LOVE ON SALE: a short story on prepaid friendship service.
Genre: Humour/Tragedy Fiction
10:30 am, Dwarka Sec-21 metro station. The sun had been glowing at its fullest, even at this early in the morning. Summer in Delhi is a bitch, and ironically so is winter. *sigh*. I had been waiting for her since last 1 hour. Being Saturday morning, its the time when usually I sleep in my cozy bed. But today was different. Pretty different, I'd say. I was excited as well as nervous. And why shouldn't I? this was going to be my first date after all. Also, I had paid 2500 bucks for it.
Oh wait!!! Didn't I told you about myself? Certainly not, I guess.
Well, myself, Manish, 22 year old, handsome (at least I think I am; may be my illusion. Hell yeah... who cares), working in an MNC, here in Gurgaon. My MNC call center firm is generous enough to pay me a hefty salary package, company-owned 2 BHK flat in Gurgaon itself, a braggable Honda city etc. My life was going ultra-smoothly except the female scarcity. I was, though, taken away from my family including my parents, a younger brother and two younger sisters, some 10 years ago by my destiny, first for the sake of studies then for earning livelihood. Since then, I visit them occasionally, once or sometime twice a year.
Despite of my average look (if you ignore my illusion of being a macho man, as handsome as Brad Pitt, in one way or other) and sufficiently enough money, I never had a girlfriend. Never. Not even a casual female friend. Heck! What’s the point of all this money, this respectful job, I thought. Although, I was not that desperate, but being a single, in almost all-the-possible ways had drove me crazy that day. Crazy enough to make up my mind for paid-sex at G.B. Road, centre of fulfilling sheer desperatism at a large range of available slots.
I could, however, go for some better options, but I had no friend who could tell me about these alternate "options". Although, visiting that place had blown away my mind. It was not a place I thought it should have been. It was something different. Very different and oppressive from the mental picture I drew in my mind. Alas!!! I immediately dropped the idea of using this one-of-the-most-ancient-professional service. But anyhow, my desperatism refused to think the way I did.
One fine day, however, while reading newspaper, I came across an advertisement claiming to be a friendship club, sprung my hormone secretion into action. Nikita friendship Club was its name. The ad claimed to offer best friendship services in Delhi. They had given a telephone number, highlighted in bold letters. In sheer desperatism, i dialed that number. The caller on the other side of phone was too euphonious to make me change my mind. The call was answered by a lady with melodious voice.
"Hello! Nikita Friendship Club. How may I help you?"
"Hello, I saw your ad in Times of India, today" I stuttered as my desperatism overtook my senses. I was calling for this "divine-service" for the first time ever in my life.
" Hmm... May I know your good name please?" She asked in professionally articulated but friendly concerned manner.
"Manish. Manish Verma"
"Oh great Mr. Manish. May I know, are you our regular customer or a first-time caller?"
"Ahmmm.. I am calling for the first time here."
"Great! In that case, can you please hold for a moment till I transfer your call to concerned department?"
I was taken aback by this management and department based service. Even this friendship club has different department for different services. They were way more advanced than the call center I works for. In a way or two, I thought. Meanwhile, she transferred the call to the "concerned" department after my nod.
"Hellowwww". An over-stretched husky male voice echoed in my ear. His typical Haryanvi ascent was enough to erode away my erotic mood.
I asked him about this services to which he promised to offer me a friend. A girlfriend preferably. All I had to do was to deposit 2500 bucks in an account number, as processing fee. I reluctantly agreed upon and deposited the "processing fee" within 1 hour. I contacted him upon depositing the " price" for friendship, against which he gave me an I.D. - Password to choose the girl, of my choice, for friendship, from their website. Nothing comes free in this world. Not even the friendship, I thought.
It took me few minutes to choose a girl, most beautiful amongst them, from their website, which was full of more and more potential girl-friends, each at least costs Rs. 2500 per desperate. After locking the choice, I was stucked on the page generating her contact details. I noted down her contact number and dialed it. She gave me an appointment of Saturday morning, 9:30 am, at Dwarka Sec-21 Metro Station.
Damn! We live in a world where even ":friends" need an official appointment for a meeting. And she herself was a professional friend. Wasn't she?
The scorching summer heat of Delhi was enough attribute to kill a person (literally, I mean), but I was burning with my sheer desperatism. I phoned her again, like 3rd time this morning and she still came with same reply "I'm in the way. Wait for 10 more minutes. Honey". The very last word "honey" itself was enough for suppressing my anger. The Metro Station was relatively deserted as compared to the time I hopped in there. My patience was almost blowing away and I was about to leave that place. Before that, I tried her number one more time, like for the last time, under the sheer demand of my desperatism. Also I had invested 2500 bucks. Remember.
"Wait for two more minutes darling". She said upon answering my call.
"But I am waiting for you since last one and half hour. Alone, in this deserted place." I said dejectedly but in relatively softer voice than I thought I'd deal with her, this time.
"Awww! my honey is waiting for me like this" She said childishly as if mimicking and cuddling a child. Her female abundant dramatic voice was again ample material for making my heart to fell in love. With her melodious "concerned" voice. Her beautiful, voluptuous body, as they displayed in their website.
"Where are you, by the way?" I asked her deliberately.
"Wait honey! Hold on for a second. I am at the parking, just had parked my car." She chuckled.
To be continued in Part-2