Sunday, December 10, 2017

The Brute

THE BRUTE
Fiction Short Story
By
VIKRAM KARVE

“You look as if you have seen a ghost…”

“I have seen something worse than a ghost…”

“Worse than a ghost…?”

“Do you know who I saw…?”

“Who…?”

The “Brute”...”

“You saw a “Brute”…? Which “Brute”…?”

“I saw “Raja” – that big bully in our class who terrorized the entire college. The moment I got out of the bus – I saw that horrible “Monster” standing right in front of me. I was stunned with fear. Even in my wildest dreams – I never imagined – that I would see that brutal “Beast” – standing right in front of me – and that too – over here – in New Zealand…”

“It’s okay…”

“What do you mean “it’s okay”…? I was so terrified to see that dangerous thug – that I ran for my life – luckily – I saw a Taxi – so – I got in – I gave the driver your address – and I came here. I had to pay 10 Dollars for such a short ride – but at least I managed to escape from that terrible ruffian – and I have reached your house safely…”

“Calm down – you are sweating badly – do you want to go to the bathroom and wash your face…?”

“Yes – I desperately need to compose myself after that ghastly experience…” my friend Nisha said. 

I showed her the bathroom – and she went inside.

A few minutes later – looking composed – Nisha came out and sat near me on the sofa.

Nisha looked at me and said:

“It was a “hair-raising” experience – very scary – just imagine – I get out of the bus – and I suddenly see that cruel brute in front of me – and – do you know – that rascal smiled at me – I got very scared – the place was so lonely – that bus stop is at such a desolate place – the bus drove away – there was no one around – and that scoundrel was smiling at me in a depraved manner – I was very frightened – anything could have happened – he could have even dragged me into the bushes and raped me – so – I ran for my life…”

I smiled at Nisha and said to her:

“I had sent him to the bus stop – to pick you up…”

“What…? You sent that “Brute” to pick me up…?”

“Yes – in fact – this morning – when I told him that you were coming to visit me by the 8 o’clock bus – he said he would pick you up from the bus stop and drop you home – and then he would go to work…”

“What…? I just can’t understand anything what you are saying…”

“He is my husband…”

“What…? Are you telling me that “Brute” is your husband…?”

“Yes. “Raja” is my husband. And I request you Nisha – please don’t call him “Brute” – he is not a brute…”

“Why did you marry that hooligan…?”

“He is not a “hooligan”…”

“Of course he was a hoodlum – he bullied and terrorized everyone – I have seen him thrashing some boys from our class – everyone in college was terrified of him…”

“Those boys were “eve-teasing” girls from our class – that’s why he thrashed them…”

“How do you know…?”

“I know. But let’s not talk about all that. We are meeting after so many years, Nisha – you tell me about yourself…”

“No – you tell me about yourself first – how did you end up marrying that “Brute”…?”

“Nisha – please – he is not a “Brute” – please call my husband by his name – “Raja”…”

“I’m sorry – but tell me – how did you end up marrying him…?”

“He saved my life…”

“Saved your life…?”

“I tried to commit suicide by jumping into the river – he was driving past on his bike – and he happened to see me jumping off the bridge – he dived into the water and saved me…”

“But why did you try to commit suicide…?”

“I made a mistake. I had an affair with a married man. We were careless. I got pregnant…”

“What…?”

“By the time I discovered that I was pregnant – it was too late…”

“Too late…? You could have got an abortion done. Isn’t your aunt a gynaecologist…?”

“Are you crazy…? She is my father’s sister – she would have surely told him – and you know conservative my parents are – my mother would have died of shock – and my father would have killed me…”

“What about the man who made you pregnant…?”

“I told you that he was a married man. He had come to town for a week’s visit. We had a brief affair…”

“A “one-night stand”…?”

“Not exactly – but you can say a “week of passionate lovemaking”. And then – he went back to his wife. He doesn’t even know…”

“He doesn’t know that he made you pregnant…?”

