Pre-Alpha Bitch (Chapter 2)

via Daily Prompt: Champion

Note to the reader- To fully appreciate the craziness, refer previous post- Beta Version Bitch (Chapter 1)

Dude that’s trippy! Koyal said wide-eyed.

Sush

Don’t Sush me, hey, where are you going?

I need sex, Payal declared

What?

I need sex

Okaaay, now?

Yeeesss, Call me a Uber, Payal started to pull herself out of the impossible to get out of bean bag.

Where are you going? Payal, have you not had enough action for a day? Pun intended

This time, Payal whistled appreciatively, Not bad kiddo, you’re catching on. Welcome aboard the bitch train.

Bitch? Me?

Hey, it’s not a bad thing, when you call a guy a dog, it’s swaggy, implies he’s a player, he’s hot shit. So by that equation..

Don’t try and sell that rubbish to me. And since when did you become such a Champion of debauchery.

Then don’t get all Rodriguez (much hated ex-hostel-warden) on me.

That R word again, hey you can’t leave now, you can go around looking for HIV later, you need to sit your ass down Payal Shastri and tell me what else besides assault and blackmail, have been cooking for the past 6 months that has the potential of landing you in Tihar (big fat jail in India). You do it and you do it right now.

And she bitches when I call her the R word, the injustice of it all. Payal sighed in mock horror, and flopped back next to Koyal. It was all quite for a while in the balcony of her 1bhk at Cuffe Parade (area in Mumbai) apartment.

A little while later Cookie stumbled into the balcony, sleepily wagging her tail and sat between the girls, joining them in their staring contest with the stars.

Eeeee, chee cookie, don’t lick damnit, Koyal jumped startling Payal out of her reverie.

Don’t mind her coocoo, she’s a prude. Payal sniggered petting her 5 year old half terrier half mogrel, in an attempt to calm the timid, well, bitch.

Koyal made a face at Payal and petted Cookie in defiance

So?

So?

Arey, don’t start that again, dude. What else? What else have you done that I should know.

Nothing.

Nothing?

No Koyal, I have done nothing else that you should know.

I am your best friend and I should know everything.

Payal laughed

Koyal look hurt.

Ok fine, see Koyal at that time I was sure of one thing and one thing alone, he was going to pay and I was not, I was done paying for god alone know what I did wrong in life, what bad karma came in Surya’s form to fuck my sanity. I was going to get back at him and I was getting out unscathed. So I have my tracks covered. You needn’t worry, mommy dearest.

Koyal cringed, seriously you’re going to throw the M word at me now? She took her phone out angrily, I am calling you that Uber, go get laid or something.

Payal chuckled fondly. Now that’s the Koyal I remember, achcha sun (desi for ‘Ok Listen’), initially I did nothing, I just paid attention, right until that night I had been in denial, the first thing I did was take that veil of denial off my mind. It was like an out of body experience, I stopped feeling mad, hurt, and ashamed. I was observing him, like he was a frog on a clipboard at our bio lab.

Koyal fake winced then laughed. Then?

Well, there was a lot wrong with Surya, besides the cheating, the physiological torture, and bad mouthing. He was obviously stealing from his father. He slept around with his friend’s girlfriends, wives, man don’t ask the list is endless. I was blind, No, worse, I choose to be blind. For that yes I deserved the shit hand I was dealt…

The doorbell rang.

Koyal squinted at her tiny wrist watch, the damn thing said it was 3 am.

Both girls looked at each other, silently willing for whoever it was to go away.

Then her phone rang, Surya again.

Payal felt something in the pit of her stomach deflate, to her credit she hadn’t displayed her panic yet, knowing how Koyal would feed on it in frenzy.

The persistent doorbell was now accompanied by insistent banging on the door.

Payal picked up the call and ceremoniously put it on speaker.

You bitch!

Payal scoffed, Now that’s original.

I want that recording now, or I am going to kill you. I will tear you pie hole to pie hole if you don’t open the door right now.

Payal inhaled, she felt a strange calm cocoon her, she didn’t realize what was the point of all this, all of the past 6 months.

It was this, this animal at display, in its true form. She grinned sheepishly at Koyal who was back to panic, mouth gaping and staring disbelievingly. Surya kind, gentlemanly, polite, refined

Surya now had another human being see what he could be. This was bliss.

