Chapter Forty Six - Pallavi

“She had it coming” she heard the words; they seemed to be coming from far off but in reality they were being spoken by someone who was just a couple of steps away from her. She felt nauseated, her head ached, her vision was blurred and she was zoning out. She couldn’t afford to lose consciousness now, not here. The hangover was too much as compared to the amount of liquor she had ingested. The urge to puke was uncontrollable, finally she let go. She vomited right where she was standing and she heard people groan. 

Then she heard a familiar voice. The voice asked her if she was alright. “Oh yes, I am fine – I vomited just for the sake of fun” she wanted reply sarcastically but the headache and the fresh round of vomit accumulating at the back of her throat made it impossible to say the words. The next thing she knew, she regurgitated the contents of her stomach on the shirt of the man who was trying to steady her. She expected one more blow, or at least some swearing. No one likes to have someone else’s stomach content splattered all over them; but the swearing did not come. “It’s okay. Let me take you to the rest room.” The man with a familiar voice said. 

“The bitch ruined the party.” An angry voice said. The same voice that had said that she had it coming. "That bastard had it coming.” She thought to herself as she leaned on the person holding her and taking her some place, away from the stink in the room her own vomit had given rise to. Other people were dispersing too, some covering their mouth with their hands, some with disgusted looks on their faces, some people were completely unaffected by what had happened.

“What does she think of herself?” the abusive man yelled. “She’s a whore not a saint.” He continued blabbering even though she was walking away from him.
“Stop it, just let it go.” the familiar voice yelled back at the angry voice.

“Let it go? Man, she was about to kick me in the groin!” the angry voice said.
“And you broke her nose.” The familiar voice defended her. 
"My nose is broken? Bloody hell! What am I going to say to Mansi?” this was the first thought to come to Pallavi’s mind when she heard that her nose was broken. A moment later she became aware of the taste of blood in her mouth, mingled with the smell of alcohol. No wonder her head ached so much. 
“You should have stopped when she asked you to stop.” The familiar voice said. 

“I have paid for her. I can do whatever I want to do with her and she has to comply. If I ask her to dance she has to dance and if I ask her to take off her shirt, her shirt needs to come off. I have paid her enough – enough for all my friends here to hump her, including you.” The angry voice said and then the voice became sarcastic and then the man laughed.

She felt the change in the body language of the man holding her. He tightened his grip on her arm, was he going to do what she thought he was going to do?

“Don’t tell me you are not aroused. Even you want that piece of meat.” The sarcastic voice said and all of a sudden she lost her balance and stumbled over. The man holding her was not holding her anymore. She heard a sound coming from far away, the sound of someone’s nose being broken, and the sound of glass being shattered. She lost consciousness.

When Pallavi opened her eyes she was in an unfamiliar room. The light was too bright. Her head, it seemed, was about to explode. She pushed the covers aside and tried to get up. She realized she was wearing a bathrobe and underneath that she was in her bra and pantie. Someone had undressed her. 

“I am sorry, I couldn’t arrange for spare clothes.” The familiar voice said. She squinted to see the face that belonged to the familiar voice. Before she could raise her eyes to see the face, she saw a waist - with a towel loosely wrapped around it, next she saw a bare muscular chest. The man was standing at some distance from the bed.

“Had she slept with this man?” she thought and then she looked further up towards the face of the man and suddenly the nausea was back. She could not believe she was staring into the eyes of none other than Manish – the kind neighbour who went out of his way to take care of Mansi.

“I have paid her enough – enough for all my friends here to hump her, including you” the words echoed in Pallavi’s ears. She involuntarily pulled the hems of the bathrobe closer, wondering whether Manish really had sex with her. Then she remembered losing balance, remembered his reaction to her party client’s comment on him wanting her as much as the rest of male species high on testosterone.

“You were a mess yesterday night.” Manish said. “I had no choice, your clothes were torn and soiled with blood and vomit. I had to undress you.” He added. “I sent our clothes to the laundry, they will be delivered any moment now.” He explained.

Pallavi looked away and remained silent, still trying to remember what had happened. Yesterday night, he had said. It meant she had been here overnight. She could not remember anything. She brought her knees close to her chest and held her head in her hands. Manish looked away as Pallavi’s bathrobe rode up to her thighs.  Pallavi straightened the bathrobe immediately; relieved at his reaction. Her conclusion was confirmed by Manish when he told her that after undressing and cleaning her with a wet towel, he had taken a shower, had his dinner and slept on the couch.

He told her that he was really disturbed by the behaviour of his friend. His friend, he said, did not have any right to treat her the way he did. She was a person and not a thing someone could possess. Even if she was an escort, it had to be her choice whom she decided to offer her body to.

The words ‘friend’ and ‘escort’ registered in Pallavi’s mind. So, Manish knew that she was an escort and now she knew that Manish was the friend of her client. He probably belonged to the same social circle. She looked at him and he smiled knowingly. She could not look at his face anymore; she was distracted by the bulge in the towel that had suddenly appeared out of nowhere. 

Manish walked closer to the bed, one hand on the towel; ready to take it off. Pallavi looked at his face, the all-knowing smile had widened. She knew what it meant. She closed her eyes momentarily and then shifted in bed, making space for Manish who dropped the towel on the floor and stood stark naked near the bed.

“Look at me.” He said with a commanding voice and Pallavi had to lift her gaze to look at him. It was a view she would remember for the rest of her life even if she wanted to forget it. Manish grinned like a kid who had just been handed a candy and jumped into bed. He ran his hand over Pallavi’s thigh and reached the belt of the bathrobe and untied the knot. He slipped the bathrobe off her body and kissed her hungrily. He undressed her, asked her to lie down and then climbed on top of her. “No covers” he murmured as he entered and claimed her.

Pallavi participated in the act, playing her role of a passive partner. Neither encouraging nor discouraging him. She did not react as he kissed and bit her, she did not react as he groaned and laughed. 

As he climaxed and emptied himself into her, he moaned and called out Mansi’s name. Pallavi’s breath caught in her throat and a stream of tears flowed out of her eyes and got soaked into the pillow.

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