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Writings > Short Story > Love

He is not a gigolo.Ooooo now I know.

Previous short story:
Too late, too soon?
Next short story:
The Ice Pong Story

For once in her life she would like to hear those words from him. She had waited for a lifetime to meet him. And it would take another lifetime before she could confess to him that she was ready to stand by his side. Lily stood there amidst the big crowd in the now small looking hall. She could feel her brain slowly being deprived from its wanted oxygen. Her naked hand went to her chest, slowly heaving in the breath she desperately needed.

He stood there, surrounded by all his adoring fans. Not once did he look up at her standing so closely near the circle of gawking females. She steeled herself and marched right in the middle of the crowd and looked at him right in the eye. He raised a puzzled eyebrow at her sudden appearance, slowly noting her attire from top to bottom. She felt the need to cover her body with a big black plastic bag.

His adoring fans snickered and glared at her, some muffled a curse while others pretended to cough while calling her names. She was oblivious to her surrounding except for this man.

“May I help you, miss?” he drawled.

“Yes. I think we should find somewhere else to talk; in private.”

He looked at her, amused, “I rather liked being surrounded by these lovely ladies at this moment.”

She puffed out her breath, annoyed at his display of arrogance. “I’m sure they won’t mind. I promise this would be just a few minutes. Excuse us, ladies,” she dragged him away from the protesting crowd. He followed after leaving them with a devilish wink. They sighed in unison. Lily had to control her urge to vomit.

They reached a secluded place outside the garden. The morning sun was slowly warming her cold body. He went to sat on a bench close from the small fountain a few steps away from her. He then crossed his arms in front on him and waited for her to speak.

She choked on her own saliva. Her palms were sweaty and she felt her armpits slowly getting wet with her perspiration. The air around her seemed to slowly evaporate, leaving her with only carbon dioxide to inhale.

“I think you better sit down before you faint. I am not that chivalrous to catch you before you fall to the ground. I have better things to do.”

“Okay, here goes. Would you please…urm I mean will you go out on a date with me?” There. She’d said it. She plopped her butt down on the bench and faced him. What she anticipated as a ‘Yes’ from him turned into gales of laughter. He pressed his stomach and let out a fresh whoop. She tapped one of her sandaled feet on the ground, impatience.

“Well, I hope you had a good laugh. What say you?” she asked, praying that he would agree.

“What say I?” he continued laughing for a few seconds before replying, “No.”

“What do you mean no? No for the going out part or no you haven’t finish laughing yet?” She looked at him like a doe caught in a hunter’s trap, waiting for his mercy.

“Both. Who are you, miss?”

“Erm I am one of your fans.”

“Really?” he asked with mock interest. “I wouldn’t know that if you hadn’t blurted out the fact that you wanted to out on a date with me.”

“Are you done gloating yet?” she asked, her courage slowly shriveled to the size of a dried up raisin.

“Not quite. What’s your name, miss?”

“Lily. What’s yours?”

He chuckled, “I would have thought you knew my name before asking me out on a date, Miss Lily.”

“Well, you looked like you’re up for grabs. So I decided to try my luck.”

“Up for grabs? I am hurt that you’d think me as a great bargain for shopping,” he feigned his disappointment.

“Never. It’s just that I am desperate. I need a date.”

“Sorry to burst your dream bubble, miss. But I am not a gigolo for hire.”

“But…one of those ladies there said you would for a hefty price.”

“I am shocked to hear that a decent looking girl like you would hire a male whore. Let me repeat what I said earlier, I am not a gigolo.”

“Oh, my bad then,” Lily had the urge to dig a hole and buried her head in it. She felt a telltale blush on her cheeks and turned away from what she expected his smirking gaze.

“You can go to your fans now. I’m sorry if I’ve wasted your precious time. Oh, and I would appreciate it if you didn’t tell anyone about our conversation.”

“Don’t worry, a gentleman never tell.” He gave her that devilish wink of his and strolled back into the hall and straight in the arms of his adoring gawking admirers. She huffed and she puffed but the embarrassment hadn’t left her cheeks.

