Her third and final night of partying in the capital. The capital of New Zealand. God, what a dream!
That distant land on the far side of the globe her father had given her at the age of six. Had been to the local Luton auction to get a good 2nd hand till for their fabric shop. For 50p he couldn’t refuse the globe that would bring his only girl so much joy. Especially with India so dominant on it, in purple no less. A truly regal colour. Young Kamna always the inquisitive one demanding her father name that distant land. New Zealand. Was not sure if that meant both islands but told her it did anyway. Kamna looked at the huge oval of Australia and it’s wee friend New Zealand. Thought of India and wee Sri Lanka. Wondered how many Buddhists lived on those 2 islands. Thought how she would travel there one day to enlighten them in the ways of the Hindu faith. Innocent, submissive, naïve, as all good Hindi girls should be. None of those now, but never lost the desire to visit that distant land.
Shiu, her room mate of 2 days and only one more, was arranging her hair in a stitch ponytail. Having been out the 2 nights previous, absorbing the atmosphere of a foreign town together, they were ready to begin brief acquaintances with local men. Ah, the freedom of the modern woman. The experience of casual relations was still quite new to Kamna. The shame of the deflowered woman still resided in the deep part of her conscience, still inhabited by her father’s teachings. A part of her conscience that was less active 12000 miles from home, and even less so after a few vodka and cokes. Tonight she was ready to prowl. Be the tigress.
“I am woman, hear me roar” she cried, causing Shiu to spit the hair clips from her lips as she exploded with laughter.
“No man will be safe from the clutches of these Asian animals” chimed in Shiu, throwing her arm around Kamna. Her hand curled into paws.
The mirror framed the two. Kamna remembering Amit, her brother, him playing the elephant and her the princess on her way to the greatest marriage India would ever witness. Her weight nothing compared to the expectations of a Hindi father. Some weights crush from the inside.
On the street, the night air filled with cuisine and cologne, fed their powdered noses. Deciding the flavour of man they would dine on that eve. Laughing at themselves. Men parting to allow them passage. Some colliding with lamp posts.
At dinner they flirted unashamedly with the handsome Kiwi waiter, warming themselves for dessert that lay in a nearby bar. He, regularly distracted, dropped cutlery more than once.
The first bar visited was the after 5 crowd. Ties loosely slung around necks. Would be tugged on, lost, or both by midnight. Kamna never had a chance to pay for their first round. Covered by the gentleman at the end of the bar, with a gold card it looked like. Ew er, fancy and all like. They chatted politely, flanked him to the pool table and played a lousy game. Toyed with him and his tie before excusing themselves after their second drink. Had decided in the toilets after the first that there were no likely candidates in the venue. ‘Bottoms Up’ at the end of their next drink would be the cue to exit. The suit was left stranded with stick in hand.
Their next vodka was downed in record time in a pub with 80% men and everyone one a minga. It had been Kamna’s choice. ‘It looked fine from the outside’. Shiu would select from here on.
Shiu chose well, according to Shiu. A live venue with that alternative, urban chic clientele. She dragged Kamna to the front of the dance floor. Wanted to be closer to the drummer. Worked her magic with supple body and deft eye. He was in her grasp before the first set ended. Kamna played the 3rd wheel for another set then left Shiu to it.
“Be good or be good at it” she shouted over the din.
“Details at dawn” replied the drummer’s one night love affair.
Shiu’s success had only fired the desire in Kamna to a greater level. A hunting she will go.
As midnight approached, Kamna strode into Rapture. Her kind of place. Modern styling, regular people and a beat that was going off. Dancing wantonly amongst the sea of new faces, she felt euphoric, looked vibrant, moved fluidly. Did not go unnoticed. Avoiding the movement retarded of them, in time to the beat, the eye of the tigress caught her temporal Raja. He stood tall, dominant in his group. Had a laugh she believed she could hear over the music, almost part of the melody, and eyes that owned the entire room. With confidence she had never known, Kamna swept across the dance floor and straight into the middle of his circle of friends. With a deeply amorous gaze and a commanding hand, she led him away from his pack, finishing his drink for him in one gulp.
For an hour they danced. Non-stop. The boy could move pretty well for a white guy. Gyrating hips creating thoughts of other activity in Kamna’s mind. Touch causing skin to tingle. Eyes causing selves to melt. Alcohol causing inhibitions to dissolve. They were under each other’s spells. Gladly submitting to their desires. Playfully swaying to the last song of the evening. Ducking out before the lights came on, ruining the magical haze.
