From cool airplane air, Ashley stepped into a heated wall. “You’re sweating” pointed out her longtime boyfriend, maybe future husband. Attempting dignity, Ashley replied, “ladies glow”.
Muttering “glowing like a fire engine”, he took off for the immigration counter. A new tropical nation stamp in her passport, she struggled to breathe, carry her case and keep up with his lordship.
“That burger will be another lump of fat on your hips” was what he chose to say as they started their first dinner of the holiday. Swallowing with difficulty, she pushed the meal away. “Not hungry” he asked pulling her plate towards him. “Do you mind if I ….” he said, taking a large mouthful. Mouth still full, he added “We should go ride the elephants tomorrow”
Pre-holiday, she’d said “the one thing I won’t do is abuse animals”.
She’d tried to leave before but he’d asked what she would do without him. End up an old lady with rescue animals? This time she didn’t tell him. She packed only a small bag and booked her own ticket to a nearby island resort. The resort owner assured her nobody rode the elephants.
Running down the road, she’d flagged down the crowded local bus. Hauled up the rickety stairs by complete strangers, she caught her breath. Sweat was covering her and pooling in places it wasn’t meant to be. But sitting on the back steps of that old bus, she was free.
Free in all it’s sweaty, sticky glory.
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