I couldn’t sleep. I tossed and turned in bed all night thinking about what he had told me. How could that be? How could his sister be the owner of the largest dance club in New York? If Ayesha was the owner of Roxy then why the hell was he driving a cab?
He has been lying to me! Many things didn’t add up. That son of bitch has been lying to me ever since we met. But why? I can feel it in my guts. He is no taxi driver. He never was. He has been playing me like a fiddle. How could I have been so gullible. And he fucking proposed to me! He even called me his fiancée. How could he? On top of all that I didn’t get a ring! Who proposes without a ring?! He is a liar and a cheap one at that. I am going to tell him what I feel and give him back the key to his fucking apartment.
I called in sick from work that day. I had to know the truth or get him out of my system. Either way I had to confront him. But can I?
“ANGELO?!” I shouted in surprise as I was entering Murad’s apartment, “what are you doing here?” Angelo was the limousine driver who drove us around town a couple of weeks ago. I certainly didn’t expect to see him in my ex-fiancée home. Yeh that is what he is to me now another Ex liar.
“Oh hello miss Jane,” Angelo replied, “I just came to get Mr Vs stuff to his hotel.”
This was getting ridiculous. What stuff? What hotel? And who the hell was Mr V? “Okay! I will help you get Mr Vsssss stuff to his hotel,” I was hissing like a snake.
“It is very kind of you Miss Jane,” Angelo innocently accepted.
I followed Angelo into the bedroom and saw an open suitcase on the bed. He must have been trying to fold Murad’s clothes inside that bag when I came into the apartment. He wasn’t doing a great job. So I started to help. As I did I couldn’t but notice what little there was in here. Murad had a few shirts and a few suits hanging in an almost empty closet. I hadn’t noticed that before. I’ve only been here a couple of times and I didn’t really go through HIS STUFF until now. As I was folding one of his suits I wondered what does a cab driver need with so many suits, and not any kind of suits, silk Armani suits. More questions !!
“Why do you keep calling him Mr V?” I curiously asked Angelo, “his family’s name is Vanlian isn’t it?”
Angelo smiled. “I am sorry. I guess I’ve gotten used to that name,” he said, “it was what we used to call his father and now it has passed on to him.”
“So Berg was called the Mr V? “
Angelo chuckled then he leaned towards me whispering in my ear, “I wouldn’t have called the old man by his first name if I was you.” Then he relaxed with a sad smile on his face resuming to pack the last of the clothes in the bag, “yeh the old man Berg was THE Mr V,” Angelo finally said with a shaky voice, “may god rest his soul.”
“So why are you taking Murad’s stuff to the hotel?” I had to keep interrogating Angelo as much as I could. I thought I’d get some answers before I saw that snake who claims to be my fiancée. “Doesn’t he live here?” The last one million dollar question.
Angelo chuckled again. “Oh no this is the old man’s place,” he replied, “it is a pity this whole building is going down. As long as he was alive the old man would not allow anyone to touch it. This was where his wife died and where he raised his children.” Oh god…. I knew this was not going to be easy.
We went down to the limo which was parked right outside the small building. Angelo opened the back door of the car so that I can get inside and that was when I noticed the sign. “Eastman Grocery Store.” I had been here a few times before and I didn’t see it. I guess I had a lot on my mind to notice a faded out old sign on a derelict run down grocery store. It was right at the entrance of Murad’s building and I didn’t see it.
For the next few minutes while the limo was fighting its way through New York traffic my mind was zipping through everything that had happened in the last few months. I had known Murad just a few months back and I realized I didn’t know anything about him. All the time he was telling me those stories about Berg, he was giving me a glimpse of his life. But I wasn’t really paying too much attention. The more I thought about it the more I realized he was still a stranger to me. And now I was getting a strange feeling that I am not going to like what I was about to see. But I had no choice. I had to go through this. I had to know the truth. When the limo stopped in front of the St. Moritz I felt a shiver run through my body.
