‘So, how was your call?’
‘All good. We got that new client. Now we just need to work our socks off on his account. We start the week after we get back. Are you okay Maddy? You look strange,’ and she narrows her eyes while staring at me.
‘Strange how?’ I must look a bit startled and bewildered, as Cindy’s expression softens.
‘I don’t know. You just look a bit distant sometimes, and I have caught a frugal smile on your lips a few times. It suits you. It reminds me of a younger version of you. Now you need to work on your wardrobe ... I was thinking...’
‘I don’t know where to start with that,’ I butt in ’I know you told me before, but I don’t know what you mean by fun-loving young forty-something.’ I fake a whine and pout then smile up at her.
‘Okay, well, I have a couple of things you can borrow for now. And then we are going on a shopping trip to Galle to get you sorted.’
I can’t really argue with her. I don’t really know much about clothes and fashion, certainly not what would suit me at this stage of my life. But I’m glad I can delegate these things to her expert knowledge.
We watch as the beach is transformed from the sunbathing paradise of the day to the party scene of the evening. Countless young men busy themselves removing the heavy sunbeds and parasols and replacing them with endless rows of tables. As we watch, the sun goes down behind the hill on the right end of the beach. The sky takes on the most fantastic display of colours nature is capable of. The reds and blues turn to purple and violet. The transition from full day to night is quick but extraordinary in the tropics.
Bikini-clad people leave the comfortable heaven of the sand to go back to the hotels and get ready for dinner. The most resilient ones move from the beach straight to the restaurants for the first drink of the evening.
Candles are placed on the tables, and the fish displays are ready to host the catch of the day. The lights go on, and the music is turned up louder. The transformation of the beach is complete.
We finish our drinks and head back to the hotel.