Wisdom is associated with men. It’s a masculine thing. After all, men are required to be wise in order to run the world. Conversely, wisdom is not a required quality in a woman. She doesn’t need to be. All that she needs to be is…. pretty. But Linda was one of those exceptional women who combine beauty with wisdom that is commendable. Of course, she wasn’t as pretty as Rose but Rose lacked Linda’s good sense.

It seemed every time Linda came to Rose’s place the topic of discussion was Jack and his heartlessness towards Rose. At the slightest chance Linda would veer the conversation to this subject. And Rose would try to do the opposite: avoid talking about Jack with Linda.

No one was more critical of Jack than Linda, with two of her best friends on the brink of insanity because of him. But she admired Jack for one thing: for using women’s own weapon against them. Unlike ordinary men, he didn’t demand sex from women. He commanded it. He used their own weapon to destroy them, subdue them to his will and debase them… mentally and physically.

‘Men are idiots’ Linda would say. Of course, men run the world, but who runs men? It is so easy to get the goodies out of them. She equated men with dogs when she said, ‘Just hover the booty over their heads, give them some and never in plenty, and you have them pleading after you with salivating tongues all day long.’ When it comes to romance and the matters of the heart, she opined once to her workmate, even the wisest of men can make silliest mistakes. It’s like their brains are not hardwired to understand the intricacies and subtleties of seduction.

‘Rose, accept it,’ Linda picked up the last conversation exactly where they left it, ‘You only think of Peter when Jack treats you good. Every time Jack has done something good to you, I have seen you open up to Peter.

‘May be you feel that if Jack is going to treat you good, he’s not good enough anymore. It’s as if he’s become lesser of a man. You know Peter can treat you way better, but the fact that you are staying with the bad proves that you like to be treated rough. It’s like between good and the bad you would rather choose the bad.’

‘It’s not as…’

‘Don’t interrupt me. Hear me out. And Jack, I am sure, feels that in you and is just not willing to let that good man come up in him.’

Rose got up now, to subtly manifest her annoyance with Linda, from the sill tiredly and headed towards her bedroom. Linda followed, picking up some breath and marshalling her thoughts on the way there.

‘And you can’t fool Jack,’ continued Linda with her counseling, ‘He knows every trick in the book. He knows when you are feigning something or pretending to be somebody you are not. He knows when he’s got you trapped!

‘You know when you came through that door the other day when you saw me with him? I must confess I could feel that… that raw animal magnetism in him. Even though I was aware of how it might hurt you, I couldn’t help feeling week in his arms. At the time you came in, I was at his mercy…’

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