Angelo opened the door of the limo and beckoned me to follow him. He waltzed me through the lobby of the most prestigious hotel in New York like he owned the place. The St. Moritz was a New York icon. This can’t be? Can Murad be? Impossible! He can’t be!
As we walked to the elevator Angelo was greeted by every one in the hotel lobby. I could also feel the eyes of the hotel receptionists and concierges burning holes in my back. I didn’t like the way they were looking at me. Who did they think I was? I was following Angelo like a puppy. They must have known where I was going and I didn’t like it.
1,2,3,4……..wholly shit 31. We finally reached the thirty first floor of the St Moritz hotel, right at the top of the building. The fucking presidential suite or more like the penthouse on top of the world.
I remembered the movie “Annie” which I saw a few years back. It was about a little girl who goes to the rich man’s house and she stands in wonderment as she enters his home. Well fuck Annie. This was way more astonishing. I wanted to run but I couldn’t. I’ve never seen anything like this before. This was no presidential suite. It was more like a museum. Paintings of unbelievable beauty, sculptures of gold and silver adorned every corner of this place, and I just stood in the middle of it all admiring every piece.
Suddenly the door in front of me opened and there stood Murad. He was wearing a black suit with a dark silver tie and holding some papers in his hands. “JANE?!” I guess he was surprised to see me. “What are you doing here?” He looked at Angelo who was standing between us. Angelo realized he had made a mistake bringing me here for he tried to apologize but Mr V stopped him. “It is ok Angelo. I was going to bring her here today anyway.”
Angelo dropped the suitcase he was holding in his hand and almost ran out of the room. I just stood looking at Murad with tears about to burst out of my eyes. I tried to hold them in. I am never going to cry in front of this man ever again. “You lied to me once again,” I said.
At first I thought he was not going to say anything then he unhooked his tie a little to take a breath and said, “I’ve never lied to you Jane. Ever.”
That is when my tears slowly started to trickle down my cheeks. Damn him!. He was standing right in front of me and he was lying again. How could he?
“Everything I’ve ever told you was the truth only you still have not heard the whole story yet,” he added.
“And you expect me to stay here after you tell me everything?” I snapped back at him.
He stood his ground and said, “no I expect you to run.”
“YOU WHAT!?” I burst out, “you think I am a little girl who runs every time she hears something bad?”
“I would,” he said, “many did.”
For a few minutes we remained standing each on his side of the room. Neither wanting to move or say anything to make the situation worse. Then he said, “I was going to have lunch, care to join me?” He started to go up some stairs to what I assumed was the dinning room in this place. He didn’t look back at me but I felt he knew I was going to follow him until we came upon two large doors and we entered into yet another indescribable room. It was a huge ball room with mirrors and arabesque murals painted all over the walls. They were almost magical. Right at the center of the room stood a dining table with all kind of food imaginable. He could have fed the entire hotel with that much food with more to spare.
He pulled out a chair and invited me to sit down and I did. For the next few minutes we ate in silence. All the while I was looking at him then looking around at those mural paintings on the walls. More than twenty or more of these amazing pieces of art surrounding us. They almost all depicted a bearded man sitting on a sofa or cushion with ladies all around him either giving him food, wine or playing some musical instrument even dancing as he sat smiling at them. There were a few that depicted them reading to him from a book or a scroll. Such amazing details and colors, I’ve never seen anything like this before. It wasn’t any western art I had ever seen. It was more like an old eastern or Indian art drawn right there on the walls of this room.
“Interesting paintings, don’t you think?” Murad asked.
“They are beautiful,” and that was an understatement.
“When I bought this place I wanted this room for my own,” Murad started to explain, “can you imagine, the guy who I hired to do the interior decoration wanted to paint over these murals?” He smiled when he saw the surprise on my face, “it is true. Of course I made sure he did not work in this city ever again,” wickedly chuckling to himself. “These paintings were done a few years back by David Karfunkle. He was an amazing local artist. Brilliant I might add. This was a ball room of some kind and I converted it to my dinning room. I love to eat here and look at these murals. They remind me of a man whom I wanted to be, only life had other plans for me.”
