Friday, October 3, 2014

Crowning Glory: Life's Game

Chapter 17

Read the previous chapter here

Jennifer's mind was on overdrive. She had just been privy to some information that had caused butterflies in her tummy and wouldn't give her a minute's rest, until she found answers.
When you are in need of some direction in your life, you turn to people whom you trust.
To Jennifer, it was Cyrus. So naturally, the first thing that she did was to call up Cyrus and asked him to meet. A meeting was arranged where Cyrus was stationed for his trip and soon Jenny was on her way.
There was palpable apprehensiveness, nervousness and fear in the air. Jennifer was about to open up to this man. And no man in her life had stayed after she had done so.
"But maybe this man is different", she thought to herself. "But weren't all of them different?", thoughts and counter thoughts created a fantastic medley leading to Jennifer giving up on thinking, lest she be too stressed out.  She shrugged off these thoughts.
“I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I needed to be.”, she thought, steeling her resolve to get to the bottom of this mystery. This was her destiny, and if her past had to dug up in the process, so be it.
The taxi whizzed to a halt. Her destination, Cyrus's hotel of choosing, was there.
Jenny waited almost too impatiently as Cyrus, who by now had made a habit out of being fashionably late, arrived at long last. Jenny literally leapt at him, this to Cyrus's, and a dozen other people's surprise.

Cyrus: "Whoa! What happened? And why do you look so frazzled?"

Jennifer: "Long story. Can we get some privacy? Let's go up to your room."

Cyrus(chuckling): "A bit early in the night, but sure."

Jennifer: "Oh stop kidding!"

Back in Cyrus's room, they sat down and one could feel the imminent sense of outburst, as Jennifer's face was a canvas of emotions, ready to spurt out in vivid colors.

"Just be quiet and listen.", Jennifer ordered, to which Cyrus readily obeyed.

"Past is what defines us. It is who we were and it decides who we are. And mine is like a big scar on my personality. My past, is ME. It makes me special, it makes me ordinary, it plays a huge part in me being a good human being, and also defines how bad of a person I am. This my story."
"Long ago, when I was too young to tell my age, I was kidnapped from the orphanage where I lived with many other children. I was kidnapped and then given a punishment harsher than death. You see this tattoo, well in flesh trade circles, this would have raised a few eyebrows."
Cyrus stared, dumbfounded and had a lot of questions, as Jennifer continued, "I was now a part of this prostitution ring in Kolkata. Bibiji ,as they called her took care of us, dozen or so girls we were. At least in that location. And as soon as I was the "right age", the nightmare started. I fought it at first, as vehemently as I could, bit a few people.But what was I to do?  The fight in me subsided in the first month. With every man I reluctantly bedded, my protests turned to sobs and my sobs turned to nonchalance, until it was nothing but business.",  Jennifer choked, upon seeing which, Cyrus offered a warm hug.
A glass of water later, she continued, "But one thing you must know about me Cyrus. I never give up. For one and half years, I did offer my body to unknown men, but I was never their toy.I treated myself with dignity and asked the same from them.A bite or two was up it they did not oblige. Within me, burned a fire, and that is what saved me in the end."

"It was a frosty night and I was sent out to do something that is restricted to an exclusive unfortunate. The pretty ones."
"I was to meet with a client in a hotel. It was supposed to be someone famous. And I think it was as lucky a day for him as it turned out to be for me." "As soon as I entered the place, few men blindfolded me and took me to a room. I was supposed to wait for this person there. I looked out of the window and there they were. The men who had accompanied me to this hotel. Escape was not an option. But then, something important happened."
"A fire! The most magnificent of fires broke out from nowhere. And this was my chance. And Cyrus, I ran. I ran till I could not feel my legs. I ran till what I thought I was at the edge of the universe."

Cyrus's face was a sight to behold. This was information that would stump many. And he was no exception.

Want to read on?  Find the next chapter here

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