When they were both still students, not hunted and dead, they were very good friends.
I want to tell you they met at a coffee shop, book store or a library but no they met through tinder and that’s what they told everyone. They liked each other from day one.
He wasn’t the most charismatic man but he was a good man, more so than any she had met. She thought him like an awkwardly charming man, like Colin Firth perhaps.
He liked her because of thoughts, she had a mind and liked to share it, art, poetry, politics, and they discussed everything.
What he loved the most was her passion, she wanted to live, not survive.
They explored the crevices of London streets, not just finding “quirky” hipster shops which sold retro clothing but churches, theatres and book stores.
Alfred, being from such a small town boy, coming from Winchester, felt like the centre of the universe in London. Citra was born and raised in London but sometimes felt Alien in this city.
Citra left the house and She entered the taxi and kept the suitcase close to her. The laptop was in her suit case. The laptop was in her suitcase. The laptop was in her suitcase. Her mind juttered.
“To the Palace Gardens in Kensington please.”
When the black cab arrived at the gates of the embassy, several men in suits were waiting. The taxi was stopped at the checkpoint and she left the cab.
She handed the driver a £20 and £10 note, thanked the driver and closed the door. She handed her passport to one of the suited men. The early Gothic house was lit by electric streetlights and shone in the dark.
A lighthouse to Citra but to the world it was the embassy to the enemy.
“The Ambassador is expecting you Madam.” Said the by one of the suited men, in a thick Eastern accent.
They swung the doors open for her, an older looking, military like man stood in the middle of the office, he looked upset.
“Your material that you have offered to us will change the way your country looks at the world Citra, you’re a brave person. They would kill you for it." He knew they already had. She did not.
"Pilo show her to her room, Citra, understand that no matter how much pressure they put us under, I will not give you up.”
“Do you not want the laptop now?”
“Leave it on the desk, we will arrange for your evacuation tomorrow”
She was shown to a very warm pleasant room with a double bed, a coffee table beside it and a cup of warm tea sat on it.
The ambassador and his staff worked throughout the night, sending the content of the secretary’s laptop to Russian agencies all over the globe, though it did go to Putin before anyone else.
The Ambassador was going to tell her when he finished with his mission, but late in the morning, not long before lunch, he walked warily to her door, he could hear her crying.
He decided he was to give her space and to visit her later, once he slept for a moment. When he did, there were no words to mend such a wound, nor words that can fill in the guilt. He could only hold her.
The police surrounded the building and kept it under guard. Still the media kept silent and the Movement kept speaking.
“I don’t know what song it was he was singing, or the day it was, or if he had his hair pushed back or not, whether he was wearing his winter coat or not, nor where we were,
but It’s always us together, it’s always just me and him, talking to me, touching me, looking at me and I swear it’s real, it’s so real. I’ve started stealing your sleeping pills,
I’ve started wanting to die , why would I ever wanna wake up ?
There was always something worth fighting for, but now there’s nothing to live for and I wanted a better life for him, I wanted to save him from this,
I did not want him to suffer and I suppose he didn’t, I stopped him from suffering. I put those pills in his water. I don’t regret it. I hope he would understand.
I know he wanted to bring them down. When the Movement finally takes over, they’ll say his name, they’ll know what he died for.”
The Ambassador was also a good man. He was sympathetic and he hated it when he could hear her cry. He began placing sun flowers in her room.
Once a week he would remove them and place fresh ones in the vase he cleaned out.
She told him the vase breaking was an accident and he believed her but finding a British doctor to treat her was difficult enough the first time, so the flowers stopped.
He knew sooner or later she would either die in his care or she would leave the embassy and be arrested immediately and once more be placed in a prison,
at least here he knew she would not be tortured.
In early January, there was a leak and details of Citra’s life were passed on to the government. Her diary had been stolen and sold. The ambassador took this very seriously.
All new staff were introduced. It didn’t matter. Nothing matters to a person who is caged and taunted. 20 police officers surrounded the building at all times.
Once the foreign secretaries laptop leak was published through an independent newspaper, police officers started leaving early, not bothering to turn up for shifts because they had lost their belief.
A country is run on belief, that they will receive their pay, that their jobs instil some good into humanity and when that belief is shattered, the cogs begin to slow,
until someone picks up that mantle or if not the machine stop and Momentum is lost. The hardest thing about government, is starting one.
