A woman jilted by her lover sets off for a sea resort in Phuket, Thailand, to get even.
Manisha knocked on her son's door. Hearing no response, she turned the doorknob and entered. The sound of flowing water came from the bathroom. She picked up his mobile from the study table.
“Deepak,” she shouted.
The shower stopped. She continued, "I am having a bad day. Car and phone won't work. Could you unlock your phone please? I need to book an Uber."
The bathroom door opened slightly and an arm emerged. Manisha placed the phone on the palm. The arm disappeared into the bathroom and emerged seconds later with the unlocked phone.
Two Days Later
The luxury of the first class suite of the Thai Airways flight from Delhi to Phuket - Thailand’s famous beach destination - couldn’t relieve Manisha's misery. It was a five hour flight. She was nursing her third large whiskey. The telephone messages came back to haunt her. “It’s over between us, Manisha. I have found someone.” Every recollection stabbed her heart like a dagger.
Manisha had a wealthy husband with whom she had three adult children. They had married young, but with time, the passion in their marriage had vanished. She found release in casual flings and one night stands until she met Mike, a young American studying ‘Developing Economies’ at Delhi. It was the beginning of a heady relationship. Later they discovered that he was her son, Deepak’s, classmate. The fear of being in a forbidden affair further stoked their hungers for each other. The differences in their cultural backgrounds and their ages strengthened their bond. It was stimulating to be involved with someone who is so different from one's own self. That is till Mike abruptly broke off with terse messages on her phone and blocked her calls.
It was late afternoon when the plane landed. Manisha checked into the Blue Moon Hotel. The wall-size mirror in her room caught her attention. She unclasped her waist length hair, undressed and posed nude. Her confidence surged at what she saw. She had a lovely face with sensuous lips. Hard work in the gym and regular yoga kept her fit. With passing time, the toned body of her youth had ripened into a voluptuously curvy body that made her the object of male fantasies and feminine envy. Her glowing olive skin was smooth and soft like a baby. Natural eyelashes complemented her large almond-shaped eyes. The chocolaty nipples of her big shapely breasts teased like cherries on a cake. A vivacious personality and a beautiful smile more than compensated for her short height.
She stepped into the shower and tried to relax under the cascade of cold water, but physical comfort proved a poor remedy for mental anguish. Memories of languorous afternoons with her lover pained her. She thought better about stroking herself to an orgasm because she didn’t want to evoke his name.
Around 9 pm, Manisha walked into the hotel’s pub cum discotheque in a sexy strapless red tube dress and high-heeled boots. The dress ended well above her knees. She had tied her hair in a twisted bun. Purposefully, she wore her large diamond ring. She knew that men found unaccompanied wealthy married women alluring.
One worry nagged her. Phuket had countless pubs and discotheques. What if he were not here? The appreciating male gazes in the pub egged her on. She knew that the men were mentally stripping her tiny dress. Let me have fun, she thought, perched on a stool at the bar and ordered a large whiskey.
She was on her second drink when she spotted Mike at a corner table not far away, engrossed in a conversation with a Thai girl. It was exactly as she was expecting, but inwardly hoping against. Now, with all her hopes crushed, jealousy coursed through her blood like venom. She determined to get even.
A male voice broke her chain of thoughts. Seeing a handsome smartly dressed young white man, she smelled an opportunity for revenge.
“Can I offer you a drink?” he asked.
Manisha waited for a few moments before replying, allowing him to feast on her with his eyes. She wondered what fascinated him the most – the diamond ring or her ample cleavage or her smooth thighs.
“I like to buy my own drink, but you can join me,” she replied gesturing at the next stool which was empty.
“Cool name. What does it mean?”
“Intelligence,” she replied, paused, sipped her drink and added, “And desire.” Taking the cue, John placed a palm on Manisha’s bare thigh. Under the influence of alcohol, her inhibitions began to fade. From the corner of her eyes, she saw Mike get cozy with his companion.
“Indian women are beautiful,” John admitted.
“American man are sexy,” she murmured.
“How did you know I am American?”
Manisha stared at Mike kissing the Thai girl. "I had an American boyfriend once." Her voice almost dropped to a whisper.
John’s hand rode up her thighs and beneath the hem of her dress. A momentary flicker in his eyes revealed the thrill he felt on discovering that she was not wearing panties. He drew closer and kissed her.
She closed her eyes and murmured, “Oh, Mike.”
John recoiled with surprise. “Mike? I am John.”
“I am sorry, John.”
They resumed their deep kiss. Suddenly, she felt his hand slide between her thighs which parted unwittingly. But when the tip of his finger grazed the petals of her womanhood, she jerked back to reality. It wasn’t her first time without panties. An unnecessary garment in the art of seduction, its absence always proved more useful than its presence. Lovers who undressed her found the incongruity exciting. It was something they never expected from a lady of her class.
