In Memory Of Rita Navore.
It is important, given the adjustment of times, and the occurrence of recent events, to notate that this work is merely an example of explanation, not one of poetry or merely a straight forward work of prose. In essence, this piece is a mere chronicling of ideas, a listing of thoughts, that is probably best suited for categorization under “ Stream of Consciousness,” though to dubiously label it as such is not my task. However I hope this information does not serve to diminish the effect of this work, which is not for profit or for entertainment -- no, such things would not be fit of my subject manner, and such ends are not justified by the means. In actuality, this work is a somber one, that if the reader were so inclined, may refer to as eulogy, but such a path is not one I would all together advise. What this work is, at its very core, is a report, and nothing more, of my time spent in association, with Rita Navore.
Before I begin my discourse, I must enlighten the reader to the nature of said association. At a distant point in my past it can be said that I knew her, as many men did likewise. Though I mention this as my first point, do not be misguided in thinking that I belittled her, or thought her of less than perfect human stock. Rita and I had shared a bond, one that may or may not have been taken with equal common place between us.
I wish not to bore my reader with the trivial aspects of my own life. Instead of illuminating such aspects, I will begin my narration, if my tale can be called such, by describing the person herself. While in hindsight I will admit that the woman's beauty was beyond any mortal words description, I will say that it is my duty to at least attempt to allow words to do her justice. She was tall, her height astounding but not overwhelming. While she was capable of towering above the shorter men, it was not impossible for her to find someone who could see the top of her head. In my estimation, and it is possible that my memory is the most valid in this respect, she stood approximately five feet and ten inches. Her legs rose forever from the ground, sky scrapers anchored in the soles of worn out shoes, or fine red heels. These legs connected to a mid section that was toned to absolute perfection, thinning at just the right points-- but voluptuous in an entirely attractive and graceful manner-- that only accentuated her sexuality. As a voyeurs eyes raced upwards, they were captivated by the most entirely perfect set of breasts God had ever fabricated. Her chest was not too large, as it did not resemble someone who had paid entirely too much for attention, but it was not small enough to resemble pre-pubescence. Rita Navore, as far as sexual characteristics, was by all accounts the most complete of all women.
As one got to her head, they began to notice her flaws. Do not think reader, that I am slandering her character or her beauty. Her face, in its construction was as perfect as her flawless form, angular and sharp like the edges of an arrowhead. Her face would make a cover model envious, however, her eyes began to separate her from the other perfect denizens that we visually idolize. Her left eye glowed a neutral brown, neither impressive or depressive; her right eye however, glowed an erie yellow, as if it had not finished its dying process like the other had.
The discoloration of her iris' was not all together her undoing. While her optic state was, quite naturally peculiar, it did not do anything to eliminate her from consideration in the eyes of potential suitors and mates. Even with this strange defect, Rita found no trouble attracting male attention, including mine. Unlike her other endeavors with the opposite sex, I did not work out as planned. For some strange reason, Rita had eyes for me, the kind that wanted to maintain my association, whereas with others, she merely discarded them when they were of no further use.
As time passed, I found myself doing all in my power to create distance between the two of us. Not because her attitude was anything less than pleasant, or because her company was boring. For some strange reason that I find hard to illuminate, I was terrified of her.
In her presence, I felt a strange sense of growing discomfort. She did not look at me strange, though the strange nature of her iris would have made that very easy, but I could not help but find myself alarmed by a strange sense of deformity that prevailed over her entire character. She did not walk limp, nor speak with any flaw-- in fact her voice was as soft as her beautiful brown hair. For some reason, her presence was something that literally ruined my life, and so, without much of a good-bye, I left her, and never spoke to her again.
Though I felt bad for my method of ending the relationship, I grew happy in my new life. Though I had not moved on into another situation, I found myself quite content by keeping my own company. In my separation from social association, I read a great many books, and indeed stood out from my peers at work. Needless to say however, one's past, especially that which lingers on in guilt, has a way of catching up to you.
I was shocked on a casual September morning by a phone call. No number was given on the display, but since I had not received a caller in some time, I felt compelled to answer it.
“ Hello?” I had seemingly forgotten what it was like to even answer a phone.
“ Michael?” A soft, broken voice belonging to a woman spoke my name.
“ Yes, who is this?”
I was shocked to a state of awe, but kept my composure. I had not spoken to the women in almost two years, and I found myself immediately stricken with an uneasy feeling, a mixture of sadness, pity, and anger.
“ What do you want?” I was alarmed at the rude nature of my voice. I could tell she was as well.
“ I need to see you.”
“ What for? I haven't spoken to you in two years.”
“ I am dying.”
I didn't know what to make of her statement, but I thought it necessary to inquire further. I was grieved for her, but I found myself unable to make out words that conveyed that sympathy.
“ Of what?” To inquire about her illness was the only response I could muster.
