She opened her eyes to the distinctive sunlight of this part of the world. "Yes, you can shine all you like, I'm thinking grey clouds in my head", she muttered into her pillow. Still damp. She clutched the cell phone and dialed the long string of numbers, worn with repetition. Her heart felt like it was breaking, broken maybe. "Hello?". She could almost see the voice, bridging the miles, like a delicately drawn out thread. "Hello? Yaaru peshardhu?" She gulped, worrying it'd snap if she didn't say something. "Amma? It's me." "Hiiiiiii, da. How was the flight?" She couldn't get any of her rehearsed words out. Tears already making their customary passage down her cheek. They'd make a groove soon. "Kanna, are you ok? What's wrong?" She had to stop the anxiety before it became an avalanche of concern. "Nothing, amma", she managed after swallowing the bits of her broken heart that were bobbing up her throat. "Just jet lag. That's all."
He hoped he wasn't sitting next to one of those old uncle jis. Who'd constantly clear their throat of what sounded like copious amounts of phlegm and fidget restlessly while smelling of paan and the inimitable smell of sweat trapped in a safari suit. He was almost relieved when he saw a serious-looking bespectacled boy. Probably 18. He smiled comfortingly at him and settled down in his aisle seat. He found out that the boy was going to India on one of those school project affairs. He wondered how much of a waste of time those things were. After a while he decided to nap. To beat the jet-lag. He closed his eyes and leaned back in the chair. A hesitation later, "Do you want me to close the shutters, uncle ji?" He opened his eyes to the politely inquisitive stare of the boy. "No, no. That's fine." He smiled at him and closed his eyes again. It was no use. His head was throbbing and he felt fidgety and restless. He cleared his throat. He was only 29, for pity's sake.
In my defense,
I couldn't get to sleep till half past 3 this morning. I'm not a happy camper. Sigh.