The International Writers Magazine: Dreamscapes
Just Another Woman
Jude C Perera
Rishi; her marketed name, real name Nishamani Zeram, glanced at the mirror for the hundredth and final time, she was shocked and awed for the hundredth time. She had the perfect figure, a bow tie set up vertically, it flared in to her waist and flared out from thereon in flawless symmetry. Her hand painted eyelashes, thin soft lips, masterfully lifted cheeks, and those absorbing eyes manufactured a sublime composition. Her skin, pan-fried under the equator, lent an exotic gloss. Fishnet stockings, nine-inch heels, and a miniature ruffle hem skirt flung over long athletic legs wrapped up the killer edition.
She grabbed her bag of toys, patted her loud halter-top into place needlessly, and smartly stepped out in to the dying winter light. The impact was routine, she heard their silent oohs and aahs and felt their looks stripping her with ease. She fed their desperate hunger with ruthless indifference; she had educated the mind to enjoy distractions without parading the attendant reactions. She stood at the empty taxi bay and hoped for a long wait, she had plenty of time for the appointment and an insufferable appetite for more veneration. She had no remorse for those who were lost between grudging appreciation and downright venom, they didn’t recognize her, she was just another woman doing a part time job. A job that earned her much more than her full time one, clerical roles were squeezed between sparse dollars and high taxes. She finally had her name down on a townhouse; it had cost more than the market value on the scrap of paper. They could never see the permanent gash she had left on her traditional upbringing and the smear she had rubbed over her custom steeped parents, an insult that was still in the making. The tears threatened to gate crash the party, but comfort rallied, she didn’t want guilt on her last appointment. She was going back to see a prospective husband, become the dutiful daughter once again and perhaps play the virtuous bride. She owed her father, who was propped up by a vastly depleted heart and hanging on to childish dreams of unlikely grandchildren. Her mother had sounded excitable on Skype, marriage warmed the topic, Rishi had wanted to switch off. She shivered as the chill factor broke through her limited clothing.
She was disappointed as not one; but a train of taxis arrived at the bay, she got into one with a perverse sigh. She was out even before she could settle into the ride, the Hyatt Regency floated out of nowhere. The fear of the unknown came back in hues of gushing excitement and tension. She took a deep breath and knocked on suite Number: Nine. She was shocked, very pleasantly. He was tall, clothed in posh Valentino, and had a complexion; which was pan-fried perfection, his looks hooked her line and sinker. She couldn’t unrivet her eyes from the delicate mix of green and blue that pigmented his eyes, which he took away with painful embarrassment when her gaze started to gouge them out. He made a shy start and struck out a trembling hand; Carl, he volunteered, he spoke softly with a flavored accent, she wanted her lungs to deflate naturally; without a fuss; Rishi recognized that flavor. But he saw nothing. His physical charm quickly flooded her concerns, and she chose to travel with the flow. She came back with Rishi and a soft one on the lips, totally ignoring the hand. Someone had to start.
She felt bad, her guilt was quite unprovoked, she had actually enjoyed and got paid for it. She wasn’t sure who had received the service; she was stupid and brave enough to give out her non-business number. There was gratitude planted on those eyes as she left. She had addressed his innocent wonder; in full. She missed him as soon as she stepped out of Suite Nine. She even reconsidered a come back from retirement; for one more appointment, he never called again. His eyes burned into her dreams day and night. She drifted listlessly between desolation and a single memory. She didn’t know why, she was happy that she had quit. She just wanted to get married and get on with it.
‘They never bothered about the dowry, and why should they, she has a good job and a good character, a pure girl of good upbringing is rare even in this country’
Reggie Zeram’s voice boomed, fired by pride, and supported by a strung heart.
Nishamani touched her father to calm him down, her mother looked with anxiety. Excitement was bad for him.
Her body produced sweat in bucket loads, the tropical heat hammered her vigorously, she didn’t care, she had just flown out of the winter, and it was too early to miss it.
‘He’s got his masters in network engineering and swims in money, you’ll make a perfect pair’
He chugged on, his voice watered down, the effort all too much.
If only I could meet him first, she retorted in silence, affection gaining the upper hand, she had agreed to meet this man of their dreams.
She looked again; the mirror hadn’t still failed her. The Indian red and magenta silk, with the gold and silver border gave the imperial touch; she was impressed with what she saw. She stepped out in all her eastern glory and her parents held their breath. The pool floated up first, Reggie clutched at his chest, her Mother gasped, Nishamani was unmoved, there was no big deal about a guy with a private pool.
Brian De Zilva looked up, it wasn’t Carl anymore, she was ready to faint, and didn’t bother to hide it; he didn’t flinch but kissed her lightly on the cheeks. He certainly didn’t look shy.
She had no tears left as her father was buried; it was all too much for him in the end. They had called her a slut; their son has had a lucky escape. Her mother didn’t say anything, which was frustrating and gazed into space with an aimless smile.
Rishi stepped out in to the summer sun, and took strong strides, she had finally hooked an appointment with him, it had been an effort. Married guys were a touch overcautious.
There was no excitement this time, just determination to make it really count.
© Jude Perera September 2012
Jude's other fiction publishing credits include; (Hackwriters) My Mom, My Niece, The Honest Politician
Terry sighed and looked away. It was a long sigh; there was bitterness in it. His tax dollar was funding some of those lazy bums. The injustice bit into him. There were too many to count on the beach, late morning, and mid week, getting their sun fix.
The Other Son
Jude C Perera
‘I am going Mother, Good Night’
She barely heard him; picking up whispers was a luxury at her age. She looked swiftly but he beat her to it. Those blue sparklers were tucked well away from her adoring gaze.
Jude C Perera
I know they are close. I can’t hear them through the din that my heart is making. It feels like it is going to jump out of its preordained location any minute now, the spot where it was meant to me.
+ It's a Glorious Day - Fiction 365, Redemption and I Don't Love My Dolls Anymore - The Fringe Magazine.
His Travel narratives have been featured on the international online travel magazine Travelmag,
Touchdown In Colombo (http://travelmag.co.uk/?p=4681)
Monuments and Sarees – A Tour of North India (http://travelmag.co.uk/?p=5721)
Too Close To Elephants in a Sri Lankan Forest (http://travelmag.co.uk/?p=6256)