Mostrando las entradas con la etiqueta cruise. Mostrar todas las entradas
Mostrando las entradas con la etiqueta cruise. Mostrar todas las entradas

jueves, 31 de marzo de 2016

True image

  Julie’s walk was very confident and full of energy. Every step she took towards the pool area in the cruise, made her noticeable to every single person on the boat. She was wearing a blue bikini with a large hat and sandals with quite a heel and she was pulling it off in the best way possible. All men had their eyes on her and all women wanted to be as confident as she was.

 Following Julie, however, was her brother Kevin. It was an absolute contrast because Kevin wasn’t dressed at all for a swimming pool; he just looked like one of those people that go to awesome place but don’t do that much. Well, that precisely was Kevin because he didn’t even wanted to come at first but he had being pressured by his parents to accompany his sister. The trip was her gift for finishing high school with great marks and she had been joined by some friends in the cruise. So the suffering was double for Kevin.

 Which was silly because he was older than him. He should have gotten over the whole high school thing but he actually hadn’t.. His experiences there had been so traumatic that he didn’t even liked to be around Julia when her friends were with her. He quietly went away, most likely to his room or he just wandered around the ship, which was large enough.

 For the swimming pool, he was wearing these big, long, baggy trunks that looked two sizes larger than him, not flip flops but actual shoes and big white t-shirt. Besides, his face was covered in white, like a ghost. When they got to some free chairs by the pool, Julia removed her sunglasses and look at her brother, a bit disappointed. He was covering himself with his towel and looking at everyone a bit scared.

 She told him to come near and helped him with the mask of sunscreen he had put on his face,. She made him look a little bit more normal. Julia told him she should enjoy the pool and the sun for once and that nothing was never as bad as he imagined it. “Everything is in your head”, she often told him.

 Kevin always ignored that phrase because he thought it was a very silly thing to say. His fears, for him, were extremely real and they weren’t only in his head. He could hear and see people mocking him all around, always, and he wasn’t as strong as Julia to take it all and just don’t mind or to be able to fight it back. Kevin had always been very shy and had even been bullied in school, so it was normal that even as an adult he was still afraid. But the thing was he had never attempted to defeat his demons and that’s what worried Julia.

 She took a last look at him and then removed sandals, glasses and a nice watch a friend had given her as a present for her most recent birthday. Then she walked to the other side of the pool, were several people her age greeted her. There were boys and girls and Kevin could recognize most of them from the first two days of the cruise. She had gone out almost every night to the disco they had there and he had been falling asleep really early as there were no TV sets in any of the rooms, for some reason.

 Maybe the people that had built the cruise ship thought that it was enough to put all these fun things to do for people to be happy and not need a TV but Kevin certainly disagreed with that. He really felt miserable and wished the week was over faster.

 Some girl passed in front of him and looked at him for a second. Her look was the one of someone who sees something gross by the road or something like that. Very affected by it, he decided to stand up, check for the room keys in his pocket and go back there. Julia wouldn’t mind and he certainly didn’t want to stay there. So he just left.

 When he arrived in his room, he was sweating heavily because of the clothes he was wearing and decided to shower in order to refresh a bit. He left the clothes all over the floor and just entered the bathroom and tried not to think about anything as he felt the cold water running over his body. He didn’t use soap or anything like that, he just enjoyed the cool shower that seemed like sitting on the rain. It was one of the few things he liked about the cruise.

 When he got closed the water, he remembered he had left the towel on the bed and the cleaning lady hadn’t come in yet. So he shook off some of the water and stepped out naked. For a moment, he didn’t realize it but he was looking at his own body naked. Then he remembered the bathroom door had a full body mirror behind it and he was surprised by it.

 Kevin had always hated mirrors. He had never liked mirrors because they made him look at him and he had passed years trying not to do that. He had been called so many names because of his ears, his body, the way he was smarter than other in school… And besides all of that, he had always thought he was fat and ugly and just didn’t wanted to be made to look at himself.

 But when he stepped out of the shower, he just froze there and saw his own body, after a long time.  Somehow, it was different that he remembered it. He got nearer and, unconsciously, started examining his skin, his face, his chest, his arms, his penis, his legs and feet. Everything.

 He took a long time watching his own body and he was fascinated because he realized he had never done that. Then, feeling like awakening from a strange dream, he opened the door and grabbed the trunks he had been wearing. He put them over his body in front of the mirror and realized how ridiculous it was to wear something so big on him. He was skinny but he certainly wasn’t an XL man.

