What would RTH do?

That is the question.

If I were in a highschool yearbook, they would vote me most likely to die of a lynch mob. That does not prevent me from opening my mouth and serving a warm hearty cup of STFU to people who deserve it. My dark scathing humor will leave no matter of existence untouched. My innocence will touch your soul.

Welcome to a warped world turned inside out and upside down. All sorts of discretion advised.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

One Night Stand

"Is this what you are doing these days?" my father's voice screeched over the phone. I held it away towards the wall, to protect my ears.

"Don't make a big deal out of this. It was nothing".  My mom was sobbing rhythmically in the background. I could not help but roll my eyes, she was always such a drama queen.

"Nothing, just nothing?" my father had amplified his voice by like a million decibels, and I was trying desperately to magically stretch my arms a few inches longer. "Decent girls don't think of this as nothing"

After a lot of yelling and arguing we finally hung up. They were typical Bollywood parents, full of heightened drama and over reaction. But I'm an adult now, a successful and responsible adult. They had to stop ruling my life over their whims. Now was a good time to put my foot down. They were totally blowing it out of proportion.

As I ate my breakfast of leftover pizza, I sighed thinking, news indeed did travel fast in the Indian community. I wondered how my parent's found out. I scowled at my roommate's door. Whore! I'm sure she ratted me out. I could picture the diabolical delight on her face as she broke the news that the perfect daughter had fallen from grace. Or perhaps it was that no good skunk Arun. The loser was convinced that we were betrothed to each other. Just because or parents were best buddies did not mean we were destined to be together. He had a knack of showing up every where I went, giving an evil glare to every male in existence. He had showed up that night too and followed me around.

Please don't get me wrong, I'm not the kind of girl you think I am. I've never done anything like this before. I'm still a bit shocked at how bold I had been. In fact I've always been the perfect daughter, the pride of my parents. I'm the girl you all probably hate because my parents won't stop talking about me, causing your parents to keep nagging why you aren't more like me. Always at the top of the class through school and the perfect score in SAT. Same thing through college. I never went out, I never partied, and tried my best to avoid the attention of the boys. I've never even been on a date my entire life, unless of course you count Nick, my prom date and a flamboyant homosexual. His parents secretly hoped that I had the feminine charms that would cure him and my parents counted him as the only guy safe for a girl to talk to.

Now that I've worked hard and successful, I think I deserve a little break in life. Nothing extravagant, just some night outs with the girls here and there, the occasional flirting with the good guys hoping to find the perfect dulha that even my parents would fall head over heels in love with. After all I am a girl with dreams and aspirations. Every girl dreams to find her prince charming to sweep her off her feet. Arranged marriage is so old fashioned, and I think its good sense for us NRI girls to fend for ourselves. You can never trust these shaadi.com sites and such. Theres a lot of frauds and chauvinistic jerks out there. My parents did agree with me here, but always wondered why I couldn't fend myself with a nice guy like Arun. I think my mom already has names chosen for my grandkids. My dad is a lot more practical "Beta just find a good guy you like. Just make sure he is of our community"

Enough talk about myself though. Let me tell you what exactly happened that night. Things just happened, and one thing led to another, but I don't think I did anything that wrong. Or did I?

I had just finished unpacking the last box. Moving had been an ordeal and I was exhausted. My room was still bare with just a bed and no furniture. I had finally got all my good dresses and shoes arranged neatly in the closet. Everything else was arranged in neat piles on the floor. So what if I did not have furniture, I still could be clean. I had a small budge to buy some from the goodwill store. It was also college moving day downtown next week and I was planning on driving around hoping that I might snag some good free second hand stuff. I wasn't earning enough to splurge on the good stuff yet. My body was sore and begging me to stay in that night. In hindsight, perhaps I should have just stayed in and gone to bed after a long hot bubble bath. But perhaps it was destiny.

Besides I had to go. It was a farewell dinner for my former roommate Neeta. She was moving to Anaheim with her fiance. Even though she was the cause of my moving ordeals, I was going to dearly miss her. She was the best friend and roommate ever. Without her I would have been just another lost girl in the city. She really helped me settle in. A bunch of us girls had planned a girls night out in her honor, and there was no way I could miss that. I'll just have dinner with the girls and come straight home, I thought to myself. But fate had other plans for me.

