C3 Ezekiel's Jar
The days continued with tiring farm and ocean works. What Lester was very thankful for the most was because no tragedy occurred in the village several months after having the miraculous event on the seashore. He thought that the ocean god was just being kind to them so they were blessed.
That day, Lester paid few neighbors to work on his farm. It was corn and sweet potato harvest time and there was so much of it. His crops were very healthy and he knew that he will surely earn a lot from them when he sells them to town.
"Mister Lester, what's your secret for having such very healthy crops? In all my life of planting, I never experienced having an almost perfect harvest, it's very hard to see a single piece with damage!" Mister Bert exclaimed in amazement as his gaze fled to the harvested piled of corn near the small hut. He also looked at the harvested pile of healthy sweet potatoes beside the corn.
"I honestly don't know the answer to your question Mister Bert. All I do is taking care of the crops every day. Making sure there were no pests and animals around it. The terrain is normally lush which I'm very grateful for," Lester replied smiling.
Mister Bert could not believe it but he nodded afterward.
"Mister Lester! Mister Lester! Look what I've found. It was hit by my dagger while I'm digging for sweet potatoes!" another paid neighbor, Mister Selo, ran towards Lester. He was carrying something that looks like a small dirty...
As Lester reached and stared for the object, a sudden scene appeared in his memory.
"This is my drinking container Lester. I engraved your name in it. I carry this jar wherever I go. This is valuable to me, just like how you're precious in my heart," Ezekiel happily showed him the jar. His twinkling eyes were like a crescent moon when he smiled.
"What if this is a treasure Mister Lester?" Mister Selo asked.
Mister Bert was also curious about the jar Lester was holding. He came closer to Lester for some inspection.
Lester calmed his heart and smiled at the workers before he answered, "I remember, this was my father's jar for drinking when he was still alive. This is not a treasure worth a lot of pence but a treasure for my family." He caressed the dirty jar.
"Ahhh! We understood Mister Lester. You should keep it then and show it to your mother in memory of your late father."
The two men signed of a cross and whispered a prayer to the deceased soul.
Lester nodded and put the jar inside the sack bag he was carrying.
The workers went back to their work and Lester fell into deep thoughts.
Lester felt restless and walked back and forth while thinking.
"Now I'm certain that it was part of my memory and not only a simple dream..."
He stopped walking and looked at the clear sky. It seems that it was around three o'clock in the afternoon. Lester could not help but think more.
"What's the secrets behind? Why I couldn't remember you? Why I can't recall your memories?" Lester asked himself helplessly.
Lester tightly closed his eyes and tried to remember Ezekiel's appearance in his mind. He remembered a very handsome man, has silver long hair and has silver eyes. The man wearing a long gray dress with special engravings on it. He was smiling at him but...
Lester rubbed his chest. It was so painful. His heart was breaking into pieces.
Ezekiel was looking at him with tears trickling down his silver eyes.
"Lester, I love you so much! Now and my whole lifetime," a very soft and comforting voice could be heard from behind him. Lester turned around violently just to learn that he was alone.
"Ezekiel... I don't fully understand and couldn't remember you, but if you are part of my life, I have the right to know the truth," Lester whispered into the nothingness.
Lester felt a cold embrace from behind. He did not hear any more voice but he felt contentment in his heart with that ghostly hug. The feeling that his body was used to that embrace and longing for it.
The following day, Lester went to town and sold all his harvests. It was about fifty sacks of sweet potatoes and corn. He earned a lot of money from it so he went to the grocery store to buy all they need in their home.
Lester was carrying a shopping cart with groceries when he met the old man, Mister Lucas.
"Whoah! You're here Mister Lucas!" Lester smiled warmly as he greeted the old man.
The old man smiled at him and Lester saw the silver sparks in his eyes again. He thought of something but could not remember it. 'Where did I saw it before?'
"Lester, my goodness! So you're here too! Haha. It seems that you're buying plenty of goods," Mister Lucas commented as he saw his groceries.