“No. He doesn’t know anything…”

“I am getting curious. Who can this person be…? Was it someone you knew before…? One of our classmates…? Or was it a total stranger…?”

“Please, Nisha – I don’t want to discuss all this…”

“Okay – tell me – what happened after that. How did you end up marrying this “Raja”…?”

“I told you – Raja jumped into the water and he saved me from drowning in the river. I was unconscious – so he took me to the hospital – the doctor at the emergency OPD discovered that I was pregnant – so he called the gynaecologist to check me up – and guess what – the gynaecologist happened to be my aunt…”

“Your aunt…?”

“Yes – my aunt worked in the same hospital. The moment she realized that I was pregnant – she immediately called my father to the hospital…”

“Oh My God…!”

“My father was furious with me. He asked me who had made me pregnant – he wanted to know the name of the father of the child…”

“And – you told him…?”

“No…”

“Why…?”

“My father would have killed him for making me pregnant…”

“That guy who betrayed you – he deserved to die…”

“He did not “betray” me – it was a fully consensual love affair – we had a “good time” – we were careless – that’s all…”

“So – you suffered all by yourself…”

“I told you that he was a happily married man – I didn’t want to ruin his marriage…”

“So – what happened…?”

“My father started thrashing me in hospital – he said that he would kill me if I did not tell him the name of my lover – the father of the unborn baby in my womb…”

“So…?”

“Raja stepped forward and said that he was the father of the child…”

“I can’t believe it…!”

“Yes – Raja told my father that he had made me pregnant…”

“Then…?”

“My father asked Raja to marry me…”

“And – Raja agreed…?”

“Yes – and so – we got married…”

“I can’t believe all this – it sounds like a film story…”

“Sometimes – truth is stranger than fiction…”

“How did you land up here – in New Zealand…?”

“Well – it was quite embarrassing for us to live in that small town – tongues were wagging – and even Raja’s parents and relatives were angry with him – and they asked us to live separately…”

“Yes – it was a “one-street town” with old-fashioned conservative culture – everyone must have come to know – with so much gossip flowing around – it must have been terrible for you…”

“Someone told us there was good opportunity for Truck Drivers in New Zealand…”

“Truck Driver…? Was Raja a “Truck Driver” after completing his studies…?”

“His family had a transport company – they owned many trucks – so Raja had all types of heavy vehicle driving licenses. There was a “skill shortage” of Truck Drivers in New Zealand – especially in the South Island – so he got a visa quite easily – and we migrated to New Zealand – and we have been living here ever since – for the past 15 years…”

“I must say that you have done quite well for yourself – considering that your husband is a “Truck Driver”…!”

“Well – here – there is “dignity of labour” – it doesn’t matter what you do – and – truck drivers are paid quite well. But initially – our life was very tough – we lived in small places in South Island – and for me – it was a lonely life when he would be away for days driving trucks – but now – he no longer drives trucks. Now – he has his own stevedoring and transportation firm – so we live here in Auckland…”

“When we met at Auckland Airport – you gave me your address – but – you never told me that you had married “Raja”…”

“Tell me, Nisha – if I had told you that I had married Raja – would you have visited my home…? You called him a “Brute” – didn’t you…?”

“Yes – that’s true. Hey – I forgot to ask – what happened to the child…? You were pregnant when you got married – weren’t you…?

“We came to New Zealand three months after our marriage. I had the baby here – in New Zealand – a son…”

“Where is he…?”

“He’s in school right now – he’ll be back around 3 o’clock – if you stay after lunch – you’ll meet him…”

“Of course I will stay – I want to see your son – and – I want to meet your husband too…”

“Ha Ha – so you want to meet the “Brute”…”

“Don’t joke – I must apologize to him for my strange behaviour in the morning. What time will he be back home from work…?”