Outside in the cool 3am air, they stumbled along arm in arm, until they reached the entrance of the hostel. Michael uneasy, preparing for a goodnight kiss and nothing more. Should have cabbed back to his. Kamna excited. Thinking of a steamy encounter in the lift on the way to her room. Hoping Shiu had headed to the drummer’s home. Michael then very happy as he was led into the complex. Had the same infatuation with lifts after seeing an Aerosmith video as a boy. Going down. First floor – Men’s Underwear.
By 6am he was begging for mercy. Kamna had continued her tigress spirit into the bedroom. Had her way with him several times. Fell asleep inter-woven. Awoke 3 hours later, head more sore than her thighs. Fetched a glass of water. Michael was dressing on her return. Started work at the car yard at 10. Would be a long day for him. She hugged him goodbye, thanked him for a good night and a great shag. Lay back on her bed. Felt very smug. Touched between her legs. Shit! No protection.
Before she could dwell on the problem, Shiu burst into the room. “Oh baby, did he know about rhythm!” Stopped between the two beds. “I smell something beginning with… Sex!!”
They both burst into laughter and sprang into sharing the details of their respective conquests while stuffing their backpacks. They exchanged emails and embraced. Would never see each other again.
Kamna settled down to a cooked breakfast once on board the ferry to the south. Promised herself she would take more photos of the city on her one day return leg. Fed her acid stomach with bacon and with eggs. Hoped hers weren’t fertilised.
In Nelson she met no-one but German tourists. All gaudily dressed and full of awe and boring stories of the amazink zinery. The West Coast was The Wet Coast as she had been warned. Hardly saw a thing out of the fogged up bus. Holed up in the hostel at Greymouth, only venturing out for a ‘Kiwiburger’ at the local takeaway.
Queenstown was a different story. She found herself in awe of the scenery. Felt very German all of a sudden. The hostel was like a United Nations of extreme sports addicts. Kamna was constantly entertained by adventure stories told with Swiss, Italian, and American accents. Found herself at a ski lodge the second night surrounded by blond blue eyes. Tried her hand at snow boarding for the first time earlier. Never had so much fun being bad at something. Tove had helped cushion the blows on the slope and the ego alike. The damsel in distress routine was still a winner the feminism movement would never quash. Handy that he was residing with equally adorable Scandinavian counterparts so locally. Yah, a jacuzzi would certainly ease away the pain of all those bumps and bruises sustained on the aborted downhill runs.
“To Svedun” glass of bubbly raised once more. Her toast for the umpteenth time. New found friends replying in kind, growingly aware of the disappearing chance of sharing her company intimately with every top up and toast.
Bright morning snow is the ultimate jest at one so severely hung over. Head thumping in time with wrists, elbows and knees. The tales of extreme sports would be left to the European tourists.
Dunedin was the art and freak capital, as she had been warned. Bedpans. An interesting choice of percussion instrument. Buskers here were more creative than the London Underground set. Had tinges of Edinburgh, minus the castle, and the trainspotters.
From the southern most tip of this distant land, she did sit and watch the sun rise. A site to be remembered forever. The distant warmth of ochre rising from the infinite, eternally chill blue mass that was the Southern Ocean. It was at this moment of dawning, that young Kamna acknowledged that the late flow of her red tide could no longer be ignored. It should have come when she was in Greymouth. Easily explained away as being because of all the travel and change of routine. 5 days on now, she had run out of explanations, and was growing more concerned by the minute. Must put it to rest. She had 4 days of fun ahead in this amazing country and didn’t need the unfathomable concept of pregnancy burdening her mind. Bought a wee home kit from a local pharmacy, glad of her dark skin colour masking the red flourish. Felt ridiculous squatting in the hostel toilets. Waited the longest minute of her life in a cubicle 12000 miles from home. The result in. Kamna Patel, 22, currently unemployed, unmarried of Luton, England was with child.