"You're right Mister Lucas. I earned a lot from the new harvested sweet potatoes and corns so I'm buying all our house needs."
Lester saw the bottles of wine lined up on the shelf on the left side and pointed it to Mister Lucas. He said, "They said that those wines are delicious. Would you like to drink with me, Mister Lucas? It's great timing tonight, tomorrow is a rest day so I don't have any work to think of."
Mister Lucas raised an eyebrow, seems that he disagree with him to drink. However, the old man smiled and answered, "Okay. No problem to me but I have one request, I want chicken with coconut milk and plenty of ginger and chili to partner with the wine."
Lester's eyes widened as well as his nostrils. His jaw dropped to the ground too. He exclaimed, "That's my favorite food, Mister Lucas! Hahaha. I will definitely cook it for you so that you can taste the best chicken of your whole life!"
The old man laughed and answered, "Don't disappoint me, Lester. I'm looking forward to it. It should be delicious!"
With a wide smile, Lester tapped the old man's shoulder and said, "Trust me, Mister!" He winked at the old man after.
Mister Lucas smiled and went to the wine shelf, took three bottles of wine, and put it into Lester's shopping cart.
Lester once again saw the silver gleam in the old man's eyes as he smiles. He could not take away his gaze from him. If you look closely, one can say that Mister Lucas was very handsome in his youthful days.
"Alright! I'll bid my farewell now, Lester. I will bring pork with tamarind too, you'll definitely like it! Let's meet again later."
Mister Lucas waved as he walked away.
Just imagining the food, Lester drooled. That was also one of his favorite. Every time his mother cooked pork with tamarind, he was sure it was very delicious. However, he could also say that something was missing in it that he could not identify. But of course, he never mentioned it to his mother. He doesn't want to embarrass her.
Lester happily continued shopping and slaughtered three native chickens when he got home to cook. For him, the coming guest was special.
While simmering the chicken, it would take some time because the native chicken was harder to cook than the cultured chicken, Lester cheerfully cleaned the whole house. He wanted to enlighten Mister Lucas and show him that they were neat and clean in their home.
"Whoah! Are we having a guest, Son?" Mrs. Wang asked Lester in amazement as she watched him clean.
"Yes, Mother! I invited Mister Lucas to have a drink with me. He said he will bring pork with tamarind, you know how much I like it."
Mrs. Wang could not hide the happiness she felt. At last, her son entertained a friend. She said solemnly, "I'm very thankful that you know now how to make friends, Son."
Lester scratched his head and answered, "I am just a silent type of person, Mother. But it doesn't mean I don't have any friends..."
"Am I wrong? Friend means a person you can rely on, a person you can be within times you needed, a person who can accompany you. You don't have any except when you were young," Mrs. Wang explained.
Lester furrowed and his heart suddenly jumps inside his chest.
"I had a friend when I was young? Why I don't remember anything?"
Could it be that...?
Mrs. Wang blinked and thought deeply
"I remember you really had a friend before..." Mrs. Wang paused and closed her eyes, thinking deeply about who was that friend he has. She continued, "It's weird. I could not remember the person, the images in my mind are blurry too. Why is that?" It's tormented her mind.
Mrs. Wang tried her best to find in her mind those old memories of her son but she could not figure it out, it seemed to disappear. Lester could not help but look at his mother silently.
'Does mother referring to Ezekiel?'
Feeling hopeless, Lester just continued cleaning and grooming their house.
It was six o'clock in the evening when Lester's guest arrived. The old man was wearing a white t-shirt and black pants, partnered with brown sandals on his feet. He was well groom, very neatly even in his old age. Lester could tell that the man was in his sixties, with gray short hair and has a cheerful face. He was carrying a basket with a pot inside.
"Mister Lucas! You're here!" Lester ran towards the old man and took the basket from him. He smiled and said, "Please come inside so you can meet my mother too."
Lester went straight to the kitchen bringing the basket and could no longer see his mother's colorless face when she saw the visitor!
