awesome update yar...
Chapter 4 - Of Travel Plans (Feb 11-13)
Zoya dug through her purse to find her iPhone was drained out of battery. She plugged it in an outlet in her small hotel room waiting for it to turn on. A few minutes later, the apple logo on her screen lit up. She tapped her foot impatiently as she waited for the network bars to appear. But no such luck.
She took the phone off the charger and opened the small window of her room, in hopes of getting some signal. A strong gust of wind blew in and tiny droplets of rain splashed on her face.
There was a knock on the door and she opened it to find Aditya who had her cup of coffee and the sandwich in either of his hands. In her hurry to call home, she had forgotten about her rumbling stomach and the food that she had purchased.
He handed her the food without a word.
"There's no network here," he informed her eyeing the cellphone in her hand, "If you want to call someone, you can use the landline; if you're lucky it might work."
"Thanks," she called out to his retreating back.
Fortunately, she was able to talk to her parents using the hotel landline. There was a lot of static and the voice would drop sometimes but her family especially her father got the gist of what she was trying to say. She lied to them again that she was in Dublin. She couldn't tell them that her flight was diverted to Kerry, it would make them worry needlessly.
A small good that came out of her father disliking Yash was that he never asked to speak to him. And that was a relief for Zoya. It was a temporary situation. Tomorrow, when the weather cleared, she would be in Dublin with Yash. There was no need to burden her family with additional details given how they were so concerned about her traveling alone.
The next morning, Zoya showered and wore a fresh pair of blue top and black jeans with a jacket and repacked her stuff in the shopping bags. She should have bought a bag, she thought in hindsight.
She went down to the reception to ask about her flight from here to Dublin when she was informed that no flights were taking off due to the thunderstorm, which had still not subsided. The receptionist a young girl, told her to check again tomorrow. And so she spent another night in Tralee, counting minutes till morning.
The next day (13th February) Zoya, hopeful as ever, went back to the reception. The young receptionist again informed her that there were still no flights to Dublin. Like a repeat of the dialogues from the yesterday, the receptionist asked her to check in again tomorrow.
Tomorrow was 14th February- Valentine's Day. What if there were no flights tomorrow too? Then she would be stuck here and would not get to spend Valentine's day with Yash. She was never big on celebrating such occasions- more so because in 28 years of her life, she hadn't found someone to celebrate the day of love' with.
But this time, Yash had made arrangements. He had carefully booked a trip around this day so that they could spend their holiday together. It would be nice if she could reach Dublin before 14th. It would be the icing on the cake for Yash. Which meant that she had to leave today.
She would have to chuck the flight plan (a part of her was happy about it) and make other arrangements. She inquired about a bus or a train to which the receptionist, who also was the travel concierge, informed her that there was some repair work going on the railway tracks.
Perfect! Zoya grumbled bitterly to herself. Of all days in the year, the weather had to go south and the repair was required to be done on the day she needed to go to Dublin.
The receptionist did, however, give her directions to a bus stop. She wrote them on a piece of paper. Before Zoya could leave, the receptionist asked her if she was checking out and wouldn't come back. Zoya nodded and handed her the keys to the room. Once she was done with the checking out formalities, Zoya immediately rushed out of the hotel to locate the bus stop.
After half an hour of wandering around, trying to understand the directions, she finally spotted the bus stop. It was a small bench with a wooden shed over-head. It wasn't raining heavily but the drizzle seeped through Zoya's only jacket and made it damp.
She looked at her watch- it was close to noon. A single sheet of printed time-table was stuck on a post nearby. It was an old worn out sheet and from what she could decipher, buses plied every 2 hours from Tralee to Dublin.
Zoya plopped on the wooden bench and decided to wait.
2 hours became 3, which turned to 4 yet there was no bus in sight. The cloudy weather and the lack of sun, made the sky much darker than what should have been at 4pm. It was still drizzling but the black clouds gathering overhead was an imminent sign that it was going to rain heavily later.
Zoya hurried back to her hotel before she was caught in the rain.
"There's no vacancy?!" Zoya repeated in horror, what the receptionist told her, once she was back at the small hotel.
"Yes ma'am," the girl nodded, "As you know many flights to Dublin have been diverted here and all the hotels are booked. The moment you checked out of the room, we gave it to someone else."
