The Vengeance of Yarra
One White Chocolate Mocha Frappucino, please!
It was midnight, the moon was emitting an eerie glow, the streets below were desolate, not a soul in sight. She could see the fog come in as darkness swallowed the night. As she slowly climbed up onto the top of the bridge, she could feel a gust of wind brushing against every inch of her body. At the top, she could see both the mainland and the island; the lights were shimmering like stars in the sky, a breathtaking sight. Her legs were shaking; she could feel hot tears rolling down from her eyes. She closed her eyes and steadying her nerves, took one last deep breath, before she, Catherine Chow, plunged into the sea, where it would be her eternal resting place….
“Yarra Footbridge claims another suicide victim, bringing the total to 12,” said Raveena as she passed me the daily “THE AGE” newspaper. “Another one?” I replied in disbelief. Over the month, there had been one body after another piling up at the bottom of the sea due to suicide cases involving teenagers. The authorities had cut off all access to Yarra Footbridge past midnight to curb this growing trend among teenagers but it seemed some of them still managed to slip through the tight security. Teenagers were reluctant to at least attach a padlock to symbolize their everlasting love of their relationships. Rumors were spreading around as some people blame it on drugs while others say the suicide victims were hypnotized. In my opinion, they were just depressed and their will to live shattered. As I got lost in thought, the manager of our National Bank came into the office and I was brought back to reality. Pushing the newspaper into the desk, my office life continued.
RIINGGGGG!! went the annoying bell signifying the employees for lunch. My office mates quickly left their respectitive desks to continue their lunch break.. As I was about to leave,`Raveena pulled me towards the corner.of the room. “Let‟s go out for a Starbucks date,” asked Raveena cheekily. And yeah, I almost forgot to introduce myself, Hello, I‟m Rabin, 23 years-old accountant; matured handsome guy whom always working hard to get promoted by the manager to be the CEO and always been pampered by Raveena. I first met Raveena on the 9th of September 2011. Dawn broke with a symphony of pink and red that day, something unusual as I was bathing with sweat from jogging along the brick aisle in Flagstaff Gardens. There she was, sitting on a bench there, listening to music on her red Sony Walkman. She wore a simple, sky-blue dress with small luxuriant white flowers attached to her sleeves.
Her hair fell softly to her shoulders, her beautiful gorgeous green eyes had the look of pure innocence and her tanned skin made her radiate like an angel, God‟s greatest creation. I mustered up my courage and made my way towards her, again something that was unusual for me. She noticed me walking over to her. She gave me a cute perk smile. I seated my bottom on the empty space beside her and before I knew it, her mother called her off to home. On mutual consent, we decided to meet again, and so we did.
After a fortnight of getting to know each other, we started dating. This was new to me as she was my first love. My friends used to say to me that a person‟s first crush is the one that will last a lifetime. I prayed fervently for that to be true. Anyways, on our first „official date‟, I took Raveena to the Acland Street for dining. My friends once told me that Acland Street is profoundly described as the cosmopolitan and foodie heaven within Australia. The smell of freshly baked cakes begins to tickle Raveena‟s nose and she dragged me towards Monarch Cake Shop, the oldest shop in Acland.
She ordered “Chocolate Kooglhoupf” and basically ate the whole cake leaving only the cream of the cake. The name of the dessert was funny but the extraordinary taste within the cake would zip my mouth. I was just so mesmerized after starring at the liquid chocolate pouring onto the table upon cutting the cake. Next stop was the Chinta Ria Soul Restaurant, the one and only fine Malaysia cuisine-restaurant. As we stepped in, the fragrant of “Curry Laksa” quickly tickled our nose and reminds us of our own respective childhood memories in Malaysia. My wallet wept but I didn‟t care. We both had the time of our lives that particular day. I can never forget the moment when we both gazed into each other‟s eyes right in front of the sun-setting over the St.Kilda‟s beach and imaginary Shah Rukh Khan‟s love soundtracks were just wandering about my hypothalamus. I gave her a peck on her cheek as I walked her home. That was my most meaningful moment with her. Well, how couldn‟t it be, right?
Upon reaching the Starbucks outlet, Raveena orders her evergreen favourite
„white chocolate mocha frappuccino‟ and swipes her „Starbucks Privilege Card‟ to redeem a free drink for me. I was on top of the world because this is the first time; she‟s giving me based on her basis, even though it‟s free of charge. After spending roughly about 20 minutes on the couch, suddenly Raveena thought of:
“Hey, wanna go check out the bridge?” asked Raveena cheekily.