From converting Sikhs to creating a pagan. My how things have changed since you were a girl, young Kamna. Her inner monologue desperately trying to make light of the situation. Then on cue, the Hindi hoodoo set upon her. What an absolute disgrace she was to her family and their religion. She should have listened to her pa and married Rajib 2 years previous. Atleast she wouldn’t be pregnant with a bastard child to a foreigner whom…she paused, suddenly horrified at herself. She couldn’t even remember his name. She was a whore. In her family’s village she would be dragged through the streets by her hair and probably stoned. That is if her grandfather didn’t kill her himself to protect the family honour. She was sobbing now. Deeply. Her body convulsing with every pitiful utterance. Wished the shaking would dislodge the young child inside. Had a sudden image of a still born at her feet on the cracked bathroom tiles. Cried herself to a kind of sleep, slumped between the toilet and the wall. Helpless and grief-stricken. Unable to face the world outside.
Having eventually dragged her tear soaked body to bed, she crept under the covers, still in her clothes, and lay staring into the chasm of her life that had just wretched open.
The night brought nothing but condemnation and self loathing, materialising in twisted visions through her subconscious. Had wrestled with a tiger that gashed her stomach open only to reveal Amit, her dead brother, inside her. Flashing to running through a temple as the walls were collapsing on her. No, her father was hurling the mortar from above. She was unable to run. Falling again and again.
After the struggles of the night, morning brought some reprise, and a clarity of her need to make a decision, and make it fast. She had just 2 days left in the South Island before arriving in Wellington for one day, then flying out of the country for good. She had 48 hours to make the biggest decision of her life.
Michael, smile wide as the Nile, strutted (slightly cowboy) onto the car yard in the brilliant morning sunshine. A long day ahead. Would grin like a Cheshire cat through most of it. Familiar with one night stands, but that had taken the cake. Kamna kumbaya!
Met friends the next day for brunch. Had the table in veneration of his Friday night escapade. Eggs Benedict had never tasted so good. Poultry’s labour never brought thoughts of fertilisation.
Found himself repeatedly thinking lustful thoughts of her through the week. Had acted on them in the privacy of his room. Was experiencing a new level of desire that had been foreign to him ‘til now.
On Wednesday had woken at dawn. Unusual for him. Felt the need to ruminate. Came up with little but did journey to work feeling more spiritual. Melancholy set upon him progressively through the day. Found that thoughts of Kamna were all that would keep him from being unexplainably sad. Turned down the offer of after work drinks, choosing a quiet night at home instead, listening to Leonard Cohen and sketching with charcoal.
The bus ride to Christchurch gave Kamna 7 hours to ponder her options, her future.
Option 1 – Keep the child and return home as planned. Which would doom me to live out the next 20 years of my poor existence on this earth in a council flat in Milton Keynes. Close enough for my mum to visit, but enough distance from my father whom will never want to see me again I am sure. There I will be destined to window shop at dull malls, while everyone that’s not in my bingo group will cast sideways glances at the untouchable.
Option 2 – Abortion. She may be a bad Hindi but she wasn’t prepared to anger the Gods that much. Condemn her child to a lower Varna as well as herself in the process. Even Devi, the most feminist of gods, would not approve.
Option 3 – Find the father in her 1 day back in Wellington. She had remembered he was heading to work in a car yard when he had left her on that fateful morning. She could try to visit every car yard, return to the bar they met, anything to find him and hope beyond all hope that somehow he would make it right. That he would take responsibility for their child to be, inform her he was born of a Hindi family too, and all would be like in Bollywood.
She pictured everyone in the bar suddenly forming into a fantastic Odissi to celebrate their love. Her in a decadent red and gold sari. He in a dazzling sherwani. What a magnificent dancer he was. Truly deserving of her dowry. She couldn’t explain the elephants in the background however. Burst into tears at her ridiculous notion. Hated the looks of the other travellers in the cabin. Get used to it girl. They will be worse when the bulge shows.
Michael arranged to meet an ex-girlfriend on Thursday for lunch. Had kept in contact with her sporadically since their split nearly a year ago. It was an amicable separation. No shouting, just a few tears. Were great sounding boards for each other. Windows of insight into the mysterious mind of the other sex.
Greeting with the warm familiar hug they both knew so well, then settling down for coffee and catch up. Her new beau was putting her through the 3 month indifference stage, avoiding time alone outside the bedroom. Something she had experienced before but not with Michael. Her unease was dispelled by the wisdom of her past lover. She revered that in him. Always possessed the calm knowledge to comfort her in her insecure moments. Felt a pang for his intimacy. Corrected herself. This was the best intimacy for them both. Realised as she moved on from her own self-absorbed state, that he wasn’t so calm himself. Inquired as to the reason.
