Ok, ladies and gents.I finished writing this story while I was in Thailand for New Years. Let me know if you have any thoughts. Remember that not everything is what it seems. Enjoy. Just another day in the life of me. 🙂
She stood silently at the edge of the rooftop of a six-story building with her toes barely dangling off. It would be understandable to think that her heart would beat at a much faster pace, but she was calm and collect. It was a dark and cold, but an amazingly starry night. She couldn’t take the time to appreciate its beauty because that night was also windy. Every so often, the wind became aggressive enough to just barely nudge her body in some direction, and it didn’t matter which. In each and every nudge, fear gripped her body with vigor and reminded her that a simple nudge in any direction would cause her to lose balance. She didn’t fear the nudge per se, rather, that the wind seemed quite determined to disrupt her midnight plan.
Her heart rate momentarily spiked as she could hear someone opening the rooftop door. The wind was causing enough stress, and she did not want anyone or anything else to add to it. She didn’t turn her head to observe the person; she was too focused on her balance. She could tell, however, that the person who just walked through the door noticed her and that they also stood silent. The rooftop had a rocky bed so every step made could be easily heard; even on a windy night.
The person at the door was Agent Oxosi, and she had come up to the rooftop to smoke and watch the fireworks. “So what’s your name?” Agent Oxosi asked with a raised and obviously irritable tone of voice. The woman at the ledge did not answer. “Well if you aren’t going to tell me your name, can I give you one for the moment?”, Agent Oxosi asked. “Sure,” the woman responded. “Ok… I think I’ll call you… Santa.” Agent Oxosi felt it appropriate to bestow a name for what would normally be a festive moment.
“First, Santa is male. Second, what normal person considers fictional characters for a name,” Santa griped.
Agent Oxosi retorted cleverly,“You know some cultures name their children after deities or at least references to deities. I met a guy name Jesús just the other day actually.” Santa, realizing the implications of that statement, finally looked over to her, and even though Santa’s faint and subtle smirk was inconspicuous, Agent Oxosi noticed it. At the same time, Santa noticed that Agent Oxosi was dressed like a detective from the 60s: a tan duster coat, plain white shirt, black tie, and a dark fedora. An odd choice for a so-called agent.
“I did meet a girl name Daenerys in Ohio before. I didn’t know the Amish watched TV,” Santa said with amusement.
“They usually don’t,” Agent Oxosi chuckled.
“Santa it is,” Santa said as she returned her head forward towards the infinite night sky.
Agent Oxosi pulled out a cigarette box out of her pocket and took out a cigarette and a match. The wind was a bit strong. She first pushed her tie to the side and began igniting the cigarette while walking towards Santa; as if it was without thought. “So Santa, …” she began saying, “you can call me Agent Oxosi.”
“Haven’t heard that last name before,” Santa remarked.
“It’s a Nigerian name. A name from the Yoruba tribe to be exact, and our names usually establish the character of what the newborn child shall grow to become,” Agent Oxosi said. Santa wanted to ask if Agent Oxosi became the character her name represented, but time was limited. Agent Oxosi nonchalantly sat on the ledge ten feet away from Santa and a took a drag of the cigarette, and then let out a very cathartic-sounding exhale. Santa could see that the cigarette calmed Agent Oxosi’s nerves. Agent Oxosi then brought out a metal lighter; opening and closing the hatch. A minute went by in silence, then Agent Oxosi opens and closes the hatch again. Santa, still standing at the ledge, takes a quick glance at the object in Agent Oxosi’s hand. It was a gaudy and seemingly fancy metallic silver lighter that was most likely under five dollars. Every so often, Agent Oxosi would open and shut it quickly.
“Why do you not use the silver lighter for your cigarettes?” Santa asked.
“I simply dropped it one time, and it ceased to function afterward.” Agent Oxosi knew the obvious subsequent question, but until now, she never answered it.
“So why not get rid of it?”, Santa asked.