“Sorry I‟ve got other plans for the day,” I replied as my instincts told me that this adventure of hers was going to land me in the lockup. “You know there is a rumour that the first suicide victim, Catherine Chow, was so depressed that she cursed that 12 people would follow her to a watery grave,” said Raveena trying to catch my attention. “Come on, isn‟t it a waste of time and energy to just simply go back and
forth on the bridge?” was my last retort as I knew she was going to drag me there anyway. “Nope!” she replied with a grin on her face and waltzed out of the classroom saying, “I‟ll meet you at the car park.” As she left the room, I let out a big sigh as she had dragged me into another of her escapades.
Envy engulfed me as I stepped into her brand new Jaguar F-Type SVR. She looked way too young to be behind the wheel of a car but the irony is that she was born in January and already had a legal license. “Don‟t worry, I passed my driving test with flying colours, your safety is guaranteed!” Raveena assured me, although it didn‟t help as she took me on a roller coaster ride with her „amazing‟ driving skills. By the time we reached the bridge, I was as green as the Incredible Hulk. “Sorry, I forgot you get motion sickness real easy,” apologized Raveena. Note to self, never ask for a ride from Raveena, she‟s a demon on the streets.
Putting my motion sickness aside, traffic was at a standstill for some odd reason.
Cars were bumper to bumper, even motorcyclists had a hard time squeezing through. As we crawled through the traffic, we saw a couple of policemen investigating something. It seemed that all of the previous 12 suicide victims had nothing in common yet they had all jumped down from the same spot. “I wonder how they managed to climb all the way up to the top of the bridge,” I said as I looked up. There was no reply. “Raveena, anything wrong?”. I said as I shook her, she seemed to be in a trance. Her hand pointed towards the policemen and said in a shaky voice “Isn‟t that Catherine Chow, the first victim?” Fear engulfed me, would I dare look? As I lifted my head to catch a glimpse I only saw the policemen, nothing else. “You can‟t see her? But she‟s right there! She‟s right beside that policeman on the left!” said
Raveena, her breathing becoming faster, was she experiencing a nervous breakdown?
After much effort she finally calmed down, she said the girl wasn‟t there anymore and that she might have been hallucinating. As we got to the mainland, we decided to make a U-turn and just get back home. I had to keep her occupied to make sure she did not suffer from hysteria or a nervous breakdown. As we reached my home, I got down and thanked her for the ride. A kiss on her cheeks and keeps reminding her not to do anything foolish and to get plenty of rest as I watched her car speed off. My normal daily life continued…
I was abruptly awoken from my sleep by a phone call, the clock showed 11 pm. I reluctantly dragged myself out of bed to answer the call. It was Raveena‟s mother and what she said jolted me wide awake, Raveena had gone missing! I quickly changed intro proper attire and got onto my motorcycle, hurrying to the one place she would most probably be the Yarra Footbridge. As I reached the bridge, I saw a Jaguar parked a distance away, there was no mistaking she was here. I parked my motorcycle behind her car and approached the bridge stealthily.
11.45p.m. There was hardly any traffic on the bridge as no vehicle was allowed on the bridge after midnight. The security guards were already on patrol as they did not want a repeat of the previous incident. I had to make sure they did not spot me as the fact I was a teenager, might make them throw me into the lockup for questioning. With much effort, I finally managed to get through the last of the security guards unnoticed and scurried to the site where Raveena supposedly saw the first victim.
11.56pm. Raveena was nowhere to be seen, where could she be? Then I felt the sudden urge to look up. I knew I would see something I didn‟t want as I mustered up my courage. To my dismay there she was, climbing up the bridge. The mere spectacle of her up there left me dumbstruck, frozen in time. Then I noticed a fuzzy white figure on top of the bridge, could it really be the first suicide victim?
I began shouting to attract the security guards‟ attention while I myself climbed up the bridge. As I looked up Raveena was already nearing the top. The security guards were already alerting the firemen, ambulance, police and so on in case of a worst case scenario. The security guards urged me to come down as it was dangerous. I was already halfway up and they wanted me to come down? You‟ve gotta be kidding me.
The clock struck twelve and it was 9th of September. Raveena was already at the top, the fuzzy white image had disappeared into the darkness. Then, tragedy struck. There was a sudden strong gust of the wind that threw Raveena off balance and to everyone‟s horror she fell off the top. Even as I watched her falling, my brain was already debating:
Should I catch her, perfectly knowing the momentum of the fall would also drag me into the sea
Let her drop into the sea and let the authorities save her.
