Holiday Muse

Heartbroken and wings snatched away ‘’the angel’’ couldn’t do anything magical for anyone or for herself. Under everyone’s hawk eyes and endless suggestions or advices about what to do or should be doing, creating chaos and confusions, she decides to run away where no one knows her.

Running away would cost every penny of her savings. 

‘I am going on a holiday, long enough to mend my mind and body. It’s my life and I decide its course’, she talked to herself sitting against the window, looking at the lashing rain. 

The human size mirror at the corner of the room, reflected her image, smilingly giving a thumbs up.

Clutching the coffee cup tighter, smiling and nodding in unison to the images of the holiday spot.  No plans, no bookings, and no tickets, an absolutely possible idea. 

“Hmmm, it is getting interesting”, she thought.

Kicking the laptop awake, hitting some searches on Google, the Search God. The word ‘Holiday’ and ‘Resorts’ give her numerous options to choose. She keeps scrolling at the suggestions, link after link, some looked good, some exotic, some ordinary, and OK types. 

After almost an hour, with a definite destination and ways to get there, the pertinent thing – How many days of stay? 

Picking up the mobile, speaking to her friend, and informing her about what she was up to. With a heads up from her, finding a place to stay and as long as she wants, her heart leaps with joy. That’s why you need friends, saying to herself ending the conversation, gets to book her tickets, and pack her things. 

She takes a final look around the house once, all furniture covered with sheets to protect it, important stuff put away in boxes, the cab at the door step, opening the door, heaving a sigh, locking it, walks towards the awaiting cab. 

With one longing look at her house, she looks forward to the destination, mentally reading herself to the challenges in a new setting. 

All the necessaries of an airport travel, check-in, acknowledging the wishes of the flight attendees nonchalantly, security check, waiting for the announcement at Gate 22 C, of the International Airport. 

While waiting, out of the corner of the eye, she notices a well-dressed handsome man, for a night flight. Surprisingly, his manners catch her interest and without knowing, she gaps at him. He notices, gives her a wry smile. She immediately hides behind a book, reading half-heartedly, reprimanding her behaviour.

On boarding the flight, the man is sitting next to her. What a tragedy? 

She doubly checks if that is actually her seat, he is amused too, gives her a wide smile. Highly irritated, making a request, gets back to the seat. 

He gets up and lets her through and waits for her to settle in so that he can sit on his seat. There is an unmistakable smile on his lips that he is not able to wipe off. He knows he is being rude and obnoxious but he can’t stop it surprisingly, appearing there. With that thought he closes his eyes and settles for a three-hour flight. 

Being restless and out of the corner of her eyes, keeps an eye on him. Pissed off by the unmistakeable smile, wanting to flush it, silently prays help arrives her way.

Hearing a mutter, his smile growing wider, attempts to say something and stops midway and the murmur dies, in the announcements. 

Thanking the announcements, closing her eyes, drifts off into sleep. Waking up suddenly, she finds the adjacent seat empty, startled by the fact, looks around to find him with closed eyes on a seat away from her, giving her the space, she craved, for a second she feels sorry for him. But no, the smile is back. 

She gets off the flight looking forward to the place of stay and the changes that might bring to her, and a welcome board, welcomes her, hitting her on head. 

Promptly picked up by the designated driver, she safely arrives at the ‘resort’ and getting the most luxurious room as told by the staff, denying help, and settles for the rest of the night. Delicately, resting on the corner of the bed, reckoning if this was right? 

Shutting it off, changing into comfortable clothes, switching off the lights and doubly checking the lock of the door, closes her eyes, the smile appears in her mind, frustrated with it, turns around and falls into a deep sleep. 

Next morning by 8 am, the sunlight streaking into her bedroom, cool morning breeze fluttering the curtains, the coastal line close to the resort, bringing the saltness along with the air, wakes her senses and fully charge her up for the day in a new place. 

Kicking the blanket off her, sliding the walk-through windows open, steps in to a lush balcony, extending into the rough waves and retracing softly, the shores in contrast. All she sees vast stretches of sand, the blue sky, the sea mixing at a distance that she gives her the idea that a little stretch can almost touch the water and the waves beating on the rocks laid in between from nowhere. 

With a relaxing bath and tasty breakfast, she decides to stroll on the beach. Days roll into weeks, of pure bliss of doing nothing at all, just eating, lots of walk and talk with the local fisher folk or the resort staff. The mobile phone, laptop, television all shut to complete silence, except for the books that were brought for company along. 

One afternoon, too cloudy and looking gloomy with a possibility of anytime downpour, she sat sipping a hot drink, looking away into the darkened skies, the sea and her mind reflecting the tempest, of the gone years. 

