PART - I
Fighting with vigor against the eyelid’s will to stay shut, I could feel an ever-increasing pain in my right hand. If not for this pain, I would have given up, and let my eyes rest.
The bed had a severing chill. Several degrees too hard to be a bed. As the sleepy high started to give away. I realized the pain in my right hand must be from a fall. With a small peek, as the fight continued its course, I realized I had long left the bed and now was on the floor. I never saw myself as one who could not focus to stay within the parameters of the bed, but here I was. And my rapid thoughts, to make up for my lack of movement, was interrupted by a loud knock on the door.
To my luck, I hadn’t rolled much of a distance from the bed and was able to take its support to stand. The knock at the door, though must not have been too loud, started feeling unbearable. It was as if someone was shouting in my ear with the noise of a door’s knock. I must have slept for ages, but I could, with the utmost strength, not imagine being more tied than I was then. And there I was with all my strength collected to make that noise disappear. I opened the door.
On the other side of the door, to my surprise, was a fifteen-year-old boy. As of now, I was hardly in the right mind to expect a person standing when I open the door. All I expected was the knocking to stop and it did to my relief. The kid was dressed in an attire one hardly sees someone his age in. A pitch-black leather biker’s jacket, which for some reason came with a hood. A pair of jeans, as dark as it gets. The jeans came with several metal accessories which looked sharp from where I stood. He had thick white makeup with black eyeliner and lipstick, some sort of a 90’s emo look.
I could see a mild expression of surprise on him seeing my schmuck face.
“Hell No, not again. How do I keep doing this…Anyway, we can work this out, AGAIN.”
Maybe he wished for a response, or maybe a question. But back then I was too tired and too confused for anything but listen.
“Ahh, I Will have to help you clear this mess.”
And again I could give him nothing but another uncomfortable pause.
“Jeasuss Christ, Can you fcking Speak? Or did you forget that too this round?”
Clearing my throat and with a certain difficulty, I shouted, “YES!”. It felt as if I hadn’t spoken for days and in that time had lost my grip over volume.
“Good, Now if you are done with permanently scarring that girl’s life, wear some clothes.”.
“Don’t mind me, I have spawned in with you in much worse sates. Also, turn around that should bring things to a perspective.”
I walked towards the closet, as my confusion raced my embarrassment. My throat soaked with an unfulfilled wish to puke. Having worn my shorts I sat on the only portion of the bed without a part of her. It amazed me to think to what extend she was more comfortable on my bed that I ever had been. And that comfort had somehow managed to help her skinny body spread all over the bed. Maybe my fall was not voluntary after all. One can have only so much before someone else falls. If not for the card hanging from her neck and a pair of shocks she would have been birth naked. A portion of her belly was covered by a white silk sheet, a cover which for the most part didn’t do that well at its job. The sight of her lying there was a living oxymoron with beauty on her part and disgust on mine. Taking the silk cover I spread it over her. I took the jacket on the chair next to the bed and with it, I covered her upper body. The silk wasn’t long enough and it wasn’t a warm enough day to be sleeping naked.
Having made her comfortable, I pulled the card open from its holder, being careful for it not to grace her skin waking her up. Her being covered helped with the guilt and disgust, giving a moment to her beauty.
The boy of fifteen pushed me to get hold of the card.
“Lemme read, with that fcked up memory of yours it would take you ages.”
He sat on the chair beside as if it were to be a long read.
“Name. Cathrine Marc. Student, The University of…FUCKK. What the fck dude…This day keeps getting better. I just can’t wait to see her reaction when she wakes up.”
One would hardly expect a verbal response from me. All I did was sit beside her and sweat fearful confusion of not knowing what to do. But this awkward, fearful, uncomfortable pause, creamed with my anxiety and the boy’s curiosity, was soon interrupted by a ping tone on my laptop.
“Huh, Interesting, rather unusual for you to let that monstrosity pull an all-nighter. She must have made you increase her grades before offering her side of the bargain. Trust issues, that’s nice to have while sleeping with a professor.”
“Huh?” I said as I looked around with my vague attempts at grasping reality and figuring out how I could have come across the girl. And why was she laying naked on my bed? By why I mean why would she want to. For a moment I wished I could ask Amecia. She would have tons to say on such psyche.
“Yes, right the ping was from a voice message from Amecia, your wife. Remember her? Do you want me to play it?”
“No!No! please don’t”
“It’s cute, how you expected me to actually no play it. Anyhow”
“Hey Asshole, hope you are finally awake and preferably with none on my side of the cushions. Remember your flight to India this afternoon? Hope you have packed already. Your mum is driving me crazy with all that attention. Come here and do something with her fear of me not feeling at home… Shit, she is calling for me again. Anyway, Bon voyage, amour”, said a voice of french women in her forties. It was fast enough to seem as if it was rehearsed several times before the actual call.
“Was that Ma’am Amecia’s voice? Scared me for a moment”, Spoke the girl, now awake. The cover with her help had now once again bailed from the task entrusted to it. And her now naked breast looked at me as if to mirror my disappointment and self-loathing.
“Yes, it was her.”
“She’s cute. I love her classes.”
“Could you please wear something.”, I said in a disgusted voice which within seconds I regretted using.
“Oh, so you are one of those old men… Okay, no point arguing, I shall yield.” She said as she went for a hand gesture quite common amoung those her age. As I have observed, to show disapproval to something they are doing.
“Interesting, You have your research papers open on the laptop. Must have been quite an effective tactic, boring one to sex…Anyway gonna leave you two for now.”Said the young boy as he left the room.
“That’s a nice dress”
“Thank you, Professor!”
“Can you not call me that… it makes things weirder.”
“And you shall have it, Professor”
“We must have been completely buzzed last night. I don’t remember anything.”, I said it with hopes of blaming it on the booze.
“Actually no, we both were in our complete senses. Don’t you remember last night?”
“No I don’t and I don’t think that’s all I don’t remember”
“I have a class in 2 hours and you must pack for your flight too. Let’s see…We can manage a question or two. But be quick”
“Are you my student?”
“Not really, but I have sat for a few classes. You seriously don’t remember anything? I am one of Ma’am Amecia’s students…Shit, I was almost forgetting to hand my assignment to you. Told ma’am would hand it to you after the conference.” The Girl now properly dressed took a notebook and handed it over to me.
“Next Question! Neither of us has the whole day”, She said impatiently as I was keenly observing the contents of the notebook.
“You mentioned a conference, What conference?”
“Oh, That. Last day we had a conference at the university in honour of your paper that got you the Ajtai award. After which we got talking…And I have a feeling you don’t wish for me to continue. Anyway Next Question.”
Seeing me look into the oblivion to get hold of a question. She continued, “I guess it’s enough for today. See you maybe someday in class. Also, you seriously need to see a doctor, you are overworking.”
As she was leaving she approached me to kiss. With a failure at the attempt, she was left pushed by my instincts. Followed by an awkward guard on her lips with my hand as if to stop her from speaking. Or as in this case to make more regrettable choices.
“Please don’t, I don’t wish for it to go any worse. I have already scarred you for life.”
To which she replied by saying.
“Professor, from where I stand it appears to me I have scarred you way worse with that sissy guilt of yours.” She said the words scarred within air-quotes to mock my use of it. This was followed by her leaving and me standing blankly wondering what to do next.
“The flight Remember!” said the kid in fifteen who must have appeared in my mind from the thin air at an unnoticed point in time.