PLAYER’S DIARY – If you’re going to do something wrong, do it right. That’s how I learned, treating each case with a masterful touch. It’s not about chasing all women and sleeping with a lot of them–that’s being the worst kind of vagabond.
I go for the classy kinds, carefully selected, handled with rare charm, and scored with exquisite finesse. These classy kind of ladies, you find too few of them at a time.
But when I stepped into the bank that morning to work out a bank draft and overheard the voice texture of the elegant lady wearing a cream fur coat complaining across the counter, I knew it was practice season.
She had a problem with her transaction. I was conversant with that very situation. I knew what to do. The setup seemed too easy.
A little god somewhere must be messing with the stars.
On a scale of one to ten, she was eleven. Her name was India, and her scent filled my nostrils like a bouquet of carnations. My mind sprang to life and became a wild kaleidoscope of possible ideas–but only one seemed feasible. I had to move fast. As I have mentioned en passant, timing is everything.
I asked for the restroom and quietly eased my way towards it, retrieving my phone from my pocket as I sauntered along. Five minutes in the restroom felt like a lifetime. But when I stepped out, I overheard the Branch Operations Manager saying, “I’m very sorry for the misunderstanding. Thank goodness your brother called just in time for apt intervention.” My conversation with him had been short but brief–the vocal equivalent of wielding a magic wand.
And then she asked, “Who’s my brother?”
“He is . . . ermm . . .” The BOM glanced at me, and I averted my face sharply. “I don’t know,” he continued, “the caller just said he’s your brother.”
“That’s a strange one,” she replied with furrows on her forehead.
“Isn’t it?” the BOM said, and then walked away briskly.
I tailed India out of the bank, about half a minute behind her. She had gotten in her car and was about to drive off when I came by and said hello. She dealt me a once-over and curtsied a greeting. Her eyes were asking random questions until I said, “My name is Ronnie. And I’m your brother.”
Then her face beamed with smiles. “So, it was you.”
“Oh, no, I’m grateful. I’m just surprised you would do that for a total stranger.”
I grinned. “I often pretend I’m that nice.”
“As long as it doesn’t come with a price tag.” She winked at me.
“Of course not. It’s no different from any community service, but a humble donation could still be appreciated.”
“So, how are smiles and a thank you for that?”
“Very lovely, but how about putting your cute donation in a pretty wrapper–say, Forresters?”
“Now when you ask like that, how can I say no?”
That was my cue to end the banter. It’s a crucial point no one should miss, like knowing when to close a business deal. I smiled and leaned slightly towards her, “How is seven o’clock?”
She shrugged. “I can work with that.”
“I’ll be early.”
“Ciao.” She drove off.
There was something enchanting about India. She handled herself delicately with sophistication, and yet, no pride. She exuded the grand beauty of a perfectly groomed garden. As I thought about her, the hours seemed to pass at a snail’s pace. Obviously, something about her had untangled the Don Juan in me. I was feeling genuinely smitten. Just to remain in charge, I planned the entire evening in my head. I knew exactly what to say, when to say it, and how to harmonize it for the best response. I was going to leave nothing to chance. By the end of the night, I would either have her in my bed or have her mind wickedly webbed with the most erotic fantasies of us.
Just as I was putting the final touches to my outlook, my phone started ringing. First thing I heard was, “You said you’d be early, are you there yet?” It was India.
“No, but I will be in a quarter of an hour.”
“That’ll be sweet. Just checking to make sure you hadn’t chicken out on me.”
“Not for all the gold in Africa.”
She snickered. “See you soon.”
“Right.” I figured she must have charmed my number out of the BOM at the bank. With that call, I revised my objectives–by the time the night was over, I’d most certainly be making her bed rock.
I arrived at Forresters half an hour early. I took the time to revise my blueprint, made sure my look was casket sharp, and even practised my disarming smiles. I was set to hit all aces. All that was left to do was wait…
At exactly seven o’clock, a neatly dressed gentleman approached me and introduced himself as the manager of the place, saying he had a message for me. My sister had called him and said she had to take a rain check because her ex-boyfriend called. Instantly, my mind began to analyse the situation: she had gone far enough to get my number, she had called to make sure I would be here–but to take the rain check, she had called this total stranger. More precisely, she had arranged with him. Maybe even paid him.
I dialled the number with which she had called me, it was switched off. That was the last piece of the puzzle falling into place. When you have been a player for a long time, you will know when you have been smoothly played. It leaves a crushing feeling that numbs your mind for a bit.
At that moment, my world stood still.