Humour & satire

And You Wonder How My Partner Changed

Mahmoud Akbari Dolatabad

And You Wonder How My Partner Changed

Reading:

The Metro Station

The metro station was crowded with people waiting for the train. When it arrived, all of the seats were taken and there was nowhere left to sit; a large number of passengers were standing in the aisle. Amid the throng was a middle-aged man, whose eyes came to rest on a young woman standing in the aisle. The man, staring at her, observed her with predatory desire. Meanwhile, a youth attempted to exploit the opportunity presented by the overcrowding to open the woman’s bag and remove something from it. He performed this act with precision and skill, and in such a way that nobody noticed. Nobody, that is, apart from one person; none other than the middle-aged man who was keeping the woman constantly in his gaze.
Given the crowd, the young woman noticed nothing until the train arrived at the station, when she realised that the flap of her bag was open. Looking inside the bag, she saw that her purse was no longer in there, and shouted, “My purse, someone’s taken my purse!”
At that same instant, the young thief, who had the woman’s purse in his hand, swiftly disembarked the train. The young woman got out in pursuit of him, along with the middle-aged man, who followed behind her in pursuit of them both. The thief fled at a fast pace and the young woman couldn’t catch up with him, but as the middle-aged man reached her, he said, “You stay here, I’ll go after him.”
The woman stayed where she was. The man went rapidly after the thief, and, after a brief struggle, succeeded in retrieving the purse. He then returned to the young woman and handed the purse back to her. The woman took it, thanked him, and left. But the man went after her and followed her home. Having arrived back at her house, she got out her keys and opened the door. When she got inside and went to close the door, the man wedged his foot in it and said, “Listen lady, can’t you ask me in?”
The woman replied in astonishment, “What for?”
“Well, I was telling myself you might want to pay me back for the favour I did for you today.”
“I said thank you. I’ll thank you again: I’m very grateful that you got back my stolen purse for me,” said the woman.
As she said this, she tried to shut the door, but the man had already made it into the house, and immediately closed the door behind him, saying: “Hey, I don’t think so. A dry, empty thank you is no use!”
The woman, uncomfortable and a little angry, said: “What do you expect me to do? Do you want me to give you all the money you got back from that thief ?”
The man, gazing with hooded eyes at his prey, indicated the woman’s chest with his eyes and said: “Why don’t you make some use of these gifts from God?”
The woman, by now aware of the evil intentions of the man, said with anger and loathing, “If I’d known you were one of those disgusting types, I would never have let you help me get my purse back. Go on, get out of my house, right now.”
Saying this, the woman moved towards the door. She opened the door, and again shouted, “Get out, now!”
The man slowly and quietly walked towards the door. When he reached the door, he suddenly shut it again, and forcibly seized the woman in an embrace, saying, “I’m not leaving this house until I get my way with you.”
As the woman tried to free herself from his grip, she said, “You brute, do you have any idea what you’re doing? I’m a married woman, let me go, damn you.”
The struggle between them intensified.
“No, I can’t let you go,” the man said. “I’ll finish what I started.”
During the fray, the woman did at one point manage to escape momentarily from the man’s clutches, but he immediately grabbed her again and tried to get in a position to be able to rape her.
Parts of the woman’s clothes were torn in the struggle, and the man gradually came to feel that nothing now stood between him and what he wanted to do.
Suddenly there was the sound of the door opening. This gave the woman hope. She knew it was her husband, Paul, coming back. As soon as he entered the house, hearing the racket, Paul went straight for the stranger and laid into him. There was a struggle between the two, during which the stranger got in a few hits on Paul, and Paul managed to land a punch or kick himself. As the fight moved into the kitchen, Paul asked his wife, “Who is this guy?”
“Some scum who took me for a street whore,” she said.
The two men stood with their guards up, and circled around the table and appliances, both looking for the right moment to attack.
Paul said, “So you’re scum, then, are you? And you wanted to play with some other scum? Listen, scum. If we’re playing at being scum, I’ll show you I can be more scum-like than you can any day.”
On hearing this the man roared, “Damn you, I’ll strangle you!”
After a moment’s struggle he managed to get his hands around Paul’s neck and started to squeeze.