After dinner the girls wanted to go dancing. There is no such thing as free will in girl world. Once the group decides that something must be done, then it must be done. Tonight the girls had their hearts set on going dancing, and there was no turning back. Some of us wanted to go to the desi club uptown where DJ Rekha was playing, but it got voted down. Too far and too crowded was the consensus. Basement Bhangra was just a block around the corner, but Neeta vetoed it. She complained that the place was getting frequented with too many FOB students wanting to feel her up. I'd never had that problem, but then I'm too plain and simple. Neeta on the other hand was smoking hot, and fashionably dressed in sexy sultry outfits. For some reason the FOB kids had the ludicrous notion that it meant, go ahead I'm easy. I really liked Basement Bhangra because of its quaint desi atmosphere. I felt at home there. The other more American dance clubs made me feel out of place. But Neeta hated Basement Bhangra and insisted on going somewhere else. Eventually Neeta decided that we should go to The Closet, a gay club a few blocks away from Basement Bhangra. We were less likely to get hit on there and their DJ Tristan always played some Bollywood numbers if there were plenty of desi girls around. Neeta was not the only girl who tried to avoid Basement Bhangra.

After a few rounds of shots the girls hit the dance floor. "I wanna go" Neeta lip synced as she gyrated to the latest hypnotic Britney beat. Radha and I stood in a relatively quite corner awkwardly tapping our feet as the rest of our friends got lost in the swarm of hot sweaty bodies. Girl, guy, friend, stranger made no difference to them on the dance floor. Within moments of hitting the floor, they would find a companion to grind their hips against. We were the good girls, or the shy ones as the others called us who waited patiently in the sidelines for the right person to dance with. I had no qualms being alone, better dance alone than some random stranger I thought. Besides, I had Radha to keep me company.

Then all of a sudden I noticed a shadowy figure beckoning me to dance. As the figure came closer, I could see the outline of a handsome Asian man. He wore a tight fitting pair of gray jeans and a red Express shirt with a dragon pattern on its back. His gel styled hair was performing gravity defying acrobatics and his moves were sensational. That man could dance. Definitely gay, I thought to myself as he took my hand to lead me onto the dance floor. Unlike my usual cautious self, I let myself go and followed him. When I turned around to see Radha's reaction, she too gave me an uncharacteristic nod of approval. I thought I was hallucinating and did a double take, only to see her smile and gesture me to go on. He is gay, I convinced myself, what was the worst that could happen.

How wrong I was! He maneuvered me around the dance floor with ease. Initially I kept my distance, but there was a certain soothing calmness about him that made me lose my inhibitions and inch slowly closer. The aura around him was intoxicating, and I found myself longing to be closer, wanting to be closer, pushing to be closer, but still resisting. Eventually, I stopped resisting and let myself go in his arms. His arms were on my hips pulling me closer and I held my head to his chest enjoying the rhythm of his throbbing heartbeat. I always had a thing for Asians, and he was the most beautiful Asian man I had ever seen. His eyes were soulful and alluring. Unlike the slight Asian kids from my school, he was tall and well built. His body was toned with rippling muscles and ran my hands on his back and shoulders appreciating the curves of his body. The little girl in my head was giggling that I was feeling up a man. The grown woman in me wanted him to do the same to me, I wanted his hands to take liberty and explore me further. But he turned out to be a perfect gentleman, all he wanted to do was dance.

Duh! He is gay, I tried to snap back to reality. He was not interested in feeling me up. He was probably thinking about ravishing some other boy on the dance floor. But how could he? No he wouldn't, he shouldn't. Why is it that we girls always get unwanted attention from the creepy guys, but the ones we want turn out to be gay or taken? He was to gorgeous to be gay. He was dreamy and just my type. Alright he was definitely not the Bollywood hero that I was looking for. He was definitely not the dulha mom had in mind and he would not fit my dad's definition of "our community". My mind was made up and I wanted him. I had to ask him and I looked up into his eyes. As if reading my mind he answered with a gentle kiss on the lips and asked if I wanted to go sit down somewhere quiet.

