A Demon's Regret
It had been exactly sixty days since I had left (Y/N)’s side. Two months! Aside from a handful of brief phone calls and a single opportunity to send her flowers, I had been bereft of contact with my beloved.
In truth, I was in the grips of a great despair. It seemed like the women would never end, that the vast majority were angry to see me and utterly unable to grant me the forgiveness I sought. The thought that over a hundred remained was profoundly discouraging. To my great shame, since yesterday morning, I had only been able to make myself go to see a single woman on this heinous quest for atonement. While I knew what I was asking from Yahweh was great, I felt the price I was paying was perhaps even greater. Perchance there was some poetry in that, but I could not see it.
Even so, I would never concede! I would do whatever it took, anything, to be in the arms of my delectable, little apricot once again.
Clenching my jaw to stem my frustration, I forced myself to go to my map room once again. I had developed a keen dread of walking through its entryway. Gone was the association with playful mischief of yore.
Feeling far older than my years, I flipped the cursed switch. I cocked my head when I saw that it rose from Vitória, one of the fanciest neighborhoods in the city of Salvador. How I used to love hunting marks in Brazil, especially in Bahia! Nowhere else could one find such a fine mixture of cultures, and there were such monumental popular celebrations! I still remembered the massive festivals for the goddess Yemoja, the Carnaval in February, as well as the São João parties in June.
Reluctantly, I brought up the information. Ah, Vera Assunção. Now in her early forties, she had always been a sweetheart. I remembered our time together fondly. I sincerely hoped this interaction went well.
I popped through the barrier and searched for her, finding that she was at home in her rather impressively sized condo. I pulled myself through, as I had become so accustomed, to just inside her front door.
It seemed Vera had done well for herself. She had expensive-looking paintings on the walls, and sculptures of all kinds on every surface available. Stifling a grimace, I knocked firmly on the inside of the front door.
“Já vai!” [Coming!] I heard the sound of heeled footsteps headed towards me.
I stood up straight and forced a placid smile to my visage just as Vera rounded the corner. Her eyes widened the moment she saw me and she stopped dead, a frown on her still beautiful face. I nodded formally. “Vera, que bom te ver. Eu vim aqui pedir perdão por ter te usado como alimento e acabar com as suas chances de encontrar amor. Ninguém merece um destino des- “ [Vera, it’s good to see you. I’ve come to beg your forgiveness for using you as food and ruining your chances of finding love. No one deserves such a fate-]
Vera laughed bitterly. “-É, acho que não. Mas já que não dava pra ter amor, me contentei com dinheiro. Aliás, achei que você fosse o meu marido chegando em casa, que ele tinha esquecido a chave de novo. “ [-Perhaps not. I couldn’t have love, so I settled for money. I actually thought you were my husband coming home, that he had forgotten his keys again.]
I was instantly acutely uncomfortable, knowing that Vera was in an unsatisfying marriage, that I had precluded the possibility of her happiness. I struggled for a reply. “Realmente, você tem uma bela casa. Eu só queria que você soubesse que eu lamento muito mesmo-“ [Indeed, you have a beautiful home. I just want you to know that I am truly sorry-]
She snorted. “-Diz pra mim, de verdade, por que você veio aqui? Você liga mesmo se eu te perdôo ou não? André, eu te conheço a ponto de saber que você não tá só com peso na consciência.“ [-Tell me, honestly, why are you here? Do you really care whether or not I accept your apology? Andy, I know you well enough to know that it wasn’t just your conscience driving you.]
Shit. I had been caught, for the first time since I began this whole farce! “Eu ligo sim.“ [I do care.] I paused, forcing myself to stop adjusting my hair nervously. “Estou pagando penitência, Vera. Eu me apaixonei de verdade, pela primeira vez. Pra ficar com essa mulher que eu amo e me libertar das minhas amarras como demônio, preciso do perdão de todas as mulheres vivas com quem eu tenho contrato.“ [I am on a quest of penitence. I have fallen in love for the first time. In order to be with the woman I love and free myself from the ties with which my kind are bound, I must beg pardon of all living women with which I have a contract.] She tried to interrupt me, but I forged on. “Mas não quer dizer que eu esteja falando da boca pra fora! Eu me arrependo, de coração, pelo que eu fiz. É um peso enorme pra mim. E mais: eu posso estar aqui agora porque nosso contrato acabou. Se você quiser, ainda pode encontrar amor de verdade.“ [That does not mean my sentiments are false! I truly regret what I have done, and it weighs heavily upon me. But that is not all I have to say. The reason I can come to you now is that our contract has been broken. If you choose, you may still find love yet.]
I watched a tear slide down her cocoa-skinned cheek as she lit a cigarette. “Olha, André, que bom que você achou alguém que te faz feliz. Eu já escolhi meu caminho. Agora vai embora, por favor.“ [Look, Andy, I’m glad you found someone that makes you happy. But I chose my path. Now, please, leave.]
I gulped, stifling the sadness that burned in my throat. “Adeus, Vera.“ [Farewell, Vera.] Hoping to myself that Vera would, one day, reconsider, I leapt through dimensions and returned to my own home. I spent the next hour smoking cigarettes on my balcony, reflecting sadly on the jovial girl I had known, as well as the hardened woman she had become.
Notes**This chapter is dedicated to my co-conspirator, The Unforgiven, for help with the text.**
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