Introducing Reyansh

CHAPTER 15

Stretches of weeks at a time would go by where Eddie’s phone was either without service or in-between carriers; his absence, however, coincided with my running into Reyansh Signh one day, while out delivering to one of the tech hubs downtown where he worked. Nico had introduced the two of us during my first few weeks upon The Plains; but, since then, Reyansh and I hadn’t crossed paths. Yet, in seeing me that day, he exuded a genuine interest in becoming friends. 

Reyansh was a handsome programmer whose disdain for a rigid, Middle-Eastern upbringing had sent him to the deep American-south for its comparable climate and friendly tax-laws. He was supposed to have gone back home with a degree, but was quickly compelled to keep with the Western ways and find somewhere to settle down. Something about The Plains had enticed Reyansh as a college graduate, so he made a brave, but calculated move to assimilate himself into the city without ever having stepped foot on its soil.

When we met that day, and seemingly every day after that, his search for a life-partner was as effusive as it was ongoing. Though, even after minor victories, I saw in his eyes an insoluble thirst that seemed to always keep them moving. Those eyes of his were dark and imploring, but his chestnut-brown complexion helped paint his innocuous smile as boyish and charming. This particular feature made a difference when the light was dim and most forgiving, which happened to be in the sort of places Reyansh frequented the most. Each weekend it was a new club or venue that he had heard about or wanted to try, and it didn’t take long for Reyansh to express his desire to take me under his wing, to show me the art of his approach, and perhaps bestow a useful tool for when the time came for me to navigate alone. There was much to learn, he insisted, about us and how we navigate, the differences between his people and mine, but also, what women really wanted.

Augmented Aura

Yet, in a strange way, the seething resentment toward Jared and Jason that Eddie and I had kept bottled up had, unwittingly, channeled itself into an earnest energy that we then put toward altering and modifying our share of the home into the inherently beautiful specimen it suggested to be in its bones. As the days went on, Eddie continued accruing more trinkets and small, quirky furnishings. Similarly, with the more space I was given, the more attention I felt that it deserved: something modest for the banister; a set of stockings for the large, ornate fireplace beside my bed, for when Christmas came; a few animal furs on the floor and textile tapestries to be tacked on the walls; and, eventually a small array of house-plants to be strung from the balcony’s banisters. As it was, our section of the wrap-around porch had already come furnished with a pair of twine chairs, which peered at perfect angles over the whispering treetops that sat as a buffer between us and the city. It felt, all so suddenly, as if Eddie and I had reached a pinnacle neither of us would have previously been able to imagine: this was the world at new heights, and the two of us took full advantage of extracting its worth. In turn, many mornings were spent chatting in those twine chairs over coffee; and, it was here, in his most spirited attempts, that Eddie would attempt to cajole me to uproot myself and focus on finding a nice girl – if nothing else, to add a little zest to the place.

“Isabella has changed my life, yo,” he exclaimed one evening, as the sun was beginning to set and we got comfortable with a couple of cigars. “If nothing else, she keeps me in check.”

“Yeah? She sounds strict,” I teased. “No. Good for you, man.”

Rolling his eyes, Eddie retorted, with an edge, “Well. Let’s just put it this way, I spend less time wasting time, watching TV, scrolling the Internet. I’ve actually started to outline a few of those projects I’ve talked about.” Just then, he began fumbling through his pockets for a few blueprints of dioramas and paper pinwheels to show me. 

Outside of the art, that stuff Eddie talked about was still elusive and otherwise unclassified; but, inferred in its prowess was an invigorating – perhaps even infinite – property, which could only be obtained from great attention to detail. Sometimes his hands shook when he spoke of it; other times, the dark brown pits of his pupils would vanish and then glaze over as he became mesmerized by the substance. At last, one night it happened: a close encounter with God; the inevitable (sort-of-accidental) result of tilting the scale on his stratosphere until the world melted into a single, linear passage of energy. In the weeks following, and for the first time in our friendship, I felt the aura that Eddie maintained shift from an imposing, fiery red to a supple, yet vulnerable, shade of blue.