Monkey justice

Kakai Singsit *

Have you ever come across two men at each other's throat vying for the same girl who flirted with both. If not, hear me out.

The college was abuzz with the incident that had occurred yesterday. John and Joseph had a scuffle over Ruthy on the question of infidelity and interference over the other love affairs. Both the surly Romeos were my friends and John sat with me in the same department.

The past week, I had truant classes so I was robbed of the fortune of witnessing the fight. Observers told me that it was brutal and the police had to be called to bring restraint. John had not attended classes for the whole week aftermath the incident. So, was true with Joseph. Both remained incommunicado as their phones were switched off.

As I was preparing for my night rest there was a soft tap on my door. "What the hell are you doing at my door in this unearthly hours, John?" I hollered. I beckoned him to come in. He was punched drunk and from the look of his faced one can discern that he hasn't eaten for days and that sleep eludes him. He was cadaverous and his eyes bleary.

My instinct tells me that he was hungry. I proffer some food which he devoured voraciously. His countenance dictates that he was angry, broken hearted and indignant. I censured him for not coming to classes and switching off his phone and his disappearing.

"We were worried you know?, I told him. We called up your parents to know your whereabouts but they told us that you barely stayed at home. And what exactly was the reason for the fight," I became nosey.

He was all vituperative towards his arch-rival and heaped the blame on him for all the mess. "He tried to grab my girlfriend so I had no alternative but to defend myself. I had warned him to stay away from her and stop wooing her." He didn't listen so I had to beat him up," was his stance. But, the fact was that it was he who was made a mincemeat in the fight.

Ashamed and hurt by the incident he had resorted to drinking and gallivanting like a hippie. But the wine could not assuage him of the agony in his heart.

Ruthy had decided to call it split. Jilted and broken wine became his best companion and his only solace, though ephemerally. Friends, family, education now meant nothing to him! All that matter was the pain in his heart and the longing for his girl. But there was nothing he could do for she had ditched him. And the thought of revenge was foremost in his mind. Nothing could mollify him.

The same was true to Joseph. Both wanted the girl back but she was equally adamant and decided to maintain equidistance from both of them.

One morning Ruthy landed at my hostel room as I was preparing to go for the class. On the spur of the moment I was smitten by her captivating beauty. God, she is so beautiful and all my initial malice towards her evaporated in a jiffy. I thought the fight was worth it after all. And if I was in that position I would have done the same.

She was barely known to me and what must be the reason for this unannounced visit, I wondered. " Your room stinks!" was the first word she uttered snuffing her nose with her cute little fingers.

" Well what do you expect, this is a man's room, I retorted. In fact everything in my room was topsy-turvy with all my clothes helter-skelter and the floor was strewn with stubs of cigarettes, disposable glasses and dust. The walls were embellished by outrageous pin- ups superimposed by quaint cob webs.

"Close the door behind you I don't want to attract another scandal and what the blazes brought you here, I thundered. I have nothing to do with your shenanigans". My voice was menacingly grumpy.

She was caught off guard at my unsolicited behaviour. I thought she would leave but she just stood there staring aimlessly at the wall. Then she said that she wanted to discuss with me about the incident and she wanted to me to help her out.

"Go on", I softened.

"Whatever stories you have heard about me are lies" she started.

" I don't think so I retorted. You flirted with both and that's where the problem started."

She was very resolute and projected herself as the victim in such a manner that I started inclining towards her side of the story. The charm of her face and the mellifluous cadence of her voice tickled my frigid heart.

"Both of them proposed me but I swear to god that I have never acquiesced to any one of them," she asserted.

"I have barely known them and I haven't made up my mind whether I should acquiesce to their overture. I merely told them I'll think about it but I have never committed myself to any one of them. Now look where they have placed me with all the humiliation in front of the whole college. I am the bitch who was the object of the fight and they the victims."

Tears rolled down her cheeks and as the soft breeze fluttered her cascading golden locks revealing her radiant stunning face I couldn't help but was carried away into fanciful daydreaming of a blissful life with her.

" I have not attended classes because all accusing fingers are pointed towards me. I have also decided to end my study." Now I began to sympathise with her.

"You know both of them are crestfallen and have reverted to drinking because of the snub you have given them," I pointed to her. "What! Haven't I just told you that I have never had any affair with any one of them?" she growled.

"Well, I was friendly with both of them and what's wrong in being friendly? After all I haven't made up my mind. Why is everyone blaming me without ascertaining the truth," she was trembling.

"I came to you because a friend of mine told me that you are close with both of them and have leverages on them. I came with the expectation that you could clear the air for me though, after I am gone," she pleaded.

"May be you should go for a new boyfriend." I became sly.

"What ? No! She was taken aback my proposition. Well, I'll see what can be done but you must promise me that you'll come to college hence forth." She was reluctant at the beginning but when I assured her that I'll take care of all her worries she became contemplative and nodded.

Then she started pouring out all her pains, angers, betrayals and the humiliation she had to encounter in the aftermath. I comforted her with all the nonsense I could muster at the moment.

"Life is a challenge and these are natural occurrence which a person is bound to come across during one's journey. Every human commit their own blunder. The crux is to live with it not to run away." Then goes my blah.... blah...blah.

I am at loss whether I was trying to comfort her or trying to impress her. I bet she was thoroughly impressed by my suavity. I had managed to mollify her. Man! my gift of gab comes into full display.

And Hurrah! My sinister mind could discern that she was drawn towards me. And my heart jump in delight. But what about my two friends? Let them go to hell' I don't care. She gave me her numbers and left.

After two days she landed at my doorstep with her uniform's and gears. She was beaming with enthusiasm. Oh God! She was such a joy to behold but I had to remain stoical trying not to send a message that I was craving for her, whatsoever, though it was killing me inside.

Along with my retinues we left for the class. We introduced her to our lady friends and nudged them to enlist her among the lady packs. They were reluctant but all for my insistence, they relented.

John and Joseph were still daggers drawn towards one another but it was incumbent on the pack to bring a sort of reconciliation between the two. As the Boss of the pack the onus was on me. I met them one by one and told them that the packs were anxious to meet them as such they should reconcile with one another.

At the outset the reconciliation process was difficult but the pressure from the packs which was also compounded by long absence from the class swayed them towards sanity. Finally, the hatchet was buried by hand shaking and a reunion party at Muzikhul.

But Ruthy was still a no-discussed topic among the macho packs. She is still the villain.

The interlude of peace witnessed a new twist of episode as my proximity with the villain girl increased which was bolstered by a flurry of phone calls and secret tryst at undisclosed locations.

She calls me up every now and then to share her activities of the day-her happiness, angst, bickering's her sisters over household chores… almost boring me to death. I have to fake enthusiasm just to keep going. In fact I was glad that she kept up with me. But relationship so far, was purely platonic.

Her increasing visit to my room earned me the ranting of the wife of our hostel warden. Much to the chagrin of John and Joseph the proverbial snake slithered slyly behind their back and grabbed the prized object.

And that's what I call monkey justice.

* Kakai Singsit wrote this article for The Sangai Express
This article was webcasted on September 17 2020.

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