“Who is the man depicted in these paintings?” I was really interested. Who wouldn’t be.
“His name is Omar Khayyam,” Murad explained. “He was an eleventh century Persian astronomer. He was also a mathematician, a philosopher but most importantly he was a brilliant poet.”
Murad stood up and came over to me from his side of the table. He bent down and brushed his mouth over mine and I melted. I came here to give him a bit of my mind but all that was blank now. As he continued to kiss me I brought up my arms around his neck pulling him closer to me so that his tongue went further inside my mouth.
Then he suddenly stopped and pulled back. With a quick move he brushed aside the food and plates that were on the table which scattered all over the floor. He lifted me up and put me on the table. When he kelt down between my legs I knew what he was after. The only thing I could do was lie back on the table and open my legs to give him more access to what he was after. We had not had our dessert but this was way more sweet. He lifted my skirt up and spread my legs further apart. Unfortunately for him I was wearing my panties this time but this didn’t deter him. He tore it apart to get to the treasure behind it and dove with all his might. As his mouth touched my lips I moaned out load. His tongue raced to clean every drop coming out of me. My legs were shaking from ecstasy so I rested them on his shoulders. As he continued to dig deep in me my high heels were digging in his back urging him to go deeper and deeper until I was about to explode once again. But I wanted more. I wanted him in me. “I want you,” I begged, “pleeeease fuck me,” I pleaded some more until he finally conceded. He stood up, dropped down his trousers and inserted his cock inside my pussy sending me into further frenzy. As he was going in and out of me my eyes kept wondering around those murals on the walls. I was lost in a trance as if I was all those women offering Khayyam what he wanted from this world; food, drink, wine, poetry, music, love, sex, friendship, companionship… That is what I am to Murad. That is what my Khayyam was looking for. He wanted all that and more, “oh fuckkkkkkkkk,” way way more as we both came into each other like a flood of raw emotions. Every one of my senses was spinning around as if I was flying around in that room, around and around l until I passed out.
I woke up in another room, a huge bedroom, in the middle of a large bed. I don’t remember how I ended up here. I vaguely remembered we had more sex but the details escaped me. Maybe I had a little more to drink then I thought. I was completely naked, covered with a silk velvet blanket. I found my clothes on a chair next to the bed so I dressed up and went looking for Murad. I finally found him in his office. He was reading as I came in. “I hope I didn’t wake you?” he said, “I see you are all dressed up and ready to leave.” His face was pale and sad.
“Yes Mr V. I have to go home. It is late,” I said, “but before I do I want to know why did you say I would run from you ?” Ever since he said those words I’ve been dreading this moment. But I wanted to know. I needed to know. I had to know what future if any I had with this man.
“This is precisely it,” he said, “everything goes back to Mr V. Mr Berg Vanlian and that taxi of his.”
“Care to elaborate?” I said and waited for Murad to explain.
“Everything started with Berg and his cab. I think you remember I told you about Berg and his special deliveries. His reputation as a tough guy propelled him into fame one more time. In a few years he bought over his ten car cab company. After ten years he almost had a thousand cars in his fleet. He also had controlling interest in almost every cab company in New York. But what is even more important is that he became the number one drug distributor in this city.”
That is when my heart froze. Of course! Everything made sense now. Berg and his family, Murad, Ayesha are all drug dealers and I just fell in the middle of all that. Oh shit! What a fool I was. He was right. I wanted to run. I had to run. And I did. I just turned around and walked out of his suite without saying a word. He didn’t even say anything or come after me. I just ran like hell.
The St. Moritz was one of the most prestigious hotels in 1985 New York. It is now the Ritz-Carlton Hotel.
The room with murals depicting scenes from Omar Khayyam poems did exist at the Moritz Hotel. It was located on the 31st floor of the hotel. The murals were drawn by David Karfunkle.
The Roxy was one of the main dance clubs in 1985 New York.