Andrew Nelson Stewart Andrew Nelson Stewart
In poetry and to find answers of who we are while walking the ephemeral road upon cracks of pain signs leading you.
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Night- After Night

Night- After Night

A Story by Penny
"

The first sentence is a prompt. Prescribed legth is 1500-2500. I wrote this story for a competition (not on writerscafe).

"
She sat in the Starbucks café, sipping her coffee and staring out of the window. The blood stained knife lay next to her handbag, covered with her blue silk scarf. Wiping the sweat from her forehead she again adjusted the scarf so that nothing beneath would show. With trembling hands she again took a sip of her latte and searched for him outside the window, trying hard not to look nervous. "Mridul Ji" she sighed with the first sight itself of the young man.
Walking down to her table he too looked tensed seeing each other both started loosening up a bit. "Did.. you really attack him?" he asked settling down on the chair.

"Only for my defense" she replied
"And the weapon.."
"The knife is here only, covered by thos scarf" she answered. He silencesd for a moment then asked "And you can't call the police because.."

"Because its a case of corrective rape" she declared. "If you'd help me, you and your news channel"

"Yeah sure why not" said Mridul. She then told him to take out his recording device and take out his recorder and took her statement. After pressing the play button he first asked her

"When did it happen?"
"When I returned home" said she then added "After my flash mob dance performance"
"And thats how they got to know about you?"
"Yes. You can say" she sighed and continued "I was changing in my bedroom when he came in. First we had a long arguement about the matter which I had been preparing for a long time and was winning. He then came towards me and holding my shoulder shook me. It was wrong, insane, he said and I ignored him and moved to the kitchen. There he followed me. He was repeating his nonsense and I was ignoring him until he came again, held me by my shoulder, only this time he pushed me, down on the counter. I'll tell you what its like to be with a man! he kept saying and came over me. I was crushed beneath him, his one holding my two and the other opening my hair. Then it moved down to my jacket and luckily at the same time I got my right hand free and picked the knife from the stand and flung it towards him. First, it hit his nose and the second blow was below his ear. His blood splattered down at me and he rose up in pain. Then only, I pushed him away and ran out of the house."

"And who tried to rape you?" he asked.
"My cousin" she said and he pressed the stop button and then sat down, his head laid on his hand, breathing, sighing replicating the sound of low waves, goosebumps on his hand like seaweed standing erect. "How can someone be so savage?" he asked rhetorically. "Dont worry. I will make sure it gets broadcasted tomorrow only" he assured. "One more thing Tanaz, you said you are a lesbian. So, you have a girlfriend?"

"Yes" she said hesitantly.
"Be truthful. It can make or break the case"
"Not currently." He consoled her, the taking the knife from her stood to leave but asked in between only.
"Where will you go now?"
"At my friend's. Obviously can't go to my house."
"No. It is risky. Plus you can't stay there for long. You are staying at my place" he proposed and they left together, only after a little debate.
Then they drove from one end of Colaba to another, Mridul's humble abode, passing in between Tanaz's rich Parsee neighbourhood. Obviously, she compared the two places, thought Mridul cooking for her while she rested in his bedroom. "I hope she likes the food" he murmured, then heard a noise from Tanaz's side, of something falling down. He rushed and saw her out of bed searching for something and his cupboard turned upside down in the attempt. "What are you looking for?"

"I want to smoke. Where's your lighter?"
"Please!"
"I've kept my calm all along Mridul Ji. Please let me take it out" she said, almost requesting.
"Someone said to me that dance is the best stress relief" he said handling her the lighter.

Moving back to his kitchen, he thought, how far she had come from that day till today. He never had imagined that the girl whose one performance made him run to cover it, would one day need his help, that too such help. He finished cooking the Kokam curry and carried it to his room. To his surprise, he saw from the door that Tanaz wasn't smoking but with her headphones on, was practicing a step. She leaped up and he fell for her that very moment.

--xxx--

A noise was heard, muffled but was lost behind the clicking of the keyboard. Mridul had to finish this report anyhow how by morning. Meanwhile, he was also continuously in touch of NGO's like Humsafar Trust and others, hoping to hear back from them and expecting them to support her. He ultimately noticed, as the voice grew louder and moved towards his room. He switched on the light and saw Tanaz, sitting awake, in a half crying half panting state, looking at him. He went and set by her side. "Did you have a..."

"The most horrifying one."
"It just a dream" he assured.
"No it isn't" she said crying. He held her hand consolingly. She hugged him instant and cried out "I saw Osheen. Shd had come here. I said that I needed her, she.. she said she loves me but couldn't go against family, society, religion. She has to look after her parents, she is there only hope, only child and left, probably going back to Japan" and ended in sobs, while Mridul stroked his back. Now he knew what her statement 'not currently' meant. He had to get her justice.