“Kamna. Her name is Kamna, and that’s about all I know, well, other than she was amazing.”
Tracey lit up at the intensity of her friend’s answer. Pleaded for details. Smoked 2 cigarettes and drank another latte while Michael released on her the effect of this one night stand. She would have attempted to dispel his fixation and congratulate him in one, had it not been for the sense of enrapture that was upon him. There was a pause as he ended his narrative. Dragging the last of a Marlboro light, then slowly stubbing it in the rapidly filling ashtray, she bought some time to collate her reply. “If I was a true romantic, I would say you have fallen in love, Michael McCluskey, but seeing as I’m a little too cynical for that, as you know, I think you’re in lust. Which is probably worse seeing as you’ll never see this woman again and will spend a lifetime trying to find someone who will lay you that well.” Tracey was proud of her answer. Loved how frankly they could converse. Comment without judgement.
They hugged again and went on their own ways for another 1 - 2 months. She happy and fulfilled. He not so. Her answer, while typically Tracey, was not what he needed to hear.
The bus pulled into the garden city just past sunset. Tired from her travel through country and emotional states alike, Kamna hailed the first taxi to the nearest motel. Felt too vulnerable to share living space with another. Wanted solitude. Anonymity. The same anonymity she had when purchasing a second pregnancy test that also proved positive.
As the evening passed by the budget inn, she found some strength through a great Chinese takeaway, and the decision and plan she had made to find car sales daddy guy. She hated that so much. Not even a name. Tried to relive moments when she might have used it, mostly in the throws of passion. What a paradox those had become given the news of the day. Without avail. He would be nameless father to maybe be. He would be sort though. This she had decided. Her plane arrived at 10am the next day, Friday. She would check into a motel in the C.B.D. to give herself the best chance to search all the nearby car yards and if that proved fruitless, visit the bar where they had met.
Flying over the strait she had crossed just 6 days earlier, she found poetry in the moment. From being so close to earth but so removed from the predicament unfolding within her, to being suspended 30,000 feet from the scene, now so lucidly aware. The plane began it’s descent. Kamna felt as if she held her breath all the way to the tarmac.
There was no ruminating to start the day for Michael, but he had a good reason to look forward to Friday. It was Tom’s farewell drinks from 7pm at Rapture. They had been good pals since Uni, and now Tom was joining the great ‘brain drain’ from the New Zealand shores and heading for London. The thought of getting on it with his mates had lifted his spirit. A nice change from the melancholy of the previous 2 days.
The website pics of the motel were obviously taken several years previous she decided as the taxi dropped her to the entrance. It wouldn’t matter much, however, as she was planning on spending nearly every hour between now and takeoff tomorrow searching for what’s his name. After dropping her bags on the threadbare carpet in her room, she headed for the nearest web cafe. An hour later, armed with a map and the addresses of 22 different car yards she set forth on her mission. On entering the first yard, she froze. She hadn’t even thought of what she would say if she met him. “Hi. Remember me, yeah the slut from last Friday, well I’m carrying your baby. Congratulations daddy!” She retreated to a nearby café for a pensive latte. She seriously thought about giving up the whole stupid plan of tracking him down. He was probably only going to hurt her somehow and want nothing to do with her or the child. She splashed cold water on her face in the faded brown restroom. Stared at reflection. Reminded herself of just what a determined bitch she could be sometimes, and there was no time like the present. “You go girl!”
The anticipation of the night ahead had obviously materialised as confidence for Michael on the yard. Had a close before morning tea, and arranged a positive lead to drop in for a ride in the new Falcon on the lot at 2. Hank, his boss, was pleased to see the boy back in his stride. His concern of the last two days disappeared as the cash register began ringing again.
“On ya son. You’ll have 3 by the end of the day I reckon.”
“A little faith, aye Hank. I was figuring on 4.” A vehement tingle flushed through his spine.
