remembered her father, but she distinctly remembered him playingBeethoven’s Fur Elise over the antique piano.
Ms. Brundidge had no friends left, whatsoever. She had dumped and abjured them all.
Satirically, Ms. Brundidge earnestly yearned for some company on her dying day. And yet, she knew in the deepest of her sad, miserable, and elegiac heart, that she would die
alone, just like Mr. Miller had so accurately predicted. She would be engulfed by the fiery storm, like the rest of the unwanted and inconvenient women; AlisonJean Brundidge would soon cease to exist.
Ms. Brundidge went inside her colossal bathroom to take a final shower. She loved washing her hair to the sound of music, ergo, she kept a record player near the marble basin, at all times. Ms. Brundidge turned on the record player and was greeted to the ethereal sound of Johnny Mathis’ “Wonderful! Wonderful!“, just like she had planned.
“Sometimes we walk, hand in hand by the sea
And we breathe in the cool salty air.”
It was a song she had heard umpteen times, but today was the first (and final) time Ms. Brundidge was able to sing along with Mathis.
“Here we are, Darling, only you and I.
What a moment to share, it’s wonderful, wonderful.
Oh, so wonderful, my love.”
Ms. Brundidge blow-dried her golden locks, she wore her fake eyelashes, she applied foundation all over her pretty face, she put on her boucle knit suit and she wore her brilliant blue stilettoes. Ms. Brundidge turned around and glanced at her reflection coming from the looking glass.
“Some quiet evening, I sit by your side,
And we’re lost in a world of our own.”
Alison Jean Brundidge took out her Browning model 1955 semi auto pistol. It was one of the infinite commodities she had inherited after her family’s demise, and she had always called it,”Killer.”
Ms. Brundidge died that very night. Her lilac coloured wallpaper with a psychedelic print was now smeared with blood.
The first rays of the orange sun cast its light upon Ms. Brundidge’s lifeless body. Ms. Brundidge had a knack for looking beauteous, even as a corpse.
Alison Jean Brundidge had fallen. Triumphantly.
“And I say to myself, It’s wonderful, wonderful.
Oh, so wonderful, my love.”
The record player never paused.