This is based on a life changing experience I had 4 years back. Except names everything is true, including the thought process.
I was working for a telecommunication company and was required to travel a lot in India, due to some requirements I was to stay in Mumbai for more than few weeks.
The work schedule was such that I was mostly leaving around 7AM and coming back no sooner than 1 AM to wake up again at 5AM. It was taking significant toll on the nerves.
My immediate reporting authority asked me 'whats going on with you ? I know the pressure is immense but that doesn't mean you have to bury yourself behind the machines'.
'I am doing fine, weekends are around and I might take a trip out', I said.
'Why you need a trip out? Mumbai has lots to offer why not try some party, dance and booze?'
'Umm nice idea, but I don't have friends here , and I don't just talk to strangers'
'Ok, I know someone , will ask her to give you company', he winked.
I missed to call him on Friday evening, was too busy with work even forgot its weekend already.
Next day I remembered what he had mentioned but as a protocol no-one called on weekends unless hell broke somewhere, so I forgot the idea and decided to sleep the day off.
I was staying at the company guest house, at my request that particular place had been allotted to me exclusively, so that I don't have anyone bothering me.
The kitchen staff had keys and so did other domestic helps. 'Food ,cleaning all taken care of I have nothing to do' I thought. I did put the cooling on 18, took out a velvet quilt and dozed off to fairly land where there are no machines and no towers.
'Waiting for tonight...' chimed the door bell, 'how many times these people are to be told that there is no need to ring the bell before coming in' I fumbled few f words , hugged a pillow tight and tried to re-enter the dream I was in.
'Waiting for tonight...' the bell teased once more, 'Whosoever you are , you just lost your job, now sing waiting for job damn you' the voice in head said. I started towards the door and stopped near the bed realizing I was not putting on anything, 'Now where is the jeans ? never mind the towel will do' I thought.
'Waiting for tonight ...' the door bell seems to be on auto, 'Dimaag kharaab hai kya tumhara' I muttered as I opened the main door and closed it again, there stood a lady in the most beautiful attire I had ever seen.
'Shittttttttt, where the F did I put the jeans ?' I thought, I went to the bedroom and there it was near bed post along with a very creased up t-shirt thrown over the chair.
'Now wear this shit, when will you learn to keep the clothes in order?' I told myself.
Throwing myself in the jeans and fighting with the tea-shirt, I reached for the door, took a deep breath, 'calm down, calm down, the towel episode is in the past' I told myself.
'Hi ' , I said opening the door, still trying to remember how to smile.
'Hey .. You are fast with putting on clothes' she smiled .
'Oh , I was about to take a shower' I lied, 'You are looking for someone ?'
'Yes, I presume I am looking for you', she said with a deep look in my eyes.
'Ha ha, Then my name must be Salman khan I guess'
'Yes,If the other one is Siddharth I might call your Salman khan for the rest of the day', she shot the reply as quickly as I ended up speaking.
'Who is this woman ?' I thought.
'My fault, I was supposed to call you, but I was just passing by so thought to tell you that we are going out today evening', she said.
'Amit ji asked you ?' I hardly could believe what was happening, 'This man is too much' I thought.
'Yes, I was under impression that you will be more pleased with the surprise than shocked', he expressions changed suddenly from all smiles to no expressions at all.
'Yes indeed I am pleased, so nice of you to drop by, so what is the plan ? where are we heading to and when ?' I could barely save my sorry As*.
'You don't receive guest much often I guess, ask me in at-least, will you ?' She brushed me aside as she walked in. 'I have been here once , so I can help myself with tea, If I wait on you to ask, then the tea is never coming' she said.
I was trying to feel if I was breathing still, the door had no stopper so the moment I left the handle it closed itself securely shut.
'Twang - Click ' the sound of door closing and auto lock positioning itself announced that I am all alone with a gorgeous stranger in company guesthouse.
'Now all I need is the maid to come , see me here with her and everyone will hear story of me bringing over women till ages, there goes the single and not willing to mingle medal' I thought.
'I thought you were going to take a shower, didn't you say so ?', her voice suddenly had a different tone, gentler and friendly.
'I lied, I was sleeping actually', I was still not able to move away from the door.
'Don't tell me you are standing there so that you don't have to reach for the door once more when I leave.' She proceeded toward the kitchen.
'Would you please let me know your name' I asked, secretly scanning for my cell phone.
'Ruby , and don't tell me its a nice name, I know it already' came the response. She was fully engrossed in tea making ceremony.
'I need to make a call , give me a minute please' I said as I picked the phone and proceeded towards the bedroom.
'Yes, yes, confirm from your Amit ji , its better to be safe than sorry later' , She almost laughed her guts out.
I stopped mid way , nevertheless called him ..
'What happened Sid ?' , he asked without even uttering a hello.
'Ruby is here, I thought to let you know', I fumbled for words.
'Ha ha, have a great evening you monster, beep', the call was disconnected.
'How do you like your tea ?' she asked on top of her voice, thinking I might be in bedroom, whereas I was in the lobby.
'Black, no sugar' I realized I was suddenly relaxed.
I sat on the sofa and started playing with the remote, I never used this TV as I always was in my bedroom for whatever duration I was in this place, had one in my room with dish connection.
The TV was on AV mode, 'probably this one doesn't have cable' I thought, I picked up the VCD remote , power on - play , and what appeared on the screen made me push the power button once more.
'Guys are same everywhere' she announced as she appeared with tea like a genie right next to me.
I opened my mouth to explain, the words were caught in middle with 'Its okay I don't mind'.
