I clutched the Cosmopolitan and made my way upstairs. Mother and Father were away, Sister was fondling the phone receiver lost in her own world, and I looked forward to a quiet afternoon on the terrace. This was my haven, the huge sprawling terrace. Though we lived in a neighborhood where the walls were as cozy as they could get, running abreast of each other, I was at an advantage of altitude. I could spy on every building within leering distance, and from vantage points that promised discretion and forbidden fruit. Today, however, I wasn’t planning on surveying the neighborhood for glimpses of flesh.
The new edition of the magazine promised a particularly raunchy article, with life-size pictures of course, that I was looking forward to perusing. To be taken on an exhilarating ride, courtesy the Cosmo models. I thanked my stars again for the day I had chanced upon the hidden stack. A fitting inheritance from father to son.
From those glossy pages, the models came alive and stood posing for me all along the walls of my terrace. I took hours weighing them, their pros and cons I mean, before eventually conferring them with my squirt of appreciation and gratitude.
I pushed open the door when the tangy smell of approaching rain hit me. I immediately tucked the priceless magazine inside my shirt and stepped onto the terrace. The afternoon sky had turned beautifully dark, with clouds billowing and converging over the top of my head. I stood under a canopy of black and dark blue clouds. Rain looked inevitable.
It was then that I saw the line of clothes adorning my usually bare terrace. I stopped short. This was new. I didn’t know if there had been any new tenants in our building. As I drew closer to the line, my heart started to race a little quicker.
Never had a clothesline made my heart flutter such. The pretty blouses and the dainty skirts were radiant in their myriad hues and design. Even as I marveled at the colorful taste of who must assuredly be a new tenant, the clouds having finally arranged themselves in an agreeable arrangement let loose and the rain washed down in a sudden swirl.
It brought with it a gust of wind that slapped a yellow blouse I was admiring, right in my face admonishing me out of my reverie. I crossed the line letting the fabric brush against my face as I went past the clothes.
At the door, I stopped at the sound of naked feet hustling up the stairs. I turned on my heel, crouching behind the door, every bit the voyeur I was.
With a montage of sounds that can only herald the approach of a girl in a hurry, I saw her rush past the door, turning gracefully at it, on her way to the clothesline. The clouds overhead took in the new entrant with vigor, breaking open and spewing forth a renewed shower of rain.
With my head firmly in the swirling clouds, I watched transfixed, between the bursts of rain and gusts of wind, as the girl swooped down on her line, discarding each of the clothes and crumpling them into a colorful bunch.
As I ogled at her, I traced a droplet of rain that had trickled down from her hair onto her shoulder. It was nestled in what must have been a cozy cleft on her shoulder when the girl abruptly jerked around. The droplet, the lucky bastard, was momentarily airborne, but as she turned a full semi-circle, it descended happily onto the other shoulder. Under the blue torrential sky, I turned green with envy. It had a tingling journey ahead of it, down the grooves of the girl’s body, as long as it stayed alive.
I didn’t let her catch a sight of me as she turned back for the door. She traipsed her way down, the heap of clothes notwithstanding, while I stayed rooted to my spot, enjoying the now steady patter of rain on my exhilarated face. Gathering my wits about me, I took a step towards the door, only to plunge into a drenched pair of breasts pointing up to me. The Cosmo was drenched and beyond repair.
It must have slipped down to its watery end courtesy one of the many sharp intakes of air I took while drinking in the sight of the girl. I was aghast, all thoughts of the girl evaporated into the afternoon air. This meant that the entire force of my father’s wrath would descend upon me in a torrent.
The Cosmo. Wet. The model on the cover was already expanding, growing out in size, blotted by the rainwater. The assets on display now spanned the girth of the entire page. The magazine had done to itself what I had planned for me. This was not my idea of getting wet.
Write Club Hyderabad – The calm and the storm – August 12th, 2017.