Chapter Two: Rusty The Dusty


Couple of weeks back I put up the first chapter of my novel along with a prologue. Please read chapter 1 before proceeding with this.

Chapter 2
Rusty the Dusty

Rusty was not nice at all. No he was not! In fact, some guys (as you will see with Caramel) would call him a jerk. And this is precisely the reason why he has been given the role of a villain in our story. Our elders taught us that you should know your enemies as much as your friends. So even though Caramel is our friend and we need not bother ourselves too much with Rusty, we should take a short break from the story and know more about him.

Born and brought up in Bombay, Rusty was a major headache for his parents when he was a kid. He broke objects at home, beat up other boys in the neighborhood, regularly smashed window panes of the neighbours whenever he played cricket in the compound outside their house and got complaints from his school teachers about his indiscipline in class and low scores in tests. He bullied other weaklings in his class and bragged about himself in front of girls, making all the other boys mighty jealous of him. They complained regularly to the teachers about Rusty and the teachers, in turn, complained to his parents.

But in spite of him being a jerk since childhood, there was something about Rusty that made him irresistible to the girls of his school. Whatever the reason maybe, it was definitely not his looks. Even though he had an athletic body, he had an average face and even had a scar on his left cheek. He had got it at the age of five, when one day, while trying to run away from his mother, he had tumbled down the staircase in their house. He had to be hospitalized and received five stitches on his cheek, making it inaccessible for the kisses of the other girls in school. Though Rusty being Rusty, didn’t let that demoralize himself and decided he would get those kisses on his lips instead.

So what was the reason of Rusty’s charm? You could say, it was because he was a good cricketer. He was a regular member of his school cricket team and loved hitting sixes. Though he never became the captain of his team.

When he was in eighth standard his father confronted him one day about why he never tried becoming the captain of his team. Rusty shrugged his shoulders and said, “Why should I dad? Being a captain is so much responsibility. I am the best batsmen in the team and it suits me. All the girls love me when I hit those boundaries and sixes. What more could I ask for?”

His dad rolled over his eyes and decided it was best not to raise the issue again.

Or you could say it was because he was funny. Rusty had this gift of busting any girl’s silence barrier and making her laugh within seconds. And as we all know girls dig into funny guys. He learnt it in school and he became an expert at it when he went to college.

And if you are still wondering why Rusty is called Rusty the Dusty, you have to hear this story. After five years, it has become something of a legend in St. Patrick’s college, Rusty’s Alma Mater. It is alleged that one day, Rusty became so over confident of his abilities that he went to a girl who was a year senior to him and asked her, his hands on his hips, “I’ve seen you checking me out and I don’t like it at all. I want you to stop doing whatever you are trying to do.”

The girl, or the Princess, as her friends called her, couldn’t believe her ears that a first year guy had the audacity to speak to her like that. She turned away from her friends whom she was speaking to, turned towards Rusty in full confrontation mode and almost shouted, “What! How dare you talk to me like that? Who the hell are you anyway? Every boy in this college dreams of becoming my boyfriend, why should I check you out?”

Rusty smiled and said in a cocky voice, “I don’t know, maybe because you know that all the other boys are not upto it and you want a man like me. The way you are speaking, you do look frustrated.”

The Princess and her friends just stared at Rusty. It was hard to believe someone could insult The Princess, that too in front of her friends.

“You are an asshole, you know that?” Princess said, pointing her finger towards him.

“Tell me something I don’t know.” Rusty replied, tilting his head on one side and looking straight into her eyes, smiling.

Princess was clueless on how to deal with a guy who happily accepts being an asshole. And acts smug about it. How do you deal with such a person anyway?

“Don’t know?” Rusty was still provoking Princess. “In that case I will tell you something you don’t know.” With that he came closer to Princess, and even before she could react, he whispered in her left ear, “I can see that you are wearing a red underwear. Now I don’t mind it at all! In fact I like what I see! But I am sure you don’t wanna go around all over the campus showing everyone what you’ve got inside your pants, do you? Oh, by the way, your zipper is down.”