“ I am not certain, no one is. I don't have very long to live, and I know that you don't think very highly of me, but I want to see you before I go. You're the only man I really ever loved.”
“ I can't Rita, I am busy.” I could feel the chill of my own words down my own spine. I was a cold hearted bastard, but even the guilt couldn't drive me to face her, especially not in that kind of state.
“ Please Michael.”
I hung up the phone, halfway disgusted with myself, and halfway angry at Rita for putting me in that state. As I sat in my chair I stared down at the plastic device, wondering if I had perhaps allowed my prejudice against the woman to get the better of my sensibilities. I re-opened my cell phone, and redialed her number.
“ Where are you Rita?”
“ My house, the same one I have always lived in.”
As I pulled up to the house that looked as if it had remained in stasis for the entire two years of our separation, I felt as if I had made an error in going there. Though I could not help but feel sympathy for her sickness, I felt a strong compulsion to turn around and leave.
Her house was a small brownish one that was wearing its age. The white portions of vinyl siding had remained tarnished in a yellowish hue, and the front yard had fallen into complete disarray.
Rita lived with her mother and her uncle, which I always felt was a peculiar living arraignment. Her uncle was a quiet man who held some unknown disdain for me, and her mother was paradoxically old in relation to the age of her daughter. Though I regarded the family of Rita Navore with a quiet feeling of suspicion, they had never really done anything to me to earn my ill manners, and so when they greeted me at their door, I was as kind and courteous as ever.
Rita's mother motioned for me to follow her into the small house, and I did so cautiously. The carpet had remained unchanged since the mid 1980's, and was of that peculiar distasteful style that was popular in mini-vans. Their furniture was plain and tacky, covered in plastic coating. The walls were painted a plain off white, bearing no emotion.
The house immediately carried with it the feeling of demise. The smell coming from Rita's room was a mixture of many things, all of which were nauseating to say the least. The odor of ointments and rubbing alcohol invaded the air. The room was delightfully bare, only a table with some wilting flowers in a vase made harmony with a small bed, a bed which bore Rita Navore.
Rita seemed as lifeless in her bed as the room she inhabited. There wasn't much for seating in the room, and I could hear a distant scrapping sound in another room. On cue, as I began to ponder the situation, her uncle brought in a small steel chair, and placed it by the bed.
I regarded Rita nervously, not knowing what to say. Though I was undoubtably sympathetic for her plight, I could not evade that all too familiar feeling of horrifying deformity that came as part of Rita Navore's package.
She was decaying minute by minute. Her skin bore a resemblance to wet paper, a hint of brownish blurred ink creeping across her frail, boney arms. Her hair, though still intact, had turned ragged and aged, losing whatever sheen and health it had in her life.
Her brown eye looked kind on her face, but the yellow one burned as vibrant as it ever had, and now it focused its intensity on me.
“ Mother, uncle, could you please give us a minute or two?” Her voice was broken, and barely louder than a whisper. I hoped, in vain, that the two older Navores would not comply with her wishes, and would demand to remain in the room. They turned out quietly, with all the glow of pall bearers.
It was now just the two of us, our eyes locked in silent feud, neither of us aware of what should be said to one another.
“ How have you been?” She asked me, again with a voice I could barely hear. I was immediately afraid that I would have to move closer to her, but simultaneously embarrassed that I hadn't inquired about her health before she inquired about mine.
“ I have been fine. Rita, tell me, what has happened to you?” It occurred to me that I was not told the nature of her ailment.
“ No one is really sure, I just got sick, and it gets worse every day. But you don't have to pretend like you care Michael.”
“ I do care,” I began, not sure if I was lying, “ I just don't understand why you called me.”
“ You wouldn't, and I don't think I really have the time to make you understand. I needed to see you, to tell you that even now, I still love you.”
“ I don't think we should talk about this Rita. Our time passed, it was good, but it is over and has been. You have bigger concerns than whatever it was that we were.”
“ What good is living life if you have nothing to live for Michael?”
I needed to get out of there. I needed some means of escape. I hoped in that moment that she would die right before my eyes, not so that I could see it or gain enjoyment from it, just so that I could be assured she no longer existed.
“ Rita, I have to go. I came to see you. I can return tomorrow if you'd like.”
“ I want to see you every day that I have left.”
“ Then you will.”
I felt guilt in my stomach because I knew, as I walked out of her brown house and down the broken steps of her front porch, that nothing in the world could drive me back to see that woman.
I returned to my home still wearing the smell of her dying room. I threw off all of my clothes as quickly as I could, and took a long shower. While I showered, my phone rang five times. I had not received any callers in some time, so I was amused and alarmed about the frequency of the attention I was receiving lately. As I dried off, I checked the display, and sure enough, each entry read, “ Rita Navore.”