Paul, who could not easily free himself, felt around with his hand for something with which to strike him. He wanted a glass, a plate, or something like that, and his hand came to rest on a frying pan handle.
Paul picked up the frying pan and brought it down with all his might on the man’s head. With the blow, the man fell to the ground. A horrified silence reigned for a few moments, and then Paul said, “So, we’re done then? I think the war’s over!”
The woman quickly ran towards the man to see if he was still alive. She lifted his arm, then let it go. The arm dropped lifelessly to the f loor, and, imagining him perished, she turned to Paul saying, “The war’s over all right, because he’s dead!”
“What? You mean the man I killed is dead?! But don’t you hit me all the time with that frying pan when we fight? How am I not dead then?”
The woman said, “First of all, we don’t fight all the time, only sometimes.”
Paul said, “Yeah, only six times a week, and there’s only one day we haven’t been fighting, because I haven’t been coming home.”
“Secondly,” the woman went on, “I don’t always hit you on the head with the frying pan!”
“Ok, sometimes you hurl plates or dishes in my direction like flying saucers. Of course, as your aim has never been that good, I’m still in one piece.”
“Thirdly, I hit you on the head with this little frying pan, not that big one. I always tried to hit you so it didn’t hurt.”
“It did hurt.”
“It didn’t hurt.”
“Woman, the way you hit me I just about stayed alive, but it hurt all right.”
“I never hurt you.”
“Look, the frying pan didn’t hit your head. It hit mine. It’s up to me to say whether it hurt. Not you! And it hurt.”
“It didn’t,” the woman said again.
“I’m telling you it hurt.” Then Paul said suddenly in a choking voice, “Carolin!”
Her voice also choked, Carolin said, “Paul!”
Paul said, “So now what do we do with this body?”
As he said this, he began to cry, saying, “I didn’t mean to kill him. He was trying to rape you and he wanted to strangle me. I only wanted to escape and get him away from us.” Still holding the frying pan, he looked at it, saying, “I never thought a person could be killed with a frying pan.”
“Well, now it’s happened. We’d better tell the police,” Carolin said.
Hearing the word “police,” Paul was terrified, and said, “Police? No! If we tell the police they’ll arrest me, and I’ll be behind bars for the rest of my life.”
Carolin said, “Well, what did you think? That they’d give you a bunch of flowers for messing him up like that?”
“A bunch of flowers? No way. I’m saying that if you call the police, Carolin, we’ll be the ones who get messed up. Got it?”
“Ok, so we would get messed up. But what should we do with the body then, I’d like to know?”
Paul thought a little and said: “Ok. Let’s wait until it gets dark, and then we’ll take it outside the city and bury it. What do you reckon?”
“I think…” Suddenly the doorbell rang. “I think there’s someone at the door!”
They both shot a look at the corpse and then looked at each other. The doorbell rang again.
Carolin said, “Aren’t you going to open the door?”
“No.”
“Ok, then I’m going to open it.”
Paul, who had still been in a state up until that moment, suddenly came to his senses and said, “No, don’t you go either! If someone sees the body what’ll happen then? We’d better hide it somewhere first.”
“Ok, but where?”
The doorbell rang again.
“How about the bathroom?” said Paul. “Let’s put him in the bathroom!”
“OK, but be quick.”
“Yeah, go and get a stretcher.”
Carolin got up and went to get a stretcher, suddenly realised they didn’t have one, and said, “Hey, is this some kind of hospital? Why would we have a stretcher?”
“What, don’t we have one? Ok, we’ll make one. It’s simple. Have we got a sheet?”
“Yes,” said Carolin.
“Ok, you get the sheet, and I’ll get those wooden curtain rods to go on either side of it,” Paul said, heading off.
He took down the curtain rods and brought them back. With Carolin’s help, he lay the sheet flat and wrapped it around the rods, making something resembling a stretcher. Once they had rolled the corpse onto the sheet, they each took hold of an end. Then Paul said, “Are you ready?”
“Yeah, I’m ready,” said Carolin.
“I’ll count to three, then we’ll lift it. One, two, three.”
They lifted the rods, but because of the weight of the corpse and the lightness of the wood the body didn’t leave the floor; the rods just bent in the middle. The doorbell sounded again. Each time they heard the bell, the couple became more and more anxious.
Paul said, “One of those beds! We’ve got a camp bed, the one we use for guests. We’ll carry him on that. What do you think?”
“Right. I’ll go and get it.” Carolin brought back a folding metal bed, and immediately they applied themselves to setting it up. Then they tried to get the corpse onto it, which was no easy task, as the body was heavy, and the bed was above f loor level. It was an old bed, too, and its springs were sticking out. With great difficulty, they managed to heave the body onto the bed by the waist. It lay across the bed, perpendicular to it, so that its head and feet hung off either side. This tired them out.
