Ruchika was a married woman. My friend Khalil introduced me to her two years ago; Khalil was a close friend of mine and boyfriend of Ruchika. I was at a party at Ruchika's place; her husband was out of town, and the couple decided to throw a party.
I was having the second bottle of beer that night. My aimless stare dawdles on a piece of ass. I instantaneously knew it was a new tushy in town. I couldn't see her face from where I was standing. But ogling gazes of other men and boys at the party in her direction communicated she had a pretty face; cause she certainly didn't have plump assets.
I noticed Ruchika walking up to new tushy. They hugged each other. I knew she must be an old friend of Ruchika. Ruchika was never a good hugger. A sinister smile creeps on my countenance.
I finish the second beer and get another one. In the process, I saw her left profile.
"Hot," I schmoozed to myself.
I crack my neck and trot in her direction.
"Hey, Hi, Rashmi? Right?" I chin up, manifesting myself in front of her.
She looked up at my face, startled.
"No, sorry." She said, smiling formally unapologetically.
"Oh, my bad. I must've confused you with, Ah..." I scowl my face and look the other way, "You look just like her, just a one-night stand." I said cunningly.
"Anyway, I'm Aadil, Aadil Qureshi." I introduce myself and go on, "Haven't seen you around before. Are you new here?"
"Yeah, right. I'm new." She beams, a little uneasy, "Ruchi invited me. We're friends from college," She shared additional info without even asking.
I stare at her with my brows shooting up.
"Oh, Sorry. Tanvi," She laughs elegantly.
"Tanvi, ah. Nice name..." I scratched my chin, "you single or what?" I ask, taking a sip of my beer, glancing here and there to find her partner.
"Well..." She showed me her wedding ring, "permanent leash, " She said with an apologetic expression, but it turned into a giggle.
"Oh," My brows shoot up. I nod my head as I speak further, "I see... Is he around? I mean, here, at the party?" I asked.
"Well, his invisible presence is always there, that's what marriage is, but I suppose you are too young to understand that?" She teases me, laughing a bit more.
"Ahan, right... I'm quite young to be hitting on you," I smack my lips.
"Oh, wow... don't they look hot together," I said, shifting my gaze from her face towards the Ruchi and Khalil. Khalil had his hand on her ass, and he was groping her publically. Ruchi didn't mind.
I look back at Tanvi with a wicked grin. She looked at the couple for a while. When our eyes met again, she squirmed under my gaze. Tanvi looked away and consumed her drink. I take that reaction as a victory for me. It makes me smile, although I control it pretty quickly.
"She did the right thing," I said, talking about Ruchika, "Ruchika knows her worth. I know her husband too. He is a complete douchebag." I explained it to Tanvi for axiomatic reasons, "good for you, you got the right guy," I kept going with a hint of sarcasm, almost asking it rather than just saying.
"Not sure you mean it, but thanks anyway," She said coldly. "So, Aadil, right? What do you do?" She asked quickly, brushing off the subject of Ruchika's boyfriend and her promiscuity.
"Ah, well..." I scoff at her attempt, "I do a lot of things. It is the kind of stuff some people might call unorthodox methods of making money. But I'm pretty good at it." I answer without giving away too much information.
"Ah, How old are you again? Old enough to vote?" She mocked.
I rolled my eyeballs as I sensed Tanvi's aversion to me. I was sure that I didn't have a chance with her that night.
"I, I can vote... but I choose not to, but I motivate people to vote, for a particular party, when the time comes. If you know what I mean..." My eyes were again lingering at a couple of the party, Khalil and Ruchika.
"Motivate others to vote?" I sound puzzled.
"Damn, that coochie is getting banged hard tonight," I speak to myself yet loud enough for Tanvi to hear it crystal-clear. I didn't want to extend my welcome and had a trick up my sleeve.
Tanvi looked in that direction as well.
"I didn't know he was a Muslim. Ruchi never told me his name," She said.
I pull out my phone and pretend to read a message. My brows knitted up together. I lift the beer bottle jutting out my index finger, gesturing for Tanvi to hold on. It's just to show her that I've more important matters in life than just her.
"I've got to bounce. It was nice meeting you." I speak, making her feel insignificant. She certainly won't be used to that, I thought.
"By the way, you wanna know a secret about your friend right there?" I ask, pointing towards Ruchika.
"Yeah?" She glowered at me.
I step closer and lean on her shoulder. She flinches back a little. I ensure not to touch her physically and whisper, "Ruchi loves to rim Khalil."
I pull myself back and stand up straight. The prodigal grin returned.
"Don't tell her I told you," I winked.
Tanvi's mouth opens in the shape of an O in shock. She turned around and glanced at Ruchika in disbelief. "She would not," She hissed in a low voice. "She comes from a good family. She wouldn't do that," This time, she says with complete confidence.
"Ugh, screw it." I grunt, "I wish I'd had more time for this. I think you should go ahead and ask her." I tempted her for it, "See you around. Lady." I said, took a last sip from the beer bottle, and put the empty bottle in her spare hand. I turn around on my heels and leave.Chapter II
Few days later.
