King of Dreams
by Harry N Down
Chetna storms off to find a shirt.
“I’m sorry,” I say to her mother who by now has composed herself.
“Steve, I have not laughed this much in a long time.” She heads to the sink and grabs a cloth to wipe up the mess. The two of us are still giggling away when Chetna returns.
“GET IN HERE!” Chetna points to her room and throws the shirt at me.
“It was so funny. Honestly it was so funny.” I can’t stop laughing.
“GET changed!” Chetna demands.
Her mother laughs louder. It soon subsides when Chetna’s stern look points her way.
Still laughing I enter her room taking off my shirt and putting on the shirt she has given me. I sit on her bed and still giggling over what has transpired look around the room.
It has a bed a dressing table. There is a picture of her father. He passed away sometime ago. Her Computer sits near the window. There is a small wardrobe but little else. Pictures of a guru. I am not familiar with Hindu customs but it looks like a shrine. Small, still a shrine. My laughter stops and I am some what humbled by what little she has. There are books, plenty of books. This room lacks something. I just cannot figure out what. Standing up, I tuck my shirt in and head back out.
We all sit around the kitchen table. Her mother and I still smiling from the earlier events. Chetna still fuming.
I hand her the flowers. It tempers her mood some.
Her mother makes her some tea and decides she needs to get ready. Leaving us alone in the kitchen.
“Steve, you should be very careful what you say.”
“Come on Chetna. Your mother hasn’t had a good laugh in ages.”
Chetna smiles. “I am just not use to your humour Steve. It scares me sometimes that you find fun in almost everything. You are never serious or realistic.” She sighs.
If that didn’t put a damper on the evening I don’t know what would.
The conversations become more conservative, more refined. I am now out of my comfort zone, yet I persist. Different cultures, different upbringings and different beliefs. I look back as we speak and ponder yesterday was so good and yet today is so flat.
She looks at her flowers and sighs.
Kapil arrives smack bang on six o’clock.
“Different shirt Steve?”
“Long Story Kapil.” I give him the, don’t ask look.
I open the door for Chetna and she slides into the car. She seems quite content and happy yet I feel a wedge developing.
Chetna’s mum on the other hand is having a ball. She cheerfully talks with Kapil. Chetna remains silent.
It is a deathly silence.
To be continued ............................... HERE