I tried to stave off my fear, and I tried to maintain my composure. I retired to my room to read some books to get my mind off the matter.
I pride myself on my extensive collection of classics. In my solitude, I have gained most of my pleasure by devouring the knowledge of these books and scripts. My current selection was an aged copy of Poe stories. As I opened the book and resumed my reading, I opened to my current page, which rested at the beginning of “ The Fall Of The House Of Usher.”
I read away, taking in the horror and imagination of 19th centuries morbid mastermind, when again the ominous vibration of my cell phone began again. I quickly picked up the device, and noticed again, that the call was from Rita Navore.
Needless to say I ignored the call, out of equal parts fear and agitation. After some time I placed the book down, turned off my light and went to bed.
Morning in my home is a rather strange mixture of chilling cold, and a warmth that comes from the beams of light that arch through the blinds. My alarm has always been the same sharp sound, it's uncomfortable siren like wail almost startles me to rise.
I shower and shave almost every morning at the same time, whether I work or not. I had recently been injured on the job, so I was not required to work for approximately two months; though the extent of my injury was nowhere near that drastic. I looked forward to the quality time of relaxation that I had hoped to achieve in that two month leave of absence, as it would allow me to take care of some menial tasks around my home that needed tending to.
I picked up my phone, seeking to call ahead to the department and hardware store to inquire about the availability of a leaf blower, only to be alarmed by a sudden jolting vibration, and the display reading “Rita Navore.”
Though I felt a strange fear, I was more alarmed by the sudden setting of guilt within me. I promised, whether to myself or some strange unseen force, that I would answer her next call. Though admittedly, I did this under the expectation, that her name would never again appear on my phone display.
Within minutes however, as if God had willed her to dial, she once again called me. I held the vibrating phone within my palm, staring at if it bore some deep secret, or was made of solid gold.
“ Hello...” My voice trailed off as if I regretted speaking.
No voice produced a sound on the other end, only a sobbing that I faintly believed to be that of Rita Navore.
Again, no response, only a deep, and soft crying sound. Eventually, I could not with stand the scene any longer, and shut the phone and threw it across the room. I endeavored to never take my eyes off of it, watching it as if it was possessed by an evil spirit that may or may not attack me in my sleep.
But as is the custom of the human being, I eventually shrugged off the strains of that terrible experience. The memory or Rita Navore always seemed to pass by with little or no incident, and though I could not completely forget the occurrence, or her, her effect did diminish over time.
I made myself a bowl of cereal, and sat down alone at my table to eat. My home was cold, but since I lived by myself, I felt no need to adjust the temperature because I found it comfortable. I ate in silence, staring at my phone as it sat on the table beside my food. I looked at it in anticipation, fearing the inevitable call back. I reasoned to myself that perhaps she had accidently dialed the phone while crying, or perhaps her signal was flawed and I could not comprehend her. I found myself strangely wishing for her to call me once more, though I quickly dismissed this emotion.
Within seconds of cleaning my bowl and returning it to the cabinet my phone rang, and sure enough, the display read “ Rita Navore.” I picked up the phone quickly, my previous agitation mixing with a strange sense of guilt and sorrow.
“ Hello?” I spoke far more confidently than I did on the previous call, but once again, no voice answered me, only a far off sound similar to sobbing. I could actually feel as if the room that the person on the other end occupied was cold, and could faintly picture the image of Rita sobbing alone, with her breath visible upon the frozen air.
I hung up once again though, angry but determined that I would make an effort to converse with her when she called, though honestly I intended to only answer when such an event was convenient for me.
I drove into the hardware store that day to make some small purchases. As I walked through the aisles I came across a young woman who I faintly remembered to be a friend of Rita's from our time together. She regarded me with a strong glance that bore great hostility. I fought off the urge to speak to her about Rita's condition, and continued on me way to the counter to pay for the items.
Once home, I checked my phone to find that a voice-mail had been left. I checked it, and once again was greeted by the far off sound of soft sobbing. I was alarmed and shocked, but I felt myself feel a strong tinge of guilt and displacement that I could not explain. I closed the phone and put it back in my pocket and continued with my task at hand.
The yard work did not take long because my property is quite small. However, I took my time, allowing my activities to divert me from the uneasiness that had settled upon me. Rita Navore had inexplicably gotten to me again, but not with love as her weapon this time, no such was not her apparent design. My guilt now stemmed from a strange place that I could not nail down, and I felt very nervous about virtually every step that I took. She was now more than ever, terrifying to me. Her recent peculiar activities only heightening that unnamable dream that permeated her very existence.
For several weeks the calls continued, each one more chilling than the next. When I answered, I was presented by variations on a similar theme: a soft, distant sounding sob, occasionally broken by the sound of Rita screaming my name, only the sound was far off in the distance.