I woke up late in the morning and found the packet of cigarettes empty. I wasn't super addicted to smoking but needed one every morning. I put on a Puma t-shirt and had my shorts on already as I don't sleep naked unless I am not alone. And, trust me, I don't sleep alone quite often.
I live a deluxe lifestyle. I got into betting and gambling when I was seventeen and got involved with the veterans in town. Later, I tried my hands at money laundering, then started participating in political campaigns. By the time I was twenty, I was already a millionaire; in terms of Indian currency.
I didn't smoke any other cigarette but Malboro Advance and lived on the outskirts. The flats were a lot cheaper out here. Most of my friends from the last party also lived in the same area. Disheveled appearance still, I go out on my Duke to get myself a cigarette. There's no shop in my proximity I could walk on foot who'd keep the Advance. I'd no choice but to bother my bike.
When I was driving past one of the buildings, I saw a woman anxiously waiting for someone or her carriage. Her appearance stated she was going for an interview. I recognized her immediately. It was Tanvi.
I turn around my bike and pull over in front of her.
"Looking for a ride?" I beamed a smile at her.
She looks at me with disgust, "No, thank you." She said brusquely.
Her reaction made me chuckle. She doesn't recognize me.
"Aadil, remember... we met at Ruchika's..." I reminded.
Tanvi glanced at me from top to bottom, "Oh, Yes, Aadil. Right. Are you stalking me?" She said, giggling.
"If someone has a charming personality, I can't help." I flattered.
She looked at her phone; her expression got tensed.
"Are you sure you wanna get late for your interview?" I smirk, pretending to be omniscient, reading her brain at the moment.
"Hell, no. The cab driver said he would be here in five minutes. It has already been more than fifteen," She jumps on her toes nervously.
"I ain't no cab driver, lady, but I can certainly drive the beast," I said, caressing the fuel tank of my Duke.
"Fine." She complained as she got seated on the pillion.
"Where to milady?" I ask, turning my head to the side.
She told me the location.
"Hold tight, or don't blame me if you fall off the seat," I forewarn Tanvi about my driving and shift the gear. I was already at 60kmph before she could respond.
"Please, go easy. I don't want to die," Tanvi implored.
"Have some faith in my skill." I snickered.
Soon we hit the main road. The Duke was ripping through the air at an average speed of 90-95kmph, often going above 100kmph. I was driving swiftly, swerving the beast among the other vehicles on the road. Tanvi wraps her hands around my waist.
She had her mouth shut all this while, probably because she was scared to death, or maybe it was her first time having this thrilling experience. I couldn't look at her as I'd got rid of my rearview mirrors.
We chat a little about what kind of job she is looking for; and her educational background. But instead of answering my question appropriately, she kept asking me to slow down or stop talking altogether.
"Did you ask Ruchika about the secret?" I ask.
I had omitted the matter and regretted not asking her about it earlier.
"Oh, yeah. You're a piece of shit. How come you tell people lies about their best friends? I asked her the very same day. She told me that it's just a rumor." She growled like a tigress, clearly furious.
"Would you believe her, or you'd rather believe me?" I laughed.
"Just shut your ass. I should have never listened to you." She retorted.
I asked her how Ruchika reacted when she asked the question. Although Tanvi was furious, she described the entire incident briefly. Ruchika also wanted to know who told her about it, but Tanvi chose not to reveal my name. I wonder why.
"I'm never sitting on your bike ever again," She fulminates when I pull over the bike when we reach our destination.
"Oh, wow, I thought you enjoyed the drive." I mocked.
She turned around on her heels to leave.
"Hey, Tanvi," My voice was defenseless. I touch my pockets and look around on both sides of my Duke. "I think I lost my phone on our way."
She bursts into fits of laughter and keeps laughing, holding her stomach.
"Come on, stop. Can you please dial my number? Hope you ain't unlucky for me," I blamed Tanvi for the unfortunate incident.
"No. Why should I?" She mocks me even further.
"Oh, please, I don't care about the phone, but data is important," I begged.
She finally gave me her phone. I dial the number. The default ring tone of Apple plays from my pocket on the other side. I pull it out.
"Oh, wow." I show her my phone with a wicked grin on my face.
Her face turned pale upon realization. Laughter went missing.
"Bastard," She snatched her phone away and started walking away.
"Tanvi," I call out her name, but she doesn't stop, "I can prove Ruchika lied to you," I shriek cause of the distance between us. Tanvi slowed down but did not stop or turn around, "Right here, right now." I scream louder this time.
Tanvi stopped and walked back to me. I got her attention.
"I don't have time for your nonsense," She points her finger at me.
"Put this on," I said, offering her one of my AirPods.
She looks at me perplexed, pursing her lips. I extend the AirPod even further. Tanvi accepts and puts it. I played a video on my phone and offered the phone to Tanvi.
The video was 1 hour and 23 minutes long. It was a film Ruchika and Khaleel had filmed together, and Khaleel had shared it with me a long time back.
"Go to timestamp 43 minutes and 13 seconds," I said, bouncing my brows.
Tanvi stared at me incredulously but then did what I just said.
To be continued.