King of Dreams
Harry N Down
Chetna called, she wants to catch up with me on Sunday.Alone!
Kev laughs. “So you expected her to rock up with her mum and everything would be sweet eh?”
Kev can be such a pain at times but I know what he is saying is true. I am somewhat scared that I may embarrass her or myself. The arrangement for Monday remains the same. Sunday it will just be her and me.
“So where are you two lovebirds going to meet?” Kev mentions sarcastically.
“Here. My room.” I light another smoke.
“You worried mate?” he asks
“Just do not want to forget my manners. I do not want her thinking I just want to get laid or whatever they call it here.”
“So? What is it you want from her?” Kev sits down and listens intently.
“I just want to make sure that anything that happens is done right. You know if she likes me enough and I like her. Well you know.”
“Steve, just be you OK. Just be yourself. You have the gift to do whatever needs to be done or said. You will be fine mate Trust me!”
“Doesn’t stop me from shitting myself though. Hell. She is only a woman eh?” I am trying to convince myself that everything will be ok.
I figure seeing her will take my mind away from Sundays meeting with Chetna.
Sunni and Sandy welcome us warmly. We are treated like royalty and it is not long before Shallini shows her face and comes and sits next to me.
Strange as it may seem, she always brings her book and rarely speaks. She cuddles into me and nudges me sometimes to look at what she has been doing. She speaks occasionally and in very good English. Mostly she just sits and goes about her business as if nothing is going around her. Almost like, she isolates herself in a place that only a few may venture into. I put my arm around her and kiss her head.
She looks up and smiles. “Mom, Mom, Steve needs another beer.” Shallini yells across the room.
I sit back in my chair and laugh a little. The girl is a marvel.
The night goes well.
As things slow down Sandy comes over to check on Shallini. We talk. “You are a good man Steve, Shallini has told me.” She laughs.
“You will be meeting your friend tomorrow?” Sandy is always asking me about Chetna as if she knows her or knows of her.
“Yes, she is coming to the hotel to see me.” I try to act disinterested.
“What are you going to do? Have you made plans?” Sandy is now eager to learn more about Chetna and how I feel about her.
“Thought we would spend the day in my room. Having gratuitous sex and lustful thoughts.” I smile politely.
Sandy looks at me with a smile. “You will do just fine Steve. She will love you for who you are not who pretend to be.”
“Take her to lunch, Just the two of you. Something romantic. Flowers, food and some nice gift.” She puts her hand on my shoulder. “She cares, I know she does.” With that, Sandy gets up and heads off to the kitchen.
“Are you going to marry Chetna, Steve?” A little voice sitting next to me pipes up.
“She sounds nice. Is she beautiful? Mom says you should marry her. If I was old enough I would marry you.” Shallini looks up and smiles.
Her dark olive skin, her black hair and her white teeth. So innocent.
I think about all the abuse she has endured and yet I am amazed at her ability to cast it aside and remain human. I just hug her. “You know I love you too.” I kiss her forehead.
“Me too Steve.” She replies. She goes back to her book.
I sup down my beer and look around the place. There are many different nationalities. Some are just quiet and minding their own business. Some are a bit rowdy. Kev and I act as security when things get too loud or out of hand. Polite but firm. It is strange that some will get a bit rowdy when they think that no one in the bar can understand them.
Kev and I soon put them in their place. “Excuse me sir, could we tone it down a bit?”
The usual answer is “Err sorry we didn’t realise.”
“No worries mate. Keep it down but please enjoy your time here.”
Sunni must make a fortune in this place. It is always packed with a mixture of cultures. I ca not say what they pay as we have never had to pay for anything we have drunk or eaten here.
Although I have offered, Sunni refuses to take anything off me or Kev.
To be continued ...................HERE