As Princess, the great Princess, fumbled down to pull up the zipper, Rusty walked away without saying a word more. After he had walked about fifteen steps, he turned around and looked at Princess flashing a smile. Princess couldn’t help smiling back at him. Her friends kept on begging her to tell them what happened and what did rusty tell her, but all she did was laugh her guts out and said nothing.

Not much is known about what exactly happened after that, but the next Saturday afternoon, when all the classes were in full swing, Rusty was seen coming out of the canteen with Princess who was holding his hands and almost dragging him along. Apparently, they were going towards the college guest house which was on the far end of the play ground, near the boundary wall.

“What?” Rusty was saying, sounding irritated, “What do you want from me now? You called me an asshole last week, you have been following me since then, today you called me to the canteen because you wanted to talk to me and now that I have come, leaving my class, you are dragging me to God knows where? What’s wrong with you Princess?”

“I seriously don’t know Rusty,” Princess replied, sounding genuinely helpless. “I don’t know what’s happening to me. I tried so hard not to talk to you again. But I just can’t take you off my mind! It makes no sense!”

“I bet it doesn’t.” Rusty said as they went to the backside of the guest house facing the boundary. “So you brought me to this haunted guest house to tell me you’re going crazy about me?”

As he said this they both entered the narrow alley that separated the college boundary wall and the back of the guest house. They stopped in front of a door. It was the back door and at that moment they were invisible to the rest of the souls in the campus.
Princess turned towards Rusty, looked into his eyes mischievously and said smiling, “That day you said you liked what you saw inside my pants. I hope you haven’t changed you mind, ‘cause I’m gonna show you more today.”

“I am not sure Princess.” replied Rusty, smiling, “I have to see the whole thing before I give my approval.” His smile was wicked, really wicked.

Well then, everything happened in a jiffy after that. The key to the door materialized out of the back pocket of Princess, the door creaked open and both of them entered the dark room, locked in a passionate kiss. And then, well, they just went for it! Don’t expect me to give you the full details here, but the college guard, who was roaming around the ground aimlessly, thought he heard strange sounds coming from the back room of the guest house. His first impulse was to scoot, since he had heard the stories of the guest house being haunted. But good sense prevailed over him and after debating with himself for a few minutes, decided to find out the source of the sounds.

Rusty and Princess, on the other hand, had just finished the job at hand and were enjoying a relaxed, post coital conversation while putting their clothes on.

“I’ve just had the best half hour of my life!” said Princess kissing Rusty on his back and putting her arms around his shoulder.

“I know how to take care of my girl,” said Rusty, turning back and kissing Princess on her forehead, “especially if she is a princess.”

But the pillow-talk ended abruptly when they heard a male voice, and a pair of hands clapping frantically.

“Oh shit!” panicked Princess, “it’s the guard. Let’s get out of here! Fast!”

“The guard is there,” said, Rusty, apparently at ease. “We can’t get out through the door. We have to go to the first floor and keep quiet. Don’t scream!”

Both of them fumbled with their clothes, bumped into things while making their way to the staircase to go upstairs, and somehow made it to the first floor. There were rooms on both the sides of the staircase, and a window in the front which was diagonally above the back door they had come. Just below the window was a huge trash bin. The window was closed tight and everything was dark there.

“I am coming to get you, whoever you are,” came a voice from below, “and I am not afraid of you. I’m telling you I am not afraid of you.”

“The old bugger is coming this way only.” said Rusty, alarmed. “We will have to get out of this window. It’s not that high.”

“What! Are you …” Rusty shut her mouth with his hands and before she could say anything more, opened the window slightly, made Princess stand on the window sink and said, “Move a little to the right and then jump. Be careful to avoid the trash bin.”

The light from the open window attracted the old guard and he started shouting and began running up the staircase, “You rascal! I will not let you run away! Wait I am coming to get you!”

And then, lot of things happened together.

Princess jumped towards her right from the window narrowly avoiding the trash bin. She sprained her ankle in the process, but scampered away to safety before the guard or anyone else could spot her. Rusty panicked and jumped straight into the dustbin, snatching himself away from the clutches of the guard who had managed to get hold of his shirt. And the guard, seeing that this was no ghost, finally got the courage to blow his whistle and raised an alarm, shouting “Thief! Thief!”