 Kevin dropped the trunks on the ground and just kept looking at himself. He finally shed a single tear and said, in very hushed voice, “If only someone…” But didn’t finish the phrase because he had no idea how to finish it. He thought about how he wanted to be like his sister, who was strong and didn’t care what people said about her. She was strong and he felt so weak. But he also realized he wanted to do something about it. The mirror had helped him see that.

 So he grabbed some of the money his parents had given him, got dressed with the clothes he had before and went to one of the many stores on board. He didn’t like to try on clothes or to be around people that loved fashion but it was necessary for him to do it. So he approached a saleswoman and asked where he could find some trunks. She directed her to the right spot and even joined him. He was embarrassed to have her next to him but just took a deep breath and pretended she wasn’t there. He looked for a color he liked and then a size he thought would work and just bought it, without trying it on.

 He went back to his room almost running, got naked in the bathroom and put on the new trunks. The difference was huge. On the mirror, he could even see his butt and a pair of legs that weren’t so bad. He just needed a bit more sun because he looked pale and sick. But the trunks worked great and he smiled at his own image when he saw himself on the mirror.

 Some minutes later, he was sweating heavily again. But it wasn’t because of the sun but because of how nervous he was. He had decided to get out of his room in only his flip-flops and his new trunks. He had his towel on one hand and the room keys in the other and nothing else. He was shaking a bit but kept walking looking at his feet or very high in front of him. He did so slowly not to stumble against anyone.

 He found an empty deck chair not so close to the poll and decided to sit there. He had put on some sunscreen before leaving the room so he just laid there, a bit nervous and tensioned but certain that would help. He fell asleep for a while until his sister came and woke him up. She was angry at him because he had left her things unattended but a friend had noticed so nothing had happened. She asked his brother what was he doing.

 ¿What does it look like?

 And she just smiled. She kissed him on the cheek and told him to be careful with the sun. She was going to leave for the games area but she would look for him later. He told her he needed to get more tanned, so he would be there for a while. Amused, she left with her friends.

 Kevin saw her walk away and realized he had taken a huge step out of his shell. Right then though, he saw two guys with ridiculously chiseled bodies but instead of feeling less, he laughed. And he just closed his eyes again and turn around, to do the back.

jueves, 19 de marzo de 2015

Aegean Cruise

   Maureen Sullivan ran to the railing and held her hat before the wind had a chance to blew it off her head. The city looked gorgeous from there and, as she soon realized, the cruiser had began to move. It was just perfect, feeling the wind on her face, the smell of the salt water and the beautiful city, which began turning on its lights for it was already late in the evening. Maureen stood there for several minutes until she heard the announcement of a special dinner to welcome all the passengers to this journey.

 Maureen then decided to go to her room and change clothes for dinner. When she got to her cabin, she went through her luggage and started hanging some dresses and taking out all the shoes she had. She loved to dress nicely as she hadn’t being able to do so for many years. The thing is that Maureen used to be a nun. Yes. She had her calling at an early age, after being a devoted catholic for all of her childhood. Now, when she thought about it, maybe she had been too young and should’ve thought this more thoroughly.

 She decided to put on a beautiful purple dress with a matching purse and green shoes. For a moment, Maureen thought she was going to look like an upside down eggplant, but then she decided to go for it. So what if people talked? That was better. This fifty two year old woman had not being able to use such rich colors back in the convent, and one of the things she looked forward as she left her former life was the use of many types of clothing and makeup. It seemed shallow but it was understandable after more than thirty years wearing always the same thing, and the same boring shoes.

 She arrived at the dining hall just in time, as every single passenger was making their way into their respective tables. Maureen thanked God she didn’t have to look for a seat but instead only ask one of the waiters where she was supposed to seat. They had electronic screens where they checked it. After receiving directions, Maureen asked the waiter where could she find one of those screens. She was fascinated by the invention.

 A few minutes later she was already siting between a Canadian couple and a lady from Moscow, who was a bit older than her. She started speaking in English to her and, to her surprise; the woman was fluent and very educated, telling her about her life in the Russian capital. Maureen didn’t want her to stop but the show had started on the stage they were facing and it was too good to miss.

 As she watched the dancers, it was almost impossible not to think what would she be doing if she had still being a nun. At this hour of the night, probably sleeping or trying to at least. She used to love knitting and to embroider to calm her nerves, which always seemed restless. The doctor, one that came to the convent once per month to check on all the sisters, had given her some pills to calm that restlessness but she had never taken a single one. Something deep inside told her that she didn’t need that because her impatience, that weird energy inside of her was what she needed to keep on living.

