A Naive Casanova
by Rudy Ravindra
Table of Contents|
parts: 1-2, 3-5, 6-8
9-11 , 12-14 , 15
Poor Rahul. He’s told to get an education, get a job, get married... He’s okay with that. But everybody seems to have agendas of their own, and they’re not his. Where does he fit into all this? Doesn’t he have any say in his own life?
One thing Rahul does have going for him: he is a sweet fellow, and women love him. But there again, agendas crop up. Is he supposed to laugh or cry? Poor Rahul...
Olga said, “You are getting to be a habit. We’ve been seeing each other regularly for four months and six days...”
He laughed. “Glad you are keeping track of time. It’s almost Christmas. I’m supposed to join Westcore pharma in a couple of weeks.”
The day before his departure to Newark, Olga said, “This evening I’ll cook a special meal. Six o’clock, okay?”
Rahul wore a jacket and a tie, and got her a bunch of red roses and a bottle of a high-end Malbec. When she opened the door, he was amazed at the way she sizzled in a sensuous silver halter dress. The revealing plunge neckline left very little to imagination. She was barefoot, and her toenails were painted bright red. Her hair was freshly shampooed and still a little wet. When she turned to go into the living room, he saw that her straight back was bare except for the sash tie at the neck.
He held her close and kissed her. Their clothes strewn every which way, they writhed and moaned. She wiped the sweat off his brow. “Wow.”
Next day, Olga dropped him at the airport and clung to him until the very last minute. “Rahul, come back next month. I need you. Call me every day. I’ll miss you.” Her eyes were red.
* * *
He was glad to see Meena at the gate. She hugged him. “Good to see you, Rahul. As promised, I rented an apartment for you, about five miles from Westcore pharma. I think you’ll like that area. Let’s drive to your new home. Ha, here we are. There’s my car.”
“Wow, this looks like a brand new Lexus. Nice red color.”
She smiled. “Actually, it’s Riviera red.”
“You bought it recently?”
“Ravi bought it for me. Last week was my birthday. I was going grocery shopping and saw this shining car in our driveway. I thought somebody was visiting Ravi. I was about to go in to ask whoever it was to move the car so that I could get out. Ravi walked out with a big grin, and gave me the keys. I was blown away. He does such goofy things.”
Rahul smiled. “He must love you, Meena.”
Meena said, “That’s the problem. I don’t love him anymore. But he desperately clings to me.”
“I don’t understand, if he lives on disability checks, how can he afford to buy such an expensive car?”
Meena laughed. “Ravi plays the stock market, makes some money.”
The apartment complex was relatively new, situated close to a strip mall that had a grocery store, few small shops, and a liquor store. Although it was a busy area, once they entered the apartment complex, it was quiet, clean, with nice landscaping and manicured lawns.
She opened the door. “Hope you like the décor.”
He looked at the brand-new couch, chairs, and hi-tech kitchen gadgets.
Then they walked into the bedroom. “Why spend so much money? I don’t need a four-poster bed; a simple bed would have been okay.”
She had the look that told him to shut up.
“I’d like to pay you for all these things. Lemme give you a check.”
She looked at her wristwatch. “Don’t worry about money. Unpack and relax. I need to pick up my son. Let’s go out for dinner. I’ll be back in about two hours. Okay?”
Following dinner at a posh French restaurant, they returned to the apartment complex.
He got out of the car. “Thanks. It was a wonderful evening.”
She laughed. “Is this the way you treat your date? Don’t you want to invite me in for a drink?”
He said, “But, Meena, I don’t have anything to drink. I was planning to go shopping tomorrow, to buy some wine and whiskey.”
She said, “Everything’s there. You are well stocked. Come, let’s go up.”
She took out a bottle of whiskey from the kitchen cabinet. “See, this is your favorite single malt. Come fix us a drink. Soda’s in the fridge. I’ll be back in a sec.”
He fixed the drinks and set them on the coffee table. Then he got rid of his jacket and tie, removed his shoes and socks, wriggled his toes, and put his feet up on the ottoman. She came back to the living room, wearing nothing but a transparent negligée, and stood in front of him. “Do you like it, honey?”
He said, “You look lovely, Meena. But I thought you were going home, your husband...”
“You talk too much.” She glided across the room and kissed him.
Meena said, “I’ll spend the weekend with you. Ravi thinks that I’m out of town on company work. So what do you want to do this weekend?” They were in bed, enjoying post-coital caresses.
He nibbled her earlobe. “Let’s spend all the time in bed.”
