Roses Will Bloom Again : Chapter 2 : A Pleasant Surprise

Ila @ Shree Ilakkiya Devi

Ila was tired, restless and depressed. She held her bag in her left hand while holding her shoulder for support with the right. She was looking out in anticipation of someone who wasn't going to show up. She glanced at the large clock on the arrival hall. It was a quarter to eleven.

Even at this late hour, the arrival lounge of the transportation terminal was like a sea of faces moving in an unseen current, flowing like water to their destinations. Small groups would sometimes stop and cause a small eddy, but the others would flow around the outside and continue on their way. 

There were sculptures of a large Wau and a Gasing featured at the center of the arrival lounge. In the background, a soft  Malay classical music was playing. There were plasma screens of arrival and departure times on the wall of the terminal.

Outside, people have lined up at the pickup lane with their baggage. There was a curious mixture of bored and excited people. Some looked like they were waiting for a friend or family, others like they were waiting for Santa Claus himself. Some lounged on the low comfy chairs and others bounced on their toes.

But none of them had waited there as long Ila did. With aching shoulders and legs, she was clenching her fist, holding onto her heavy bag. She had been waiting there for the past three hours. She knew nobody was coming to greet her. Yet, she stood there not knowing where to go or whom else to call.

Anbu was her last resort and he hung up on her. She wasn't even mad at him. That's because she knows deep inside that she very well deserved it for the betrayal she had done to him.

A drop of tear rolled down her cheek. Then suddenly, a stream of tears gushed out from her eyes. Her uncontrollable weep attracted some attention. A concerned bypasser paused to ask what's wrong. Not wanting to be the center of attention, she quickly wiped her tears and turned away.

Where do I go next? Nobody wants to accept me. I feel alone though surrounded by people. There's only one place to go next. I'm prepared for it. If the world doesn't accept me, then its time for me to leave it.

As she was about to step away from the spot she was standing on, a familiar car pulled up in front of her. She'd recognize that car by the sound of its engine even with her eyes closed. 

A dash of fresh hope returned to her. Her eyes were once again flooded with tears. She wasn't sure whether it was a happy one or just a grateful one. Her suicidal thoughts took a little break. A moment of hesitation set in. She was genuinely surprised by the sudden turn of event. 

Facing the car's passenger side window, she waited for some sort of callsign or signal. Then, it happened. The window rolled down. She could see Anbu inside the car.

Anbu's eyes were fixated on the car ahead. He didn't turn to look at her. He unlocked the door with a push of a button. That was all the sign she needed.

Words couldn't describe how grateful she felt for this surprise. She opened the door and got into the car with Anbu.

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