Thursday, May 21, 2020

The “Butterfly”

Fiction Short Story

“Do I need to flirt with every man I meet in the hope that he would marry me…?” she said, “That’s what my mother wants me to do – she literally pushes me towards every officer she thinks is an “eligible bachelor” – hoping that he would marry me….”

I remained silent – to let her vent out her emotions.  

She looked at me and said: “My mother – she pushed me into the arms of your course-mate – hoping he would marry me – but – your course-mate did exactly the opposite – he fucked me – and then – he dumped me….”  

“Please don’t use such vulgar language…” I said.

“Vulgar…?” she said, “You are a real prude – aren’t you…?”

“It doesn’t look good – a nice girl like you using such “four letter words”…” I said.

“Ha – Ha – “four letter word” – you want me to use the word “lovemaking” – do you…?” she said, “Well – there was certainly no “love” involved – it was an act of “lust” – he got me drunk – he took me to his cabin – and he fucked me…”

“He got you drunk…? Did he…?”

“No. No…” she interrupted, “I got drunk willingly – to loosen my inhibitions. It was my first time – and I was a bit nervous…”

“Oh…” I said.

“I had flirted with many officers before – but I knew where to draw the line. But all those flirtations turned out to be transitory – fleeting romances – but with your course-mate – it was different – he wooed me quite intensely – I felt that he was genuinely interested in me – I thought that if I let him fuck me – he would marry me – but – exactly the opposite happened – the moment I let him fuck me – he dumped me – I think that was all he wanted – to fuck me…” she said.

“That’s bad…” I said.

“He probably thought I was a woman of “loose morals” – not “wife material”. I was good enough to have a “good time” with – but not good enough to marry…” she said, “So – he went home – and he got married to the “back home type” girl selected by his parents. And – I have lost my virginity – so now – no one will marry me…”  

“Don’t say that…” I said, “Times have changed. People are more broad-minded nowadays…”

She looked at me and smiled.

“Will you marry me…? I am telling you that your course-mate fucked me and I am not a virgin. Come on – you marry me…” she said to me.

I remained silent – not knowing what to say.

“You see – it is easy to talk modern things – but doing it in actual life is difficult – most of you officers I have met – you show off that you are very modern and liberal – but actually – you all are narrow-minded MCP’s – like your course-mate – who fucked me and dumped me…” she said.

“Why are you saying all this to me…? Did I ever do anything wrong to you…?” I said to her.

“No. No. You are the best officer in your course. I still remember what you told me when I tried to flirt with you…” she said.

“What did I tell you…?”

“You told me what your grandfather had said to you – “If you don’t want to go to a certain town – then don’t take the first step on the road to that town…” – she said, “You made it quite clear that since you didn’t intend to marry me – you were not interested in flirting with me…”

“You follow the same principle too – albeit in the opposite manner – you flirt with a boy in the hope that he will marry you – like your mother advised you…” I said.

“Yes – but it boomeranged with your course-mate…” she said, “I flirted with him – I even let him fuck me – in the hope that he would marry me – and instead – he dumped me – and I lost my virginity in the bargain too…”

“But you have decided to “Bash on Regardless”…” I said, “You are going to keep “flirting” till you find a husband…” 

“Yes. I am meeting someone tonight…” she said.

“Here – in the Club…?” I asked her.

“Yes…” she looked at her watch and said, “It’s almost 8 o’clock – he should be coming now…”

“Oh. Then I should go – I don’t want to be a “Kebab Mein Haddi”…” I said.

I got up to leave – and I said to her: “All the Best…”

“I enjoyed talking to you…” she said, “Just talking for the sake of talking – no intention – no ulterior motive – no expectations – just simple conversation…”

“Me too…” I said – and I walked across the club lawns towards the bar.

Dear Reader – did I tell you the name of the girl I was talking to…?

Well – her name was “Nisha” – yes – Nisha.


“Why don’t you sit in the wardroom and have a drink…” the OOD said, “I’ll finish off my rounds and join you…”

[The Wardroom is a Naval Officers’ Mess on a Warship or Stone Frigate (Naval Shore Establishment). OOD is the acronym of “Officer of the Day” – the “de facto” and “de jure” Commanding Officer of the warship in off-hours in harbour]

I walked down to the Ship’s Wardroom.

I was surprised to see Nisha sitting inside – she was all alone – except for the steward standing behind the bar.

I smiled at her – she smiled back.

I sat down in front of her.

“So nice to see you here…” I said to Nisha.

“Yes – it’s been 3 years since we last met – isn’t it…?” she said.

“Yes…” I said, “In the club…”

“I didn’t know you were on this ship…” she said, “in fact – I didn’t see you on other ships too – or – in the club – or in the mess…”

“No. No…” I said, “I am not on this ship – in fact – I am not even posted in Mumbai – I am in Delhi – I have come on Temporary Duty here – the OOD is my Boss’s brother-in-law – I have come to collect some duty free canteen stuff for him…”

The steward asked me what I would like to drink.

“Get me a “Chivas Regal” – Large…” I said – and – I looked at the glass on the table in front of Nisha. She seemed to be drinking whisky too – so – I asked her, “same for you…?”

“Okay…” Nisha said – looking at her glass, “But I am having “Black Dog” with Soda…”

I looked at Nisha and asked her: “So – where is your “host”…?”

“He has gone to his cabin – to “tidy up”…” Nisha said.

“So – are you still flirting with every man you meet in the hope that he would marry you…?” I said – tongue-in-cheek.

“No…” Nisha said, with a naughty smile, “Now – I flirt just to have a “good time”….”

Suddenly – the OOD popped into the Wardroom – he smiled at Nisha – then he looked at me – and – he said to me: “Ah – I can see that you are comfortable. I’ll just go to the gangway and call up the Captain – I’ll make the “rounds report” to the Captain – and I’ll join you here for a drink…”

(This story happened 45 years ago – in the 1970’s – and those days – when a ship came to harbour and berthed alongside a jetty – a landline telephone was rigged up at the Quartermaster’s Post near the Ship’s Gangway)

The OOD left – and – an Officer entered the Wardroom.

I knew the officer – not intimately – but – I knew him just by face.

The Officer had a “spoken reputation” of being an ardent womanizer – a “Casanova”.

I wished him – he wished me back.

Then – the Officer looked at Nisha and said to her: “Let’s go up to my cabin…”

Nisha finished her drink – she smiled at me – and – she left with the Officer – to his cabin – to have a “good time”.

After Nisha and the Officer had left – I pondered over Nisha’s words:

“Now – I flirt just to have a “good time”….”

Earlier – she was flirting with the intention of “hooking” a husband – and now – she had become a “hooker” – a “fleet auxiliary”.


Dear Reader:

If you wish to know more about the sobriquet “fleet auxiliary” – please read this story (click the link below):

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