A Nice Respite
We definitely needed a break after that last encounter, and some members of the group needed to finish healing before we could proceed further. I could tell that Sitra needed a break too. Ever since she was returned, she has been working, whether it has been doctoring me, or one the other DV-8s, or on our wedding. Things had been awefully quiet around the Clubhouse too.
We, as a group, decide that we will not take any work for approximately a month’s time, as we could all use a respite from the job and I guess, from eachother. We agree to regroup for New Year’s Eve. I purposefully avoid Byk for a while after the completion of our previous mission. While Pariah is in the last stages of healing, he suggests to me that Sitra take some self defense lessons. I was reticent at first, but he convinced me that she would make a good target for someone who wanted to hurt us, and besides unlike me, with my “mojo”, she had no way of defending herself. I saw his point and when this was suggested to her, she took to the idea right away. After day one of pistol shooting, Pariah was shocked and amazed that Sitra had done so well, and as far as he was concerned, didn’t need any additional training. As far as I knew, she had never even held a gun, let alone fired one.
The following day, Pariah and I were sitting in the common area, discussing our plans for the next month. Suddenly, Zany and Sitra come walking in, and Zany suddenly drops to one knee and proposes marriage to him. The look on his face was priceless, and I myself couldn’t believe what was going on. When he didn’t reply fast enough, she ran out the door, and headed for the garage. I asked Sitra if she had anything to do with this, and she just smiled – Drake would certainly be able to delve into this conspiracy theory. A few minutes later, they came back and Pariah is sporting a snazzy new engagement ring. Apparently one reason why he was not the quickest to say yes was because he didn’t want to steal our thunder. I said not to worry, we could always arrange a double ceremony. He said that Zany mentioned perhaps a St. Valentine’s Day wedding.
A couple of hours later, Pariah and Zany asked Sitra and I to take a ride with them. We were going to visit Zany’s “friend” that Sitra mentioned to me a little over a week ago. When we got there, I nearly started screaming about the conditions of the clinic and the poor levels of hygiene being provided to the patients. There, in a makeshift hospital bed was that wacko from the incident at the Stuffer Shack. He was in pretty poor shape and didn’t seem to be healing, in fact, his condition was worsening. I suggested that he be removed to a different facility for treatment. I called Dr Maroni and he said he suggested that we admit the patient to the closest major medical facility. It just so happened that he knew a doctor at Auburn General there who had interned with him a couple of years before me, and Dr. Muir would meet us there. Once Sitra felt he was in good enough condition to transport, we took him there and were met at the door by Dr. Muir. It seemed like he was ogling my fiancee a little too much, and he nearly kowtowed to Pariah’s near celeb status. He will do much better there and was given a good prognosis.
When we got back home, Sitra told me that the newly engaged couple would be going away for a little while, and she suggested that we do the same. Sounded good to me. I have an apartment still at the Renton Ambassador Suites, so we decide to reside there for a while. After staying just one night though, we realized we need a serious upgrade. Once Red is feeling better, though certainly before she is completely healed, Sitra gives her a list of things to avoid doing, and tells her that she can take care of herself for a while, until she is completely healed. She says to give her a call if she has any questions.
During the next several few weeks, Sitra and I take dance lessons on a regular basis, of various kinds, ballroom, modern (which I abhor) and folk, particularly Bollywood style dancing. She also tells me that she doesn’t want to be embarrassed at our next meeting with Reverend Knox, so we dig out my mother’s dusty old bible and pick up a college text on comparative religion and review them together. We also attend a few church services at the Bethany Presbyterian and sit with my aunt and uncle and also attend a couple of their dinner parties. During these soirees we get the opportunity to meet some of the guests who will be attending our wedding that were invited by them.
At one particularly swanky affair, on Christmas Eve, a dapper, young Dr. Alan Muir ran over, as he had recognized Sitra immediately from our recent visit to Auburn General Hospital and introduced us to his wife, Tessa, whom I swear I knew from somewhere else too. She said that maybe it was from one of my uncle’s other parties, but I didn’t think so. They were invited to our wedding next month and had already confirmed.
We decided that we would spend Christmas Day alone together. After attending Christmas mass at Bethany Presbyterian (more for show than anything), we returned to our apartment and spent the remainder of the day together, mostly cuddled up on the sofa together watching cheesy holiday movies. We decided that the honeymoon was going to be our gift to eachother, so we didn’t budget much on gifts for eachother. Earlier, I asked Red for advice on what to get her. I knew that if I had asked Zany instead, the gift wouldn’t have been a secret very long. When Sitra opened the box and pulled out some skimpy lingerie, she asked where the rest of it was. When I said I think that is it, she didn’t seem very thrilled. I told her I still had the receipt and she could get something different, she seemed happier. She gave me some new books, which I had been eagerly awaiting. She is definitely a much better gift giver than me. Speaking of which, my aunt gave us some new fine china. We will have to keep it in storage for now, as all I can picture is the plates being used as clay pigeons if we were to bring them to the Clubhouse. For dinner, we went to the Mon Hing restaurant in Renton, where we had Peking Duck. As normal, the Chinese and Korean places are the best places to eat on Christmas – everything else is normally closed.
I tell Sitra that since she has done such a great job learning the Christian faith, that I will learn more about the Hindu faith. We visit the Hindu Temple of Bellevue , a few times and make offerings to the gods and goddesses. Sitra’s family are still active members here. Through our research, we discovered some interesting parallels between the two faiths. When she mentioned that Christ and Krishna were too similar to be coincidental, I saw her point, but I told her not to mention this at all to Reverend Knox or any other devout Christian.
Needless to say, our most recent meeting with Reverend Knox went smoothly, and he seeemed impressed by how much she has come along in her studies. At the Hindu temple, I met the Pujari Mujibur Sirajuli and he seemed skeptical of performing a Hindu marriage for two people who looked the way we do, but when I mentioned we were referred to him by Rana, he agreed to perform our Vivaha (marriage) rituals.
We arrived back to the clubhouse just in time for the New Year.