“It is very open here.” The land owner said looking out in the open at the lush green moors. There was a sullen look on his face although Kavish was mesmerized by the sheer beauty of nature. He was the first from his family to visit abroad. His family was modest and well to do middle-class family from India but the circumstances and four children kept their pockets empty and their dreams reasonable.
If any country knows the meaning of space, it’s India. If people could find space between the molecules they would squeeze out of there. So in a country like England, where weather is reasonably cold and the land is like nature has put a green velvet. It had a very soothing effect for his eyes filled with images of half baked cities.
He had moved here, with a well-paid job at an architectural firm which is very impressed by his imagination and is very comfortable of him moving far outside the city. His fascination with the European countryside was very well known along with his accent. His incessant but rather intelligent rant about the movies based in the nineteenth century is something to pay for.
His move through the ranks with one after the other project successes made him known and here’s how he came to know Cynthia, an art curator at some fancy French-sounding gallery whose name he could hardly pronounce and if he tried, even the dead French people would turn in their graves. But somehow Cynthia was enamoured by him; some guess love is deaf too.
She was a beautiful girl in all definitions. He was the talk of the party whenever she accompanied him; his bosses were always pressuring him to bring her along as it might help influence the clients. Disgusted by this weird obsession to show off girlfriends and wives to get clients is one of the reasons he wanted to move to a faraway place.
Hence Maldon district, Essex. A refreshing forty miles drive from London and nature was just great. Cynthia was surprisingly okay with his decision, he thought it would take a ring to convince her but she was just fine with it. So he was left with the ring that he had bought in case she needed some coercion. He now thought that the house might be more convincing than the lazy ring.
More about Kavish and Cynthia.
He met her at a housewarming party that one of his team leaders had thrown after they had moved into a new house which everyone knew about but pretended it was a surprise. He was invited out of courtesy, being a new member of the team.
It was nothing like anyone was interested in his story. He was warming the sofas of the house after cheerfully smiling at everyone, hoping to strike a conversation. He was sipping on his soda, looking out at the room and then again at it, sipping. But in his brief in and out of his line-of-sight he caught a gaze looking directly at him.
He slowly blew in his drink with the straw still in his mouth. He furrowed his eyebrows, wrinkled his forehead while gently stroking his hairs just to see a group of legs across the sofa. When he finally got the courage to look in that direction the gaze was gone.
He looked around to find people slowly unwinding and the crowd was getting thin. He wanted to go home and get a head start on the new project but couldn’t find his boss and still everyone from his team was there. He found it rude to leave without informing the hosts. Smooth music was playing in the background, it had set a rhythm in the room, everyone was moving with the combined effects of inebriation and heavy bowels. As he was standing to go and say his goodbye to his hosts, he saw his boss coming his way, he straightened his dress and smiled and before he could say something the boss says “Kavish! I was coming to find you. Here, meet Cynthia.” [She smiled in the back] “Hello.” He said smiling to Cynthia.
“Kavish, Cynthia is an art curator at the Musee d’Orsay and very valuable potential client. So can you please safely drop her wherever she wants?” he said with fake politeness. He looked at the back and saw an angel. She was looking directly at him with wide eyes like a puppy wanting treats. He couldn’t make what his boss said when he turned to talk to her, Kavish was still starry-eyed.
[Both sitting in the car.]
There was a soft sound of air conditioner and maybe some occasional deep breaths like someone gathering air to break this palpable awkwardness.
She was sitting erect as one sits at the dinner table, fidgeting with her phone cover.
Being an Indian man and the staring stereotypes about his people were well known to him so he was looking straight to salvage some respect for his people. She sat there fidgeting with his phone, wishing for her place to drop down in the middle of the road.
Finally, she spoke as she knew that it would take at least twenty minutes at this speed and it has only been four minutes.
“Terry said you are new to his office.” She immediately hated the starter.
“Terry? Who?” he said, confused.
“Terry… Terry Crews, your boss?” she cleared.
“Oh! Mr Crews. Yes… yes he’s my boss, I have joined recently. He’s a gentleman.” Kavish said approvingly.
“Gentlemen? Come on, you think so? He wasn’t polite while asking you to drop me? He didn’t even ask you if you’re going in the same direction? Hell he didn’t ask if you’re ready to leave?” she said vehemently.
“It’s okay I guess. I’m new here and when I saw how he’s used to talking to people in the office, I thought maybe he’s a strict boss. But I can’t complain. This job pays well.” He deflected the questions.
He was not sure if he should tell her that after leaving her to her place he had to go back in the opposite direction at least one hour and it’s already midnight.
“But you didn’t tell me if you were going in the same direction?” she asked.
She seemed embarrassed. She should’ve never listened to Terry, it would’ve been best if she hadn’t taken any more favours from him. She was already very much cornered by the fact that he is her father.
“Yeah, it’s on my way? Don’t worry.” He faked a smile in the end.
She reached out her hand said, “show me your license.”
He was taken aback a little bit but accepted that he’s not going to get away with it. For a moment he thought what she might think to know that he came all the way here when he could’ve easily tapped in his junior who lives on the same route.
He reluctantly absolved himself with the truth and told her that he has to go one hour back.
She looked agitated. She took deep breaths silently and said “you know you could stay the night at my place. It’s not big but you can take the couch if you want to?”
“Oh no, that would be a terrible nuisance having a strange person in your house.” He said perspiring at the thought of staying the night with her alone in her house.
And like every man he also didn’t bother if she knew the lady or not, don’t know why but women never seems the serial murderer kind. He was sweating imagining the scenario of getting some action which he apparently seldom had.
“Don’t worry it’ll be a plutonic one night stand.” She said smoothly.
As soon as he heard he started laughing hysterically and then both started laughing looking at each other.
[Twenty minutes passed, both naked in her bed, soaked in sweat, breathing heavily]
“Plutonic, huh?” he said under his breath.
She stood up gathering her dishevelled hair with one hand, clinching bed sheet with the other around her chest, said: “I’m going to get a shower; you can take the couch and get some clean sheets from the drawers.”
He could never understand this quirk in girls, you can never hear a man say this to a woman after having sex with her and if he says this then he’ll immediately be called a misogynist.
As a woman would feel, he also felt used. But his brief contempt for the situation was overwhelmed by the ultimate pleasure of getting a sexual relief. He had never thought it would be this good. With a naughty smile stuck to his face, he took the couch and slept like a baby.
She came back and saw him sleeping on the couch and blanket on the floor. She went close to see if he’s fast asleep and saw a smile stuck to his face snuggled in the corner. She tucked him in and smiled like she hasn’t in a while.