Please check under label “Cat Series”, for the first two Cat Chronicles.
Third Chronicle…Continued from Part2
Third Chronicle…Continued from Part2
Atul and Cat checked in at the City Inn Westminster at London. It was a very nice place and the rooms they were given were fantastic. They were tired from their flight so without unpacking itself, they collapsed onto the bed and drifted off to sleep. It was some time later that Atul woke up hearing Cat say something. He listened again, and smiled. She was having the same dream as the previous night, asking him what was his name was. He closed his eyes and went back to sleep. Moments later, Cat woke up, sweating again. She went to the bathroom, and splashed her face with water. She didn’t like this trip so much right now. She sat on the couch, and switched on the television. Some county cricket match was going on, and she watched without watching, as Durham won against Derbyshire in the match. Atul, woken up by the sound of the television, just watched her with anxiety. He had a hunch that her dream was a bad one, but did not want to ask her about it.
The next day, they got ready fast as they didn’t want to waste a single minute of their vacation. A knock on the door told them their guide had arrived. Cat opened the door and found a very young woman there. She was younger to her, she thought.
“Hello, I’m Ruthie Davis. My dad was supposed to be your guide for today’s part of the tour, but he’s been taken ill, so I’m taking over. Are you Mrs. Mehra? ”, she said. Cat nodded her head, and invited her inside. “Well Mrs. Mehra, the look on your face was wondrous. Perhaps you are feeling I’m too young for the job. I assure you I’ve the credentials for this and I’ve taken the jobs before. My dad’s health is not that good, so I’ve taken over from him quite a lot before”, she continued.
“Haha. No no Ruthie, I was surprised because when we asked for the guide in the lobby, we were told his name was Lloyd Davis. I didn’t expect him to be taken ill, but that’s life. I hope its nothing too serious. Please sit down, my husband is just on a call. We will be with you in a few minutes.”
Atul ended his call then, and introduced himself too. They left the room and went out. It was a beautiful sunny day. Ruthie was an excellent guide and took them first to the London Eye. It is the largest ferris wheel in Europe. The view of London from the top was very exhilarating. They were having fun. They went to Madame Tussaud’s and saw many waxworks there. They seemed so very lifelike. Some shopping and window shopping, the time flew by and it was lunch. Ruthie suggested a small restaurant. They went there and had a very nice lunch. She was indeed very knowing of the city. She was very talkative and made lots of little jokes too. So they were laughing and enjoying themselves.
“Well folks, the tour today can’t be complete without passing through the parks adjoining River Lee. The green surrounding the calm river is a sight to behold”, said Ruthie, as they got into a horse driven carriage. Ruthie sat in front next to the driver, who she apparently knew. As they made their way toward the parks in the carriage, Ruthie was describing the place non stop. Atul was listening to her with interest, but Cat seemed not to notice. Her thoughts were elsewhere. It was the ring of a phone that brought Cat out of her dream. Atul looked at her anxiously as Ruthie answered her cell phone. She cut the call and turned back to face them.
“I’m really sorry. That was the doctor from the hospital. My father’s condition seems to have worsened, and I’ll have to go back. My friend Danny”, she said, indicating the carriage driver, “will take you to the parks. I’ve arranged for a picnic for you. Please understand.”
“Oh that is not a problem. Let us take you back to the hospital ourselves. We don’t need to delay. We could go to the parks later”, said Cat. Ruthie forestalled her and said,”No, I’ve never ended a tour day without a trip to the parks. It won’t feel right. Please do go. Danny will get you the picnic basket and the blanket to sit by the waterside.”
Atul was just going to say something, but the carriage stopped and Ruthie got down and hurried away. She was very anxious about her father. Danny soon got them to the park. Asking Cat to sit by the bench near the waterside, Atul went with Danny to get the picnic basket. Cat sat there anxiously knowing what would soon happen. She saw some kids playing there in the park, and as they chased each other around, Cat watched with delight. Then Atul came from behind and covered her eyes. She smiled, removed them gently, and looked into his eyes with love. He kissed her slowly.
As they had their picnic, Atul noticed Cat was silent. She was awake, so he realized she must be homesick. He leaned toward her and whispered, “It’s our honeymoon. I didn’t think you’d want Neel to come and cook for us here”. She smiled. The passing ferry however made her smile go away. Atul saw that, leaned toward her and whispered again, “I met the captain when I went to get the picnic. He said there were not many people for the final run. So we could be quite alone. It’d be quite cozy and private too. We’re going on it later.”
Cat didn’t want to go now, but she smiled for him and hugged him tightly. The sun was setting, as they climbed aboard the ferry as it left the dock for its tour of the river. Except for an elderly couple, they were quite alone for this trip. They took up the seats near the back, away from the couple who sat at the front. The crew of the ferry, a young captain at the wheel and two deckhands were quite willing to leave them alone. As the ferry cruised along its serene paths, they stood near the side, talking of the future.
“I think our first child will be a girl. I want to name her Disha,” he said. Cat gave him a friendly punch. “No. It’ll be a boy and his name is Ishan”, she said. They argued in this fashion for sometime when Cat felt the tug on her skirt. She became silent and tried to ignore it. But she felt another tug. She bent down and saw a cute girl there. She bent down and said, “Hey sweetheart. What is your name?”
The little girl’s reply was lost in a sound that turned her heart to stone. She had heard that sound many times before, and the sound rang out again. She held the little girl close to her, and covered her. As she got up again, the world around her seemed to be moving in circles as it started to spin. The captain and deckhands were running toward her, but she had collapsed, hearing a distinct splash as soon as the second sound was heard. Atul was not to be seen.
(To be continued…)
PS: I’m nearing my 300th post and the guest posts as celebrations, so the next part may be delayed and not on next Monday. Do keep an eye out! Thank you!