ONYX  © Sventon P/L 2000 All rights reserved
Written by Marcus Sventon 2003

Immediately stepping on board the Air Lanka jumbo at the Changi airport, Martyn was spellbound as he looked into two black pools of Sinhalese sensuality. His functions abandoned him to the extent that he did not hear her say, ‘to your left please, sir’. Finally being shown to his seat by one of the cabin crew, he began making himself comfortable for the flight to Colombo. On accepting a glass of orange juice from a smiling hostess, he returned the smile and thanked her, however he would have preferred a large scotch to calm his racing heart. Never before had he seen such breath taking beauty.

Dressed in colorful mosaic patterned saris the three very attractive young women made sure that all of the passengers were given the service they expected. Magazines and drinks were offered around the cabin while the captain gave his parlance, stating destination, time of arrival and the weather in Colombo. It was then that the senior hostess joined the others. With a quick glance around the cabin she seemed pleased with the progress. During her survey Martyn caught her eye and smiled. She returned his smile, her pink lips in marked contrast with her burnished copper skin caused Martyn’s imagination to visualized the inner pink folds of her femininity, the
destination of his fantasy.

With four hostesses and eight passengers in the first class section, the tempo was leisurely and friendly. Each girl talked at length with the patrons as they passed out drinks and snacks. Martyn patiently awaited his turn hoping to talk with "Onyx", a nickname he had given her because of her alluring black eyes. She arrived at his seat, and with her smile captured his soul. He stared up at her in virtual homage, "Sriyani" was engraved in gold on a black emblem of a lion pinned to her sari. He again looked into her eyes and could see the whirlpools of seduction drawing him towards her.

They talked of his destination, his business and of his plans to tour the island. She in turn openly responded, telling him of her vocation and the pleasures of travel; of living in Colombo and of the current Tamil problems that were sadly keeping the tourists at bay and planes empty.

During their lengthy chat he etched into his mind her tall and slender body that curved gently at her waist and rounded at her hips. His eyes continued to follow the flow of the sari as it clung closely to her contours, delicately defining her long firm thighs. A sight that stirred and tantalized his lower chakra. As she spoke, her head moved ever so slightly from side to side, a head that sat proudly upon a long elegant neck. Her shoulders were narrow and delicate and although not of the large western style her firm breasts, he was sure, would respond to his touch.

A few glasses of premier scotch allowed Martyn to drift into a meditative doze thinking of the days ahead, of the delicate negotiations in which he would be involved. The purpose of his mission to Sri Lanka was to obtain an exclusive license to purchase charcoal products, re-selling them to the water and gold mining industries throughout Australia and New Zealand. It was a totally new venture for him, actually an adventure, for he had never before carried out any business transactions outside his home country. After the discussions were complete it was his plan to tour the island. He had booked both a guide and driver with the intention of visiting Kandy in the highlands and the famous white beaches of Bentota and Buruwala. Two hours into the flight and dinner was served, a traditional curry meal of either beef or fish was the choice. Martyn unsure of the source of the beef chose the fish, for he knew the island was famous for its seafood. As Sriyani handed him his the tray there seemed to be a flow of energy transfer between them; both could feel the psychic current as there glances met.

It was a bumpy landing for the monsoon rains were late this year and were now continuing into March. Standing in queue at the customs’ desk the group of hostesses walked passed and on stepping out of the line Martyn called her name, ‘Sriyani’. She stopped and turned towards him, fumbling with his wallet as he walked towards her he finally extracted a card which he offered. ‘I am staying at the Ramada, may I take you to dinner one night?’ he paused, ‘tonight?’ She laughed, looked at her watch, then back at him. Her eyes sparkled and as she talked her head began to "waggle" from side to side. A habit that is difficult for the Sinhalese to cease despite the extensive training at "hostess school." ‘Not this evening, but tomorrow. Yes! tomorrow evening, I will meet you in the foyer of your hotel...say seven thirty,’ not waiting for a reply she turned to catch up with the other girls who were by now giggling among themselves. Slightly stunned at her acceptance he called after her, ‘yes, yes that’s fine ...fine’. Still distracted he did not hear the customs officer’s question, ‘Oh, yes business,’ he then added, ’and a bit of a holiday at the end.’ An added surprise awaited him as he walked to the exit doors and into the public hall. Here he noticed a young man standing holding a board inscribed "M.PATRICK". Kingsley, welcomed him to Colombo then escorted him to an awaiting silver Mercedes, complete with driver.