 Maybe it was because of this, or maybe not, but she started to have blood pressure problems just after learning that her mother and father had died. A horrible accident and half her family had disappeared, as if they had never existed. She still had a brother but he never went to the convent to visit her and talk. He had gone to college, got a great job abroad and the last thing she knew was that he had gotten married and had one child. As the dancers finished, she thought how much she would love to meet her nephew.

 Maureen went on talking to the Russian lady and learned that her name was Valentina and that she was actually from Yekaterinburg, a city located in the Ural mountains of central Russia. She told Maureen about the harsh winters when she would stay inside for many days and enjoy lots of sweets because her parents said chocolate helped resist the cold. Valentina also told her about the trips along the river in the spring, when the water was so still and the flowers blossomed all over.

 It was just magic listening to all of Valentina’s stories. She seemed like the kind of woman she would have liked to be: limitless, doing what she liked the most, enjoying her life fully. It isn’t that she had hated the convent or anything. Quite the opposite: she missed the sisterhood that she had left there. If there was something beautiful about being a nun, it was the fact that they took care of each other, every single day. But, nevertheless, she thought she would have liked to enjoy more of life, getting to do more things in life, experience new things.

 That’s why, with the money she had inherited all those years ago, she had decided to take this cruise. She knew that a trip would make her happy beyond anything she had ever known. Because there was one thing she missed the most and that was people. Yes, she did do a lot for many people on the convent but always going back to those four walls, always helping but not really relating. That was her reason for leaving. She argued that God must want more of all of us, not only helping and be good but to be interested for real, to be there for each other. And she didn’t feel that she was doing that so she left to do it on her own.

 But first, she had to do this trip. With Valentina, she toasted with champagne and was surprised at how nice it tasted. She had a couple more glasses and talked with her new friend about both their lives for hours, until the master of ceremonies took the stage to announce it was bedtime. The next day they were docking in Mykons and he advised everyone to have a good rest to enjoy a whole day in such a beautiful island. The two women complied and agreed to meet at the dock the following morning to scout the island and buy souvenirs to bring back home.

 That night, Maureen was sad. She couldn’t sleep wither so she took out a small notebook from her suitcase and a pencil. When she couldn’t sleep now, she would also draw. She was not very good and didn’t do any drawings of what she actually saw. She thought the world was too beautiful as it was to be rendered ugly by her hand. So what Maureen did was drawing things that came up in her mind. She liked to think of them as cartoons although she didn’t think any child would understand them.

 A child… Her nephew… That still hurt her so bad, being cut off from her family like that. She had called her brother after she left the convent. Her idea was to visit him first and them take the cruise but that wasn’t possible. Her brother told her she had decided to be cut off from them for a reason and now that their parents were gone, it didn’t make any sense to fuel a relationship that had been dead for so long. He argued that she had always thought of herself as special because of her devotion and that’s why she got to go away. For her brother, she had always been their parent’s favorite child and he had to live with that until he left the house.

 Maureen knew that, on the phone call, Brian had tried hard not to be rude because it wasn’t in him to be like that. But he stated clearly that he couldn’t just forget all about his past to rekindle a relationship with someone he was sure he didn’t know well. So she would never meet her nephew or at least not very soon. She drew at least three pages until she realized it was past 2 AM. She left her notebook and pencil on the bedside table and forced herself into a restless sleep.

 The following morning, she put on a nice flowery dress and sandals with a white hat and sunglasses to go down the dock and meet Valentina. She had not rested a bit but decided she couldn’t spoil her holiday just because of one bad night. The two women walked together along the beautiful streets and up and down stairs. They separated from the main group fast and explored many shops by themselves. They bought some presents and Valentina asked Maureen why she was taking so few. Maureen answered she was by herself now so it didn’t make any sense to buy many gifts.

 At lunchtime, Valentina decided to stop walking around and invited her new friend for brunch at a nice café overlooking the bay of Mykonos. They had all the entrées, as a way to taste the most of the local food. They had fun asking what it all was and, afterwards, going to the archeological museum were they discussed art and politics. It was fun for Maureen because she had so much in her mind about so many subjects but she had never been able to talk to anyone about it. She had a lot of fun with Valentina and when it was time to get back to the boat, they decided to have a few drinks at the cruise lounge on the top deck.

 When she got back to her cabin, Maureen had also decided to call her brother again. She did so disregarding any special fees. She didn’t care about prices or times. Maureen had to ask for forgiveness and try to get her family back to her because, if there was something to learn about her day with Valentina, it was that people are very important in everyone’s lives because they are the ones that make us feel alive. And who better to share your life with than your own family?