Payal cleared her throat to break the sudden pin drop silence that was making her feel uncomfortable and said,

No Surya, you might be able to tear me, what was it you said, right, pie hole to pie hole if I open the door. Sweetheart fuck you very much but no, and like you have so been warned earlier today, this is a foul. And you shall be penalized, I will select what my heart so desires from my arsenal of damaging truths about you, and ram them in your ass. Adios.

Payal dropped the call and the girls waited, cookie waited. Why had this silly billy not barked amidst all the ruckus, Payal wondered. Moody thing knew I can handle it, she smiled

What are you grinning about now! Koyal hissed, I think I should call Rafik over, we should not be by ourselves tonight.

Give it a minute.

They waited in silence for the phone to ring again for the doorbell to ring again. Nothing.

Then after a full 5 minutes of absolute silence the doorbell rang, a polite single ting tong.

Payal got up and headed towards the door, Koyal leapt after her to body block her if necessary.

What the hell do you think you’re doing?

Getting the door.

What?

It’s not Surya.

You don’t know that!

I do, I was with the man for 8 years I know how he rings the doorbell, now get out of my way before I punch you in your boobs.

Given the evening’s events Koyal did not trust Payal, she could make good on that threat, and so albeit reluctantly, she made way.

Peeping out of the peep-hole, Payal found Saundesh Uncle, her next door neighbor, all of eighty stood disheveled, armed with a double barrel at her door. Payal covered her mouth and stifled her laugh, while hand signally Koyal to get her phone.

Turn the camera on, turn the flash off, when I open the door, please if you love me, discreetly get me just one good photo of Saundesh uncle.

Koyal just nodded confused, she realized that she had now figured out her official limit for processing bizarre events for a day. Photographing an agitated eighty year old with a double barrel at 3:30 am was it.

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Beta Version Bitch (Chapter 1)

You did what?

I stabbed him!

Are you sure?

Oh, I am sure.

Fuck!

You got that right.

Payal you are way out of your depth.

Well, what can I say, you got that right too.

What’s gotten into you?

Chill he’ll live.

And how do you know that, you stabbed him right? You said you’re sure!

Chill, I stabbed his palm, to the table, that’s all.

What? How can you be so calm about all this, why are you so damn calm after such a royal fuck up? Koyal threw her hands in the air, and sat on the chair at the dining table, head in hand

Payal smiled dreamily. If she could see her own face now, she would know she looked demented, she didn’t feel demented though she felt calm, serene, like she had just taken a long swim in the clear blue sea.

He is gonna FIR your ass from here till Delhi, where his MP (desi for Minister of parliament) dad is going to fry your ass straight to Tihar (one of the biggest prisons in India), dude I think we should call him, just say you’re sorry.

Payal slowly pulled the phone out of Koyal’s hand and pocketed it.

Koyal just stared at Payal aghast, mouth gaping, eyes wide, BP sky high, daru (desi for alcoholic beverage) evaporating from her pores like nail polish remover, dead sober and panicking with alarming speed.

Ok, ok I get it you’re in shock, we need to see a doctor you need to get some sedative or something, sleep it off, I’ll take care of everything, just give me my phone back Payal, you’re not thinking straight.

Payal burst out laughing, an eerie high pitched laugh that made the hair on Koyal’s neck stand

Wiping her tears off, Payal realized why Koyal could not get it, she was meeting her after 5 years, and 5 years is a long time. People change, Payal certainly had. Koyal certainly had not.

I might have to explain this, damn.

Koyal, I am fine I am not in shock; I am not sure about you though.

Babe, Surya is not going to call his dad, he is not going to call anyone, trust me, just trust me. Ok. I have got something on him which is going to sting worse than that steak knife, way worse. He knows better than to piss me off any fucking more.

That should do it. Payal thought.

Koyal still looked confused, trying desperately to process this crazy ass development, the violence, Payal and her nonchalance towards all of it, she looked at me as if she was seeing me for the first time. Well in a way she was. Payal Shartri Beta version motherfuckers.

Payal’s phone rang, she sighed, it was getting annoying now. Koyal’s exasperation, all that explaining and now the bloody phone. Can’t I enjoy this for a bit please?

Is it Surya? Please Payal please pick up, dude we can fix this, I know why you’re angry, I thought you didn’t know, but I guess you do now, you’re justified sweetheart. But he loves you and you love him, you have been together for 8 years, 8 years damn it, don’t throw that away. This is just adrenaline, it will wear off, then you’ll regret it Payal, I know you.

Koyal kept on pleading, the phone kept ringing. Payal could feel a headache creeping.

Fuck this shit.