The Ramada Hotel was set behind a large wall with its entrance secured by equally large steel gates behind which stood two armed guards. All baggage and guests were directed to pass through a metal detector prior to entering the foyer itself. Martyn could feel the anxiety lift from his shoulders as he was cleared and accompanied to the reception desk. ‘Welcome Mister Patrick, I trust you had a pleasant flight,’ asked the clerk politely, then continuing, ‘room 1269 ...the twelfth floor sir.’ Pausing slightly to ensure Martyn was fully aware of his room allocation, he continued. ‘Your bags will be sent up shortly. Sorry for the inconvenience, but it is for your protection sir’. Martyn grinned, ‘Tamils?’ In return the clerk smiled and with a non-committal look on his face and "waggled" his head from side to side.

The next morning the driver was waiting in the foyer and knew his itinerary, taking him to the Haley Group’s head office. Here he was met at the door by a man in his thirties dressed in a tailor-made grey suit complete with white shirt and red tie. Martyn was pleased he had chosen similar apparel. Negotiations were conducted on English style procedures although there were distinctive characteristics that were truly Sinhalese. Around the conference table sat the senior management, with the younger generation of potential executives standing behind, all of which were eager to learn both the art of negotiation and international transaction. Everyone was calm and smiling and as they spoke many heads waggled in synchronization. The meeting lasted for two hours in which Martyn gave his qualifications, his company’s policies and mission statement. Where and how much product he would order monthly and the payment arrangements which he would set up with their Colombo bank. A second meeting was planned for the next day, a fact which pleased him greatly.

The management of the second company he visited that day was very similar in temperament and manner – they too planning an another meeting. With what seemed a successful day behind him Martyn retired to the hotel pool which surrounded a bar and sundeck and indulged in a long cold scotch. That evening as Martyn sat in the foyer of the Ramada hoping that Sriyani would keep her promise he watched the parade of incoming guests. It was a Rotary meeting, and unlike the Apex meetings he attended at home this was a black tie affair. Ladies too were present and all, despite size and shape, looked stunning in their silk saris of many colours and patterns. Sipping on a scotch he felt a presence beside him and looked up into the happy and seductive face of Sriyani. He stood up immediately and thanked her for her company, her eyes sparkled with delight. Dressed in a dark blue sari embroidered with Diamantés that twinkled like the evening stars, she sat down beside him and accepted a drink of soda and lime offered by the waiter.

Martyn, unsure of his ground and of the cultural barriers, asked if he could call her "Sri", finding "Sriyani" difficult for his uncultured Australian tongue to manipulate each time he said her name. She laughed and agreed. Pleased with her response he then asked her of her day and delighted in her story of the family’s shopping spree to the spice markets. In turn he told her of his success asking if a return meeting was a good omen – she agreed saying that he had done well and that they must trust him. ‘Trust, is an important part of our culture and commercial dealings,’ she said with a sombre look upon her face.’

When the time came to adjourn to the dining room Martyn took the opportunity to observed every movement of her statuesque body as she walked to their seats. On sitting down he reflected on her words of trust and pleased with her comment he settled back to study the extensive menu. After a close scrutiny of the dishes he looked across at Sriyani saying, ‘the lemon sole in white wine sauce sounds great, but firstly he would indulge in some oysters for an entrée. ‘You have great expectations?’ was her surprising and sarcastic response, then giving him a suggestive glance, ‘I may join you  for the night is young.’ She too then ordered lemon sole but with coconut cream sauce.