“He comes after 6 o’clock in the evening – but I’ll ask him to come early. Don’t worry – the last bus to CBD is at 9 PM…”

“My flight leaves at 10 o’clock tomorrow morning – I have to be at the airport by 8 AM – so I’ll like to reach my hotel by 7 o’clock or so – and pack my things…”

“I’ll tell him to come at 4 o’clock – we’ll have Tea – and you can catch the 5 o’clock bus…”

I pick up my mobile phone – I call my husband “Raja” and tell him to come home early – and he says that – he would finish before 3 o’clock – and – on the way – he will pick up my son from school and be home by 3:30…

Nisha looks at me and says:

“Has Raja accepted your son…?”

“Why don’t you see for yourself when they come home…?”

“You didn’t have any more kids…”

“No. And – what about you…?”

“No. I had two miscarriages – then – the doctors said that it was too dangerous for me to have children…”

“I am sorry…” I say, and I hold Nisha’s hand.

Nisha looks at me and says:

“The actual father of your son – I am sure you have told Raja his name…”

“No…”

“What…? Even your husband doesn’t know who the father of your son is…?”

“No. He never asked. In fact – after agreeing to marry me – when I was in the hospital – Raja told me that he did not want to know who the father of my unborn child was. Raja said that he would look after the child as his own…”

“What about the guy who made you pregnant – does he know that you delivered his child…?”

“No. He knows nothing. I told you that he was a married man – so I didn’t even tell him that I was pregnant with his child…”

“So – you are the only person who knows who the father of your son is…?”

“Yes – it is my very own personal secret…”

“You should have…”

“Please, Nisha – let’s not discuss all this – I have moved on in life…”

“Okay – we’ll talk about our college days…” Nisha said.

We had lunch.

We talked of our college days.

Nisha talked about her life – about her trip to South Island with her friends.

Time passed fast.

Soon – it was 3:30 – and my husband “Raja” and my son arrived home.

Nisha was very nice to “Raja” – she profusely apologized for her rude behaviour in the morning – she told him how everyone in college thought he was a “hooligan” – a “goonda” – a cruel “Brute” – so she was very scared when she saw him in the morning…”

“I guessed it…” Raja said, “So Nisha – you tell me – what does your friend say about me…?” he asked her – looking at me.

We had tea. We talked. We laughed. Nisha played with my son.

Soon – it was almost 5 o’clock – and Nisha said:

“I think it is time for me to leave. There is a bus to CBD at 5 o’clock – isn’t it…?”

“We’ll drop you at your hotel…” Raja said to Nisha, “let’s go for a long drive – all of us – we’ll have dinner at some nice restaurant – and then – we will drop you off at your hotel…”

My son was delighted on hearing this.

“Yes…” I said, “That’s a great idea…”

Later – at night – in bed – I said to Raja:

“Nisha – she kept asking who the father of our son is…?”

“So – you told her…?”

“Of course I did not tell her. I haven’t even told you. I haven’t told anyone. It’s a secret only I know…”

“She was your best friend in college. You should have told her…”

“Are you crazy…? How could I have told Nisha that it was her husband who made me pregnant…?”

The moment the words left my mouth – I instantly regretted my stupidity.

I could not believe that I could have blurted out this.

I looked at my husband Raja and said to him:

“I’m sorry. I am very sorry. I shouldn’t have uttered this. How stupid of me. For all these years – I kept it a secret from you – because you didn’t want to know – and now…”

My husband Raja looked at me and said softly:

“I knew…”

“You knew…? You knew that Nisha’s husband is the father of our son…?” I said, surprised.

“Yes…” Raja said, “I knew all along…” 

VIKRAM KARVE
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Disclaimer:
1. This story is a fictional spoof, satire, pure fiction, just for fun and humor, no offence is meant to anyone, so take it with a pinch of salt and have a laugh.
2. All Stories in this Blog are a work of fiction. Events, Places, Settings and Incidents narrated in the stories are a figment of my imagination. The characters do not exist and are purely imaginary. Any resemblance to persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

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