12-Peeling Onions With Amir Mehdi

You get used to it, no matter how bad the situation is, no matter how much you have to pay for it, you have to in the end. It’s nothing new to us humans. You have to get used to it to survive.

My journey with the comrades was taking a turn towards the point. Too many surprises were already in queue for my delicate digestive system. I knew more were on the way. It was time to steer into the flow. Amir Mehdi struck me as the odd one out. He was the only one who hadn’t had a fling with communism. In fact he was the only one who openly denounced the system. I sat with Amir in the back of the Jeep. I still couldn’t understand how Trauer could have come up with this car with custom right hand steering.

“Sabir told me all about the way he duped you.” I tried to start a conversation with him. I had learned that he was not the one who would be bothered by such intimate transgressions.

“So he did. It means he trusts you. Don’t you like it when some one considers you worthy of trust?” he was still trying desperately to make me feel important. That was his trick, his only social skill, to make the other guy feel important and wanted. He was succeeding by the way.

“I don’t know, I would think twice about telling a secret of a friend to a person I barely know.” I was still on the defensive. To me privacy was as important to a person as the oxygen he or she breathes.

“Oh he knows plenty about you, plenty to decide to talk about his life choices.”

“How can one decide to make such decisions so fast?” I asked.

“Do you realize you’re asking the same question again and again?” Amir reversed my question.

“Maybe I am. Then again, there isn’t much to talk about.” I scratched my head.

“OK. Let me tell you another story then.” he smiled.

“Is it any more shocking than Sabir’s revelation?” I asked.

“That my friend, is a perspective thing. Well lets fast forward, a few months after Sabir told me that he was Lady Moon Lake, I got worried for him. I mean, the thing that stuck in my head was the efeminate nature of the chat. The person I was chatting with was sweet and sensitive, Sabir was sweet but in a much different way.

“It got me thinking. What could have been the reason for Sabir to befriend me like this. It made no sense. I could be a random prey, but the reason he preyed upon me could not be random. I don’t believe in coincidences when it comes to human nature.

“I sat on his computer and started sifting through his inbox and social networking accounts. The guy trusted me with his password and I took the liberty of going through his laundry. I was in for a surprise. There was girl who had the nick of Lady Moon Lake. All the mails sent by her were in the junk folder but they hadn’t been cleaned. It was as if he didn’t have the guts to delete them wholly. Something in your inbox is just one click away. Something in your recycle bin takes only two clicks, if you know what I mean.

“I stared at the e-mails. I mean they were hundreds of them. My hands trembled and I clicked on one of them. I was shocked. At first I thought that these were the mails he had sent me, then I noticed that the dates and places had been changed. Just to be clear, Lady Moon Lake was the nick Sabir had used to chat with me. This other Lady Moon Lake was the nick of some one Sabir had been talking to a month before he contacted me. On close inspection I found a few replies from Sabir. Things were making sense. Maybe Moon Lake was the nick of some one who had fooled Sabir, just the way he fooled me. But this original “Moon Lake” was different in some way I could not understand. It turned out that after finishing the affair with the real Moon Lake, Sabir got bonkers in his head and used her e-mails to shatter other weaklings like myself. Almost psychopathic, this attitude, but by the time he cooled down he realized he had hurt someone all for nothing. That is when he asked The Russian to be his body guard as he set me free.

I racked my brains with the correspondence. They were definitely original. They numbered in the hundreds and spanned all human emotions known. Happiness, grief, anger, disappointment, fear and jealousy. At some point Sabir’s point of view changed. When the correspondence started, he was confident and imposing. Later on he assumed the role of a heart broken lover. A sort of lover who is not liked or tolerated because of his lack of self esteem. A person who sinks in the quick sand of self loathing with every rejection. The persona of the globe trotting Sabir, who was so experienced with politics and technology, melted down to an insecure wreck as I read more of his replies.”

“Then what did you do?” I asked.

“I went after Lady Moon Lake. I wanted to know how a women can change a man so much.” he smiled.

“Don’t tell me her address was there in the hard drive, waiting to be found?” The stories didn’t add up for me.

“No, I found references to a restaurant and a telephone company office. Their frequent use was anomalous. I had one of my drug reps canvass the addresses.”

“How were you sure that the Moon Lake would still go to the same restaurant?” I asked.

“Simple, the office and the restaurant were close by, the time they met were during office hours and the first mention of the restaurant was in Moon Lakes emails. Obviously this meant that she was the first one to suggest the place. He canvassed, and spare me for sounding creepy but by canvass I mean he followed employees who visited the restaurant regularly. He came up with a hand full of leads. 4 to be exact.”

“Interesting! How did you narrow them down?” I was genuinely impressed. Even if he wasn’t a professional spy, he sure thought like one.

“Simple, 3 of them always went to lunch together. One always went alone and dressed soberly. I went to the restaurant a couple of times and she matched the description in the e-mails. In fact she was exactly how I pictured her to be.” he took a deep sigh.

“Then what?” I insisted. I wasn’t going to let up on a good story.

His smile broadened his gaze fell to the floor, I imagined he’d be blushing too but it was too dark was to tell.

“Then I fell in love, again.” he said in an almost inaudible whisper.

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