Young and Stupid – Chapter V

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Chapter V

 

Even though the rickshaw-wallah drove like a nervous 18 yr old at a driving test, we were home before we knew it. I got out first, paid our chauffeur for the evening and thanked him. He reciprocated the gesture. I then held my hand out for her and escorted her to the gate as the rickshaw revved and whizzed away in the background. The evening was progressing wonderfully, but now we were about to enter a land where we would have to watch our steps, lest we be watched. I rummaged through my pockets for my keys as leaned to her ear and carefully explained the next leg of the plan.

 

Okay, here’s the deal. We have to be really careful from hereon. My house is in the last wing which means we need to get from Wing 1 to Wing 3 without being noticed. If we go together, the chances of being spotted are multiplied tenfold. There are far too many vantage points. I can name the old man on the 2nd floor in wing 1 & the Secretary’s house in wing 2 just off the top of my head. Try and understand the gravity of the situation. One false move and we’ll be the talk of the town. Therefore we MUST and I say MUST follow what I say? Do you copy?” I said (feeling like an army general).

 

Did you just say ‘do you copy’? And what on earth is a vantage point?” she looked at me in bewilderment.

 

Ahh mademoiselle, you are far too innocent for this harsh world. Just go round the back while I head from the front gate and open the door for you, okay?”

 

Say like that na, idiot!” she knocked me on the head and then she giggled and walked towards the gate that led to the back of the building.

 

I took a deep breath and charged to my wing. I searched for ‘watching eyes’ as I passed wings 1 and 2. They were either uninterested this evening or hidden too well for me to spot them. I reached my door and opened it making as little noise as possible. I wasn’t going to let a creaky door spoil my careful preparations. I unlocked the door and waited for her to come with bated breath but there wasn’t a sign of her. Half a minute passed, still nothing. I started to get worried again, but I couldn’t go and see what was going on either, that would be too risky. She arrived just as I was about to hit the panic button.

 

Nice building”, she said as she casually strolled in.

 

I shook my head, “By the time this evening is done you’re going to give me a heart attack for sure!”

 

I carefully closed the door and then turned to her.

We made it! We got in here without being spotted!” I said ecstatically.

 

Not exactly Fort Knox you know?” she said as she warmly hugged me. She could have squeezed every little bit of life out of me there and it would have still felt wonderful.

 

You’re going to remember this one for a long time. I can bet my last buck you will.” I beamed with confidence.

 

I think you’ve already spent it. And by the way, you can thank me later for saving you the blushes at the bus stop.” she mocked me.

 

If someone hadn’t messed up the directions in the first place, I wouldn’t have had to go to the bus stop! How on earth did you manage to lose your way this time?”

 

Oh…nothing much, just a little diversion.” she casually said.

 

Accha, let’s hear the rest of that”

 

Arrey why are you wasting time now? The important thing is I am safe and sound, right?”

 

Of course, of course safety first, but I can sense there is an embarrassing story behind that nonchalance of yours.”

 

Non-what? Why do you keep confusing me with all these words?”

 

Okay then I ask you in layman’s terms. Spill it Missy!”

 

But nothing happened….”

 

Sure sure….now can we have the truth!”

 

She paused for a second then sighed and finally gave up. She put on her puppy face and said,

Promise you won’t laugh?”

 

You know I can’t lie to that face! Of course my dearest….I will laugh.”

 

No, it’s not fair it wasn’t my fault, it was all because of that stupid dog. I just went to pat it on the head and it just started barking like crazy. I tried to calm it down but it just got louder and louder.”

 

There, there strays can get mean.” I consoled her.

 

Chee, why’d I play with strays in that dirty gully? It was a nice Pomeranian, you now the furry, gushy-vushy-mushy ones….soo cute!”

 

Did you just say, ‘gushy-vushy-mushy’?” I laughed holding my sides.

 

Listen na, so I thought it would be nice and harmless, but that started to chase me. So I ran. And all those people on the road, they’re watching the tamasha they didn’t even bother to help!” she complained.

 

Stop it! You’re killing me here!” I was falling off my seat.

 

You too! Useless! Laugh! Don’t even wait for me to finish the story. You’re not even concerned how I tackled that beast!”

 

You mean the gushy-vushy-mushy beast”, I broke out into another fit of laughter.

 

She was embarrassed thoroughly but couldn’t help laughing either.

 

Cartoon!” she said as she whacked me on the head.

 

Please finish the rest of the story.” I said trying to regain my breath.

 

Well the damn thing was tugging at the end of my pants, I tried to fight it off but its jaws were locked on tightly. I just swung my leg and it went flying into the gutter. It was so funny. I mean, I felt bad for it, but then the evil thing chased me and made a mockery out of me”

 

Jeez, why do all the fun things happen when I’m not around?” I laughed hysterically banging my fists on the table.

 

Yeah and then a couple of minutes later a guy with a leash comes and asks me. Excuse me, I saw my dog running this way, did you see it? I just pointed in the other direction and scooted from there.”

 

You come here!”

 

We hugged chuckling like in-mates at an asylum.

 

For all that trouble you had to go through, I have a great time in store for you.” I said leading her to my room. I switched on the music player. The plan was now coming towards fruition.

 

How thoughtful of you to play the Bee Gees instead of all that screaming and yelling you usually listen to!”