Payal took the phone out of her back pocket, picked up the call and kept it on the dining table. She turned the speaker on and sat besides Koyal. Koyal dearest, had started crying. She muffled her sobs, wide eyed in anticipation of doomsday.

What? Payal barked at the phone

Baby I am sorry, I am so so sorry, I am an idiot, you know. I love you, please baby

Koyal looked at the phone and then at Payal in quick succession

Finally Koyal’s exasperation and panic for her friend was replaced by something resembling pride.

Payal smiled at Koyal patted her shoulder and slouched back in her chair like a lazy cat, Crossed one long leg over the other, picked up her car keys lying on the table, and pressed a small hidden button on her keychain aka Mr. Junior Laughing Buddha’s bum

Mr. Junior Laughing Buddha emitted Surya’s voice, “Don’t worry about dad yaar, He thinks’ it’s in the Mutual fund, fucking technology retard is not going to login to check, I have made sure there aren’t any paper statements being sent home, and in 6 months the principal will be back, it’s a growth fund yaar, I’ll just tell him the market was bad so there was no appreciation, Chill, that old fuck’s a dumb ass.”

Payal poked Junior Laughing Buddha’s bum again and it stopped.

Koyal tried, but could not stop herself, Payal joined in. They were rolling off their chairs, laughing. There was silence on the other end and then without a word and with a fresh set of burns, Surya hung up.

Damn Girl! Koyal whistled appreciatively

Hang on

Payal went into the kitchen and came back loaded with a bottle of old monk, 2 glasses, coke and cigarettes

Koyal poured the drinks while Payal lit 2 cigarettes at once and passed one to Koyal

Koyal took one long look at the cigarette, cursed then took a long puff, and then she just sat there looking at Payal, waiting

Payal went on smoking and downed a large patyala (desi for a double large) neat before realizing that more explanation was due

What?

Exactly!

Oh come on Koyal your pms-ing on steroids today man. First you’re angry, then afraid, then negotiating, crying, laughing and now you’re looking at me like Rodriguez. Koyal flinched at Rodriguez. No one likes being compared to their half-witch hostel warden.

Koyal sighed looking tired and defeated

How was she going to get any of this? It’s not her fault, you owe her some dirt, spill. Payal reprimanded herself.

Payal poured another patyala drank it neat and started explaining.

5 years ago when they had parted ways after college, Surya & Payal were the ideal couple, deeply in love, committed and happy, or so it seemed. The poison had taken root by then and was just not evident on the exterior at the time.

Surya was possessive, exceedingly so. Payal was becoming a progressive recluse as a defence mechanism towards his constant character assaults. Payal, a people pleaser by nature had been going over and beyond, cutting her ties with first her male friends, then colleagues, then female friends and then with the rest of humanity. All in an attempt to placate the abundant insecurities Surya nurtured

Somewhere down that murky path the sniggers began, then came the stories, the well wishers, the other girls. Surya was a pathological cheater, to add insult to injury, he also bitched about Payal, how she was the leach in the relationship. To his friends, her friends, her boss, her brother. Surya was a miser when it came to Payal, but ask him to throw a party and he’ll be the first to spend his father’s money on you. Provided, you brought along them hot chicks to the event. It was death by a thousand cuts, the most painful kind.

Then suddenly six months ago, Koyal called up Payal out of the blue, the girls chatted for four hours straight, laughing at old jokes, Koyal bringing Payal to speed with all the gossip, Payal kept the phone down and realized her face was hurting, hurting from laughing so much, the poor thing was out of practice, she cried all night that night. Next day she had one of her most epic fights with Surya, he had been trying to call her while she was on the phone with Koyal and he accused Payal on cheating on him.

Payal, placated him, pleaded, professed eternal love, begged for forgiveness, cooked his favorite meal, made love to him and while he slept next to her that night, contemplated suicide.

In the middle of the night she just could not take it, the shame of it all, she sneaked out of the bed and into the bathroom, sat cross legged of the floor with a razor blade in one hand, the wrist of the other ready for sacrifice. She couldn’t do it. She did not want to do it, she wanted to slip out noiselessly and run that blade across Surya’s throat so bad that she was shaking in the effort it took to restrain herself. She sat there all night twisting and turning that blade in her fingers, at the Cusp of reclamation, control, deciding what she could and would do. Then she did it.

Koyal’s face was streaked with silent tears by the time Payal was done, Payal stretched across and hugged her.

I should have known something was not right. I should have been there for you, I am sorry paggu.