“Ok, let go of him,” Paul said quietly. “We’ll take him like that.”
To start with, it seemed as though they would be able to get the body out of the kitchen and into the bathroom. When they picked up the bed, the front end of the bed passed through the door, but when they got to the part where the body was, it wouldn’t fit through. The shoulders and head on one side and the feet on the other would not allow the bed to pass.
“I think we’ll have to tilt it, so it goes through,” said Paul.
They tilted the bed, and it passed through. The body nearly fell off, but as one of the bedsprings had snagged the corpse’s clothes, it stopped it from falling off. However, the spring made the body bounce up and down, with the head dangling nearer and nearer the ground until Paul finally attempted to detach the spring. But he caught its sharp tip with his finger, hurting it. He put his finger in his mouth and tried again. This time, Carolin got involved. She shifted the body forwards, trying at the same time to pull it in such a way as to allow Paul to remove the spring. On this attempt, the corpse’s trousers tore from behind, and Carolin and the body both crashed into the wall.
The spring was detached now, at least, but the body had come to rest in Carolin’s arms.
Paul, seeing the corpse in her embrace, cried in astonishment, “Carolin! Let go of that lump!”
They had to start again, repeating their efforts in various ways and failing each time. At one point, they had just positioned the body properly on the bed, and Carolin and Paul were standing back to back, all ready to pick the bed up and carry it. But then they moved off in opposite directions, so it fell on the floor again!
Finally, Paul put the bed to one side and decided to carry the body over his shoulder. He did so, but as he passed the door, his foot caught in the sheet and he fell, with both bodies ending up on the ground.
Observing this scene, Carolin said, “Nope, you’re not up to this. This is a job for me.”
Carolin got the body up into a piggyback, but she too caught her foot in something and fell, landing in such a way that she lay on her back with the body on top of her, exactly as though they were having sex. Seeing this, Paul said, “Carolin! What exactly are you up to now?”
“Paul, could you get this lump off me?”
“This guy wanted to rape you when he was alive, and it looks like he’s still got the same idea,” said Paul, as he rolled the body off Carolin.
“Phew,” said Carolin, “I couldn’t breathe, I was suffocating under him.”
“When this guy was alive, and he wanted to rape you, I could at least kill him, but what can I do now he’s already a corpse? At least let me hit him on the head again with this frying pan, so he doesn’t think that just because he’s dead he can do whatever he likes.” Saying this, Paul hit the corpse on the head with the frying pan.
Immediately following the blow, the doorbell rang, but this time, it seemed to sound for longer.
Carolin and Paul, both exhausted and afraid, once again looked at the body, each other, and then towards the door, then once again at each other.
Paul said, “Forget it. Couldn’t the two of us drag this lump of a body along the floor?”
Saying this, he put his hands under the corpse’s shoulders, and said to Carolin, “You take his legs. We’ll drag him to the bathroom along the ground.”
They dragged the body a little way, but then once more both of them tangled their feet in something, and Paul fell to the ground, whilst Carolin fell onto the body, her face landing on the corpse’s, as though she was about to kiss him.
“Carolin, are you ok?” said Paul. Then, getting up and seeing Carolin in this position, he asked, astonished, “Carolin! What are you doing?”
Carolin raised her head from the body at this point and sat up on the corpse. Again, her position sitting astride the body was rather sexual. Carolin said, “I think I caught my foot on something and fell over.”
“Ok, great, now, get up off that damn lump.”
Finally Carolin got up from the corpse and with Paul’s help, bit by bit dragged the body into the bathroom. There Carolin noticed the blood that had started to ooze onto the corpse’s face. Paul, who had not noticed, said, “Finally we’re ok. Great, so now I’m going to go and open the door.”
“No!” said Carolin. “Wait! Look there, there’s blood! It’s coming from his nose.”
Paul came back and looked at the body, and said, “So! The dead man’s got a nosebleed, has he?!”
Then they saw the trail that the corpse had left along the ground, all the way to the bathroom. Its route had been stained the colour of blood. The sound of the doorbell rang out once more.
Carolin said, “Before we open the door, we’ve got to get rid of the bloodstains.”

Format: 13.5 x 21.5 cm
Number of Pages: 140
ISBN: 978-3-99064-583-3
Release Date: 04.06.2019
GBP 18,10
GBP 10,99