By Harpreet Bhagrath

– 1 –

‘You need to dump him. Especially when you have Peter chasing after you,’ advocated Linda who rather enjoyed giving these advisements to Rose. ‘I wish I had a suitor like Peter. My heart bleeds when I see him…’

Rose heaved a big sigh, ‘I know what you mean, Linda. I do like him a lot but… I need my space.’ Rose was sitting on the window sill looking out towards the sky with, to use a cliché, a faraway look. Linda, as usual, was sitting by the fireplace.

‘I wonder why you don’t need your space when Jack is around,’ taunted Linda.

Visibly upset, Rose got up from the sill, ‘Please Linda, I am not in a mood to listen to all this.’

‘And you are always in a mood to not only listen to all this but take all that abuse from him,’ Linda shot back mockingly.

Linda was one of those sedentary sorts who always appear content with whatever little activity they have in their lives. Though Linda was leading an extremely quiet life, she had a social circle bigger than Rose’s, and in that circle she had come to be regarded as a pillar of strength.

‘How did that happen anyway?’ continued Linda, ‘It’s curious I never asked you that. You and Jack? It’s like the unlikeliest match.’

‘I don’t know, Linda. I just felt so drawn towards him. I met him when he was still going out with Kate; at the New Year’s party at Mandy’s. I had heard stories about him being a user and stuff, but I wasn’t concerned with all that. So, I was standing with Kim and the rest of the girls…’

***

At Mandy’s New Year bash, Rose and her friends are chatting.

‘Hey, where’s Kate?’

‘With her latest catch, over there.’ 

Everybody looks towards Kate and Jack. Still in his early thirties, Jack is clean-shaved, handsome man of more than average height. There is an aura of masculinity about Jack that is unmistakable. His well-toned athletic upper body is covered in black leather Jacket, and blue Wrangler wraps tightly around the contours of his equally athletic legs.

‘Oh him. He’s no catch, believe me. I reckon after he’s done with her, she won’t be able to recover for years. Serves her good; I never liked that bitch.’ The feeling of rivalry was obvious in Silvia’s voice. She was almost happy to see her with Jack. It was as if she knew her end was nearing.  

‘Hey Kate, over here!’ Mandy yells to Kate, and Kate looks towards the girls, waves, and comes over with Jack.  

‘Hey… I never knew everyone was gonna be here. Anyway, this is Jack…’

Somebody calls Kate so she has to leave. ‘Excuse me girls,’ says Kate and turns to Jack, ‘be back with you in a flash, Jack.’     

‘Not a worry, kitty cat. Take your time. So girls,’ Jack turns towards the girls, ‘Keeping the boys happy?’ Jack knew nearly the whole pack. He had bedded a couple of them.

‘I heard about your fight with those goons last week,’ Caroline comments. She was one of those girls Jack liked to keep as bait in order to get bigger fishes.

‘Yeah! This world is no place for a nice guy like me.’ Jack apparently sees Rose and instantly turns towards her, ‘Who’s this beauty?’ 

‘This is Rose,’ informs Caroline.

‘I don’t suspect. Looks like a Rose. Freshly blossomed,’ says Jack and then addresses Rose, ‘Jack Thorn… is my name. Anytime you like me…’ Jack takes Rose’s hand, with his eyes never leaving hers, doesn’t ask for it and kisses it, ‘…to show you a good time, consider me your servant.’

Next Page