The Past And A Prayer

I saw her, lightly holding a cigarette on one hand and a bottle of beer on another. The soft red light was kissing half of her face, leaving the half dark and unseen, and she looked beautiful. She looked happy with wisps of smoke circling in front of her eyes. She flicked her cigarette on an ashtray, stood up, and left.

I was still remembering her face, trying very hard to find the name to it, staring at that spot of red light where she had been five minutes ago, when a short man sat down right there. He took her red light, her spotlight.

She was forgotten.

Who was she, anyway?


I was feeling cold upstairs; it was two hours past midnight. I took out my pack of Marlboros. I was about to light one stick when I heard something. Scary, for I was alone on the dormitory’s rooftop for about an hour now and I thought everyone had gone to sleep.

Footsteps, footsteps.

I still can’t remember her name. The lady under the red light.

I almost had a heart attack. I knew her quite well. I just had been denying it all along. She was my ghost, my ghost of two years ago.

I gave her a stick and together we puffed our deaths out. We were quiet, staring into the blackness of this night. Two years, I wondered, where has it gone. Why had I wasted it on something I can’t even remember with a smile.

She heard my thoughts so well. “It’ll be ok,” she said.

I began to cry. I started to look like her. But not quite, because between us, she was two years the optimist, two years more faithful. She was the believer.

“Look…” She pointed on to something on top of the mountain overlooking the dormitory. There was a cross on top of it. Laden with, I didn’t know—yellow bulbs, perhaps? —it was seeing us and the whole world this night.

“Don’t you hear it?”

Hear what? I hushed. Sighed.

“Listen closely.”

Right then I knew exactly what to do. I moved closer to her and held her hand. Within the silence we heard a voice in the whistling of the wind.

We were praying.

I opened my eyes. She was gone.

Written by tukneneng and first appeared on

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