Dilemma 16 (The Trip)

It was two days after the dreaded dinner and her suitcase was ready. She picked her train ticket off the bed, followed her dog out of the apartment and locked the door on her way out. While waiting on the platform with her dog resting on her lap, she realized how much she had longed for such a trip. An escape from the city and from all of her troubles was exactly what she needed. “No worries, no responsibilities and hopefully no problems,” she thought.

The three-hour train ride helped her clear her head, in preparation for her short but much-anticipated vacation. She immersed herself in the streets of 19th century London, as she flipped through the pages of her book, with the sound of the train tracks in the background. The train finally came to a stop; she had arrived at her destination.

After the cab dropped her off at the little hotel where she was staying, she placed her bag in the bungalow and put on her bikini. Making sure she had all her necessities, she and her dog walked slowly to the beach.

“This is exactly what a vacation should feel like; no worries, no responsibilities. Just me, you, the sand, the water, my camera and a good book,” she whispered to her dog.

The dog, which was paying no attention to her, whatsoever, ran quickly towards the water. She smiled, and began snapping pictures of it playfully chasing the birds on the beach. She then turned her attention to how the light looked when it reflected on the water. The magnificent scenery and the fresh air inspired her and encouraged her to take more photographs. However, she thought it would be best to postpone that activity to a different time of the day. So she put her camera down, threw her hair back, laid face down on the warm sand and let the sunrays fall on her back. The beaming rays gave her body a golden shimmer as it bronzed. With an empty glass that had held her cold cocktail standing at a table nearby, the sound of waves crashing on the sand and the distant cry of seagulls she was able to relax.

An hour of tanning left her skin blazing hot; she finally was ready for a swim or a dive. She grabbed her snorkeling goggles and her camera and jumped in the water. Her warm skin was immersed in the cool water causing a chill to run down her spine. When her body adjusted to the sudden change in temperature, she was able to enjoy and document her surroundings. She drove a few meters below the surface and admired the wonders of the sea. The corals and colorful fish made excellent subjects and allowed her to experiment with different techniques, especially since this was the first time she had ever taken pictures underwater. The environment enhanced her creativity and permitted her to take more risks with her photos.

After what she considered to be an underwater adventure, she returned back to the surface and back her beloved dog. Her dog was exhausted from all the excitement it had and so was she. She order another cool drink and let her body dry in the sun, while her mind recreated the buildings and the streets of London as she returned to the fictional characters she had left behind when she got off the train. She was parched and the cocktail was rejuvenating.

A volley ball rolled passed her as she was reading; however she paid no attention to it, since she was more concerned with the events that were clearly unfolding right before her eyes.

“He’s a very good author,” said a male voice.

She looked up from the book and saw that the voice belonged to the owner of the volley ball; a tall muscular guy, who was now looking her straight in the eye and giving her a wide smile. She smiled back at him.

“Yes, he is,” she answered.

He kneeled down to her level and introduced himself. She introduced herself as well.

“We wouldn’t mind having an extra player on our team, would you like to play with us?” he asked.

“I think I’ll pass, sports aren’t really my thing,” she replied.

“Are you here alone?”

“Yes.”

“Would you like to join us for drinks at the club later, then?”

“Sure. Why not.”

“Great,” he concluded and flashed another smile.

The various shades of orange, red and purple created by the sunset were breathtaking. She admired the beauty of the landscape as those colors reflected off the surface of the water. She captured the gorgeous scene before she returned to her bungalow. She wore a little black backless dress, pink pumps and let her natural curls fall effortlessly down her back.  A wild night at the club was what she had anticipated and a wild night was exactly what she got. She woke up the next morning with a hangover and aching feet from the night before.

With her camera in her hand and her dog at her feet, she explored the area with her new acquaintance.  He showed her places she would have probably never discovered on her own. They walked for hours until they reached a small local restaurant, where they rested and had lunch.

“You really know your way around here,” she said.

“I live an hour away, so I drive here whenever I need a change of scenery. It’s a beautiful place to relax,” he responded.

She was shocked at how easily the conversation flowed between them, that the thought of her leaving the next morning really upset her. They spent the rest of the day together. His friends joined them later in the afternoon and with very little persuasion the events of the night before where repeated. However, she made sure to drink as little as possible.

Alas, all good things come to an end and her vacation was no different. With her bag was packed and her hotel bill paid she was ready to leave. However, psychologically she was not quite ready to leave all this behind; the beach, her new friends, whom she promised she would keep in touch with, and the calm that came with this relaxing atmosphere. The second train stopped she was back to her city and back to reality.

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