--xxx--

He pressed the stop button. The report lay right infront of him. Now he just had to find what his boss thought of it, who, at present had her back towards him.

"Not enough" she turned and said.
"What?" he was shocked.
"I mean this is just a statement, not enough proof. Plus, its a sensitive issue, criminal offense if I say. On the other hand it was just an attempt. No news!" she said coolely roaming around her cabin.

"Not enough news! Should we wait till she is brutally raped and murdered?" he got furious.
"Don't get hyper. It is not the sort of thing we show on our channel. I am highly dissapointed in you" She stood behinfmd him and keeping her hand on his gently squeezed it. "It isn't why I allow someone of your designation to have a sudden meeting with me" She came infront of him and said with a smile. "But since you are so hardworking, I say you leave this stuff here, at least I can arrange for police protection"

Mridul had full doubt on her but he still followed her advice.
Prportional to the fear in his mind, carried Mridul snacks in his hand. I've got to find a way out for Tanaz, without letting her know, thought he unlocking his door. He was welcomed by a tempting aroma and a table associated with "Navroz" said Tanaz happily. "Totally feels like it. I've prepared lavish Parsee dinner" he could see.

"I've prepared Sali Pe Idu, Dhansak and caramel custard" setting them up on table. "I'm not so sure about the second one though"

With each passing bite of food Mridul promised himself to tell her what happened in the office today but gulped down the decision too with each bolus. Also he had the slightest hope that he would hear from soneone before morning itself and he should wait till then. After dinner and Tanaz's going to bed he sat before his laptop repeating what all he had already done last night, only this time with a little urgency. He recieved a call, from his boss. He picked up and said impatiently "Evening ma'am. I knew you would.."

"I'm sorry Mridul" she said in between "There was no way we could help her. She attacked her cousin. Its a case of attempt to murder."

"What? But her parents must be.."
"After his parent's death Tanaz's folks are his legal guardians which makes him the heir of Shroff's mighty business empire. They'll protect him at any cost"

"What do you mean? Are they going to get her jailed?" he asked anxiously.
"Not exactly. They are completely denying that he ever tried to rape her. Because nothing actually happened we can't have medical tests. Plus her family condition and the fact that this girl Osheen hasn't responded to our calls, there's no proof that Tanaz ever was in a consenting gay relationship. She is 18 Mridul, the age when someone is at the highest risk of mental problems like schizophrenia."

"My God!" he said resting his forehead on his palm. "Wait a minute. You got to know all this at the police station? How?" She silenced. "How?" he raised his volume.

"I thought if we could settle it down somehow, through compromise, they can even be our permanent sponsers."

"I should've never trusted you. I can't believe you actually saw your personal benefit in it" he said in a high tone at first but coming down gradually as pain took his anger.

"They know now that she is with some reporter. With whom exactly and where, they have no idea. You have time till morning" she sighed "I hope this changes nothing between you and me."

"Yeah right b***h!" he disconnected.

He could either wake Tanaz up and tell her to leave, or wait till early morning, hoping against odds that someone miracle happen or to evacuate this place with her. His village in Ratnagiri was his first choice. Constantly thus, he switched between checking his laptop and packing his bags, in the process of doing the latter when, he found a pack of cigarette and sat down for a moment to relax.
He sat down, lit a cigarette and smoked his tension out. With the first exhale itself he felt relieved and as he continued he grew more and more relaxed, and ultimately dozed off. It was 5 in the morning that the sweeper blew his whistle and Mridul woke up and jumped in fear. It was too late now. He rushed to his room to look for Tanaz. She wasn't found. Terrified, he searched every corner of the room but neither she nor her belongings were found, except for that bloody blue scarf. A note was kept beside it that read "Thanks for giving me a roof. I won't forget these two days I spent here during which I learnt more about life than I did in 18 years. Take care"

Tears rolled down his eyes and several questions clouded his mind. Where has she gone? What will she do now? and most importantly, does she think that I am responsible for this?

--xxx--

He signed the last copy of his book and handed it to the lucky reader. Many reporters waited for him to finish, waited to interview him. "You" he pointed towards one of the impatient souls

"Sir, this novel Tanaz, from where did you get its inspiration?"
"I... One of my friends met a girl who was in a similar situation. Sadly he couldn't help her. So i swore to bring her justice, in my way" he answered
"Mridul Ji" another one buzzed
"Call me Mr. Deshmukh please"
"Sorry. So Mr. Deshmukh, with this book you have come out to be a bestseller, creator of romances, and the most eligble bachelor. Girls here are eager to know when are you getting married?"

