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Our journeys are stories of our own. This is mine and I’ve allowed some of these points to stand, in spite of being corrected. It is not a guidebook, trip diary or marketing piece for the Sunday paper.
This is semi-fiction: A fictional description of a true story.
– At Candida’s place, in Adam’s room, my home-away-from-home
– Blue and yellow (Swedish flag colours) were shining everywhere inside
– Like a true hostess, she represented Sweden well
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The Third Wheel
Last Seen: At my home-away-from-home
I-c-can’t-br-breathe… Am I…dr-drowning? H-How am I drowning?
Wasn’t I flying in an aeroplane? Didn’t I land? I can hear my breath.
So I’m Not drowning. And Not dreaming. I did sleep though.
So much silence, man. Some people find it heavenly but me? I am so used to it that I have strangely gotten fond of the traffic noise.
Call it crazy but I live on the grand floor on the main road. And In Mumbai.
Anyway, what’s the time? The sun is still up. Evening, maybe?
“In summers, sunsets are around 2 in the night, you see? Hey, you hungry?” Candida pierced that silence answering my unasked question. She must have caught me staring at the clock whose hour-hand was between eight and nine.
“Not really,” I answered.
I was too sleepy to eat.
“Knew that! I’ll fetch you hot chocolate,” she said and disappeared into the kitchen.
Perfect. I did not come here to sleep anyway.
She reappeared a minute later, offering me a maroon mug, “Here you go. Hey, do you feel sea-sick?” She had such a motherly innocence about her, no one could have said yes, even if they did feel sea-sick. Fortunately, I didn’t. I smilingly shook my head, reassuring her.
I was almost gonna ask ‘why’ but who likes spoilers, right?
Whenever the sun sets,
it always rises.
Isn’t that one of our assets?
The next morning, I was ready in my red shorts to hike downhill to lie on the water-deck. Just behind the apartment. Had also packed, Candida told me what to bring.
Oooo! I can get some sexy pictures here! The sunlight is superb. I feel so pretty!
“Richa! Wait. There she is, that white one. Do you see?”
We had reached the parking spot for boats. Yeah, boats. It mirrored the airport car-parking area. So neat. Maybe Candida is talking about the white boat, I guessed.
Candida didn’t seem to care about the shallow breaths as she jogged towards the boat. “Look at her. Such beauty. My parents got her (the boat) for Adam, you see? He is staying at Evelyn’s place this week, his girlfriend. So pretty, right?” Candida showed her phone’s wallpaper. Adam hugged Evelyn on some hill. Yes, they undoubtedly appeared happy.
Adam and Eve, how perfect! Er… and what do I say about the boat? It is so… NOT a ‘beauty’.
She (the boat) looked like some regular pedal boat from ‘Chota Kashmir’. Instead of the two pedal-seats, there was a motor and a steering wheel.
Candida continued to chirp in her child-like-new-toy excitement, “We can ride her and visit my parents, yeah? They are usually on the island in the Archipelago during summer, you see? We can take a dip, relax a little in the house there. Don’t worry, the water is pretty warm this time of the year.”
Whoa! Boat!? Okay then. Here are some points to ponder. I had heard of my friends boasting about new cars, maybe visiting a fancy beach in an exotic location abroad. Never about how a mom having such a…wallpaper or a new boat or having a second-home on an island.
I joined Candida’s childish anxiousness and jumped into the other two seats. While Candida rode, I read on my mobile what an Archipelago was.
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Chapter four: The Wild Card Entry No. 4
Who that? How’s livin’ on the island, folks?