Michael had never seen himself as a car salesman. Spent his first 2 years of working life as an office assistant in a small local division of Land Transport. A fine continuation of the meek Stoicism that formed the fabric of his existence to that point. Hank had been one of the only anomalies in his mediocre upbringing. Sitting on the floor of the family lounge, listening to tales of world travel, risky business ventures, falling in and out of love, countless times. Remembered crying himself to sleep when his parents had sent him to bed once before the stories had flowed forth from his own ‘Uncle Travelling Mac’. How he revered his father’s friend. Bastion of a life less ordinary.
So it was that this childhood storyteller had rescued him from the dowdy days of the public service with an offer of training and employment in the vehicle sales sector. Michael often felt disbelief at how much he had changed in the 3 years on the yard. The picket fence no longer hedged him in.
Showing feigned interest in all manor of used vehicles had grown tiresome by the 8th yard. Another coffee stop was in order to refresh herself for the meeting with thingamebob. Having ordered her café latte, she rifled through the obligatory selection of easy reading material. Was not until returning to her table that she made the conscious recognition of passing up the Vogue and Cosmopolitan options for a Soap Opera Special. Suddenly transported herself to a Milton Keynes council flat with the magazine on the floor in front of her surrounded by nappies and wipes. Returned to the magazine table. Sort frivolous escapism in the pages of a Cleo. Laughed her way through the ‘21 steps to making him your love slave’, and dwelled on the ‘Hottest Bachelor Bods’. Pictured her own bachelor’s bod, framed by moonlight as it brought her waves of pleasure. He was a good catch, that was for sure. If only she could catch him again!
“Howzat!” Hank appealed.
“Caught & Bowled” Michael replied, beaming.
“One more today and I’ll shout you to the one-dayer next week, my boy.”
“You sure now. It’s a bowlers pitch and I’m feeling confident of bagging a hat-track.”
“Get back on the oval and show me what you’re made of then Hadlee.”
Kamna entered the yard of Hank’s Motoring Market. She gazed at 2 cars of no interest, then began reading the card of a Celica. Her brother had owned one of these. Was his ticket to freedom he had hoped. Was the beginning of the end it had become. To think that a car could go fast enough to escape the hold of his father.
Finishing his cigarette and striding across the yard, Michael could see a woman on the far side with her back to him. Would have headed straight for her on other days. She looked quite hot, somehow familiar even, from what he could tell at a distance, but she also looked like a tyre kicker. The couple walking across the yard towards him was what he sought that day. 2pm on the dot. He had blackened the Falcon’s tyres earlier and added some musk cologne to the interior. There was no way these two were leaving without being its proud new owners. One Day International, here I come. As he whisked them into their imminent purchase and off for a memorable test drive, Hank strode across to serve the lady still perusing the Celica. “She’s more fun to drive than to look at darling”. Hank dangling the Toyota tag in front of him.
Kamna jumped, startled from her musings. “Oh, ah, yes I’m sure she is.”
“You’re welcome to find out.”
“Oh I would love to but I don’t have my drivers licence with me” searching for an easy out.
“That’s okay love, as long as you’ve got I.D. you can take her for a spin.” Hank was a little over anxious to keep up the sales pace Michael had set. Kamna paused. It had been a long day and the idea of touring around the bays for 1/2 an hour in a sporty wee number certainly wouldn’t hurt.
“You’re on!” she chimed.
Ah, the freedom of the open road. Music filling the leather trim interior. Michael gleaming in the back, singing the praises of the powerful, yet economical Falcon. He was being chauffeur driven to his third close of the day. Oh, how the beer would taste all the better for it tonight.
Hank pulled the tickets for the one day international from inside his lucky sales jacket (seems the luck had worn off for the day). “Well bagged my boy. Enjoy the game now while I slave over the yard.”
“Aw, it’s a tough life for some of us, Hank.”
Hank grabbed Michael’s head and gave him a noogie. Michael grabbed his employer, mentor around his corpulent waist. Wrestled him. Hugged him. Glowed.
In the distance a Celica entered the yard, driven by a woman soon to have the waistline of Hank, but not worn as an appendage of success. Success makes you light as air. Shame weighs about 7lb. “Isn’t she a little darling” Hank addressing Kamna. Slapping the roof as though it were an object to be petted. Accepted into one’s heart as an addition to the family.
“Yeah, it was a really nice drive. I don’t know if it’s in my price bracket though.” Didn’t have the gumption to inform him of her temporary residency. Figured being a low spender would deter the jovial salesman. Was eventually successful in her dissuasion, and exited the yard without casting a glimpse into the office to view the father of her child.