"But... but I couldn't leave the town. There was no bus and I waited for a long time," Zoya described her futile trip to the bus-station.
"Oh yes," the girl nodded in agreement, "those buses are not regular."
Zoya's face crinkled in confusion and a little anger. That would have been a helpful piece of advice, maybe, before she vacated her room?
Reigning in her rising temper, she took a breath and pleaded, "I have nowhere else to go. Can you please, just please, arrange something for me?"
"I understand Ma'am, but there is nothing I can do." the girl replied sympathetically, "Do you have any acquaintance here? You could share their room for the night?"
Zoya bit her lower lip and racked her brain. The only person she knew here was her unpredictable co-passenger from the flight- Aditya. But she couldn't share a room with him. Heck, he was so fickle in the way he spoke to her; she could hardly strike a conversation with him. The thought was disregarded as soon as it appeared in her mind.
With no vacancy in the hotel, Zoya sat on a chair in the lobby. The receptionist asked her to wait incase a sudden vacancy came up (though with each passing hour, it was becoming less and less of a possibility).
Twirling a strand of hair, Zoya scrolled through her phone. There was still no network and the hotel wifi was not getting connected. Usually it would not bother her. She never had a pressing need for a cellphone unlike her younger sister Noor. Zoya had accounts on social media but she hardly kept up with anything.
Today she wanted to connect to the net to chat with Yash. The thought of calling him from the hotel landline did cross her mind but then he would see the country code and her plan of surprising him would be ruined. No, she would wait patiently and call him from her cellphone. Thankfully she had initiated international roaming while waiting in Delhi airport.
It had been 2 whole days since she spoke to Yash. What if he was calling her? What if he was worried as to why her mobile number was not available? Zoya thought for sometime- he would definitely be bothered about not being able to talk to her. She stood up and smoothed her top.
Not calling him to surprise him was not a rational idea at this point. She was about to head over to the reception to try and call Yash from the landline when something caught her eye.
Aditya was outside the hotel entrance, signing some document and handing it over to a uniformed guy who then handed him a key. She could see Aditya press the remote attached to the key ring and heard a beeping noise.
It was a car! Aditya had gotten a car on rent. Picking up her shopping bags and purse, she dashed out the glass doors of the hotels. Aditya was about to get in the driver's seat of a grey sedan when she yelled his name.
He swiveled his head in her direction and gave her a baffled look as she ran to him.
"You..." she panted, trying to catch her breath, "you got a car on rent. Can you please get me out of here? We can share the expenses."
"You have to go to Dublin," he answered, "I am going till Limerick. Dublin's another couple of hours drive from there."
"That's alright," she responded, "I will manage something from there."
"Why don't you-," Aditya began to speak when Zoya cut in, "I have tried everything. There is no flight, no train and irregular bus. And I can't rent a car because I can't drive. I even checked out of my hotel room so I am literally homeless. So please? Please just help me?"
He pressed his fingers to his chin, "You want to go alone with me? A complete stranger?"
"I know you are a good person," Zoya reasoned.
"Because I held your hand in the flight and reassured you during the turbulence," he smirked.
"Because you helped that kid with the oxygen mask. You didn't have to. There were so many people in the cabin including the crew but given how the flight was shaking, no one dared to get up from their seats. But you did; despite the risk. Would a bad person do that?" She countered him.
A small smile escaped his lips, "You are very observant. Well, alright, get your stuff and we can go."
"Thank you!" she exclaimed with joy. "And this," she raised her hands which held the shopping bags, "is all my stuff."
"Seriously?" he quirked an eyebrow, "You travelled from India to Ireland with only 4 shopping bags?"
"I actually was traveling with nothing except my hand bag," she chuckled, "It's a long story."
Aditya gave a slight nod and took the bags from her, stuffing it in the boot of the car, next to his trolley bag.
Zoya sat on the passenger seat and buckled her seat belt. She looked at her watch. It was 5 pm. In a couple of hours, she would reach Limerick and then another couple of hours to Dublin- at most the entire trip shouldn't take more than 6 hours.
Just 6 hours... nothing could go wrong now.
Topic started by ErisedWitch45
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