Either way, Raveena had a high chance of drowning. I would forever regret the choice I made. As her, unconscious body was nearing mine. I too jumped off the bridge in a gamble to save her. As I caught hold of her small body, SPLASH!!! I could
literally feel the cool freezing water as I drown towards the seabed of the Yarra River. A few seconds remaining for me and Raveena to gaze into each other‟s eyes were the few important moments for the reason; I‟m still breathing, waiting for Raveena‟s
„white chocolate mocha frappuccino‟.
Black, pitch black, I was wondering which world I do belong now. Out of a sudden, powerful fluorescent, visible light rays were shone on my eyes. My eyes were so sensitive to those lights and I could not resist unbolting my eyes. I heard a voice vocalizing “ Rabin, open your eyes slowly:. At a slow pace, I unlatched my baby blues and saw I‟m on a white bed covered with the white silky blanket. I was admitted three days ago in The Royal Melbourne Hospital.
I woke up and could not remember what had happened to me. I was in a state of complete bewilderment. After some time, I slowly recalled what had taken place. I begin murmuring and suddenly I shouted „Raveena‟. “Doc..Doctor, where‟s my archaic leman, Ra..Rave..Raveena?”, vigorously kept asking. The doctor with a sad classic 90‟s look courageously told me that Raveena is no longer in this world.
„No! Never! She can‟t be dead. But WHY?‟ Anguish made me throw dozens of questions at the doctor. Sympathetically, he replied, “According to my records, you were losing a lot of blood upon severe body injury contact to the seabed. Raveena was conscious and she willingly to donate her heart to her dear-loved ones. Raveena has even come to see you and she kissed on your cheeks”. The doctor gave an envelope consisting a letter and her favourite Starbucks straw. I quickly opened the envelope and began reading the letter;
I used to pray for us to be alone because I envisioned that we’d never run out of things to say. We’re both such freaks, such word addicts, so similar yet careening down radically different paths. I used to dream of possibilities floating over our heads, little cartoon-bubble musings matched with cups of coffee.
But on that day, this last day as far as I’m concerned, we sat in a room full of goodbyes and leavings, as filled with last-minute emotion as it could possibly be, and found nothing, nothing on earth, to say.
I remember sitting next to you, so close I thought I could smell your toothpaste, almost touching your knees, and occasionally trying to look into your eyes. That was my way of testing myself to the extreme because there’s nothing like looking someone in the eyes to hold you to the earth. But with you, it was different. Our silence filled me with a warm happiness, like I had swallowed something too hot too fast, and was standing outside, wrapped up and comfortable on a snowy day.
And either way, either way, or both ways, don‟t you ever worry since I’m going to be with our Creator, I will whisper to HIM to bless you always and give you enough strength to face the world with pride and dignity. Thanks for treating me Starbucks every single time I approach you and being a guardian to me at all times.
With love, your Raveena.
After being fully recovered from devastating pain and suffering, I finally got discharged and sent back to home.After Raveena‟s death, there are no more deaths
left to contribute to the mystery of Catherine‟s tragedy. All of Catherine‟s tragedy has over and no one would wish that it would happen again. A book has been published entitled „The Vengeance of Yarra’; as the main reason to highlight on the reason for 12 deaths and the realisticity of curses. To narrate,
Catherine Chow was an intelligent, young girl with exact looks of Selena Gomez and often the cheeky boys in school craze for her. The need for sexual intercourse every single night have betrayed her by her childhood lover and the faulty blames on her has deprived her of the roof. Catherine decided to leave him for good. On 9th September 2011, she‟s killed at the Flagstaff Gardens, thrown into the Yarra River. Her lover then cursed;12 girls present on that particular day would face the vengeance of death. Every year,2 girls would face, one at the early, and one at the end of. Due to the greed of sexual pleasure, one can go so mean and wild despite reminiscing the consequences thereafter.
And that‟s why, Raveena, I felt so guilty right now that you have to return to Our Creator at this early age. I wished I could rewind back the time. I regret of not taking care of you well. No one could ever replace your place, no one!
Here I am in our very usual date-dining Starbucks outlet, queueing up. And my turn comes,
One White Chocolate Mocha Frappucino, please!
By Nermesh Singh from Malysia