The sporty escape had done her a world of good. Alanis’ ‘Ironic’ blasting on the stereo had her smiling in a type of paradoxical joy. She loved to be wanton,and if her pursuit of the joy furthest from her strict upbringing had brought her to be cruising the streets of this fantastic city in a hot sporty number, then celebrate it while it lasts. While her spirits were still high she stopped into a Courtenay Place restaurant for a sensational Laksa. With fire in her cheeks and a noble quest in her heart she returned to her motel to prepare for her return to the initial scene of the crime. Rapture.
“I know you’re keen to go boy, and go you shall. Plenty to celebrate out on the town tonight I know, but can ya just move that Celica back into it’s spot by the MX5 before ya get on it.”
“Sweet as Hank.” Grabbed the key and strolled across the yard. Thoughts of a large night ahead very much at the forefront. Loved this high, especially after his week of wallowing. Kamna, what a babe. Shame they couldn’t have had more together. Could almost smell her as he fired the engine. Saw her looking at him from the passenger’s seat! National Rail Photocard. Kamna Patel. BIQ 8284. Michael McCluskey froze. She… she couldn’t have. But he would have… Rushed to Hank. “This goddess, ah, this girl, ah woman. Was she here, today?”
“Steady on tiger. Yep, she was here just a couple of hours ago.”
“Did you get her number, address, email, anything?”
“What’s this about Michael. I’ve never seen you like this before?”
“Okay, you remember last Saturday when I was walking like… like a very happy cowboy?”
“Ahh. She was your exotic cowgirl, wasn’t she?”
“That and so much more. Did you get a contact?”
“Sorry son. I figured her for a tyre kicker who enjoyed a free ride on old Hank. I didn’t realise she had already ridden young Michael.”
Michael felt light-headed. Returned to his desk and a glass of water. Why had she been to the yard? Had she been looking for him? No, of course not, she had probably been like Hank said, just out for a free ride, before heading for the Motherland. Tried focussing on the night ahead with Tom and the crew, on his drive home. Kept on envisioning Kamna walking in to the bar again and swigging down his whisky before entreating him to a display of seduction like he had never experienced before. May never again.
It was a peculiar feeling, dressing to attract a man you have already attracted and may not even meet. She had plenty of time on her hands following the early meal, so set about preparing herself meticulously. Was tempted to wear the one sari she had brought with her but quickly changed her mind when she imagined the possible reaction from the man she sought. Seeing her again and finding out she held his baby, all while adorned in traditional Indian clothing would be enough to freak out the most resilient of men. She might as well bring those bloody elephants along to complete the scene. She pondered whether to wear the same clothes as last week so he would remember her easier, but didn’t want it to seem that they were her only garments. A poor pregnant Hindi woman. No one would want one of them. Was getting flustered. Longed for a few vodka and cokes to calm her down. Decided that previously they had not been beneficial in this city and stuck to the lemonade from the mini bar. Eventually chose a very figure flattering ensemble work it while you’ve still got it girl, and watched the second half of ‘Charmed’ on T.V.
Arriving fashionably late at a going away celebration would involve Michael playing catch up. After sculling a pint, followed by a whisky chaser, he was welcomed into the group of primed revellers. Tom was already swaying a little. Seems he had started one minute after finishing work, which had been at four seeing as it was his last day and all. Tom began questioning him about what he would be having for dinner that evening seeing as the Indian had gone down so well the Friday before. Added that he himself was looking forward to Toad in the Hole in a few days time. Michael replied that a good curry was hard to beat. It made so many other dishes seem bland. “Touché, my fine fellow. Bottoms up!” They touched glasses and drank deeply. Would miss each other. Each one knew. Each not speaking the words. Hardly Stoic to do so. Certainly not Catholic.
The importance of such unspoken emotion had been at the centre of their teaching at St Andrews Boy’s College. Unaffected by the educational and social changes of the previous 2 decades, this institute of Catholic learning had taught sound principles of repression and humility to all who graced it’s haloed halls.
Remembering an evening raid on the liquor cabinet of the Deacons quarters with his partner in crime, Michael ordered two shots of Benedictine.
“Ah, the holy spirit. Bless you my son.” Tom genuflecting before imbibing.