That was when my night took a turn for the worse. We found a booth away from the crowd and cozied up into each others arms there. Then we talked. No drinks, no shots, nothing just talking. It was incredible. All my friends soon left, but we were still talking, and we could probably talk forever. For most guys a quiet booth away from the crowd meant making out, if not more. I had half expected to be doing something rash I would regret, but he was different, he was content just talking. He was unlike any guy I had met before, he was interested in knowing me and wanted me to know him. His name was Chan, but his American name was Chris. He had migrated from China with his parents when he was twelve. His father was killed in an accident when he was fourteen. His mother worked two, sometimes three or four to raise him. He completely understood my overbearing, melodramatic, over the top protective parents. His mother was exactly the same, and she had her own network of high drama Chinese aunts and uncles who kept a protective eye on him. It was not old fashioned for my parents to want an Indian boy from our community. Everyone in his family also expected him to find a nice Chinese girl and settle down. We shared the mutual frustration, rebellion and unconditional love we felt towards our culture and families.

I think I was falling for him. He was unlike any other guy I had met. We connected and understood each others lives on so many levels. Most desi guys I had met had found me too old fashioned and prudish. Why did they never get the love/hate relationship I share with my parents? Why did this Chinese checkers, not my desi dulha completely understand my so called desi life.

Then Arun came. It was almost like he vaporized from thin air. One moment Chris and I were intently having a conversation, the next moment Arun's greasy face popped in between and broke our connection. A few seconds later he had invited himself to join us and slid next to me on the seat. Chris was graciously friendly and tried to start a conversation with Arun, but Arun being a jerk completely ignored Chris. Every time Chris said something Arun would interrupt "Did you try the chicken tikka at Paratha palace. Very good, but I think aunty makes them better" "Do you want to see the new Aamir Khan film this weekend" "I have some bookshelves I am trying to sell. You should come over tomorrow night. Since you just moved, I'll be happy to give them to you free".

That is when the drinking started. Sons of family friends like Arun stick to you like leeches. You can't shake them of even if you wanted to. They live in a dream world where you are already married. You just endure them, trying to ease the agony through other means, in my case here - alcohol. Arun ordered drinks first like a jerk, for me and him, not even bothering to ask what Chris wanted. Then to show him down I ordered a pitcher of beer. Arun only drinks girly drinks, he cannot stand beer. But he seemed determined to show down my new guy friend and downed them willingly. This went on for some time. Finally, Chris who was keeping sensibly sober, whispered to ask if we should ditch Arun. There was nothing more I wanted to do. So when Arun had to go to the restroom to empty his bladder from all the beer he had been drinking; we swiftly ran out the place giggling and laughing like kids.

Since I was drunk, Chris decided he should walk me home. He was a little buzzed himself, but somber and in control compared to me. I stumbled along clutching his arms tightly. I may have caused him to stagger occasionally, but he was in control. Then all of a sudden he stopped at a dark alley and walked in. His frame went outside the rays outside the streetlight to become a shadow in the distance. "Hey check this out!" he called.

Any person with common sense knows that it is a bad idea to enter a dark alley at night, especially at the call of a stranger you just met. Drunk people don't have common sense though, and I found Chris intoxicating. I walked in and found him standing proudly, showing it off to me. At first I didn't see it, but then I looked down and saw it. It was beautiful. I don't think I had seen anything like it before. I dropped to my knees not caring about ruining my dress with the filth on the streets and began gently stroking it. I made up my mind that I wanted it. Perhaps I was drunk and not thinking clearly, but I wanted it. Chris was going to bring it home to my bedroom. If he refused which I was sure he wouldn't I would beg and plead or even command him to.

You might find this rash and unwise of me. In hindsight I think I should have waited. Even Chris tried to tell me that we should wait till the next day when I was more sober. However, the heart wants, what the heart wants and you can't change the mind of a woman's heart. If you were in my shoes, you would do the same I'm sure.

Someone had thrown out a beautiful cherry night stand in that alley. Of course it was beat up and scratched all over, but it was still in great condition. The deep red hues of the finish matched perfectly with the burgundy frame of my Ikea bed. Once upon a time it would have cost big bucks at a specialty furniture store. I could picture arranging my bed lamp, books, and alarm clock on it. My laptop could go into this slide out drawer here. Mentally I arranged other belongings into the shelves below. My room appeared dramatically cleaner and organized in my vision. What I wouldn't do for a clean and organized room. I might not even have to go scavenging. I probably could use all of budget for a nice dresser and armoire.