“So much for playing it cool,” muttered Lily. She curled one of her shoulder length locks and gnawed on her bottom lips. What is she going to do now? The date is set and she has to win or else…goodbye life. She gulped down her last breath and scanned the view on top of the twenty storey high hotel. Her worn out sneakers scrunched the fake green grass as she set across to the lift and made her escape.

The husband hunting ladies in the hall suffocated her entire being. But she still didn’t know the guy’s name. It is time for one last desperado move; she went to one of the screaming fan of ‘I’m not a gigolo’ guy and asked for his name. The fan stared her down and she looked so appalled that Lily didn’t know his name. Lily smiled sheepishly and waited for her to give the name.

“Khairil.”

“Okay, thanks,” Lily said carelessly and she received another icy glare from the woman. And off she went to escape the confining ballroom slash hall slash meeting port slash whatever place. She heaved a sigh of relief inside the lift. The watch on her right wrist indicated that she has another forty eight hours left before ‘the verdict’ being lain out for her.

 

“Do you think she’ll succeed?” asked the man sitting in a cozy looking armchair.

“Don’t underestimate her yet. There’s still time,” replied his life partner, who is an elderly woman with a cheery face.

“Of course I have faith in my granddaughter.”

“But, don’t you think it’s a bit absurd?” she asked.

“That’s the idea.”

“I think you are going senile old man.”

“Not yet, wife. Do you want me to recite the Rukun Negara?”

“Rukun Negara ingat. Wedding anniversary tak ingat. That is a mystery beckons to be solved, husband.”

“You married me, kan? Mystery solved. Case closed.”

Lily went into the house with the sound of bickering from her grandparents. She braced herself for the familiar scene to unfurl right before her eyes. Grandma was stomping her feet like she was doing the red Indian rain dance on the thick carpeted floor. Grandpa was covering his ears and began to sing an old song from a P. Ramlee movie. Lily…geleng kepala sajalah.

“Honey, I’m home~” Lily mimicked one of the characters on the television. The elderly couple greeted their only grandchild with smiles, their early quarrel forgotten. Lily went to each one to kiss their hand, a show of respect towards elder people.

“Macam mana?” Her grandpa asked, his eyes twinkled in anticipation of good news.

“Misi gagal la tok.”

“Alaa mesti die jual mahal je tu,” grandma tried her best to soothe everyone especially her husband.

 

The mystery in Lily’s life is that she needs to find a guy, any guy to play the part in her life drama. What part you asked? Her lead man. No need to know the details. The main point is that Lily was assigned, yes; assigned to find her hero in a week. Talk about whirlwind wedding! Sheesh!

Lily had done something that would require courage so big that it will hopefully save her beautiful behind and her family honour. She vandalized the lives of the people around her. Her punishment? Going to rehab or get a guardian to watch over her. By implying a guardian meant that she needed a firm hand from a husband. Are we living in the eighteenth century? All of this is so absurd.

She coincidentally spotted her target when he was grocery shopping. She ticked off one of her to-do list. He was tall, checked. He was not too ugly and not too handsome, checked. He dressed himself well, checked. Hmm good social skills, checked. Lily stalked him home; talk about being a desperado. To make the story short, she ended confronting the ‘I’m not a gigolo’ guy at the hotel.

Maybe she needed to change her tactics; be more proactive. Wore more ‘feminine’ clothes and act more ‘femininely’. Lily shuddered by the thought of wearing high heels and make-up.

After the brief report on her progress with her future hubby, she had the most outrages idea. She will try to bribe him into marrying her. Yes! She will offer him the most outrages amount of money just to have them tie the knot at the end of this week. But…does it not sound too unoriginal?

 

“No,” he answered her question with ease.

“B..b..but this is a lot of money that will be yours as soon as we tie the knot,” she sputtered her reasoning and tried to remain calm.

“I have money of my own, Miss Lily,” said the man in front of her.

“Okay, now I’m doomed,” Lily muttered to herself.

“Would you do me a favor, Khairil?”

“Sure, anything but agreeing to your ridiculous idea.”

“I need a lift. Do you mind dropping me off at the nearest rehab center?”

“Are you visiting someone?”

“No. I’m checking in there.”

“Whatever for? You take drugs?”

“No.”

“Habis tu?”

“I am the terminator.”

