Monday, February 18, 2013

The Translucent

When Jane arrived at the party, little did she know that her life was going to change forever. He was so transparent that she thought everything was perfect in his presence. It was a typical Summer s afternoon. And they had all been invited to the most happening party in the social circuit. A party at the Rover s house.The who s who of the city arrived in style and flaunted off their stones and Chanels. Every one wanted in on that party. A party where there was no black tie. But a party that offered fun enough for a lifetime. Barbecue and grill were two things that people looked forward to when they came to the Rover House.
Jane was an exception, though. All of 26 years old, strikingly beautiful and  ebullient , she felt she had better things to do than sit and grill chicken and pine apple. She was here at her step father s insistence. Her step father who had shown her a world that was as real as it could get. Jane was a no nonsense woman who worked for child welfare. She campaigned actively against child sexual abuse and child labour and was one of the most noted women in her fields.
So, when Jane made an appearance at the party on that fateful  day, she made more than one head turn. Every one wondered how this socially conscious and righteous soul had found the time to make it to a barbecue party. Mark, her step father came and embraced her in a bear hug. While Jane shared a fabulous chemistry with her step father, she was constantly at loggerheads with her mom. Well. That was life.
The party came to life within a few moments of Jane s arrival. People went crazy. Loud music rocked the grounds and yet all Jane could do was sit and stare at the gentleman who grilled a piece of steak at the far corner. Now, Jane was never the kind of woman who gave second looks to men. But this man was different.
He was having a good time. That she could see. But what she liked very much was the sight of so many children hounding him like he was a Santa. He made them laugh. Tickled them till they had tears in their eyes. He was telling them stories at some point of time. And then he had suddenly changed tack and had started imitating Charlie Chaplin. And the children were eating out of his hands in no time. He even made caricatures of all the kids around him. The children were drawn to him like a magnet. Needless to say, Jane too was attracted to him. Only Jane was attracted to him like a zombie. The happiness was too much around him. She couldnt bear it.
Her thoughts were interrupted by Mark. He had brought her a glass of wine and some barbecued chicken. Jane immediately realised that she hadnt eaten a morsel since morning and started tucking in hungrily. Mark filled her in on a campaign s progress. And while she ate, her mom came to stand by her side. Jane did away quickly with all the niceties. By the time, Jane had an empty plate and Mark had left, her mind wandered off again to the gentleman. When she turned around to spot him, she could see that all the children had gone off to play musical chair. There was one little girl who stood by his side and looked up to him with sad little eyes.
And then after an instant, the gentleman and the little girl walked away towards the house. Almost as if charmed, she started following him. The little girl was full of questions. She wanted to know where Mr.Trevor was taking her. She then learnt that his name was Mr.Trevor. As to his full name, she was yet to find out. She had made up her mind now to ask him by the end of the party. Of course, her mother would consider this rather unconventional. But then she could rely on Mark for support. While the little girl interrogated Mr.Trevor innocently on Charlie Chaplin, his beard and caricatures, Jane kept up with them and their conversation.
Suddenly, they came to a stop. Outside a locked door. And she could hear Mr.Trevor tell her that he was going to show her some brilliant magic. At this point, Jane s curiosity got the better of her and she followed them to the locked room. By the time, she reached the locked room, they were already inside.And she could hear muffled conversation between the duo.
That was when Jane spotted a window that was slightly ajar. She couldnt resist herself from peeping into see what more magic could this man weave with children. What she saw through that window left her dumbstruck.Surely a man who was such a charm couldnt do this. He couldnt do this to a little girl who had taken him completely in her trust.
She could hear the little girl crying for her mother. She could hear shouts of " I want mommy" between muffled sobs. And she could hear her telling Mr.Trevor to stop removing her clothes. This was not what Jane was prepared for. This surely was not how she imagined her to be. After all  her experience in the distorted world of abused children, she should have heard an alarm going off in her head. But no. She let her emotions get the better of her. And here she was, a witness to one more such instance. For the rest of the world, it was a mere number. A statistic printed on a report. But for her, it was her whole life and all her hard work.
Jane did not hesitate for a single moment. She collected herself quickly and knocked at the door.
A flustered Mr.Trevor came to see who it was. She pushed him aside, went in and scooped up the scared kid in her arms. She was about to run down the aisle when she realised that she did want to know his full name. So she only asked, " What s your name?" An awestruck Mr.Trevor replied back, " Jake Trevor".
She carried a wailing kid down the aisle and silently made a call to the police.
Jane had learnt one more valuable lesson that day. Transparency comes at a heavy cost. And it s ok to have a little translucence in life. Life went on for Jane. Only she dint trust men who drew caricatures for children any more.