Payal chuckled and said, don’t be stupid, I shut you out for that fool, I am sorry

So, what did you do those 6 months? Wait around that asshole, for him to say those dumb ass things?

Oh no, not just that love, I did so much more. Payal laughed and Koyal felt the hair at the back of her neck stand again. (To be continued…)

Pooping Bricks (Short story)

“Rafik and Cookie Tehran” that’s what the name plate outside Rafik’s condo now said.

The emotional accident of adopting a dog that Rafik had fallen instantly in love with had occurred a few weeks ago.

Learning the ropes of raising a dog for a man like Rafik had it’s challenges to say the least.

But love shall conquer all had been the theme so far, and baring a few mishaps which are stories for another time, Cookie had settled in nice and easy.

Sometimes Rafik wondered why people made such a big deal about it, Cookie was easy.

Rafik slept on his stomach, Cookie made his bum her pillow

Rafik ate the tandoori chicken and lamb chops, Cookie ate the bones

Rafik wrote his book, Cookie chewed on the cast away paper with vengeance, as angry at the bad idea as Rafik had been

Rafik went for a run Cookie galloped ahead of him.

Annoying children were shooed away with a gnarl, and for cute chicks she was a magnet, nowadays Rafik never came back home from the supermarket with less than three numbers, score!

Man & Dog complimented each other all the way, halleluiah.

All was well with the world, until..

Now come on, there had to be a ‘until’, what would I be writing about otherwise?

Rafik woke up in the middle of the night twisted around to check, no Cookie, the whining grew louder but Cookie was nowhere in sight, Rafik got out clumsily from his bed rubbing his eyes with one hand and scratching his stomach with the other.

Bathroom, kitchen, living area, He called out her name, the whining just got louder, still no sight of her.

Rafik started panicking

“Focus, where is the sound coming from?” Rafik said to himself taking deep breaths as though in labor.

He followed the sound and came back to the bedroom, “What the hell I checked, No Cookie!” suddenly he went on all fours and looked under the bed, there she was curled up, whining in what appeared to be both discomfort and pain.

“What happened girl? What’s wrong? Are you hurt?” Rafik examined every inch of her, behind the ears under the tail, inside her mouth, all OK. “Then what?” Rafik asked her like a nutter, feeling helpless and utterly useless.

He tried to give her food, took out her favorite treats, gave her water, and rubbed her belly, but nothing. The crying continued.

There was no other way, only one thing was going to help.

Rafik flipped open his laptop and started googling causes for dog discomfort, and there it was.

“Oh you wanna do your business honey, oh I am so sorry baby, let’s go.”

An hour of walking Cookie in the middle of the night, with no business happening was almost too much for Rafik, she was trying but nothing was happening, the more she tried the more agitated she got. So much so that she lost it completely (So thinks Rafik not me) and started eating grass! He had to pick her up and walk home to keep her away from that thing.

Rafik was pooping bricks by now, as he shut the door behind him and Cookie slid back in her corner under the bed to continue whining, Rafik decided yet again that there was no other way, only one thing was going to help.

Gingerly he dialed Revati’s number.

“Huh Who Hullo?” Revati muttered half asleep.

“Hi Revati” Long pause “Revati I think Cookie is dying” Rafik said with his voice cracking with the strain of the guilt he felt. “I think she is sick, very sick, she has been whining for hours and she looks in pain, she won’t eat, won’t make dodo…”

Revati half chuckled half yelled “You idiot, if she wont make dodo” She paused to laugh properly this time “That is what is wrong with her”

“I know that genius” He didn’t, well not until she said it anyway “ But what do I do, how do I make her make dodo” Rafik was exasperated, mysteries of the doggy world suddenly overwhelmed him.

Revati laughed hysterically for a good few minutes, finally when she sobered up she said “Take her to the park near your place, she’ll get as much fresh grass as she needs. Let her eat that as much as she likes, and in the morning or maybe a few hours later, she will make that dodo” She cracked up again.

“You mean grass grass, or you mean GRASS? Cause I don’t think she needs to go to the park for that, I might have some..” Rafik said excitedly

“You moron keep that shit away from her, what have you been feeding her anyway, is she getting any fiber?” Revati was irritated by now

“Yeah, fiber sure, of course, thanks Revati, you’re the best, Lets catch up, damn it’s late, goodnight” And he hung up before the real lecturing could begin

“She is a nice chick, but she thinks she knows everything, girls!” Cookie growled mildly at Rafik

Rafik sighed he will have to work on his political correctness around this one, but for now, back to park it was.