I had to act quick though. In a college town tossed out furniture gets claimed quickly by poor college kids or broke young professionals like me. If I waited to come back later, some morning jogger or dog walker would surely see it and claim it. Ugh! How I hated the morning people, always getting to stuff ahead of everyone else. It was time night owls like me got their due. So I convinced Chris that it could not wait till later, we simply had to move our treasured discovery to my bedroom right away.

Thankfully, my apartment was not too far away. That damn night stand was heavy. Why do they make wood furniture so heavy? Why don't they make them light and easy? It was a cool fall night with a slight chill setting in, but we both were hot and sweating profusely. Chris looked incredibly sexy as his rippling muscles hauled the heavy piece of furniture on their own. Little beads of sweat trickling down from his forehead made me want to wipe his brows and kiss him. Poor fellow, he just had met me a few hours ago and now I was having him haul stuff around for me. Definitely dulha material, I thought to myself. The biggest battle was hauling it up a flight of stairs to get it to my apartment. Once again Chris did most of the lifting, while I just gently pushed it around a bit.

Things got even more exciting once we made it to my bedroom. My roommate the Queen of Sheba who cannot stand the slightest bit of chill had blasted the heat and my paycheck would bear half the brunt of her royal heat and electricity bill. My room felt like a stuffy furnace. In that sweltering heat I had to clear my room and make room for my new piece of furniture. I could not make up my mind which side of my bed the night stand should go to. First I had Chris put it on the right side of the bed. The changed my mind and asked him to move it to the left side, next to the window. He groaned as he had to drag the furniture across the room, pushing my stuff out of the way. "Jesus" I screamed as he dropped a corner on my foot. He grunted as he fell on the bed, almost missing the headboard as I pushed him in retaliation over my swollen foot. The bed springs creaked loudly as he quickly jumped off to complete his task. They creaked even more when I threw my stuff on it to make room for the night stand in the right place. Soon we were done and my room looked perfect.

"What the hell do you think you are doing?" we got a start as the Queen of Sheba barged out her room as I poured Chris a glass of water.

"We were just rearranging my room" I explained innocently and honestly. "He will be leaving now"

"Does Arun know you are sneaking behind him like this?" she chided me as I held the door open for Chris. There was Arun, popping up in my life even when he wasn't around. What was her problem, was she suffering delusions like him.

"I don't want you bringing boys into my apartment, especially if you can't keep it down" she commanded sternly as she went back to her room.

That my friend is the story of my one night stand. How one night stand made its way from a dark alley of the city into my bedroom. I never saw Chris again. With Arun interrupting us and the Queen of Sheba raging like a maniac, we never got to exchanging phone numbers. My perfect dulha was lost somewhere in the city. I went to The Closet again, but never saw him. Neeta had expected a sizzling story of romance and sex and was disappointed at what happened. Men only want one thing she tried to explain wisely, they won't come back if they won't get it. Radha was the only one who sympathized and understood. Together we came up with 101 reasons why I never saw Chris again. I don't blame Chris for disappearing though, it was not like we had a perfect date. Between me bossing him around, the Aruns and Queens of Sheba in my life, there was no way any man would want to stick around in this madness. I told myself that I had to be better with men the next time, friendly and open, yet sensible and cautious. I still believe that my perfect dulha is out there, if the melodramatic parents are there, the crazy friends and obsessed lovers are there, then my hero number one is also out there. I just have to find him.

But tell me did I do anything wrong? I mean what is wrong with my one night stand? It is a perfectly fine piece of furniture I think, and the best thing that ever came out of that night. I don't get what my parents are flipping out about and I don't know what garbage the Queen of Sheba and Arun have been feeding them. I've convinced them to talk this over the weekend and I'm going to show them exactly what happened. I think when she finally sees it mom will appreciate my furniture addition. I go on her in this matter. She too loves salvaging old throwaways and decorating on a budget. We've dragged my dad several times to flea markets and garage sales making him haul old grandfather clocks and antique desks back to our place. I'm sure she will learn to love my one night stand. I don't get why its such a big deal now though.