Their conversation lasted late into the evening with both exploring each others past life, their hopes and their dreams. As a parting gesture the piano man played a request from Martyn who took the opportunity to hold her close as they danced to "Strangers on the Shore".

Rain looked threatening in the evening sky as they walked home hand in hand. Both were now feeling mellow, in love with life in general and with the friendship that was blossoming between them. Leaning against his shoulder she guided him into a small laneway which looked both dark and gloomy. Thinking that all his birthdays had arrived together and that the oysters were actually beginning to take effect, he gently persuaded her against the wall and searched for her lips. They were soft, moist and responsive to his kiss. With her rising passion she raised her head allowing Martyn to lavish kisses upon the velvet skin of her neck. Her perfume filled his nostrils with the perfume of a thousand Arabian fragrances stirring his ardor and carnal needs. Sliding his tongue into the warm of her mouth he savored her juices, causing his imagination to fantasize the taste of the pre-coital flow from within her sacred sanctuary. Her body trembled with desire as she pressed against his rising manhood. Never being this far before she became confused and bewildered, her body wanting to continue but her spiritual guide warning her of the dangers. Taking a deep breath she pressed her arms against Martyn’s chest gently but firmly prising a gap between them, she then threw her head back and gave out a long sigh. Martyn too, knowing that this was neither the time or place conceded to her will. She grabbed his hand and to his surprise she continued on their way down the lane. She stopped and at the exact moment that Martyn saw a large man standing in the shadows. He prepared himself for an attack ...instead Sri acknowledged his presence saying, ‘evening Carloke.’

Kissing Martyn on the cheek she wished him goodnight, saying, ‘this is Carloke our house-guard.’ Then looking to her left she nodded, ‘my father’s house is here – call me Thursday.’ Letting go his hand she passed him a slip of paper then opening a steel gate disappeared into a small courtyard. Unsure of what to do next and where to go Martyn stood in the middle of the laneway embarrassed about the whole situation. Suddenly Carloke blew a whistle causing Martyn to decline into a state of alarm. Still he could do nothing for his feet seemed to be nailed to the ground. Then from nowhere car lights filled the laneway. Carloke was now fully visible and complete with a large baton he stood some six foot, not including his turban. The car stopped with the driver asking the obvious, ’Ramada sir?’ In a stammering voice Martyn agreed. He looked across at Carloke and tried to smile but his facial muscles were paralyzed. Safely in his suite and with a glass of scotch in his shaking hand, he re-called the happenings in the laneway. He wondered if Sri had planned the final fiasco, but with good intentions. He laughed to himself and retired to his large soft bed to dream of her. As he drifted into his fantasy world his hand gently took hold of his now extended manhood and he began to feel the pleasure that may have been Sri’s love as his hand slid over his bulbous crown.

Negotiations were successful with both companies willing to appoint Martyn as their agent. The final legal and financial arrangements having to be prepared both in Australia and in Sri Lanka. The big question was which company would he choose. It had to be given urgent priority, for they were in fact competitors.

Thursday arrived and he checked with the airline office on the arrival of the Singapore flight on which Sri was arriving. ...it was as previous ... midnight, he therefore thought he would wait till at least noon before calling her.

He rang and Sri agreed to meet him at the hotel at three. Seated with a direct view of the entrance, he could feel all his chakras vibrate in harmony as they sent a shiver down his spine when he saw a tall elegant lady glide across the white and pink marble floor towards him. He could feel the resonance that stirred the depths of his primitive sexual energy calling on the God Eros for the power of seduction. Instead of a sari Sri wore a long lime-green dress with a side split that allowed a glimpse of her leg to well above the knee. A saffron coloured string of beads highlighted her upper body while her black hair hung loose over her shoulders and bounced gently in harmony with her step. Martyn stood as she approached and commented on her beauty and her choice in dress. Accepting his comments she lowered her head in humility, raising it again she displayed her appreciation with a glowing smile that tore at his heart strings.