You have army chiefs, communists and police officers all vying for the seat of power.
Who are the most dangerous of them all? The people, the people will not be destroyed or there is nothing to rule. They are indestructible.
They can be brain washed, starved, imprisoned, tortured with white heat but they cannot be destroyed. The most dangerous people though, are an indifferent people.
Eventually there were very few men willing to guard the Russian embassy or the prime minister for that matter.
In Downing Street, not many officials were staying there, even in the crises, they now began to abandon her. Her grey hair was no longer straight and combed, it was thinning from the stress.
Her secretary and the foreign secretary had been called in and were very few people in Downing Street.
Now Citra had not felt love for two years now. It is very simple and good that she felt Alfred watch over her and she knew he loved her, but he could not love her now she thought.
Hold her during the nights of January, when she kept two duvets on the bed, the heating on and all windows closed. It could not console her in her darkest moments.
If there was a god, she had hoped he would not allow Alfred to see her now. Scars ran down her thighs and wrists. There was no one else.
They say that there are 5 stages of grief; denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. Except acceptance was now acceptance of her death. There were now 6 stages, revenge!
For the first time in two years, she stepped outside and felt no fear, she lit her cigarette and looked around the embassy, expecting to be arrested any second. All the police cars sat there with no one in them. She stumbled across a police mortarbike, lying there with the keys still in them.
As the motorbike headed towards the gate of Downing Street she remembered the first time she had met him, through tinder. He was warm and comfortable to be around. He made her laugh.
She always felt safe with him. He died because of her she thought. Now she wanted to be with him again and she prayed he would forgive her.
I tell you this now, as your narrator I have not been completely truthful, in not telling you, I was not only friends with Citra and Alfred, I loved Citra and I am the leader of the Movement.
When I was in university, I was politically bonded together with them both. When Alfred died, I was held in high regard and promoted for my friendship with Citra and Alfred.
Years later when the revolution finally began, I was leading the party. What I’m trying to say is I feel guilty and always will no matter what anyone tells me.
I am forever obliged to their spirit. I'm sorry, this is the hardest part for me.
Security alarms rang, the ambassador ran to her empty bedroom,
On his knees he prayed, he already knew, what she was going to do.
Over the cobbled street it clatters and clanged in the dark,
She spurred like a madman, shrieking a curse to the sky,
with the white road smoking behind her,
She crashed through Downing Street gates,
Bullets shining through her
Violent shadow puppet played out in the yard of power
The government knew this was the end,
The martyrs had finished and finally pushed them out.
People walked slowly through the broken gates, they did not push the policemen
And they did not shout either.
It was all silent.
The absolute silence was so unnerving.
The police, seeing the dead woman and the good in our eyes, dropped their weapons and left.
We stood outside until the prime minister walked outside and came to me and got on her knees and begged for mercy.
It was still silent.
I did nothing and said nothing.
Her and her entire team left without abuse or even a word said against them.
We cannot let blood be capitalised, there is no end except in forgiveness, once every man and woman can learn to forgive there will be no more revolutions and no need for them.
Seeing Citra there dead, I could only weep.
I raised her body from underneath the motorcycle, I placed my jacket over her and let her body go with the crowd and all hands wished to touch the martyr.
This was the moment that every person apart of the movement had been working towards, but not like this.
I did not want Alfred and Citra’s blood in exchange for the movement victory.
Though because of them the revolution was ignited and they shall forever be our mother and fathers. Without them we would have carried on shouting without anyone listening.
They will always be remembered. The day I was elected leader of Britain I remembered her as such:
I heard splashing on the boat
her bare feet
And sensed in our faces
the hungry dusk
My heart swaying between her
and the street, the road
I don't know where I found the strength
to free myself from her eyes
to slip from her arms
She stayed, crying through rain and glass
clouded with grief and tears
She stayed, unable to cry
Wait! I will come
walking with you.
A man once said, every generation must fight the same fight and that a revolution does not last a day but must the spirit of the people.
And still of a winter’s night, they say, when the wind is in the trees, they say when there is a clear sky, you can see Alfred and Citra, dancing on the cobbled street, under starlight.
Thank you for giving what the world deserved and that's the truth.
That is the end of Under Starlight. Please leave some feedback so I know where I made mistakes or if there were parts you really enjoyed or hated. Helps me become a better writer.