Sunday, August 21, 2011

Sunday Story Time Part 31

The story begins HERE

King of Dreams
Harry N Down

It is not until we are nearly at Chetna’s apartment that Kapil speaks.

“Steve. When you enter the home, if there are shoes by the door take yours off and place them with the others. The larger bunch of flowers and the chocolates are for her mother. The smaller bunch for Chetna. Be polite and try not to use cuss words. More important than anything else, be yourself. One more thing. I have three cold beers in the icebox. Just to help ease the tension.” Kapil is so thoughtful.

They drop me off.
The beer and chocolates in a bag and the flowers in another.
I walk off towards Chetna’s door. The taxi drives off. The sounds of car horns, the smell of cow dung and the anxiety levels rise. I could have sworn I heard Kapil and Kev laughing as they drove off.
Trying to remember what Kapil had said I reach the door. Taking a deep breath, I proceed to knock.
I close my eyes and open them as the door opens.
A woman, around 60-70 year old opens it. I tower over her. I see a bit of Chetna in her. She has those dark eyes and a similar complexion.
“Is Chetna home?” I ask.
“You are?”
“Joseph King, Joe for short.” I reply.

She looks at me and then a smile comes to her face. “Come in, welcome to our home.”
I walk in and wait until she has shut the door. Without moving to far into the house, I reach into the bag and give her the biggest bunch of flowers. Placing the other bag down, I get out the chocolates. Handing them to her as a can of beer rolls out of the bag and further into the house.

“My name is Steve. Pleased to meet you.” I try to sound pleasant.
She beckons me in. I take my shoes off and place them with the others. Pick up the bag and follow her in. She picks up the can that had escaped from my bag and passes it back to me.
“Please sit down.”

Sitting at the kitchen table, I start to check out the surroundings.
Her mother makes some tea and once she fills her cup she sorts the flowers out in to vases.
“Nice home you have here.” How unconvincing was that comment?
“Thank you.” She says even more unconvincing than my statement.
“Hope you like chocolates. Not sure which ones they are.” Trying to keep the fact, I did not pick them up nor did I have any idea if they were in fact chocolates.

Looking at me then opening the wrapping a smile appears on her face. “These are my favourites.”
I slump in the chair reach for one of the beers and open it.

Where is Chetna?
Chetna’s mother and I sit across from one another.
“Are you looking forward to tonight?” I am intent on starting a conversation of some kind.
She sips her tea and remains silent. I lean forward. My elbows on the table. Beer in one hand I take a swill.
“You have a beautiful daughter.”
“Takes after her mother.” She replies.
“Have you ever seen a grown man naked?” I ask with a straight face.

Of course, her mother was just about to take a sip of tea. The moment was truly a precious one. Unfortunately, I copped the spray that came forth. I remained focussed. Before leaning back, taking some tissues out of my pocket, and wiping my face.
“Nice tea.” I say as I look at my shirt.

A smile comes to my face. Her mother laughs a hearty laugh. “Chetna! CHETNA!”
Chetna comes running out of her room.
She sees the two of us laughing. My white shirt covered with the spray of tea.
“Chetna, find him one of your brothers shirts.” Tears of laughter run down her mothers face. Still laughing she tries to tell Chetna what happened. The laughter is infectious.
“What happened Steve?” Chetna asks.
I slap the table laughing.

To be continued .........  HERE
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