High tea was the order of the hour and Martyn looked forward to the treat. He was anxious to taste the tea from the undisputed tea capital of the world. ‘It is so nice to see you again,’ said Martyn as they were escorted to their table. ’Did you have a good flight?’ She placed her hand across the table and squeezed his tightly, ’good to see you too, you were constantly in my heart
and on my mind,’

He jokingly told her of his fear when she left him stranded in the laneway, she laughed loudly and felt embarrassed as heads turned towards them. She inquired of his business deals and was pleased with his success.  ‘You order my love,’ said Martyn as the waiter stood proudly by her side. Dressed in black trousers and a white shirt separated by a maroon cummerbund, his head moved in agreement with Sri’s order ... Orange Pekoe tea and Bibikan, a traditional rice cake containing coconut, cashews and dried fruits. He told her again of his plans for the next four days. Of his intention to visit the highlands and the southern beaches. She agreed that it would be a good time for travel as the full Moon was approaching and the New Year was imminent. He wondered at her statement for it was the month of April, he would pursue that later. For now feeling the opportunity was right he tentatively asked, ‘will you come with me? it would be great fun, you as my guide, and the nights would be filled with our love.’ Keen to convince her he continued, ‘you can tell me all about your culture and we would be together for three or four days,’ he added, ‘and nights.’ Her eyes lowered and he saw rejection on her face, his heart sank with her silence. She looked up and forced a grin saying, ‘I will ask my guide.’ ‘But you will be my guide and I have a driver!’ Her expression lightened with his comment,‘ my spiritual guide.’ Pretending to look dejected he replied in his saddest voice, ‘Oh dear, well, that’s that, I can see long lonely nights ahead.’ She again reached across that table and talking his hand in hers, ‘I am sure he will agree with my heart.’ They arranged to meet the next morning despite the decision she would make that evening, either to say good-bye or to join him. It was a long night as he lay there craving for her warm body to be next to his. His mind ebbed and flowed through the barrier of consciousness and he felt as if he was part of her decision ritual... He was lost in a mist and could hear her voice in the rhythm of a mantra call to him.
The fog cleared and he saw Sri kneeing at the base of a shrine...from within the shrine came a voice saying – "Your physical passion for each other will be called upon to take the test of spiritual love, which you both must transcend."

To allow the roads to be clear of the city morning traffic Martyn had arranged for his driver, Jahara, to be at the hotel at ten thirty. Unfolding a map of the Central District, Jahara ran his finger along the route when a voice from behind said, ’there is only one road.’ Martyn’s heart jumped as he turned to see his love dressed in kaki trousers and a polo shirt partly covered by a lightweight coloured waistcoat. A cry of "she is coming!" sang out in his heart. ‘You are coming then? Great! Where is your gear?’ Putting her arms around his neck and giving him a hug she whispered, ‘Yes I am, I hope your worth it.’ Selfishly thinking she meant physically, the lechery in his eyes made her turn away in embarrassment. ‘Affectionately and spiritually I meant – don’t tell me you are a western chauvinist. I can see I am going to learn all about you during this trip!’ Martyn gave a superficial laugh but thought to himself that this journey will also entail for him a long learning curve. One that would include the cultural and spiritual aspects of Sri’s inner self and their compatibility.

With Sri only having a three day break between her flight commitments they decided to go to the beaches instead of the hills. Since Martyn had to return to Sri Lanka by the end of the month for the final signing of the documents he suggested that they could visit the hill country then. Sri picked up her overnight bag outside the hotel door, she did not want security guards rummaging through her clothing. Her experience had taught her not to trust anyone, her underwear being of significant interest to some people.

The road was narrow and strewn with people, elephants, carts, bicycles, barrows, the occasional pre-second war truck and Peugeot motor car. Fifteen to twenty kilometres per hour was the maximum possible speed despite continual horn blowing. Martyn asked the driver several times not to blow the horn as it was only being ignored and that they were not in any hurry. The scenery and his company were all new and exciting. It was a passing parade of life and there was so much to talk about. The driver was persistent with his horn and again Martyn asked him to stop leaning on it. This time Sri taking up the cause in her strong native tongue disciplined him. Feeling chastised it he stopped. Turning to Martyn she grinned saying, ‘it will be torture for him you know.’ ‘I thought you were all Buddhists, calm and serene,’ ’Not all,’ replied Sri, in a somewhat resolved tone, ‘not all of us are.We have a mixture of faiths.’

