LEKHA

Inspired by this song.

..

Salasika was fond of Sapphic stories, not only because of its artistic features, but also for how strangely relatable it was. She was able to memorize her favorite tale; the Sapphic story of her own. From pages to pages, Salasika would recite it as though the sentences were carved on her ribcage, forming vibrations that sent mixture of doubt and impossibility to her heart. Sometimes she believed that the more Salasika recited the story, the chances of it to be real would increase – but bigger chances showed that her thoughts were just too close to her fantasy.

It was the first day of senior year, where everyone on the 12th grade was torn between wanting the year to last so long that they would forget about graduation and the urge to live the small town somewhere in Oregon. Salasika met a goddess in a form of the beautiful brunette who went to her history class. At first, it was her elbow that brushed on Salasika’s arm when they had to be in line for water and the Goddess turned and headed to her next class. Her beauty was incomparable to any other; dark brown eyes that kept mysteries from times of reincarnating, locks of her thick brown hair that could sweep everyone to their knees at her close range, luscious lips so red that even the sin of the Forbidden Fruit was like a child’s play compared to the lust created from minutes of staring at her lips. She was beautiful, no one could be that beautiful, so Salasika thought she was more of a goddess than a human being.

Lekha, a name plastered inside the goddess’ locker Salasika succeeded in peeking when she walked by it.

Salasika knew the goddess’ name meant ‘somebody who loves to write’. What kind of writing? She wondered. Could it be poetry? Or tales of war? Lekha could be a fan of mystery fiction, but there was a tiny possibility that she was fascinated by romance stories. Salasika shook her head, Lekha was more of a poetry person. Her gracefulness and eyelashes that danced along to her laughter were signs that she trapped untold rhymes inside her soul. They said the one who laughed the biggest kept a lot bigger pain. Salasika was not able to see any trace of sorrow and misery on Lekha’s face, or common people’s habit of wandering off reality all of a sudden just to think about regrets and what-should-be-done. Lekha was surrounded by love and she knew she was loved, but she never knew who loved her.

In class, there was only one time when Salasika had a chance to sit next to Lekha. It was during a lesson about ancient Egypt mythology, Salasika’s favorite topic. Salasika had been fascinated by the mythology since she was a little girl. She read books, watched documentaries, she was even willing to wait for one day in every year to sit next to her archeologist uncle and listen to tomb discoveries done by him. She found ancient Egypt civilization was adventurous and adorned in luxury that she wished she could travel back in time and live in the moment. As the teacher told the students in class about the tale of Osiris and Isis, a familiar elbow brushed on Salasika’s arm. “I’ve never heard of the story before. Can’t believe Isis would do such sacrifice in order to gather Osiris’ body parts back,” her voice was as too familiar as the music on Salasika’s ears, “I sometimes wonder if there is actually someone who is willing to do such a thing to someone else the same way Isis did for Osiris.” Those luscious red lips smirked and in that moment, Salasika’s heart ricocheted hard from her ribcage. She had never had a chance to talk to Lekha. This is it, Salasika said to herself, this is your chance. “Maybe time saves one for each individual for the right moment.” Salasika smiled and Lekha smiled back. “I’ve never got my hopes up for anything,” Lekha uttered, her fingers gracefully played with her pen, “but I’m willing to try for this one.” as the conversation trailed into nothingness, both of the woman went back to drown between tales of gods, goddesses, and afterlife.

From the conversation, Salasika realized that in order to get Lekha’s attention, she had to step up her game. From time to time, she had been watching Lekha’s sitting position in class. The position made some kind of a pattern; very back for two weeks, then a lot farther from the front for another two. It was Salasika’s time for sitting on the very last row, with hopes of getting along with Lekha once more. She waited, she waited until the room was filled with students. She waited until the teacher began to explain how the Dark Age could possibly not exist. Salasika waited for Lekha until her hope for the goddess to run in late faded away. Lekha did not come, she did not come for another week, then another, then another. Salasika’s will to interact with the woman she loved was nonexistent, her mind was surrounded with darkness and lost.

But what happened?

In order to find out, Salasika went to see the source of every student’s data. “Excuse me, I would like to find out what happened to Lekha Simmons because she didn’t attend her history class for three weeks.”, she said bravely. The woman, old lady in a turquoise blazer and black pencil skirt, began to type the aforementioned name onto the computer. “I’m really sorry,” she laid her hands on the keyboard as she talked to Salasika, “but the name you mentioned is not listed as a student here.” Salasika furrowed and chuckled, “There’s got to be a mistake here, she goes to my class, I’m pretty sure of it.” “I’m sorry, but there is no record of her in the database.” The lady shook her head, “maybe you’re mistaken her for somebody else.” Did she? Salasika was clearly sure that the woman she fell in love with was Lekha, the woman in her class, the popular girl, the captain for the school’s decathlon team, the lady whose locker was plastered with pastel photographs of sceneries out of Wes Anderson movies. Salasika was never mistaken her for someone else, she was one of a kind.

Then, Salasika ran to Lekha’s locker, in hopes of finding the goddess trying to unlock the door. Salasika ran, bringing confusion and complication on her back. She made it only to find that the locker was unlocked, owned by someone from the school’s football team and not Lekha. “What are you looking at?” the man asked Salasika. “How long have you used this locker?” Salasika asked, mortified. “Since the first time I went to this school? What’s with the question?” the man answered, he was even more confused than how Salasika was. No way, Salasika said to herself, She is real, she must be real. Salasika drove her attention to the framed photograph next to the decathlon’s team trophy after winning the national competition few months ago. The captain is supposed to hold the trophy, the captain is supposed to hold the trophy, Salasika scanned the picture of the person who held the trophy. It was not Lekha. Lekha was not in the picture.

There was never once a Lekha.

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