Within seconds, two other guards had come and were pulling rusty out of the bin. By the time Rusty managed to pull himself up, and come into full public view, a crowd had gathered near the scene. Students from the classes on the ground floor came running and eager to see the “thief,” they all got a shock when they saw rusty lumbering along, accompanied by three guards, covered in trash from head to toe. Right then, one of the more poetical boys in the crowd had a brainwave and shouted,

“Covered in dirt, the thief emerges, looking all misty!
Make way, welcome him, for here comes Rusty the Dusty!”

Well, that was it! That was the moment when Rusty became Rusty the Dusty. He was not handed over to police for theft because nothing was found on him even after full body search but he was suspended for a week for trespassing on college property. Rusty happily used the time to make a trip to Goa with his friends. But nobody could figure out what exactly Rusty was doing in the haunted guest house that afternoon.

So even though Rusty was humiliated publicly and other guys, who were jealous of him, couldn’t stop chanting his new nickname, Rusty had the last laugh because he had got the hottest girl on campus.

As for the nickname Rusty didn’t exactly mind it. In fact, after some time, it sort of grew on him and he enjoyed being called Rusty the Dusty. Very soon he gave himself a new look, now known as the rusty look: scraggy hair, unshaven chin, unkempt clothes and domineering attitude slightly bordering on rudeness. He told everyone that his new look went along nicely with his new name. Rusty’s reputation as a jerk was firmly established amongst the boys and so was his reputation as a lover, amongst the girls. Apparently, a girl was going around telling her friends that Rusty was awesome in bed, was not really a jerk and was, in fact, a closet romantic.

Enough of the villain! Now let’s get back to the hero and his object of devotion.

“So you like Rusty!?” Caramel was dejected and surprised at the same time. “How can you fall for such a jerk?”

“He is not a jerk! Who told you that?”

“Everybody says that.”

“Everybody?”

“Well, mostly the guys.”

“That’s because they are all jealous of him.”

“Jealous of him! Why would they be jealous of him?”

“Because he is smart, interesting and funny.”

“Funny!! He is not funny! He is rude and flirts shamelessly with every other girl.”

“Thats why they all like him. Because he praises us and makes us feel good about ourselves. And they are all jealous of me because he likes me the most.”

“What’s wrong with you Frooty! You don’t like me, that I can accept. But you and Rusty, that is completely unacceptable!”

“Caramel, don’t get me wrong. It’s not that I don’t like you. I like you. You are a nice guy! And you are a very dear friend. But I don’t see you that way.”

Caramel felt like shouting his guts out and tell Frooty that he wanted to be her boyfriend, not just a nice friend! But he kept quiet.

“I am sorry Caramel,” said Frooty, breaking the uncomfortable silence after some time. “But will you promise me something?”

“What?” Caramel managed to ask, his voice choking.

“I don’t want to lose a friend like you. Will you promise me that you will not let this spoil our friendship?”

Caramel kept quiet and gave a smile as a sign of his approval. Frooty felt relieved. She couldn’t see the pain behind the smile.

Poor Caramel! Now that he was branded nice, did he have any other option?

“I’ll leave now,” Frooty said, getting up from her chair. “Rusty must be waiting for me.”

“So you are in a hurry because you are going to meet Rusty?” Caramel asked the obvious question.

“Yes, we are going the spend the evening in Bandra and the night at his place!” Frooty said, suddenly getting excited. “He has arranged for a dinner at his home. He has cooked the food himself! So romantic, isn’t it?”

“Yes,” Caramel, said, shaking his head in disbelief. “Very romantic! Is there something I can do for you?”

“Yes!” exclaimed Frooty. Caramel’s sarcasm was lost on her, or she chose to ignore it. “You can give me a ride on your bike and take me to Bandstand.”

Caramel made a contorted face and said, “Sure! Why not! Yes, I will drive you to Rusty and you will spend the evening and the night with him in his flat! Excellent plan! Let’s go!”

Poor Caramel, he couldn’t even show his anger and frustration. After all, he was the nice guy.

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