 

Anything for you, your highness. You just wait here while I serve the main course for the evening.”

 

I headed to the kitchen and picked up the pre-arranged masterpiece and turned towards my room. I knocked on the door as I entered. The look on her face was what they call ‘priceless’. She sat in amazement as I placed the tray on the table and sat next to her. Talkative as she usually was, she was speechless then.

 

You….you didn’t have to go through all of this.” she gathered the words somehow and blushingly said.

 

It was all worth the look on your face”, I said handing a cup of tea to her. She gazed into my eyes as she held it. She then rested her head on my shoulder. The words “Perfect Moment” flashed before my eyes. False alarm again I thought being ever the cynic but this time it was really happening. The moment was here…

 

 

 

Young and Stupid – Chapter IV

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Chapter IV

 

As I lay on the couch all I could think about was her. In a few minutes she’d be here. I would open the door and compliment her; she would blush as she entered. I would then kiss her hand and present her with a rose (how gentlemanly of me!). She would compliment my shirt and I’d dismiss it saying, “Oh I just threw on the first thing I saw“. Then I’d lead her to my room and there we’d spend the rest of the evening lost in each other (not to mention tea and biscuits and the solitary chocolate). This was going to be a day she would never forget. And in all fairness every first should be an everlasting memory. Speaking of firsts, we could have quite a few of those today. Handshake hugs wouldn’t make the cut today, nothing short of warm, loving bear hugs this evening! Maybe I’d peck her on the cheek if she let me. And if it all went really well, we might just have our first kiss. It all sounded very romantic, but I wasn’t quite sure how to initiate a kiss. Everyone always said that when the time is right, you just know it. I could have sworn that it was ‘the right time’ on a million other occasions but my timing had always been bad. Hence I never mustered the courage to try something like that. My friends found it rather odd that we hadn’t even kissed despite dating for so long. I hadn’t really lost much sleep over it, but it had been at the back of my mind. Maybe today I’d have a chance.

Half an hour had passed since the phone call and as expected, she hadn’t arrived yet. I decided to spend the remainder of the wait watching TV, but since nothing but re-runs of the previous night’s soaps were on air, I decided otherwise. Instead I picked up the newspaper and started solving the crossword. Maybe I’d find some new words to impress her with.

Today’s crossword didn’t seem like much of a challenge. A mere 10 mins of down and across was all it took to have it all figured out. Riding high on a wave of confidence, I decided to venture into uncharted territory…Su-Doku. Numbers weren’t my forte, but today there wasn’t anything that I couldn’t do. I glanced at the watch and realized that it had almost been an hour since the phone call. I was a bit worried but tried to maintain my composure. ‘She’ll be here any minute now.’ I calmed myself. A minute passed, then two, and then five….still no sign of her. Was she going to show up at all? Was she serious when she said ‘there’s always room for second thoughts’? Oh God, please don’t let there be another guy, I’ll never joke about something like that again. I had just about lost my marbles when the phone rang. It was her.

Where are you? Everything’s okay na? You had me so worried, you know?” I snapped

 

I’m sorry, I really am.” she said apologetically

 

Arrey…now don’t be sorry, you should have called me earlier na? You knew I was waiting.”

 

Yes but you didn’t have to get all angry. I’m confused as it is.” she defended herself.

 

Okay baba, I’m sorry bas. Now would Her Highness be kind enough to inform me where she is and how long she intends to take to arrive here?”

 

You won’t get mad at me again, will you?”

 

I won’t. You have my word. You can have my head chopped off should I dishonor my word!”

 

That won’t be necessary, you’re kind of cute. Now be a good knight and pick me up from the bus stop on the road that goes to the station.” she giggled.

 

How the devil did you manage to get yourself there? That’s not even on the way to my house!”

 

Well you’ll have to get here to find out, kind sir! I’ll be waiting.”

 

I hung up thoroughly confused. How could she manage to screw up such basic directions? There was only one person who could explain that and she was waiting at the bus stop. I locked the door and left walking as fast as I could and hailed the first rickshaw I could see.

Bus stop. Jaldi, bhaiyya” I said.

 

The driver was more than happy to turn the meter and put the pedal to the medal. Rickshaw-wallahs always enjoyed driving like maniacs especially with the passengers’ consent. After my rickshaw ride from hell I reached the bus-stop. I couldn’t decide whether to get down kiss her or kiss the ground. Mr. Schumacher demanded Rs.15 for the ordeal. Damn it! I didn’t have my wallet. I certainly couldn’t ask her majesty to pay. I started rummaging through my pockets praying that I would find some long forgotten Gandhi somewhere. She understood the situation and intervened saying,

Why don’t we take this back to your place? I’ll pay. After all, if it wasn’t for me you wouldn’t have had to come here in the first place.”

 

The driver looked more than happy to take us for another roller-coaster ride.

 

I sighed…“Chalo bhaiyya. Let’s go back where we came from.”

 

Haan sahab, ekdum fast leke chaloonga.” he said stressing on ‘fast’.

 

Nahi bhaiyya, abhi to hamari shaadi bhi nahi hui.” she said and both of us broke out into a fit of laughter. We then hugged me and she kissed me on the cheek saying “Thank you brave sir!”

 

It was an honor, your majesty.” I took her hand in mine and paused a moment to let it all sink in. Our most memorable evening had just begun….