However, today she found the sudden intrusion of her dignity uncomfortable. She regretted her wanton display of libido. It was a painful way to realize that seducing someone you wanted to make love with was not the same as putting on a show. But her revenge was still incomplete.
“I will be at the reception. Take me to your room," she whispered, paid her bill and left. The delight on his face both amused and pained her. She felt bad about using him but had no choice.
Manisha waited while John collected the keys to his room from the reception. Then they both walked into the lift. She observed with immense satisfaction through the crack between the closing doors of the elevator that Mike was observing them from a distance.
They were alone in the elevator. John tried to touch her breasts, but she stopped him. “I am sorry I can’t go with you. I just saw my husband. Stay in your room. I am not sure if he saw us, but don’t take a chance. He can be dangerous,” she lied with consummate ease. She reasoned that if John returned to the pub now, Mike would know that he wasn't with her. That would blow apart her game.
“But what about you?” John asked.
She saw his concern and began to like him and was half-tempted to go the whole hog with him. Mike is having fun. Why can’t I? She pondered. But decided against it. “I can take care of myself,” she said.
“You sure?” he persisted.
They had reached his floor. She allowed him to kiss her before he walked out.
Manisha felt much better on the ride down because Mike now knew that she was still attractive enough to find other young men. Would he be jealous? she wondered. She returned back to the reception and asked for the keys to her room.
“Ma’am, I am sorry there has been a mistake,” the girl at the reception counter informed while handing her the key. Manisha raised her eyebrows as the girl continued.
“The room we had initially reserved for you had a problem with the air conditioner. We changed it, but the cleaning staff forgot to remove this from that room and place it in your current room. It was a request from one of our guests.” She held a bouquet of red roses in her hand. The flowers had begun to wilt. Manisha accepted it and removed the card that was inserted in it. Mike’s handwriting was on the card. “Can’t wait to see you, my love. Meet me in Room 2057.”
Only then did she realize that the whole thing was setup by Mike. The entire breakup game was a farce. She had been too blinded by jealousy to realize that Mike had led her to find him. He knew that she would snoop on Deepak's phone which is exactly what she had done on the pretext of booking an Uber. When I didn't call his hotel room, he got the Thai girl to hurt me, she understood. But Manisha still wanted to punish him for the angst he had caused. She first checked if he had already taken the Thai girl to his room
“Can you check if the guest of Room 2057 is in his room?”
The receptionist confirmed that the keys of 2057 was with her. Manisha heaved a sigh of relief because it was unlikely that the Thai girl was a guest and that Mike would be in her room. She would most likely be one of Thailand's famous escort girls.
“Does the guest who left this gift know?” Manisha inquired.
“No, Ma’am. The error has just been discovered. We are waiting for the guest to return.”
“You should check the pub. And don’t tell that I told you to look there or that you gave this to me. Tell him that only now you placed it in my room,” Manisha said, leaving behind a generous tip.
Manisha returned to her room and left the main door ajar. Her heart throbbed with anticipation. She suppressed an urge to indulge in both her vices - cigarettes and whiskey - because Mike would not approve of it, unmindful of the fact that such commitment was unnecessary in a relationship that was supposed to be purely physical. Her room had an enthralling view of the sea, and she decided to wait in the balcony. Jets of foam sprang forth as the waves lashed against the shore. The sound provided companionship in her solitude. She closed her eyes and savored the sensation of the salty breeze on her skin.
She waited for what appeared like an eternity. Her hopes were beginning to fade when she felt a presence other than hers in the balcony. The sound of the seas had drowned the noise of his entering.
“You were late,” she said.
“I wanted to make sure you were alone.” He paused for a moment before continuing. “Please forgive me, Manisha, for hurting you so much. I am sure that you have figured it all out by now. I have always wanted to take you on a holiday, but you would not hear of it. This was the only way.”
Manisha allowed him to lead her back to the room. She felt glad about not changing her sexy dress because he seemed completely mesmerized.
“Why, Phuket?” she asked.
“I have always wanted to make love to you by the sea. This place is far from Delhi. You'd be safe," Mike explained.
He pointed at her dress and said, "Watching you like this with another man really turned me on." The envy in his tone pleased her, but she wanted to set him at ease. She felt goosebumps when his eyes savored her curvy body.
“If you are a voyeur, you missed your chance. I didn't sleep with him." she informed. Instantly, his face brightened.
"But would you want me to?" she teased.
He took in a deep breath. "What I saw there was good enough."
"Then let's get working on your other fantasy. You were talking about doing something to me by the sea." Her eyes sparkled with mischief.
He took her in his arms and kissed her.