A sudden thunder and lightning so strong broke out, she watched and heard the sound, with a queer running through her body, gets up and moving inside to the room, brings the downpour roaring down. Closing the doors with great struggle, not wanting to sit on the bed, decides to go see the cook and find out what’s being cooked for lunch. 

Hearing commotion and noises coming from the resort reception and peeping through a sea of resort staff, a familiar face stares back at her, stunned to see the man there and in an argument. The recognising looks on his face, further pisses her off along with the reason unknown for the arguments back and forth. 

Ignoring him, she asks the staff, “What’s the problem?” 

He answers, “I am looking for a place to stay for two days, its’ pouring heavily, found this nearby, so got in and they are telling me this place isn’t empty and can’t help me.”

She looks at him and nonchalantly answers, “He is right.”

The smirk is back with a bang, “I see the whole place is empty and no guests. So why are you agreeing to him?”

“Mister, we know what is being said and please leave the place without causing trouble for us”, said she with a raised voice.

Looking at both of them, “Please remove the board that is hung outside.” and walks off in a huff. 

His attitude causing a displeasure, she turns to the staff with an unknowing look, Krishna replies, “Madam, I guess removing the board, till you are here, will avoid troubles.” 

She cries, “No, we need to speak to Anushya, before doing it. We need her approval.” 

He nods and says, “I will call and talk to madam and let you know.” 

In a days’ time, the board was removed. Finding sitting inside too boring she steps out to walk to the beach. 

Opening the gates, landing on the road, a car from the other side, a blind spot for her springs upon her with a screeching brake. 

Frightened to the core she looks to find it is the same man. Oh! Why him again? 

He runs out of the car and asks her fondly, “Did you get hurt? If yes, we can go to see a doctor?” 

Sensing the fear and mixed reactions on his face, she lets go of her anger and replies, “No, I guess your brake system was good, I am unscathed.” 

That brings a trickle to his voice, heaving a sigh of relief, his eyes meet hers, resting on her face for a second longer. 

“Hey, I think I disturbed your stroll on the main road”, to hide the embarrassment of staring into her eyes. 

“Yeah, until you decided to bring your Rolls Royce and give me a ride.”

“Sure, come let me take you to a really awesome place. I bet; you haven’t seen it yet.” Opening the car door.  

“I can only hope you don’t kidnap me. Stupid me, decided to go with you.”

He just smiles at her and tells, “Please be rest assured, my intentions are not that bad… (Awkward Silence) ahem! I mean, not ugly.”

The drive is up on small hillock with amazing views on either side of the road. Seeing her discomfort, pulls the window down, switching the air conditioner off. 

Finding her lost in the sights, returning with two cups of coffee, handing her one, sits on the bench a little away. 

“Do you like…? A look from her, stops the words in his mouth. He gets up and points out to the surrounding, including him and asks, “Do you like what you see?” 

Getting up, moving close to the rails on the edge, placing her hand, slowly turning to him, she says, “When the view is beautiful, (a pause, a look and then continues) Yeah, I like what I see.”

A trickle leads to a full-blown laughter and the ice melted away and they got to know each other. After an hour, with the skies darkening, they return to the resort. Dropping her at the entrance of the resort, he hesitatingly asks, “Can I have your number?” 

Handing her it with an anticipation in his eyes. If she rejects, I will forget about it. 

Slowly typing in the number, tells him “I have switched off my phone and I don’t know where it is, right now. Nevertheless, I have keyed it in.” handing it back to him.

“I am traveling back tomorrow; my flight is in the early morning. Just in case, asked the number. No problem, I won’t disturb you.” 

The sound of him not going to be there tomorrow, makes her heart ache, don’t know why? It’s strange. 

Getting into the car and pepping out, she turns and waves, he puts his hand from above the car waves back and leaves with the sound of the humming vehicle dying in the night. 

Lying on her bed, staring at the ceiling, she asks herself, ‘why did I all of a sudden feel sad at him not being there. Unrequired of me.’ 

Her hand falls flat on the bed and hits an object, her mobile, rolling over switches it on. 

A message tone on the WhatsApp, breaks her concentration. Opening the messaging service, she finds an unrecognised number, that read “This is my number in case you switch it on.”

While she is looking at it, another message reads, “I know, you didn’t ask. But I need to tell you, my name is Karthik.”

Intuitively, she types, “Duly Noted.” 

At which the messaging app springs to life and the conversation goes back and forth. Several emojis and several conversations, clever and staged few. The world outside was getting ready for a new dawn. 

“It’s 4 am, I am boarding the flight, won’t be able to keep the mobile on. I will be back in two days; I am missing the ‘Beautiful Face’ already. Goodbye for now.

She stares at the message, a smile widening to the corners of her face, the light from the mobile, lighting her flawless skin, dropping the hand, turning to the mobile in the hand, she falls asleep with her mind reeling, “Holiday” starts officially. 

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