She got out of bed. “Lemme fix us a drink, yaar.” As she walked into the kitchen, he admired her well-toned derrière.
He was surprised when, along with the drinks, she got what looked like handcuffs and a video camera.
She looked at him saucily. “Now, just lie down, lemme take good care of you.”
He was a bit puzzled but obeyed her.
She showed a pair of handcuffs, “Honey, these are love-cuffs. See this furry covering, it’ll keep your skin from getting cold from the metal underneath.” She slipped his wrists into the cuffs and tied his hands to the bed posts. “Now spread your legs and lemme tie them with these leg-cuffs.”
When he was completely immobile, tied to all the four bed posts, she said, “I see this is your first time with this stuff.”
The company’s focus was development of AIDS and cancer drugs. The research work at the company was pretty routine, mainly designing, synthesizing and screening thousands of compounds.
Dave’s group produced the compounds, or sometimes modified the chemical structure of commercially available compounds, and then used molecular modeling to predict which of them might be active. Then the compounds were sent to various divisions for testing.
It was a time-consuming job, and sometimes months of hard work yielded nothing. But once in a while they found an active compound, which provided the impetus to search for more active compounds. Rahul’s initial qualms that his limited talents might be insufficient were quickly dispelled.
* * *
Most evenings, Meena came to Rahul’s apartment for a few hours, and returned home well after midnight. Most weekends, she arrived at the apartment around noon on Saturday, left in the evening, and returned Sunday morning.
Sometimes she spent the entire weekend with him starting Friday evening, and went to work on Monday morning directly from the apartment. Rahul was curious why Ravi didn’t suspect something was amiss.
Whenever Meena was in the apartment, she cooked, washed dishes, and kept the kitchen spotless. Many times he wanted to help but she shooed him away, “Go, read a magazine or something. I enjoy doing this.”
In contrast, Maya didn’t care to cook. She grabbed a coffee and a bagel at a coffee shop on the way to her office. She had lunch with her colleagues. In the evening, on the way home she picked up either a pizza or Chinese takeout for the evening meal.
Rahul, frugal by nature, ate cereal and toast at home, and took a sandwich and a fruit for lunch. Even though he didn’t mind eating an occasional pizza, he wanted home-cooked food for his dinner.
Seeing that Maya was very busy at work — she came home quite late in the evenings — he hit upon the idea of preparing sufficient quantity of soup that would keep for a few days. Rahul went to the store on Saturday morning and got the ingredients, and cooked on Sunday. He found recipes on the Internet and in due course became proficient at preparing a variety of soups.
The manner in which Meena treated him was in stark contrast to Maya’s behavior, particularly during the latter part of their marriage. The busier Maya had gotten at her practice, the more she expected Rahul to be responsible for the household chores such as laundry, dish washing, paying bills, and other mundane chores so essential to a smooth-running household.
All these jobs took time to complete, and it invariably cut into his free time. If he didn’t keep her favorite bath towel in the bathroom, she’d raise hell. “Why can’t you do such a simple thing like putting my towel where it belongs? I work so hard and come home, and you expect me to look through the linen closet?”
Sometimes, she would come home in the evening and demand tea, and he had to prepare the tea and place it by her chair. Most often she didn’t acknowledge his help, and went on reading her journals.
At dinnertime, it was he who took the soup out of the refrigerator, heated it, and it was he who heated the dinner rolls. In spite of his best efforts, Maya was always critical, made remarks such as, “The soup’s cold. There’s too much butter on my rolls.”
Sometimes, when he had a deadline to meet, a manuscript or a grant proposal, he’d ask her to clear the dishes, and she went berserk and made a mess in the kitchen, banged the dishes and muttered to herself.
* * *
Meena relentlessly bugged Rahul about his divorce. “I’m asking you for the umpteenth time, why did you guys get divorced?”
Rahul was baffled. “Why is it so important for you to know?”
Meena persisted. “Rahul, in a relationship there shouldn’t be any secrets.”
Rahul said, “It’s very painful for me...” He trailed off with a big sigh.
It was their tenth wedding anniversary day. Maya left very early, and Rahul didn’t get a chance to give her the gift he bought: a diamond-studded platinum bracelet with a spring-loaded clasp. He was pleased with the purchase, although it set him back by twenty grand. He knew the bracelet would suit Maya’s wrist and she’d enjoy the sparkling diamonds when light shone on them.
He was hurt that she didn’t remember their anniversary day, but told himself that she was probably busy, clobbered (her favorite word) with a heavy patient load. He went to his office with a heavy heart, somehow got through the day, and in the evening thought of surprising her.
