The landlord's daughters

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Literary Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
The fierce, unmarried females struck terror into Josh, but were caught with their own circumstances, just as Josh was with his. A short fictional story

Submitted: March 29, 2007

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Submitted: March 29, 2007

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The fierce, unmarried females struck terror into Josh, but were caught with their own circumstances, just as Josh was with his. A short fictional story
 
I.

"Next time, don't cross the door limit," the girl's harsh voice bore deep into Josh's heart.

He stood at the door, and had hardly taken more than a step in, only to make them hear his call, for the doorbell didn't work. She was dark, rather thin and with a small stature. Yet, her temper was fierce. So fierce that Josh had now become wary of even looking at her.

She was his landlord's daughter, the younger of the two bachelor sisters who lived with their two brothers, one of whom was married. Their retired father had bought the three-storied bungalow in a small township near the city.

Josh, a bachelor in his early thirties, had recently moved to the suburbs with his new job, and had rented the ground floor of a bungalow, three small rooms with attached washrooms, with a separate entrance from the backyard. The price was cheap, though the key-money or security deposit cost him more than half his savings. Yet it was better than his previous lodge, with damp rooms and poor facilities and the constant flow of outsiders. At last, now he had hot water in the morning, clean washrooms, and one's own peaceful and quite place.

The first time Josh encountered the young and fierce female, Sushi, was on the very day of his arrival, as he stood near the door waiting for the landlord. It was a small compound, barely enough for  three people to stand comfortably, near the front door, from where a flight of steps went up to the first floor, the main living area for the family. He had spotted her opening the small, cast iron gate, and purposely avoided glancing at her, trying to remain oblivious of her presence. Josh did not want himself to be seen as interested in her, for she was the landlord's daughter.

Is that what infuriated her temper? Josh had ignored her, something tantamount to slighting a young female's dignity, her sense of her beauty, and her attractiveness to males. A male had to look at her with liking and admiration, in order to beget niceties from her.

From the beginning she mistreated Josh with her rude, unkempt temper. Her tongue had lashed out at him as he went to inquire about the water pumping machine kept in his room:

"My father is a heart patient. He can't come down every now and then," she flared as Josh requested to see the landlord again.

"The machine does not make any noise. And we use it only when we need it. Ok, we will use it when you are not in, "her fierce voice and arguments struck into Josh's heart. While he signed the rent documents, she had again struck at him with her sharp tongue, even in  her father's presence, who appeared to sit helplessly.

Josh came to know her elder sister as well. She too was dark, though somewhat good looking. Yet, Josh could sense the same fierceness in her nature, as he had encountered in her younger sister. She hardly ever spoke to Josh, and he saw her only a couple of times when she was cleaning the backyard with some water and a broom, wearing a tight, blue skirt. It also appeared that the younger sister gave tuitions to small kids from the neighbourhood.

Their brother, a healthy, well built young man working in a private company, was the very opposite. Mild mannered and easy going, he stayed indoor most of the time, and was hardly ever to be seen around or heard. Their mother, a fat, round lady with only a few gray hair, was the typical motherly figure that Josh was only too familiar with. At once friendly and helpful, she made him feel comfortable and at home, even inviting him to come and chat with her son.


II

Josh had had enough. The slighting by the ill mannered young female was something he couldn't forget. As a tenant he had tried to be nice and friendly, even refusing to look at the daughters, behaving as a gentleman would. He went his way, remained busy with his life, without bothering about the two dark, fierce females staying on top.

Josh stopped being courteous to the landlord and his wife. He refused to take sweets on a festival day, and often replied curtly while paying monthly dues. soon, the landlady too, who had been nice to him, now brought out her minor complaints, but Josh did well to counter her objections with his prompt explanations. The landlord and his wife were sour with Josh.

"I don't keep even a penny of anyone," the landlord told Josh, returning the balance back to him the day he went to pay his rent.

"On that that we had made some sweets…," he tried to remind Josh of the incident when he had refused the landlady.

Josh tried to stay calm and said it was ok, and that there was nothing to worry about. The landlord had understood well how their relation had gone sour. Yet, things still stood balanced between them. He paid the rent on time, and avoided any arguments from his side.

To be fair to Sushi, the fierce female, she had smiled once at Josh, and spoken nicely to him on two occasions, but only two. Yet, knowing her swinging tempers, Josh avoided her most of the time. The first time he had avoided looking at her to behave as a gentleman. Now he avoided looking at her out of fear.

Perhaps Josh made a mistake in allowing his relations to sour with the two elderly couple. They had been nice and courteous to him, and were helpful. It was their daughter whose bad manners had infuriated Josh, and he now held the whole family responsible for it.


III.

One quite evening, as Josh was leaving for his dinner, he always ate his dinner outside, he was surprised to see the whole family seated in the compound. There was a big argument going on, and the topic was the marriage of the two sisters.

"Just by sitting at home your daughters are not going to get married. Till now, not one person has shown any interest," Josh heard the elder daughter speak animatedly as he entered the compound.

Josh didn't find it surprising, and even felt a little happy at hearing the remark. Who in his right mind would marry such ill-mannered females? He rejoiced himself with such thoughts while on the way.

The very next day, Josh heard loud noises coming from upstairs. A man's voice could be heard loud and clear. It was the eldest son, the married one whom Josh had never seen and didn't know anything about. He was fighting with Sushi, the fierce younger sister. It appeared that she had attacked him with her sharp tongue, and the brother had taken objection to her manners.

Josh could easily connect the two incidents together. Everything was not well with the family of his landlord. The sisters, with their dark looks and ill mannered behaviour, had to be married off, something they had not succeeded with so far. They were trapped in their own circumstances, just as Josh was in his.


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