A cool late spring breeze brought goose bumps to Kamna’s skin as she strode out on the town. Felt a whisky wouldn’t go Falcony to warm her. Whisky, the drink of her man. Began wondering what else they had in common. Try as she might, she could recall barely any of the conversation they had shared that night. He played tennis, hadn’t been to India or England, and worked as a car salesman. That was the sum total of her recollection to date. Other than her observations of a strong, confident, charming man who made her feel… well how could she describe it. Having only had one other casual affair before, she would put him at the top of the two, even ahead of most the men she had dated. Felt warm now reflecting on their time together. As alcohol infused as it may have been, she was strongly attracted to that alpha male, and as ridiculous as she momentarily felt of this quest she was on, she couldn’t help but believe under different circumstances the two of them may have made quite the couple. Collecting herself now. Just a few doors away from Rapture. Trying hard to steady her nerves, but why? What’s the chances of him being there tonight?
Carina had joined the farewellers who were in full flight, accounting for half the noise in the bar themselves. She had come from work drinks so was well into her ‘over friendly, declaring love to all’ stage. She had planted one on Tom not 30 seconds from entering the place, and proceeded to hug nearly everyone else. Carefully finishing her gratuitous displays at Michael’s side.
Michael and Carina had slept together twice. It was back when Michael had only just moved into the city and begun work on the yard. He was still low on the self esteem scale and the drunken attentions of this relatively attractive lady had been very flattering. How could he refuse? Quite easily now, but turn back the clock he couldn’t, and so once more he found himself in the uncomfortable presence of Carina.
“Michael, darling. How are you tonight you spunk?” grabbed his butt and purred into his ear.
“Great. Had a big day at work so I’m off to the one-dayer next week.”
“You star. It’s no surprise you do so well there. Who wouldn’t want to take something from you?” laughed at her own innuendo.
He feigned laughter and excused himself to the bar. Amazing how some people of pleasing looks can make themselves so unattractive. Would not even place her in the same ball park as Kamna. That exotic creature was in a league of her own.
Kamna was outside. Illuminated by the neon Rapture. Took 3 deep breaths then strode into the familiar surrounds in as confident and exuberant manor as she could muster. Crossed to the bar to establish a posie that wouldn’t make her look like a desperate stalker, and ordered an O.J. She had barely begun to peruse the room before some office tool approached her with alco pop in hand. How would any woman find a man with a girl’s drink in his hand attractive? Not to mention the cheesy line to follow. Pahlease. Thought she saw Michael walking away from the bar on the opposite side, but then wondered if she was just hoping so to avoid the Neanderthal in her presence. Her complete disinterest mixed with a total lack of eye contact was somehow ineffective in deferring caveman’s attentions, and she was only saved by the laxative nature of his girlie drink as he informed her he had to piss.
Unfettered attention appeared the flavour of the night at Rapture as Carina continued the physical expression of her fixation towards her past (well not past if she had her way) lover. Her ministrations were broken by a disturbance from the other side of the circle. Some dork had spilt his alco pop on Tom and the situation was becoming heated. The alcohol causing two regularly passive men to take a more aggressive line of communication with each other. As Tom turned away from the situation, his adversary went for the cheap shot, only to have his fist intercepted, his bottle grasped and his knee kicked out from under him, by Michael.
The scuffle had not gone unnoticed by Kamna. The first clear view of the incident she had seen was of Michael standing victoriously over his victim, emptying the remainder of a familiar drink onto his fallen foe. She leapt from her stool to bestow a surprise congratulatory kiss upon her hero’s lips.
She was not the only one impressed by the heroics. She was not the only one wanting to kiss Michael. Carina seized her opportunity and wrapped herself around her obsession, checking all his teeth were still in place with her tongue.
Kamna froze, just 5 paces short of totally embarrassing herself in front of Michael and his girlfriend. Of course. Had to work at the car yard. Yeah right. How could she have been so dumb?! He had had his fun for the night and returned to his woman in the morning. Creep.
Michael wrestled himself free in time to catch the eyes of a familiar and beautiful face. Eyes filled with loathing. Filling with tears. She turned. Escaped. Michael started after her only to be grabbed and hugged by Tom, highly impressed with the adroit disposal of his adversary. “Yeah, any time pal. Look I’ve gotta go.”
By the time he had broken the circle, she had made the door. By the time he had reached the crowded street, she was gone.