As the calls continued, so did the decline of my own state. I no longer showered, and the cold state of my house grew even colder. I spent most of my day in the study, wrapped up in an old blanket, staring at the phone. Now, when she called, I no longer answered them. I always let the call go to voicemail, where I would play it back in a state of guilt and horror.
The phone vibrated, and following my ritual, I allowed it to travel to voice mail again. I picked up the device as if it was some sacred stone tablet. I dialed my mailbox and placed my ear to the phone.
The sound on the other end had evolved from the far off sobbing into a high pitched screeching, that was almost deafening in its volume. I returned my ear to the phone as the wail subsided, and listened to what sounded like thousands of voices screaming in brutal agony, in the distance, buried beneath a sound similar to that of gusting winds. It receded, and only a whisper of Rita's voice saying my name was present. I closed the phone in a state of sheer terror, and threw it across the room.
For three consecutive days her calls made this sound and nothing else. The sobbing had permanently given way to this morbid, strangely supernatural collage of sounds that created within me the most dreadful feeling of doom. I had to put a stop to this.
I had put off for far to long the finality of my break-up with Rita. Today, I dressed myself for the first time in weeks, and made my way to Rita's home. I deserved torture for the way I had ended our association before, but now I felt as if the best course of action would be to stand up for myself, and be a man. Though I knew my timing was horrible in more ways than one, given her health, it had to be done. My sanity could not take the barrage of new anguish that she was delivering on a daily basis.
Her home had a new hue to it. It seemed an alien planet of sorts. The old house had lost whatever luster it had maintained in its past. It now looked sterile, as if a fog had descended upon it and never evaporated.
I walked up the porch and knocked on the door. As expected, her mother greeted me; her grave old face wearing the torrent of almost unspeakable aging and the effects that come with a long life.
“ Can I help you?” She spoke, yet her voice seemed to grow out of the ground.
“ I need to see Rita.”
She stood motionless for an uncomfortable span of time. I spoke again, “ I need to speak with her.”
“ She is dead Michael, she's been dead for almost four weeks.”
I looked at the woman in the eye, looking for a crease within her soul.
“That cannot be. She called me mere moments ago. Look!”
I pulled my phone out and fumbled with it, the agitation in my mood so fierce that I could not even work the device. I threw it at the woman and left, my fear and anxiety now at an unspeakable height.
My home was as cold as a tomb. My cell phone was no longer in my possession, so the medium of my torment was seemingly out of my life. However, I felt a strange dread that was beyond comprehension, and I could not breath as smoothly as I normally did.
Suddenly, the phone in the den began ringing, and quickly went to my answering machine. As expected, the strange screeching sound replaced the silence of the room, followed quickly by the sound of a thousand distinct voices, screaming in agony.
My mind was turned into a mush, and I needed to escape. I threw the answering machine into the wall and watched as it collapsed into a thousand pieces. I crashed into my floor, and began sobbing uncontrollably, and prayed, yes prayed for the first time in years.
Suddenly, as if answering my prayer, a strong gust of wind penetrated the silence, and seemed to carry with it Rita's voice, echoing the sound of her familiar and friendly child pitched giggle.
Suddenly the door of the den exploded open, and there, clad in a white gown stood Rita Navore.
Her height, which for a woman was always remarkable, was seemingly increased. Her figure appeared angelic, as her arms outstretched as if they were alabaster wings crafted by the lord himself. Her hair flowed wildly as if carried by the wind.
Her face had a glow about it that was not the aura of pleasantry, but instead possessed one of fire and rage. Her gaze met my eyes, and I was alarmed to the point of sheer terror to discover that both iris' now burned with the ominous yellow hue that only one had previously. The yellow was now intensified to appear maize, far brighter and deeper than the slight discoloration that it was before.
She spoke, her voice deeper, almost ethereal, carried by the wind.
“ Come with me Michael.”
Before any answer could escape my mouth, she waived her hand, and the same screeching sound from my answering machine filled the air. The sound was even more deafening in real life, and suddenly the floor of my den exploded open. The floorboards and carpeting gave way, and suddenly I was faced with a bottomless depth. Lining the sides of the hole that opened in my den, were thousands of sets of human arms, stretching out in angles that were beyond natural. The hole cast a fire hued glow into the room, and I could see that there was a lake of flames at some distant point, at it's bottom, if the opening did indeed have a bottom.
As horrifying as the sight of this opening was, nothing could compare to the sound of the screams. Millions of terrifying moans filled the entire room, and dread sat in as I came to understand. Rita moved towards me, floating at an erie speed above the opening.
“ It is time Michael.” She reached for my arm and began pulling me, seemingly towards what I could only believe was the most unspeakable place known on Earth. In actuality, even that description is not strong enough to describe the event. Rita, began dragging me into the very depths of my own personal Hell; a Hell that in addition to all of its horrors and evils, would be spent with Rita Navore.