A man with a gambling problem is stranded in India
|Fool In The Rain
“Listen man I’m telling you, with skills like that you’ll make the money back in no time.” Said Toby, in a thick Danish accent vigorously running his fingers through his sweaty yellow hair.
The smoke of cheap cigarettes mixed with a tang of cheap whisky floated all around Charles hugging him. He was alone except for this Toby fellow which he had met at the electronics conference. He had felt like such a fake there the whole time. Everybody else was showing off amazing robotics and he and Cheesy Darren were presenting a mop. And one that broke down all the time at that.
The hustle bustle of this small over packed bar in southern Jharkhand, India was comforting. She had left him. He had loved her and now his heart was broken and aching so badly he felt he was about to explode. Even though she was right. She had left him because he was an idiot, a stupid fucking idiot gambler who lost all their money gambling.
Three aces made his heart thump. On the other side across the table and across his last remaining money, sat Kumar. An Indian guy who Toby said agreed to play for money. Kumar’s cards sat flat in front of him. He was checking them again and again which meant either he thought he had something really good or really bad.
“The dumbass Indian doesn’t know shit about this game.” Said Charles smiling at Toby and added “All in.” looking Kumar straight in the eyes.
Toby looked away not knowing how to react to that racist remark. It reminded him of his grandfather which he had loved, who was a raging alcoholic racist. He did not love him because of those two traits. Or did he. He was never sure why he had loved him.
The noise was ear bursting. Charles thanked God for that because he couldn’t stand his own thoughts at the moment. He was gambling to make money back he had lost at gambling and maybe get her back. First he had to make enough money for a plane ticket back home from this filthy country. Without begging Cheesy Darren for the cash. And after the fight they had in front of “potential clients” as Darren had stated. And after Darren had laid him off here, in India and also added that “He should fuck off and buy his own plane ticket back home.” Maybe punching Darren in the face was a bad idea but it felt so damn good.
“You’d of thought they would already get air conditioning by twenty nineteen. It’s like an eighties movie in here everybody’s sweating.” Said Toby.
The big Indian laid down his cards one by one smiling. Then he spoke with a charming Indian accent. “I say, this dumbass Indian has just taken all your money. Or maybe you think I should say, Thank you! Come again! Huh American?” Then he broke out laughing deeply.
Charles saw the last of his money swept up by that fiend and his face turned ashen grey. It was over, he knew it and he began to weep a deep swelling rolling cry. He had not cried since childhood and it felt terrible. Toby was patting him on the back telling him everything would be fine which made it worse.
Kumar had never seen an American cry before, let alone a racist asshole like this one. It intrigued him. He was reminded of his father, also a broken man, a gambler who had eventually taken his own life. He walked over to the other side of the table. “Come on. I want to invite you to my home. You can be my guests for tonight.”
They walked outside, these three strangers. It was raining. A thought suddenly occurred to Charles that this might be a good beginning for a joke. An Indian, an American and a Danish guy walk into a bar. He began laughing.
Kumar looked at Charles, seeing the rain drench the laughing American fool was an uplifting sight to behold. He began laughing infectiously.
Toby looked at the two soaked laughing men. His life was a dull thing and this felt like just the adventure he was looking for when he saw the American fighting with his boss at the conference. “What fools in the rain we are!” He began laughing as well.
Word count 730