He drove all the way to Lenexa to her out-patient clinic. It was late in the evening, and the front door was locked. But he knew that the rear entrance, meant mainly for staff and deliveries, was usually left open. He parked in the rear of the building and walked in.
Maya’s office was at the far end of the corridor; he assumed that she was dictating her notes after finishing up with her last patient. With the gift in hand, he walked quietly. Her door was ajar, and he peeped in, and was shocked at the scene, and stood transfixed.
Maya was on the edge of her desk, her brown legs clasped around a white man’s waist, rubbing his butt with her heels, her manicured hands around him, her flushed face on his shoulder, her lips kissing his neck, and whispering words which seemed to spur the man to thrust faster and harder.
Some sixth sense might have alerted her to someone’s presence at the door, and she looked up to see Rahul. She was startled and her half-closed eyes opened wide. But, instead of fear or shame at being caught in the act, she seemed angry to be disturbed, angry at Rahul for interrupting her rutting.
She didn’t stop whispering, and didn’t stop caressing the man with her heels. She simply waved Rahul away, with a flick of her wrist, the very wrist that the elegant bracelet was meant for. All those years of living under the thumb of his domineering father and the bossy Maya conditioned him to follow orders, and he instinctively obeyed her command and walked out of the building.
He was angry. He wanted to grab that man, yank him out of the room, and beat him to a pulp. And he wanted to hurt Maya in the worst possible manner. He hated himself for not doing anything, simply watched his wife fuck a guy.
But the man wasn’t at fault, what was the point in hurting him? If Maya was ready for it, why would any man not take advantage? He didn’t know for how long Maya had been fucking that guy while he, her loyal husband, was banished to the spare bedroom. He thought, This is the last straw.
He had taken a lot of crap from her during the past couple of years. And now this. He packed a few clothes, kept the bags in his car, and waited for her. Before he left he made up his mind to teach her a lesson, hurt her, disfigure her beautiful face, carve it with a sharp knife.
He looked in the kitchen at the set of knives, and picked a sharp one. Yes, this would do. Cut up her face, no man would ever want to see her ugly, scarred mug, let alone fuck her. He waited for her in her bedroom. He sat on her bed and waited and waited, it was nine, ten, eleven, still she didn’t show up.
When the morning sun came through the window, he woke with a start, and realized that he was still dressed in the blue shirt and khaki pants, and still had his dress shoes on. He looked at the wall clock. It was seven. He went downstairs and peeped into the garage. Maya’s car wasn’t there. Where the hell did she go for the whole night?
Sitting on the comfortable chair in his den, sipping his hot tea, he reviewed the situation. Maya didn’t come home last night, and he couldn’t get his revenge. But, on second thought, why was he so dumb as to plan to disfigure her? What would he have gotten out of it, except an extended stay at the penitentiary? Surely she would get all the sympathy from a judge. Adultery is not a crime, but assault is a serious crime. It’s probably for the best that she didn’t come home last night.
Now that he was calm and composed, he was relieved that Maya hadn’t returned home. He hadn’t gone crazy and done something stupid. If she wanted to fuck around, that was her choice.
He remembered vividly that evening almost two years back when she told him to get out of their bedroom. He brushed his teeth and got into the king size bed and reached for her. She pushed him away. “You better sleep in the guest bedroom. I want to sleep by myself.”
Rahul was nonplussed. “But why?”
Maya screamed. “You know why. Get out, now. Don’t bother me with your snoring.”
The only thing that had been missing in their idyllic life was a baby. They both wanted a baby, any baby, a boy or a girl, it didn’t matter. They had been married for five years, and even though they never used any protection right from the very first time they made love, she didn’t get pregnant.
Maya was thirty-two and was worried. A thorough examination revealed that there was nothing wrong with Maya’s ovaries, oviduct, or uterus. So, Rahul’s seminal fluid was tested for its volume, viscosity, number of sperms per milliliter, and their motility. It was found that his sperm production was less than normal, and also their motility was impaired; in other words, those few sperms that he produced were unable to swim to reach Maya’s egg.
The doctors recommended an IVF procedure. She was injected with hormones to induce ovulation, and then the oocytes were recovered and fertilized with Rahul’s sperms in cell culture dishes. The fertilized egg was allowed to develop and then transferred to her uterus. After trying this method for about three years, when Maya didn’t get pregnant, the doctors told them there was no hope.
Copyright © 2014 by Rudy Ravindra