10.2 Hakra Fair
11th June, his ship advanced through the passage to enter Farukolfushi lagoon between the barriers when a speedboat whizzed pass at full speed creating a hurdle of bow waves upending the liquor cases on the deck. This wave swept over the one metre barrier walls and it broke several bottles.
At one point, Muaz thought he saw the captain swinging the rudder in a deliberate effort to hit the wave and cause a mess to upend the cases and of course drink afterwards from written off spoilage. His big eyes rolled at the captain who gave him a middle finger.
Damages recorded and goods unloaded. Vessel was called to wait to clear the matter.
The speedboat carried the members of The Pink Sharks to play at Farukolfushi Resort that night. He was thrilled to stopover and watch the show. He did not carry a spare shirt or a toothbrush.
Muaz had dinner at the staff mess and the band members dined at the senior staff mess. After dinner, the band played at the conical bar. They were doing English songs, even covered Smoke on the Water.
He met the band members in a break and passed a comment about the lead piece.
Mannan replied, “I grinded,” meaning he picked it the hard way, “You do not have to play the exact notes. If the phrasing is similar, it is familiar to your ear. And it is always good to improvise.”
After the show, then it was one in the morning, they sat outside the bar drinking and smoking.
Salt invited, “Come for a swim, Muaz!”
“It is cold and dark out there,” Muaz protested.
“It doesn’t matter!”
At this point, they were topped up in drinks. Salt and Muaz walked pass the bungalows to No 49 and he went in to drop his clothes. Salt came out in white briefs. Again, Muaz had not seen him in briefs before.
Right outside their bungalow, Muaz dropped his shirt and both entered the water. Some light from a lamp post reached the waterline.
A while later, Salt said, “I go fetch a fag from my room. I won’t be long. Stay here!” He ran up the beach.
Muaz waited and waited in the water. It was like an hour. How could Salt not keep his word! He was a little confused at that point when he climbed from the water, picked his shirt from the beach and treaded towards 49. He had no other thought and did not come to do it right. Muaz flung the door open without knocking and ignoring the golden rule.
Salt was in bed in his white briefs and there was another guy.
“Why didn’t you come?” he asked.
He turned, tossed his legs and sat upright on the edge, dropped his chin, “What are you doing here?”
“I thought you asked me to wait?”
Muaz closed the door. He saw Salt fumbling with that nude guy in bed. A tall brown chap, he was Sonny – their sound boy.
Around three, they prepared to leave. All those wooden boxes of band instruments loaded to his boat.
Salt stepped up and whispered, “I’m sorry about that. Don’t mention to anyone.” He saw Sonny few steps away in the jetty lights watching with a cunning look on his face. “It’s just one time…”
“Cut it!” uttered Muaz and turned away. It made matters worse because now it became an issue. Salt might not know Bilqis Adam but Sonny did. Salt was unwittingly speaking for both.
When they touched Malé, they climbed down to Marine Drive. Mad, the keyboardist, vomited on the road. There was a white shirt police on his Yamaha motorcycle watching the band boys. Cops knew all those musicians gigging at the resorts and come back drunk in the night. They do not ask questions. They do not check them.
Muaz slipped into the lane where he parked his bike, put on his helmet, climbed on and rode away.
Mannan, Mad, Sonny and Salt marched home on foot with their bags. Salt carrying his bike and Sonny with him far behind.
As they passed the guard holding a rifle in front of Muli-Auge, Sonny uttered, “Sir! That boy is drunk. And he is carrying a bottle in his bag.”
Mad paced up and Mannan inflated in a chuckle, “Frisk him!”
Sonny returned, “He cannot leave his post. He is screwed!” Sonny stopped there to annoy the guard, “Can you really fire that thing?”
Mannan called, “Leave it and get going!”
“He is holding a rifle! I am sure he doesn’t know to shoot. He can’t even run after us. Come on! Catch me!” Sonny stomped his feet on the ground. The guard sighed and turned away trying to avoid him.
“Come back! Sonny!”
Muaz was very agitated. If Salt asked not to tell his wife, he could understand. When Salt said not to tell anyone – that includes Bilqis Adam. Muaz grew scarce at Salty Breeze.
Next day, he caught Bilqis outside SES, “Did you see Sonny?”
“Why you ask?” she enquired.
“Did he talk about me?”
“I did not see him,” she probably lied.
“Noxious! I saw him in bed with another guy!”
“Are you serious?” she muttered.
“He will tell you about this because he saw me.”
“Why is it my problem?” she asked.
“Because you are dating him.”
“I’m not dating him. I’m dating nobody.”
“How do you come to know him?”
“I’m not going to tell you!” she uttered bluntly.
“He must be an interesting character!”
“How did you see him with another guy?”
“I’m not telling you. Shall I drop you home!”
“Thank you,” she picked the silver glitter helmet he passed on.
“I can take you to Hakra Fair.”
“I have school,” she said putting it on her head.
“After eleven then.”
“Why after eleven?” he turned around to see the girl seated with both legs straddled on the sides in that little tennis dress.
“I have drama practice.”
“I will come to pick you from school.”
He kicked off and the girl sat on the high seat of the bike flaunting her bare buttocks. Anyone on the road, besides those two riders, could see her blue panties dug into the crack and round yellow glutes bouncing on the saddle.