Gus liked Thiri, and despite him being slightly swarthy and oriental in appearance, a look he normally would not trust, he did, implicitly. Thiri had become his closest friend, confidante and support. Gus accepted Thiris's dark moods, black as pitch. He knew and forgave that he was pretentious beyond belief and vain as a teenage girl, constantly preening and obsessing about his appearance. He adored that his friend was a creature of sartorial elegance, deep-voiced, highly eloquent and unafraid, so unlike himself. Thiri walked with an air of grace; languine legs stretching each sinewy muscle even at the pace of poured treacle. He stared with authority causing adversaries to cower in submission. He commanded respect, attention, affection and always received it. Even she, cow-towed to his every whim, caressed his body with a tenderness Gus had never seen but longed to feel. Yes Thiri was what he wanted to become, someone to emulate and imitate. He'd like her hands upon his body, tapered fingers through his hair, her lips upon his cheek he craved such love even for a fleeting moment but he repulsed her and knew not why. He'd tried so hard to please.
His senior by 12 years, Thiri possessed a worldly, calm, almost sage demeanour. A sanguine diplomat his Svengali influence hung huge over his diminutive prodigy. The two friends had become ‘tight’ almost intimate with each other yet neither was gay. Their relationship was sometimes physical without being sexual, as one stroked the other with gentleness and affection. They wrestled on the floor, made chase in the sunshine. They’d even shared a bed on occasion for warmth and comfort, companionship. Bodies entwined but not aroused. Such was the closeness and connection between them.
The elder advised the younger on the ways of the world and the minutia of life: How to hone his many wiles, how to win over the opposite sex, how to prepare a nutritious meal, how to voice an opinion assertively and with a voice that demanded to be heard. He’d warned him about life’s tests, the 'predators' and 'stalkers'. He'd told Gus whom to trust and of what he should be wary. Yes, he’d been a mentor to his constant companion and for that Gus was grateful. Thiri was an incredible friend, trustworthy and true.
As a stranger introduced, Gus' place in the household had never been secure, just little more than a half way house until he 'found his feet' and through necessity he was adept at avoiding conflict. He tried so hard to retain the status quo despite the overwhelming urge to rebel on occasion when his lust or love or sheer instinct fought to be released - like any male, he had 'urges' after all. There was one issue that perturbed him yet he'd lacked the courage to broach the subject, even with Thiri. He never understood why Thiri's companion, the woman with the smooth caress, disliked him so much.
His ostracism wasn't the worst of it, nor the hanging offence, it was his one loss of control that sealed his fate. He'd stood mesmerised when the visitor entered their illustrious home. She was older, that didn’t faze him, slender and to be frank he can’t really remember her face or even her voice but something akin to love washed over him like a warm and wondering wave, he was smitten, suffocated, obsessed, impassioned beyond control. He first noticed the coat. A stunning full-length fur, rich and luxuriant - sensual. The colour of sex and sunshine; soft as angel's hair. And her smell! God, the scent of that woman, drove him into a frenzy of distraction and debauchery. He knew he had a fetish. He’d suppressed it often enough by sneaking a surreptitious whiff of used towels and dirty laundry but not this time. Control it as he tried, this one temptation was far too much and he approached with voracity, such sexual aggression, such hormonal force, such raw emotion - the display was beyond inappropriate and shocking, it was unforgivable.
He’d broken boundaries, got too close, been too intimate too soon and too publicly. He'd grabbed her, she’d screamed, he’d panicked. He'd displayed his manhood, he thought he may have even growled, she was sure he did. Thiri’s woman had grabbed him by the neck and swung him round then stared with hatred in her her eyes, it terrified the little man. “That’s it! Final straw!” The venom in her voice stung his palpitating heart, although he really didn’t understand. “You’re outta here, damn waif! Gone! Forgotten, good riddance!
Years after his banishment, a conversation stirred up the sore subject of his disappearance, “Mum, whatever happened to Gus, I mean really? I know you told us you’d ‘found a home’ or he’d ‘gone to the farm’ or something lovely – I forget which now - but frankly, I’m not buying it!”
“You what? You didn’t! You sent Gus for a green dream? How could you? I told you I’d take him back?” her daughter sat mouth agape in abject disbelief.
“Well you didn’t take him. You left him here to be a bloody nuisance!” And so began the tirade of self-defense, “He was stealing food, peeing and shitting all over the carpet and bringing rabbit entrails into the laundry. He ate the crutch out of my knickers for God's sakes. He barked and yapped at everything that moved, shagged the towels and tore up anything left on the floor. Then when Audrey turned up in that bloody lapin coat he went apeshit. Made a b-line for her, grabbed its hem, shagged her leg, stuck his nose in her crotch, growled like a demon and wouldn’t let go. Poor woman was beside herself! He had to go and I had to buy her another damn coat!”
Then unexpectedly as if the inquisition had struck it's final torturous blow the real justification for poor Gus’ disappearance was confessed - the coup d’cat! “Thiri was terrified of him you know?" her voice lowering to an adoring tone, "Weren't you my darling puss-puss? Mwah, mwah" as her tapered fingers lovingly caressed his thick Burmese fur. Ah yes, clarity at last. No man, woman, child or dog was to upset the mighty Thiri. He was her mother's cat even though in his old age, he’d developed a nasty drool whenever he was touched.
Thiri purred and posed with claws extended. Every muscle rippling from shoulder to snaking tail before rubbing his woman's chin with drool-dripped jaw and whiskers then curled sanctimoniously satisfied within the warmth of a human lap. She swears she saw a smile - enough to make a Cheshire proud - before he settled and relaxed his devious head.
Had she listened harder, she may have heard his thoughts:
Posted for The Tenth Daughter of Memory "White Lies Belie a Darker Truth"