The Second Part of Monsoon Tiger by Rain Chudori
“We’re not equipped to be parents.” Michael said, leaning against the wall while I washed Monsoon, not that he was particularly dirty as he hadn’t left the apartment since he came, but he, I think, liked the way human skin felt, like I liked the way tiger fur felt. It was true that we weren’t equipped to be parents for we both came from homes that if anything, taught us that you could only attempt to love another being for so long until you gave up. I looked at Monsoon, now licking my hands affectionately. Monsoon basked under the sunlight came in through the shabbily constructed curtains Michael hung up using my torn up unmentionables.
“We’ll try.” I said.
“We can try, sure.” Michael flinched when Monsoon turned to him, as if acknowledging Michael’s concerns. “Doesn’t it bother you that he dislikes me?”
“He’ll learn to like you.” Picking away the last of the nettles, the tiger was now swimming in them. “It took a while for me too, didn’t it?”
“It’s not forever.” He said.
“I think he’d bother us if he was in bed.” I said.
Michael turned away and started rifling through the bed, lifting the sheets to look under it, dropping the specks of dust to his feet like little unreturned kisses. He was now yelling things like “Have you seen my grandfather’s watch?” and “I need my grandfather’s watch” – always forgetting that he had given it to me at some point of our relationship.
“I’m wearing it.” I said.
“Oh right.” Michael said, showing his face again by the bathroom. He watched me dry Monsoon’s fur, like I dry his. His grandfather’s watch dangled loosely on my right wrist.
“Don’t be jealous. Your hair is so much more.” I said though I knew he wasn’t. Jealousy only exists where there’s love. “What should we call him?”
“I don’t want you to be too attached to him. The zoo will have to take him back sometime.” He rested his head on the door pane and looked at his right wrist, a shade lighter than the rest of his arm. “Let’s call him Monsoon since he was sent here by the season.”
“That’s sweet. You’re sweet.” I said, “Do you want your watch back?”
“No. I just have to go.”
“If that’s okay with you.”
“I’d kiss you but the tiger would attack me.” Michael said. He smiled and left the apartment,
It was during this time that Michael had started sleeping with numerous, at least two and maybe up to four girls. We had been together for years, and during that time my body has aged considerably to one that could only be loved by a stray tiger.
Read Chapter One here.