The stream of mankind continued to flow on both sides of the road with many stopping at small temples or shrines to give gifts or to bathe and eat. Walking through the lobby towards the reception the décor was of the early Portuguese settlers, dark almost burnt wood with bright rugs and cushions. They were greeted with a happy smile and given their room number which was on the top or third floor. On opening the door they were pleased to see that the Moorish style, with its white stucco walls and fiery orange curtains carried throughout the hotel. A small meal preparation area complete with heavy wooden table, a large four poster bed and several heavy chairs made up the furnishings. On walking on to the verandah the breath taking view drained away the frustration that had permeated their bodies during the long
slow trip.

Palm trees graced the shoreline where blue rolling waves ran up upon the white silvery sands. Sri threw her arms around Martyn’s neck and kissed him on the cheek. ‘It still is so beautiful, I haven’t been here for years.’ She kiss him again, ‘we’re going to have fun here.’

Looking over the balcony directly below they saw the stewards and waiters preparing for the evening meal. Tables covered with purple table cloths and decorated with white napkins and tea-candles were positioned around the pool area which was illuminated by lanterns. The sight would captivate and delight even the God Bacchus lover of food and indulgence. Taking his shirt off Martyn threw himself on the bed and checked out the recoil. Satisfied he looked across at Sri who was walking towards the shower recess, she grinned but made no comment. Comfortable, he continued to lie there and listen to the running water. In his mind he could visualize the rivulets flowing over Sri’s brown rounded breasts and torsos then follow the contours around her hips and thighs. He felt the Chi stirring in the depths of his staff when he thought of the white fluffy soap bubbles collecting in the triangle of her black velvet pubic playground. The water stopped but his ardor kept growing, stirring his manhood and desire to the edge of his control. He turned to see Sri with a large white towel draped over her walk towards him, as she did her burnished thighs exposed themselves further fueled Martyn’s sexual need. She rolled on the bed beside him and threw half the towel over him. His hands ran down her soft naked body and he pulled her closer. Undoing his belt he set free his emblem of manhood and pushed it against her belly. Partly sitting up and resting on one arm he looked down upon her and stared into the black pools of her soul. He could see fear dance across her eyes ... she was not ready. Was she still a virgin?... was it against her religion?... there was something, he could sense an aurora of apprehension. A reader of Taoism and a practitioner of Kundalini yoga, a self control which teaches that spiritual love enhances physical pleasure. He curtailed his vigor. Instead he kissed her softly then ran his tongue down her neck and encircled her breasts - she shuddered as if releasing unwanted consciousness. Stopping to admire her body he watched her nipples rise from the chocolate coated circles that were now dotted with tiny goose bumps. A barometer of her growing excitement and desire. Allowing his saliva to soak into her heaving breasts, he ran his tongue around her tummy button tickling that caused her to wriggle against him. On reaching his goal, he touched the tip of her femininity enticing the lips of her maiden-hood to unfold like a lotus blossom when caressed by the early morning dew. He could feel her wetness and perceive her want. Sri’s body trembled with apprehension and anxiety, wanting him to take her but her inner spirit warned her of the jeopardy. He looked down upon her face and saw her dark eyes dance from side to side as if she was wrestling with the torment within her self. Suddenly a calmness came over her and the turmoil subsided, she smiled and reached for him.. Both their bodies trembled with expectation, he paused and looked at her again as if asking for permission to continue, she returned a look of submission, innocence and need.

