Last Kiss

Guru Baba had said he was going to “change into somebody else.” Sami wondered what he meant by it.

Sami had studied economics at university, and worked in financial marketing. He knew about product personalization and brand relaunches. Was it something along those lines? He had seen how banks had changed their mission from “someone who looks after your money and gives you some extra to say thank you,” to, “someone who helps to improve your lifestyle and charges you for it.” The first implied that it was your money and you were in charge, albeit with scary bank managers as guardians. The second had friendly customer services assistants who let you do whatever you wanted, ensuring you were drawn deeper into their embrace, till they had the power to strangle you – not that a parasite generally kills off its host.

Economics is essentially about demand and supply; which was it? Guru Baba didn’t have a demand side issue – hundreds of people came to every gathering; there were four thousand expected in Lucerne’s Transparent Temple today. Maybe it was a supply side issue; that Guru Baba was bored and tired, and wanted to end his mass spiritual activities. That must be it. During a break, Sami asked him whether this was the case.

Guru Baba said, “You will see.”

Having planned many gatherings, Sami was good at crisis management. There had been some hiccups with external queues, internal crowd management, demonic possession of a marshall, and an investigative journalist’s sexual harassment claims, but things were now running smoothly at this one.

Something wasn’t right though, he could sense it…

Sami looked around for fallen objects, sniffed for smoke, listened for shouting or screaming, but there was nothing alarming.

He had a sudden headache, focused between his eyes.

Guru Baba stopped those queuing for darshan – holy viewing – and called Sami over. Sami ran towards him. Something was wrong. What was it?”

“It’s your turn,” said Guru Baba, stood up and held out his arms.

Me? Now? Here? What for? thought Sami.

He shouldn’t refuse. He held out his arms too. Guru Baba grasped his wrists and pulled him forward and kissed him on the lips.

Every kiss he had ever had flew though his heart.

His first kiss with his teddy bear, Fuzzy.

His test kiss with his sister.

His first date with Lisa; their silly kissing in her porch.

Making out with Sandra, then others, in parks.

Kissing games – Truth or Dare, Spin the Bottle, Post Office, and Wink.

His hot desire for Martha.

Intoxicated feelings with Debs.

His infinite happiness with Charlotte.

The courage he felt when kissing Nina.

The maturity, happiness and health kisses brought.

A kiss holds everything and gives everything, when lips and hearts collide.

And now he was kissing an old man with black beard, brown skin and saffron robes. In his head he heard Guru Baba saying, “It is you,” before falling away.

Sami opened his eyes to find Guru Baba staring up at him, smiling in his arms.

Guru Baba wasn’t moving. He was dead.

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