"Don't worry, Madam. I have no intention of taking your child now, it wasn't the right time yet and I am following our agreement. But I am still me, I own Lester no matter what you do. I just don't want him to be with anyone else just like what you wish for him. I cannot allow it!"
Lester harshly turned around and looked at the old man but he was just smiling at his mother. He could not see his mother's face because she's facing her back to him. The old man was just standing quietly near the door.
"Please take a seat, Mister Lucas. Don't be shy!" Lester shouted from the kitchen and pointed his finger to the wooden sofa in the living room.
He turned around to continue his food preparation but he silently thought, 'Whose voice was that? But it sounds like for Mister Lucas. Am I crazy? Why I am hearing voices?'
Lester spooned two servings in two big deep bowls, one was for chicken with coconut milk and plenty of ginger and chili, the other one was for the pork with tamarind Mister Lucas had brought. His stomach growled. The aroma of the foods made him craved. He was so sure it was very delicious. Carefully, Lester brought the tray with the bowls into the small living room and put it on the center table. The wine was already prepared on the clean table together with three goblets. Mister Lucas was already sitting on one of the wooden sofas. His mother seated at the opposite, looking at the visitor quietly.
Lester enlightens the mood and talked first, "Haha, Mother you're so quiet. I want to introduce you to Mister Lucas. He is my friend."
Mister Lucas stood up and approached Lester's mother. He smiled and reached his hand and said, "I am very happy to meet you, Madam. Now I understand where Lester inherited his handsomeness!"
Lester blushed after hearing the blatant praise from the old man but...
Did he saw it correctly? Does his mother tremble while reaching the old man's hand? They shook hands very quickly and Lester could see that his mother looks like avoided it but just couldn't help herself because of him.
Something suspicious aroused in his heart. Lester could not help but think, 'Were they lovers before? Or close acquaintance?'
A sudden pain struck Lester's heart. He stroked his chest to eased the pain. It hurts so much like an iron melting his heart.
"Are you alright, Lester? Is there something wrong with you?" Mister Lucas asked Lester worriedly.
The old man's attention completely was on Lester's and could not hide the worry from those beautiful silver eyes. Lester calmed down eventually after looking at the old man.
"Ahhh! I am fine Mister Lucas." Lester forced a smile and continued, "Thank you for your concern."
Lester picked cutlery and tasted the pork with tamarind Mister Lucas had brought. He tasted it again. And again. And again. He could not help but exclaimed, "This is very delicious, Mister Lucas!"
The taste Lester looking for so long. The missing taste from his mother's cooking.
The old man breathes a sigh of relief after hearing Lester's compliment. He said with a proud smile, "I especially cooked it delicious for you, Lester. Haha."
'I know how you love my cooking very much and I'm very happy to serve you once again.'
That voice again!
Lester did not take away his gaze from the old man and he was very sure he heard the old man's voice in his ears but the fact that Mister Lucas did not speak those words made Lester quiver in surprise.
He bent down and scooped on the pork broth again and fell into a trance. Lester thought, 'Am I really crazy? Or can I really hear voices? What is that, telepathy? Isn't it's only happening in cinemas?'
But Lester pretended as if nothing was weird in the air. He poured a bottle of wine in the goblets and gave one to his mother and one to Mister Lucas, the last one was for him. He took a sip on his glass but he concentrated his mind. He wanted to know if he can really hear voices.
Mrs. Wang's silence was very suspicious and unusual, and Lester could not help but secretly glance at her. Lester was surprised when his mother suddenly exclaimed in her mind, 'Lester is still too young! Why did you come back now, Ezekiel! Don't take away my son, I am begging you.' He almost fell down the sofa in shock.
Being certain to himself of his suspicion, Lester believed that he could really hear them. He gathered his composure back and pretended nothing unusual. He poured wine into his glass and sipped quietly, after, he poured Mister Lucas glass as well.
The mysterious man in Lester's dream.