The days were sunny and warm and spent walking hand in hand along the silver beach, pausing to rest and hold each other beneath the shade of palm trees that edged towards the shoreline. A quick dip in the warm blue waters helped cool their ardor but gave Martyn the opportunity to admire Sri’s naked beauty. The return trek to the hotel was punctuated by a stop at stalls along the beach. Here they would relish a cold beer and order some seafood straight from the ocean. Crabs, fish and lobster poached in coconut milk were the main delicacies on an instant menu. A white wine on the balcony helped pass the lazy afternoons, while the balmy nights, with the soft sea breezes ruffling the palm trees saw them in each others arms, confirming their love.

Back alone in Perth to the mundane office routine Martyn’s thoughts were constantly with Sriyani. His nights and dreams were her and he craved for her touch. A touch that would transform him into an untamed lover eager to satisfy her lustful needs. He would e-mail her twice a day and they would chat each evening on ICQ. The look of love and contentment glowed within Sriyani’s eyes and she became a source of amusement and girlish teasing by her working companions and friends. She too longed for Martyn to be back in her arms, to give him her body and freely express her passion and feel again the carnal pleasure he alone could give her. She knew she loved him with both her heart and soul. It would be some weeks before they would be together again, and the processing of the trade documents were becoming more involved as government and custom agencies became involved. They knew and they planned to talk with Sri’s father immediately on Martyn’s arrival. A task she was aware would be strewn with difficulties and problems. "Insurmountable problems" her father had already warned her when she tentatively approached him for his guidance. Insurmountable problems of religion, culture and caste would not make it possible for them to continue any relationship. Sri did not mention this to Martyn, she wanted him back in her arms where she felt the world was theirs, where they could shelter each other and fulfill their dreams. Martyn sensing that there could be cultural and religious problems began visiting a Buddhist monk, a long respected friend, who had a sanctuary in the hills of Perth. Martyn listened and prayed. He had great concern for he knew their love for each other was endless and blessed in Heaven. He knew their bodies were there to be shared and be enjoyed until Eternity. Buddhists were accepted and admired in Australia, but in that alone lay the first problem, the family ties. Tears ran from Sri’s eyes as she read his comments on the screen about family and the need for her to live in Australia. He promised frequent visits to Sri Lanka for both of them as his business dealing would dictate. The break needed to be gentle for she did want to return and be accepted by both family and friends.

Sri stood with open arms as Martyn walked through the terminal gates. They held each other long and tightly relieving the agony they had been stored up during their separation. Martyn lay back in the bubbling spa and allowed the bubbles to relieve the stress and fatigue from his travel weary muscles. Relaxing was not to be as his sexual hunger stirred when Sri’s glistening body slid into the tub opposite him, her firm breasts, that looked so eatable were immediately surrounded by the steaming effervescence. Lying back he could feel the fine bubbles tease his balls as he pushed his insignia above the water level reminding Sri of the pleasure that was theirs to revisit. He maneuvered himself closer towards her dark velvet plumage. Searching below the water she grasped his totem and pointed it towards her tunnel of love, then lowered herself upon him.

Martyn had chosen Haley’s as his provider of charcoal product and they exchanged contracts that would secure their trading for the next five years. That was the easy bit. Both Sri and Martyn knew the difficulties that were yet to come. Sri had arranged a meeting of the family to introduce Martyn and to endorse their love for each other. Sri’s father was uncompromising despite Martyn’s insistence that he was aware and understood much of the basics of the Buddhist faith. ‘I will never interfere, nor even try to change Sriyani’s beliefs and practices. She will always be her own person,’ he pleaded -- but to no avail. Then without warning Sri made a statement that stopped the total conversation and rocked the foundation of the family negotiations . ‘Our love has already been consummated and I know that God agrees.’ Tears ran down her father’s cheeks as he lent over and held his daughter, ‘well God only knows, and may Buddha bless you and your children.’ They were now one.

Back in the cold reality of living Martyn had a strong financial commitment that had to be met by him and his company. He had to venture into the field and promote his new products and establish a base for the projected sales. It was therefore back to Australia, leaving Sri once more. Between them they had set up a programme that would see them both married and together. She would immediately apply for a visa for entrance to Australia and they would marry in both the Sinhalese and Australian tradition, in Sri Lanka first then Perth. Sri waved good bye as Martyn boarded the jumbo back to Singapore, with the wedding dates set both had her tasks and their new lives together to organize.