Oxosi pauses for several seconds, then looks down towards the six-story drop to the pavement. “It reminds me of life. Particularly, the harsh truths in it. That in any instant, something can be taken away from you. It is not a truth derived from romanticism, however. Regardless of whether you care about the object being taken, it doesn’t change the fact that it can be taken. I believe you have to…”
“…Appreciate life and things you have, right?”, Santa sarcastically interrupted.
“No, capitalize on what is afforded to you.” Agent Oxosi quickly corrected her.
“Nevertheless, that exuberant lighter of yours no longer serves its purpose. A reminder that everything does come to an end, including people Agent Oxosi.” Santa paused for a few seconds. “You just went from 15 yards to 10 feet away from me. Things could have turned for the worse”, Santa pointed out.
“Santa, you’re intrigued by me so that affords me some privileges. Particularly the privilege to sit my black ass down on … um”, she looks down at her smartwatch “December 31st, 2016 at 11:53 PM. As I said, I capitalize on everything.” Agent Oxosi looks towards Santa and notices a tattoo on the back of her neck. She had a tattoo with an incomplete infinity. “Indeed nothing lasts forever”, Agent Oxosi thought to herself.
Agent Oxosi took another drag of the cigarette. Agent Oxosi wanted to ask what Santa was trying to get rid of by standing on the ledge, but it was too direct a question. “What do you believe in?” It was a question that was meant to be vague. People tend to answer such questions with whatever is the most relevant in their lives in that moment.
However, some years ago, there was a woman (with whom Santa had recently become romantically interested in) that asked her the same question. Santa didn’t understand the question then, but her love interest wanted her to answer however she liked. She answered for a solid thirty minutes. What Santa distinctly remembered is that they were sitting in a car illuminated by a beautiful and bright white moon. The moon was so bright Santa could clearly see the woman’s unwavering brown eyes fixated on her; consuming intently everything Santa said. In retrospect, it was a scene from a romantic tragedy. Santa thought to herself that she didn’t currently have thirty minutes to answer that vague question again. “People are creatures of habit”, Santa began. “We repeat the same mistakes. We regret the things we do. We hold high expectations of people, and most often than not, those same people end up disappointing us; which subsequently leads to bearing ill will.”
“I see. I’m unsure how familiar you are with recent history, but a few slaves – out of their own volitions – took risks to initiate liberation for all slaves. That was a pivotal moment. It was not absolute freedom in the modern sense, but at least they had the freedom to choose to rebel. Even now we attempt to liberate ourselves every year with new year resolutions. Now… when did you decide to seek yours?” Agent Oxosi replied with a seemingly full understanding of the situation. “She desires freedom,” Oxosi thought to herself before Santa responded.
Santa smirked prior to answering, “’Twas the night of Eve.”
“7 days ago?” Agent Oxosi asked knowing there was something strange about Santa’s answer.
“Yes, something like that”, Santa vaguely responded.
Agent Oxosi looked down at her watch and saw that it was 11:59 PM. “It’s 11:59. Not much time left.” Although the next minute marked a festive event, at that point, it was apparent to Santa that Agent Oxosi had figured out Santa’s obvious plan. “Do me a couple honors by answering two questions?,” Agent Oxosi asked. “Agent Oxosi, you are an intuitive, funny, and wonderful nihilist,” Santa remarked. “… I will take that as a ‘yes’. So what was your name?”, Agent Oxosi had asked the first question. Santa paused for a moment because she, as well as Agent Oxosi, could hear the rumble of Baltimore city. A cacophony of humans yelling at 2016, preparing to repeat the mistakes in 2017. “My name was Eve.” Agent Oxosi immediately looked at her, and Eve, as we know her name now, had a glimmer in her eyes and a smirk on her face. Agent Oxosi knew then that it was foolish of her to ask when Eve decided to seek liberation; it was irrelevant. Baltimore city became even rowdier as it began counting down. “10, 9, 8…,” Eve and Agent Oxosi could hear the countdown. “Last question.” Agent Oxosi began, “Suicide is another form of freedom, is it not?”