“The what?” Khairil laughed his head off, the other customers in the café looked at them curiously.

“I urm kinda wrecked havoc in my neighbourhood last week. The judge said that I have to choose between rehab or getting married.”

“You are kidding. Oh, god. You are serious.” And he continued laughing.

“Could you please tone down the laughing? Twice we met. You laughed at me twice. I’m beginning to think that a job as a clown is not so bad after all.”

“Oh…ahaha sorry. Didn’t mean to…but, your story is so silly and funny.”

“Yea, yea…gelak lah lagi.”

“How long will you be in that center?”

“Until I find a very responsible man to take the rein from them.”

“How long is that?”

“More like for eternity.”

“That bad, huh? Okay.”

“Okay what?”

“Okay I’ll take the money.”

“Oh, sorry. Here’s for the drinks.”

“The deal you’ve struck with me earlier.”

“Oh…” Lily replied as she sipped her drink. Then she screamed, “What?!”

 

EPILOGUE

Lily sat on the front lawn, woolgathering. The morning breeze caresses her face and long hair. She was thinking about the preposterous proposition she delivered to Khairil two years ago. The corner of her mouth twitched into a smile.

“I can’t believe I made a fool of myself.”

“You sure did and now you are stuck with me,” said the man behind her. He sat crossed legged next to her.

"So...whose turn to cook tonight?"

"Eh, you la. I\'m the ma\'am of the house, remember?"

"Wait a sec. I don\'t remember making a bargain about cooking."

"That\'s why. Tu la...sape suruh you fall in love with my \'puss in the boots\' eyes time tu. Kan tak sempat nk tambah syarat to the agreement."

"Ye lah, ye lah. Memang saye salah sebab kesian tengok awak masuk rehab center tu."

"Alalala...merajuk ke bang? Come here and let me kiss that pout away."

"Awak ni jangan nak buang tebiat. What will our neighbours say?"

"Look around. We are surrounded by a fort of green hedges. Plus, we are legally married."

"Segan la sikit awak ni."

"Hahaha I should be the one saying that. Why did you marry me?"

"To save you from being shipped into-"

"Come on. Honestly?"

"Sebenarnyer kan...Promise you won\'t get mad."

"I don\'t like the sound of that."

"Okay la, but you can only get mad for a short period of time. Deal?"

"Hmm..."

"Sebenarnyer I\'ve seen you long before you spotted me in that supermarket."

"Wait! Who told you about the supermarket?"

"Hehehe...your grandpa. He arranged all this."

"How is that possible?"

"Trust me. That old man is resourceful. He always get what he wants. He handpicked me out of a few other candidates."

"Okay thank you for informing me. Now it\'s my time to sulk."

"Err berapa lame tu? Could you give me a rough estimation?"

"Sampai kucing bertanduk."

"Alaa lame tu. I think the baby\'s crying. Be right back."

Not long after that Lily\'s cat strolled by and sat on her lap. When she looked down, she had the urge to march into the house and pull her husband\'s ear. Her cat was fashioning two fake horns on its ears. Then her husband presented himself with a naughty smile on his face. Oh, she really like to wipe that arrogant smirk away.

"Tada~! Now you can\'t get mad at me. Sebab da abis time. Kucing da bertanduk. Kan, baby girl?" He carried their daughter in his arms. The baby gurgled happily.

"Loyar buruk my hubby ni. Takpe, takpe. Ade ubi, ade batas. Lain kali saye balas."

"Alaaa gurau senda pon tak boleh? Here, take the baby. I think it\'s time for her to breastfeed," he leered at his wife. She raised an annoyed eyebrow.

"Baby girl minum susu yer. Papa duduk sebelah mama, tengok." He passed the baby in his wife waiting arms.

"Jangan nak mengada-ngada. I thought you were going to cook lunch."

"Don\'t worry. I\'ve got time.Hehe."

"Gatal."

"Suami awak jugak. Not a gigolo for hire, okay?"

"Oooo yeke? Now I know."

Previous short story:
Too late, too soon?
Next short story:
The Ice Pong Story
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nightingale

i wish my life was a musical...i'm waiting for the people around me to break into a song anytime soon.oh yeah, and they can dance pretty well.
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