"Personal question I say but to tell you I am not yet married, because I need permission"

"From whom?"
"Myself" he said and added in his mind to stop feeling guilty of what happened with Tanaz. In past five years, he quit his job to get a better one, became a dishonest reporter only to prove that Shroff's were corrupt and got them on road, only to leave all this and become a writer, like he always wanted and bought this beautiful villa he was now walking into. His cooks brought him lunch then he took a nap. After he woke up his driver drove him to Churgate. He stopped at a café near the High court and waited for his lawyer. She came, accompanied with a lady in a beautiful Saree. She joined them at the table too, and stayed all the while they talked about the copyright of his works. After they finished she was introduced to Mridul.
"She is my friend, from my college days, and a huge fan of yours, straight from U.S.A" said his lawyer.

"Actually my wife is a fan of yours. I haven't even read you. We hapoened to visit India for her show and I brought your book for her. I would be greatful if you signed it"

"Sure" he said and she hastily took out from her bag and came with it a blue scarf. He smiled at the coincidence. He autographed the book than asked her if she wanted him to write there something from her side.

"Yes. Write.. To my beautiful wife.. from Osheen" she said. The name sounded familiar to him. She took it from him as he finished and said excitedly "Thank you! You know my wife's name is also Tanaz"

"Is that scarf hers?" he asked
"Yes. She loves blue scarfs." Nothing more was left to be said.

Few minutes later he sat at the same table with Tanaz. "I am glad I found you. Trust me that night.."

"You weren't responsible for it, you were cheated. I overheard your phone call" she said.

"Osheen and you. How did that happen"
"Long story." A silence ensued, then she began. "After what happened I couldn't stay with my family. So I used every last penny of my dance scholarships to get a visa and passport of U.S. There I went to Harward, where I worked at cafés and did shows to first find a roof and then get into the Universty. It was a matter a days to get Osheen to confess her love then. But what happened that night unfortunately got leaked as a video. It was a shock to see a student against adoption to turn out lesbian herself. She had to accept me."

He was stunned. There was shine in her eyes not of innocence but cleverness, she had changed. "Are you happy?" he asked

"Happier than I could've been if I was brutally honest. You have to manipulate to truth to suit you, to be happy, thats a lesson we've both learned in life" she smiled "You have, done your bit for me here. You needn't be guilty"

© 2015 Penny



Author's Note

Penny
The last date for submission is tomorrow. Wond be very thankful if you review fast. Thank you.

My Review

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Featured Review

very interesting story dear, i enjoyed reading though tis pretty long just make sure you go over it again, i noticed a few gramatic errors here and there but the plot is good and it was well written just be wary of those little mistakes that can take away from the reading experience.

Posted 2 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Penny

2 Years Ago

Thanks for reviewing cycy. Yes, I too think that the story is long (especially for this platform) bu.. read more
cycy

2 Years Ago

okay dear, you welcome



Reviews

This is quite entertaining.............better than mine atleast..........should have made the list.....
:) :)

Posted 2 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Penny

2 Years Ago

Want to read yours. And wat about the list?
Pushkar Prabhat

2 Years Ago

i have just uploaded mine..............and i meant the list of top 10
Pushkar Prabhat

2 Years Ago

its called "the killing guilt"
Mesmerizing but very realistic about rape and self defense especially from a blood relative. You bring to the forefront this horrible crime on women. Excellent, Penny.....:)......

Posted 2 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Penny

2 Years Ago

Thanks sami. Couldn't ever thank you enough for reviewing.
Sami Khalil

2 Years Ago

My pleasure. Any time. ....:)..........
very interesting story dear, i enjoyed reading though tis pretty long just make sure you go over it again, i noticed a few gramatic errors here and there but the plot is good and it was well written just be wary of those little mistakes that can take away from the reading experience.

Posted 2 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Penny

2 Years Ago

Thanks for reviewing cycy. Yes, I too think that the story is long (especially for this platform) bu.. read more
cycy

2 Years Ago

okay dear, you welcome
The first mistake
A band of soldiers finds diplomacy in the dreg forest comes with consequences.

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304 Views
3 Reviews
Shelved in 2 Libraries
Added on August 27, 2015
Last Updated on August 27, 2015
Tags: lgbt, lesbian, life lesson, corrective rape

Author

Penny
Penny

lucknow, India



About
An introvert by profession, I've developed a love for writing to express my feelings. Sadly its my only talent, wanna know from you good people if I can be a writer professionaly.I dont fit into any g.. more..

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