Chapter 17 the others
Johan sits in his own room, texting. Texting in no particular order: Katia, Lucy, Claire, Kinta, Paul and his brother Joe, Tom. They are Just friends, but there is no way that Lucy can see that, She is so paranoid it is drained the life out of him. What is the point of being together if he can’t make her see that. Her interfering friends are getting the better of her too. They act as if they want to help her, but he’s not so sure, why stop her from being with someone who loves her. Likes her a lot at least. That stupid bitch he thinks, how dare she come around here and talk to me like that. Katie agreed to meet him, it’s not his fault not his fault, it is its is nuts.
Alice is a bitch. His dad is a bastard, he will marry who he wants, but she will wear a saree.
Except he knows that he has lost before his life even began, they will dictate everything that he is and everyone that he loves.
But his thoughts turn to Asher Rajesh, the girl he had wanted to marry in wonderful India. They were friends at school. He had been a prefect; a faded photo remained on his mantelpiece. Her family were somehow too picky about his father’s relatively new wealth despite their standing in the church and felt that he was too naughty for their daughter. Naughty, I mean too rebellious, he had to re-sit an exam! ha-Ha that was it that was it, bitter I might be bitter yes. Where is she right now, flirting, flicking her hair, acting innocent like she did with me yeah right. She is losing it she can’t remember what the hell is what. People laugh at her.
She has worked her bloody her magic. Except to will have been her brother, he is the one with the balls that little chucklee wouldn’t do a thing.
The frame, garishly declared that he was a ‘Good Friend’. Asher could be seen to be smiling, on the photograph. She is now married to a suitable man in another big city, not so far away that Johan can’t cheat with her. She is not his though at it makes him sad. He wasn’t always such a bastard he muses. But he finds all this very funny. So very funny. Did she really think she’d have a chance with me? He, who never fails an exam, He who can have anyone he wants and who torments all those who cross his path.
But really, secretly, he is in fact a lake of gold, molten gold. No one yet knows this. One-day he will be the precious metal he deserves and that metal is gold, how cheesy. That should be it. But for now, but for now, she has to pay for offending him. She was rude to him. Why should he hold back, she’s a bitch! His mates will get this. They will know what its like too. One day . He isn’t the only one.
The next day he gets a facebook message from her, she told him that she’d always loved him and that she was sorry. But she was still married. He feels empty, unable to speak. He picks up the phone to call Lucy and thinks of all of the things he had said to her and how much worse it would be for her when she learnt that his Dad did not want her in their family. Alice might be pregnant too. He thinks about her chubby face looking at him as if he could solve any problem the world might set and he cannot call her. She rings incessantly looking for answers leaving him tearful messages.
There are other messages on that phone.
Some from men who film women without their knowledge, who he knew from some days miss spent and other men who are so pumped up on roids that they will kick any one in for a grand. But mostly the calls are form his Dad asking him to return to Kerala to organize his wedding.
The watch, bought with so much hope and a forlorn wish to make him see, is put in the box and discarded under the bed.
He decides that night that he has to learn to hack in a new way. He had been put off as a teenager by the news that his friend who was studying at UCL had been questioned for an alleged crime under the unauthorized access offences, the actus reus of the offence is that the accused ‘causes a computer to perform any function’, this is drafted so as to avoid only catching those who have physical contact with a computer.
A remote hacker would therefore be liable to be found guilty of an offence also, if caught.
‘ Johan, your mother is worried, we have to pay so many bills and the business is being affected, those bastards are trying to confiscate our plantations, the tea plantation is very important to this family you know.’ Just learn what you can, please but be careful Do not get caught.
His Father is a dominant force. He wants Johan to uncover who it is that has been leaking secrets about their family to their enemies. He has heard a rumour in New Delhi that in fact a private investigator has been hired to snoop around their bins and that in some way, a cousin of theirs in Birmingham is being looked for. No one has made any direct threats, this is all Jus the rumour mill. Information passed back as between the different villages and towns. Passed on by frequent air travelers who have a kurnel of knowledge that they will pass up for a few drinks and a pat on the back.