Dangerous Encounters – Rules of Engagement

mexican-horse-thief

Now I will see Shanti for the first time, with Rupert, since we kissed. Should be interesting; Gordon picks me up and off we go to the art show. Rupert pays attention to Shanti, more in an hour than I have seen him do in months. She had told him we had kissed, what other details I am not sure. Rupert tires of the attention giving within an hour and follows his normal routine of hanging with his effeminate friends. Shanti and I get moments alone, she is drinking again, she had quit for a few months, she talks a lot to every one after a few glasses of wine.  Shanti and Rupert leave, she later calls me, from inside a ladies room at a restaurant that she and Rupert are having dinner at. She tells me, “I love you endlessly that is why I can’t stay away from you.” I ask her to meet me the next afternoon at Barkley Square and she agrees.

We have coffee at the same small restaurant and talk about what we should do about the situation. The only conclusion we come to is that it is a mess and we cannot seem to stay away from each other. Shanti phones for a Taxi, when it arrives I see it is an old London style taxi. Shanti insists that I get in and the taxi can drop me off on the way to her place. We are barely settled when she throws her arms around my neck and kisses me passionately. Hell, two firsts, never been in a “normal” taxi before and most certainly not been kissed by a beautiful woman in one. I have no complaints, except that we should have been on our way to a nice private room perhaps.

I take to meeting Shanti every other day after she is finished work, so we spend a couple of hours in coffee shops. Rupert has been told she is working on a project so he must collect her later than usual. Then on one fateful day Shanti asks can we go to the Arcadia Southern Sun and get something to eat, I am ok with that. I am not hungry and just have coffee and a few bites of Shanti’s meal, she is drinking white wine. We chatting all the while, then Shanti goes very quiet, she does this sometimes.

She looks at her lap for long moments, then raises her head and shyly asks me, “Do you mind if I book us a room?” I say I would not mind at all. She goes off to the reception, I smoke and wish badly for a drink. Shanti returns with keys to a room, it is very expensive, and we will only use it for three hours. She gets a call from Rupert as she is unlocking the door to the room, she tells him she has so much work that she will be busy until about 10pm, can she call him to fetch her then? He must have said that would be alright as she says thank you and rings off. I have always marveled on how long it takes a lady to get dressed and how quickly they can shed those clothes when they are in a hurry. The three hours pass very quickly, Shanti says she has to go soon and we have a shower. I let her leave first, wait until I am sure Rupert has picked her up and left, then walk back to the Backpackers. This side of Pretoria is not safe at night and I blend in with the shadows, not thinking about Shanti or the evening we just had, rather keeping a careful eye out.

At Word of Mouth, I do not go on the net; I lie on my bed and think. I am not too happy about sleeping with another man’s girlfriend, but conclude, if this man, nearly twenty years my junior,  cannot keep her, why not?  I add this thought to my “Rules of Engagement”  Sleep.

From: The Chronicles of the Mexican Horse Thief.

 

Of Interest

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THE MEXICAN HORSE THIEF I – ANGOLA 

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