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Cruising on the Pacific--A Fiction
Last December Radhika and her friends decided to go cruising over the Pacific Ocean. The ship was leaving a week before Christmas and she wasn’t sure if she would get holidays prior to Christmas. But, since they were destined to go so, it came as a surprise when their holidays got sanctioned. They booked their tickets and started packing and reading all about this new venture in their lifetime.
They were super excited and started their road journey to Los-Angeles way ahead of time. They reached the harbor 2 hours ahead of their check in time. Radhika and her friends were surprised to see so many people. It seemed that they weren’t the only ones to be all excited to be cruising.
They parked and got tags for their bags. Allowed the porter to take their luggage and went and stood in the LONG line to check them in and fill out the necessary paperwork. The line was long but the passion to get on the ship was strong. They all stood patiently and while standing for a spur of a moment, Radhika felt her head tingle and she seemed to have missed a heartbeat. Surprisingly, it happened as if a gust of wind blew by her. After a few gulps of water and deep breaths, she felt better and blamed the latter ‘cause of exhaustion.
Finally, after walking miles and showing their boarding card at every stop, they were boarding this huge ship. It was a breathtaking view. They stepped aside to take pictures and admire this huge fleet, which will be their home for 6 days.
They enter the ship and could not believe their eyes. The interior was done so beautifully with velvety drapes and huge and expensive paintings hanging on the walls and Victorian style furniture. It was mind-blowing. They had to remind themselves that this is a ship and it yet looked like a seven star hotel’s lobby. While they were admiring the décor, a waiter came up to ask for their order for drinks. They were quite confused at that time and had to look in the menu. Got themselves a table and parched their thirsty throats, while stretching their aching muscles and making sure that all the documents are safe in the purse.
The rooms were to be allocated after an hour so, they had plenty of time to roam around this huge container. They got the overview plan of this ship and started their journey by pointing their fingers to the east and west. There eyes continued to be popping over each exhibit and they kept murmuring the word, “wow” umpteen times. They were directed to the seventh floor where there was a banquet of food being served. There were huge lines at each stall but this family was quite patient to stand in a line and continued to enjoy the view.
Finally, they had a tray of food to themselves. They indulged in it and ate to their satisfaction. An hour passed by and they were directed to their room. Their luggage was outside their room and a bellboy was standing next to it. He helped them take their luggage in the room. The room was small but had a pleasant view since; it had a balcony, which overlooked the ocean. They felt positive vibes and were satisfied with the last moment bookings. It felt as if they were destined to make this trip.
They settled in and before the ship was to dis-embark. All the passengers were asked to come down at the dock for an emergency training. They were showed their emergency boat and the area where they were supposed to assemble just in case of any emergency evacuation. All the families assembled there were scared hearing the routine of evacuation and prayed that they would not face it.
Once that training was done. They met up with their friends and exchanged pleasantries and shared laughter over many amused things they observed. They all seemed so excited that most of them were rambling with excitement and there were hardly any listeners. And none of them really cared about it.
Evening ended with a dinner and they all retired to their rooms since it had been a long day for all of them. They promised to meet each other at the dusk of the dawn and start their adventure on various itinerary’s planned by the ship.
They slept like a log and when they woke up, they were happy to see the clear waters outside their room balcony. Radhika noticed gulping down a few anxious gulps thinking of “what if” and “how will we” but, took a deep breath and went with the stride of, “whatever will happen will happen to 3,000 people on board and not just me alone.”
They glanced at the day’s itinerary and rushed to the top level of the ship. They had a track for joggers and a room with all cardio machines. It was a wonderful sight to see people sweating before indulging in foods which were guaranteed to make people put on at least 5 pounds in a 6 day cruise. Health conscious people were aware of it and thus, thought of pumping their metabolism so that their body can continue to burn calories through out the day.
After sweating off a few calories themselves, they decided to indulge in a hearty breakfast. Shared a few laughter with friends and yapped on various topics. Went for a show, which was a complete entertainment full of comic and laughter. Noon was lunchtime, again indulged in a hearty meal, took a snooze and the guy’s hit the casino while ladies went to the spa.
That day was a formal night where passengers were asked to wear a formal dress and will be seated in a formal dining room for dinner. They rushed to their rooms to look the finest and posed in front of the cameras for a shot or two. As Radhika was posing for a couple of photographers, she noticed a streak of curiosity on some. They were screening her from top to bottom and she thought that something is wrong on her dress. She scanned it herself and found everything intact and continued posing for the snaps. Finally one photographer approached her and asked her how did she change into a different outfit so quickly. She was confused. She frowned and just ignored her.
After posing, they were led into the dining room where they were seated and their 4-course meal started. The dishes kept pouring and they continued enjoying every ounce of the meal along with live music, dance and loud laughter.
After dinner, they changed into “normal” clothes and set out into another entertainment filled late evening. It was pretty late and ~10 cocktails had taken a toll on her mind and body. She started walking towards her room since she was experiencing a slight headache. Her family and friends asked her to continue with her plans and that they will follow her soon.
She was walking slightly tipsy on the passageway and she feels a special aura approaching her. She looks up and sees a lady approximately her size, with her hair loose and covering most of her face, walking towards her. Radhika feels as if she has missed a heart beat although she could not understand why ‘cause the lady walking from the opposite direction seemed fairly harmless. She moved on the corner of the passageway to give way to the lady to pass. When the lady was passing by her, she felt something special about that person and wanted to look past her loose hair onto her face but could not catch much of a glimpse of her. She let her pass by, but kept thinking of what was it that was causing her to fright.
After a few minutes when she approached her room she was too exhausted to think further and called it a night.