 

Not the pensive type please! (Short story)

Rafik was not having a ball tonight, he was having the exact opposite, he was getting yorkers and did not know how to bat them.

“So, you want to come along?” She was looking up at him with those big azure eyes.

This was the tricky part, too eager and he would be stuck with a pseudo intellectual-PETA-type chick, too lackluster and this gorgeous pseudo intellectual-PETA-type would decide he was just feigning intreast to get laid.

Rafiq found himself saying, “Sure, why not’

‘Shit, here goes nothing’ thought Rafiq.

Blue cross is closer from my place so come over at 6 in the morning and we’ll take my car.

6, morning, Sunday? This is blasphemy! Rafiq was already regretting this.

“Sure” he said

“I better leave now, if I want to salvage any hope of driving without having to use up the car insurance” Revati started to leave.

‘Bad joke, great smile, all’s forgiven’ Rafiq thought.

After partying till four in the morning Rafik decided that he might as well give sleep a skip altogether.

By 6 he was seriously hung over.
As he was doing his last minute gel, mouth freshner and deodorant routine outside Revati’s house, the rearview mirror told him he looked 5 years older,

“Hah! Jokes on you, I feel like I have aged 10”

Sarcasm will get you through everything, if Rafik Tehran had a tag line, that would be it.

“Not bad” she looking at him apraisingly, “You’re panctual.”

‘Sure, why not’ thought Rafik and smiled his acknowledgement of the ill earned complement.

“Let’s go, I want to get there by 8”

‘If you look like this 6 o’ clock on a Sunday morning honey, I’ll go any where with you’ Rafik was having a hard time keeping his cheeky retorts internal, but he managed to contain them with his lopsided smile.

For a vain, handsome, middle aged, single man, Rafik was quite oblivious to the fact that his boyish grin and not his sharp cloths, clought or money got him out of most of the jams that he had made a habit of getting into.

The drive was uneventful, mostly due to the fact that Rafik was snoring within the first ten minutes. So when Revati gently nudged him awake Rafik was disoriented. By the time the where, what and how of his surroundings sinked in they were standing in front of a line of cages and his head was rattling like clanging utensils with the ruccus.

25 caged dogs barking in unision will do that to you.

Slowly getting his equilibrim back, Rafiq’s gaze fixed on this strange looking dog, it was’nt quite terrier and it was’nt an Indian bread mongrel, not that Rafik would know the difference.
To his untrained eye this dog was just unique, nothing like he had ever seen before, White with buiscuit brown patches all over,it was tilting it’s head sideways, it’s ears stuck out, looking at him curiously and this one was’nt barking.

Rafik forgot all about Revati and got down on all fours, extended his hand tentatively and stopped short of touching the dogs dark brown nose.
And then it happened, the dog ducked it’s head and placed it’s forehead under Rafiq’s outstreched hand.

“Can I?” Rafiq asked the caretaker and the door was opened. After much sniffing, petting and jumping the dog curled up in Rafik’s lap.

“It’s a girl, Cookie, that’s what I am calling her.” Rafik told Revati with a goofy lopsided smile.

‘What did I do?’ 2 hours, and much paper work later, most of which was done by Revati the ramifications of this emotional accident had sunk in. All through the drive back to Revati’s home Rafik was looking out of the window deep in thought one hand petting Cookie like he had had her forever.

“Can you hold on to her for a day?” Rafik asked as they stood outside Revati’s door.

Revati looked at him with her big brooding eyes sad and disappointed, Rafiq wished he could vanish, finally she said,

“I will but if you dont show up tomorrow, I will take her back to blue cross, and just so you know the dogs that are returned are considered badly behaved, so that will be on you.”

She took Cookie from Rafiq turned around and closed the door befind her.

Rafik stood there for a long time. Then he drove back to blue cross, he spent the rest of the day there petting, playing and just looking at other dogs. The caretakers seemed surprised but took it to be a hopeful sign that he might adopt another one.

Rafiq had always had a lot of people around him, he was a fun guy, he hated the pensive, quite, loner kinds. He had no concept of me time, for the first time in his adult life he bearly spoke for an entire day, he switched of his cell and just spend time with the dogs, he was there, he was present in the true sence.

He spend the night in his car a block away from Revati’s house, and just kept thinking.

In the morning he had made up his mind, this had to be done, he straighted up, streched and rang the bell.

Revati opened the door surprised it was a little after dawn, “Can I have my dog back?” haggered but happy he looked 5 years younger with his lopsided smile.

Revati hugged him while Cookie barked for their attension.