The e-mails and the ICQ nightly conversations flowed continuously between them confirming their love and relating the progress of their plans. Martyn’s immediate task was to begin his promotional campaign which entailed traveling throughout the states. Both knew he would be on the road for several weeks and that communications between each other would be limited. However it was puzzling that his laptop did not record any overseas correspondence, a problem he thought was unusual but not uncommon in the vast expanses of the Australian outback. Then to find no ICQ messages or new e-mail on his mainframe computer on his return mystified him completely. Where was she? Surely there was no change of heart. She was definite of her destiny, she had promised and had pledged her love, not only by word but by their union. Despite his constant communication, his e-mail, his URLs and even snail mail there was no answers in return. It was now two months. Where was she? had she been forced into a retreat? Had her father brought his wrath down upon her. Where was she? He sent a constant plea both day and night but to no avail. His mind tortured and his heart broken he planned to return to Colombo, but his commitments and his obligations where also at home. The first shipment of activated charcoal was due to arrive in Fremantle. He then had to load and truck out two secured
orders -- all was seemed to be happening at once. On Tuesday the third day of July Martyn received a certified envelope depicting a black lotus flower logo. He could sense the overtones of darkness and even death, it was as if the cloak of Hecate the Goddess of the underworld had been thrown over him. Hesitant he opened the flap to see in a hand written scroll of some distinction -- "You are not alone, for we too loved her dearly. We have been fortunate to cherish her from birth. Now in death we share the pain." ‘Oh! No! Fuck,’ Martyn threw the card across the room. ‘No! No! this can’t be true! They’re fucking me about. It’s all bullshit!

He filled a glass of scotch and drank deeply. His hand shook and his heart sank as he refilled the glass. ‘There is no way, bastards! There is no way.’ He needed to be there, there was no logic left only his longing to be with her. He needed to be at her side, his very life was hers, his total existence was her -- no she had not deserted him. With his mind dulled by the alcohol his body sought escape as he sank into the couch with tears flowing freely. The morning was unclear at first but his recall came quickly and a flight for that afternoon was booked. He had to at least talk to the family and share their grief, he wanted to revisit the last moments of her life with those closest to her and those who love her as much as he did.

Vaguely remembering where she lived, for it was only once had he visited her father’s home and his nervousness was such that it was all fairly vague in his memory. With the help of Kingsley they drove the around the so called privileged  precincts of the city trying to find a landmark. Without warning Martyn asked for the car to stop, he had a feeling of déjà vu and a special feeling of a presence that drew him to the grotto where they had first held each other on that special night.

Martyn walked the lane-ways searching for a sign, even Carloke could not be found. Dejected he lowered his head and wandered back towards his awaiting car. About to enter he saw from the corner of his eye a tall lady dressed in a light blue sari coming out of a narrow doorway. She walked with the elegance that he had always admired in Sri, he squinted his eyes trying to improve his focus, but to no avail. Instead he ran across the roadway and called her name. She broke her stride in hesitation but continued on at a slightly quicker pace. He called again, she stopped and turned. He knew it was her despite the veil that covered her face, he knew it was her beyond doubt when he looked into those eyes that were now filled with torment. He grabbed her and threw his arms around her. ‘Sri! Oh my darling it is you. You terrified me. What’s going on? tell me for Christ’s sake.’ Her hand shook as she stood back and took hold of her veil. ‘I am no longer for you, she said, ‘I have been defiled for my sins.’

With her hand, now shaking in fear of total rejection, she lowered her scarf to reveal the scarring that was the result of a Tamil bomb blast. Looking back into her eyes which were bursting with tears of
humility, Martyn reminded her, ‘I do not love you for your beauty alone, I will always love you because you are you.’ Tears ran freely from both their eyes as they held each other closely, their tear drenched lips resealing the bond between them.

Marcus Sventon 2003