Lester looked at the old man when he heard him spoke cheerfully, "Thank you, Lester. I am really grateful, actually, I haven't tasted wine for a long time now. Hahaha."
"Really, Mister Lucas?" Lester kindly replied while looking intensely into the old man's eyes. He saw the silver sparks again. It was hypnotizing and he wanted to touch those beautiful eyes.
'Whatever the reasons, whatever the secrets behind, I will do everything to discover it!' Lester promised himself.
While sipping the wine, Lester once again heard the familiar voice of the old man in his mind saying, "I am very happy that we're together again even in this way. At the right time Lester. At the right time.''
Lester took a deep breath and glanced at the old man and said, "Can you take me to your home, Mister Lucas? Whenever it may be fine with me. I also want to meet your relatives."
"Not now, Lester." Mister Lucas swallowed hard before he continued, "But I will definitely be very happy if you will let me visit you here often."
Lester's heart rejoiced! Thinking about their meeting regularly, he cheerfully answered, "Any time you want Mister! I'm looking forward to it!"
When the bowls were emptied, Lester stood up and went back to the kitchen again to refill them. He was delighted that Mister Lucas liked the chicken he cooked. Of course, it was everyone's wish to like their cooking.
As Lester walked to the kitchen, he heard Mister Lucas thought saying, "It's so nice to taste your cooking again, Lester. I've been longing for it for a long time. I'm satisfied today."
Hearing those, Lester smiled broadly and continued to refill the bowls. He was about to went back to the living room when his gaze fled to the mirror hanging on the wall. He remembered an old story when he was a child. The story said something like this, "The mirror is like an eye of our soul. Nothing can be hidden in it. Those who are pretentious can not lie in front of the mirror. What the naked human eye can't see, the mirror can reveal it. Nothing can be hidden."
After recalling the story, Lester put down the bowls on the table with a pounding heart. Then he walked towards the mirror and pretended to look at himself there, making sure he was neat and handsome in front of Mister Lucas.
He was about to leave when Lester's eyes met a pair of silver eyes looking at him in the mirror.
His heart dropped to the floor. It was like there was cold water poured on him from head to toe. Lester was dumbfounded when the familiar young man in the mirror smiled at him!
Long silver hair with gold leaves designs inserted and clinging unto the hair at the top of his upper ears. He was wearing a long gray dress with special gold engravings in it, and most of all, the beautiful silver eyes that looking at him with passion. He was not an old man either but a young man in his thirties, sitting on the living room's wooden sofa with a goblet of wine in his hand.
Lester saw none other than the man in his dream, Ezekiel! He was not an old man at all, unlike what Mister Lucas told them!
That was the appearance of Lester's guest in the mirror.
His knees melted and could not find any strength for a moment, Lester's heart throbbing in shock. He put his hand on the wall to gather some strength and he quickly regained his composure. He shook his head and looked away from Mister Lucas's eyes. Lester went back to his seat and pretended nothing happened moments ago. He immediately reached his glass and drink his wine quietly.
'I think I'm drunk,' Lester thought. He poured another wine into his glass and drink again. He could not stop thinking. 'I will wait for the right time that you mentioned. I won't force you now but please don't leave me again.' And he silently prayed to the deities.
Despite many unanswered questions, Lester knew it was not yet the right time to ask. He chatted enthusiastically to his visitor and pretended he did not know anything about him until it was already midnight.
After the old man left, Lester hurried to the kitchen and looked for the bag he used the other day. He rummaged the bag after he found it and looked for the dirty jar. He ran to the sink and washed it carefully.
Lester's knees trembled when the smooth and white skin of the jar appeared. There was a blue engraving on it, it was not just any random word, it was written very carefully in a capitalized letter, 'LESTER'.
He did not know how long he stood in front of the sink. Too much shock happened to Lester in just a day. It was very hard to digest. After a long while, Lester wiped the jar carefully and brought it to his bedroom. He put it on the bedside table very very carefully like it was an expensive treasure. Not long after, Lester fell asleep soundly. Maybe because of the alcohol's influence.