I’m hurtling toward my dream. I can’t contain my excitement.
I declined Cindy’s offer to stay one night with her in Colombo. I don’t want to waste any time. I want to be with him.
The journey from the airport feels never ending. I see the lush scenery fly past and I will the car to go faster.
We leave the Expressway and start weaving our way through the villages. At last, we are on the coastal road. It is starting to get dark, the sky is still tinged with smudges of red, and the clouds are a darker shade of purple. The sea is reflecting the sky. Suddenly, I see the sign “Welcome to Mirissa,” and my heart starts pumping like crazy. My palms are clammy. A riot of emotions is playing inside me, and I can’t sit still.
I check in at the same hotel. It all looks so familiar. I feel at home. I burst into the room, the same room too - how bizarre - fling my bag on the bed and start undressing. I need to jump in the shower. It has been a long flight and a long sweaty ride here. The water helps to calm my nerves a bit, but there is nothing I can do about the butterflies dancing in my stomach. I can’t believe I’m here! And I grin dumbly into the mirror.
I pat myself dry and rummage through my bag for the dress I decided to wear this first night back. Cindy did the choosing, really, and I trust her completely. I find it and stretch it out on the bed while I slip on my matching lacy black underwear. I pick up the dress, lift it over my head and wiggle into it. It is a navy-blue figure-hugging little number. Low cut in the front and the back, it’s a job understanding which is which! The straps are the same material as the hem, a chiffon-like delicate twist of an even darker navy. I can just about squeeze it all the way down my trunk – I must be careful not to eat or drink too much, else I will never struggle out of this tonight. I pull the dress down past my derrière and smooth it over my thighs, pulling it as far down as I can and reaching just below my knees – the knees! Need to conceal the wobbly knees, I said to Cindy when we were standing in her room. At that, she looked at me, raised an eyebrow and gave me a playful push on the shoulder. Give over! There’s nothing wrong with your knees, lady!
I spray a little of my favourite perfume just behind my ears and on my wrists, clasp my thin silver chain and slip in my dangling earrings with a small fake blue glittering diamond.
My palms are clammy, but I’m ready. Deep breath in, blow all the air out with as much noise as I can. Well, that didn’t do anything to calm my nerves, but at least I tried. Right. I grab my little blue purse and the keys and head out. I can’t understand the way I feel. A mixture of dread and longing, like when you watch a horror movie and you don’t really want to see the gory bits, but you want to know what happens.
I turn right at the hotel door and find myself catapulted into a world I know so well. The familiar little road, the coconut trees, the stray dogs. I walk on, as if in a daze. I can feel my heart in my throat now, and I turn the corner at the end of the old wall. My beach! Everything is exactly as it was, nothing has changed. It’s as if I have never left.
I slow down, my legs feel heavy, I feel the sand between my toes and hear the ocean lapping the shore. It sounds as if it is beckoning me to walk toward it. I reach the water then turn right. I see him immediately. He is walking up the stairs, hands full of empty dishes, and he is turning to talk to a young blond girl who is following him. She is clearly asking for directions to the toilets. That smile. That is mine!
I come out of the shade and into the light of the restaurant. He sees my movement from the corner of his eye and turns around. His face lights up, he dumps the dishes he is carrying on the nearest empty table, jumps down and runs to me, picks me up and swivels me round and round, burying his head in my chest.
He puts me down gently, sliding me between his arms until my feet touch the sand, then holds me tight, his arms crossing over on my lower back. I clasp my hands behind his head and raise my head toward him. His lips close in on mine. Our bodies are moulding into one another. I hear the music in the background. This must be what heaven feels like!