'Now I don't do all those movies, neither I do the blind dates and here I am with a lady who has reason to believe I do, there goes any chance of having a sane conversation, and what she thinks about her ? I am not going anywhere with her, let it end with the tea' I thought as I proceeded to pick the cup.
'What are you thinking ? seriously I don't mind the movie, you can watch if you want to' she said, as she cracked a cookie between her lips (how do they manage to hide the teeth always, all one sees is lips).
'Listen ! this suggestive monologue can take a break here, I don't use this TV and I don't need to watch all that rubbish' I said as I felt some adrenaline pumping in.
'Chill, then don't watch , how is the tea by the way?' she continued without pausing.
'How should the black tea taste ? like black tea but seems some people need to be told even that' I thought as I took the sip.
A surprise was waiting there, she had put cinnamon and some other spices in it and it indeed was not the black bitter hot liquid I called black tea, 'This is really good, thanks' I smiled as I complemented her.
'SO you smile too' she quipped , reaching for another cookie.
I was getting to like her approach, 'what the hell here I am and here she is, she is no threat so relax' I thought.
I took the lead of the conversation and learnt she called herself 'The enabler' a management graduate, from a upper middle class family living in Mumbai alone and working on contract.
She didn't ask me much about family or where do I come from, all she asked me was my hobbies, what kind of food I like and what type of cars I was into and was I married.
The conversation touched various subjects from politics, to theater, to movies, to facebook there seemed to be no dirth of topics with her, she could talk in depth on various topics. 'A lady with an enlightened mind' I was getting impressed.
It was almost 7PM when she declared that its time to move the butts off the sofa and lets go out. I changed while she fumbled with the TV remote only to discover that indeed there was no cable connection on that one.
I was going to call for the Meru cab but she signaled me to keep the phone saying she has her own ride. We left the apartment and proceeded to the lifts, I noticed her from behind as she pushed the button for the Basement. She was a killer even from behind, the choice of ear rings, the foot gear, the hair do .. All impeccable.
I was in for a surprise when her car answered the remote key, it was a top of the line sedan , black colored. 'Gosh, how much she earns to have a bmer ?' I thought.
I didn't know much about the places to visit, so I told her I will just like any place which is not too crowded and I where I could dance a bit. She smiled and said engage the seat belts.
We rode for while before we stopped near what looked like a bungalow, but seems a theme party kind of was going on. I suddenly realized I was not dressed up for a theme party like this but she insisted that we just mingle in.
The hostess was known to her, they hugged and gave girly kisses to each other (why to make smooch sound while placing your cheeks next to each other, only women know this I guess ).
Music, food and beer was all which remained until I found myself on the dance floor with Ruby.
She was an awesome dancer, I am into power moves and she flowed effortlessly with the moves, almost gliding. With the raising music people started clapping as it was only two of us left dancing rest just stood watching.
We did close moves, face next to each other my hands holding her waist and I lifted her a bit, did a semi circle she didn't even twitch.In another move she held my hand tight and bent until her other hand touched the ground. It was like music and two bodies , flowing and floating on the air. A trance feeling.
Once the sweat broke, I said lets go, she said yeah I was going to burst my bladder anyways , we laughed and left the place.
Next, she stopped the car near a beach, it was deserted, few vendors selling pav bhujia, egg omelette etc. We took a stroll by the beach , the breeze was unbelievably soothing, and we went silent.
She broke the silence with 'You didn't ask what is an Enabler ?'.
'I don't ask things which seems too complicated to understand myself' I smiled , though it didn't matter as the lights were not enough for the smile to be noticed.
'I work as an escort, if you didn't know already' her voice was heavy.
'Escort as in ? I thought you are friend of Amit ji' I realized the topic is getting towards something serious.
'I enable things and business, the deals which take months to mature can be sorted out in weeks, jab mera jaado chalta hai' she feigned a laughter.
I didn't ask further, she went on to tell how people open up to her and sometimes give her clues which can help close a business transaction earlier than expected, how she gives company to people visiting from abroad , how she sometimes gives them the extra 'HELP' they are seeking apart from the company.
I stopped her, it was too much for me to hear, I said people doing part of it are called sex workers aren't they ? Just that they do it on a lower scale travel by taxis doesn't earn them the term applied to them.The evening was shattering inside my mind and I was thinking what the hell I have been doing.
She said 'Sid the best part of today was I felt like a person and not a commodity, I felt like being with a friend and not a contract, I felt alive, contrary to what people believe , none likes to be a sex object except if one is nymphomaniac, I am not one. Not yet !'
She asked me to wait there and went to her car, she returned with a flower, I could only see the outlines and dull color as it was dark on the beach, she told she had picked it from the party decoration.
'Here is to the friendship and for the pride you filled in me by not treating me like a body' she said as she handed me the flower.
We drove back to my place, she stopped the car outside the building, came out gave a gentle hug.. That's when I looked at the flower a bright crimson Gerbera ..
I kept standing there as her car disappeared in red dot of tail light, In the night I couldn't sleep and neither did the flower she gave me.
I kept wondering how different an angel would be from her ..
Ruby, an angel in disguise, changed something in me for ever that night.
I met her once more before I left Mumbai, over coffee at airport, I didn't ask her personal number, she never asked me where I was from, she lives in a corner of my heart next to where I keep highest ideals of good and morals.
A woman can change you for better or for worse, Ruby changed me for ever she instilled such a high respect for women in my heart which someone else with holiness attached to her personality couldn't do.