Cruising on the Pacific---A Fiction, Part II
Next morning she woke up late but still managed to run a few laps on the top deck. She met up with her friends for breakfast and they shared their laughter and various concerns over different topics. Noon went in the spa and after a light lunch, she preferred to snooze for a bit so that she could reserve some energy for the late evening. Radhika gets a buzz from her friend to meet her at a café for a caffeine shot. She reaches the third floor of the ship. Takes her coffee and seats herself at a table across a pool while she is waiting for her friend to come. It is a warm evening as the ship is approaching Cabo San Lucas.
Radhika is enjoying the warm coffee amidst the soft and cool breeze that is blowing her loose hair. It gives her a warm and fuzzy feeling and she gives a smile while sipping her coffee in tranquility. Just then she starts to feel her heart beat at a faster pace and she cannot find the reason to it. She starts to look around and finds a lady coming out of the pool. She was a lean person with her hair tied. Radhika looked carefully and from her lean physique she recognized that lady to be the same one passing by her last evening. She cannot understand the logic behind her fast heart beats and rises from the chair to take another look at the woman. With her coffee in her hand, she approaches the lady who is now seated on a reclining pool chair and is busy wiping her wet body. Radhika could not believe her eyes. She twitched her eyes and looked at her coffee and smelled it. She pinched herself and went towards the pool to see her reflection. She then went back to that lady and after breathing hard, she uttered a loud, “Hi”.
The lady had finished wiping her self and was wearing a robe. When she heard the big and loud Hi, she looked up and her jaw struck low while she accidentally tied the knot of the robe tightly. She was so enthralled by what she was viewing that the tight knot did not seem to bother her. She was courteous and she replied back. Then there was stillness between them. They did not know what to talk but instead kept staring at each other.
Finally, Radhika broke the ice and said, “So, where are you from?” while forcing a smile on her lips and pushing back her loose hair, which were flowing all over her face. The lady first raised her eyebrows and asked Radhika to be seated. She brought out her hand and said, “Hi, I am Charmaine and I live in Shelton, Connecticut.” Radhika kept thinking about her past and her parents. She was thinking so hard that she jumped right to the question, “Who are your parents?” Charmaine’s facial expressions were not pleasant on hearing that question and seeing the frown on her face, made Radhika reiterate the question with a smile by saying, “Eh, I meant any idea how we look so much alike?” Charmaine paused and said, “I wish I knew but who are you and where are you from.” Radhika felt embarrassed and took out her hand to shake with Charmaine. She said, “I am Radhika and I am live in San Jose, CA.” Both the ladies exchanged their family histories and concluded that they did not know each other in any ways.
Just then company interrupted them. Radhika’s friend, Shilpa came and she was apologetic for being late. Charmaine’s husband came for her and they both bid their byes but were quick enough to exchange their room nos.
Radhika was still shocked at what she saw and was hardly listening to Shilpa’s tale of being late. They sat at the table for coffee and Radhika asked for a cup of Cappuccino. She needed a strong shot of caffeine to get the answers. She also had the urge to call her parents and ask about their past life but, calling from the sea would be so expensive and she thought of holding on to her thoughts. Shilpa was rambling about her stuff and Radhika interrupted her by asking, “So, did you see that lady to whom I was talking to?” Shilpa frowned ‘cause she felt that Radhika is not paying attention to her ordeal but she let it go and said, “what about that lady? What was so special about her?” Just then, live music started to play and there was so much noise. That did not stop Radhika she got super excited and she literally got up from her chair to talk in Shilpa’s ear. She shouted in her ear, “She looks like me. In fact, she is I!”
Shilpa was frowning and said, “You did not tell me that you had a twin? How is that possible?”
Radhika had a perplexed face and said that she was puzzled about it as well. She told Shilpa that she and Charmaine talked about their families and none came close to each other.
Just then, both the ladies husbands came looking for them and asked them to get ready for the evening dinner. Radhika was overloaded with caffeine that the thought of food made her throw up. But, she got up and started walking towards her room with her husband by her side. She was eager to give the details of her look-a-like to her better half as soon as they approach their room. On entering the room, she told him everything and she was expecting a “wow” or “oh my god” kind of response but, he was pretty cool about it and said, “okay, so you found you’re look-a-like. That’s great! Did you click pictures with her? Did you take down her telephone no.?” Radhika got very irritated by his response and wanted to just ignore him but then thought that yeah, clicking pictures and keeping in touch with her would be cool so that when she confronts her parents, she could show them the proof. She told her hubby about Charmaine’s room no. He asked her to call them and invite them for dinner tonight. Radhika thought to be a fantastic idea and called for her room number. Charmaine picked up and Radhika spoke to her freely without any hesitation and asked if they would like joining them for dinner tonight. There was a pause in between since, Charmaine had to consult her hubby over it and Radhika ended the conservation by saying, “Great, see you at the dinning hall at 8pm.”
Radhika put down the receiver and looked at her hubby. She hugged him and started getting ready. All of a sudden, she developed an appetite and could not wait to be seated at the dinning table.
Radhika’s husband in the meantime called up their other friends to be excused for the dinner since; they had made plans to meet up Radhika’s look-a-like friend and better half. They made plans to meet up at the comedy club after dinner. Once ready Radhika made sure to double check for her digital camera in her purse. And when the clock struck quarter to 8. They started walking towards the dinning hall. She was super excited and kept rambling to her better half. He kept a keen ear to her talk although most of it did not make sense so, just kept saying, "hmm" every now and then.
They met Charmaine and her husband outside the dinning room. Exchanged pleasantries and waited their turn to be seated. Once seated and the wine poured, the ladies started to giggle and tried to mingle. They both realized they had nothing in common except their face and they both seemed to accept it well. Took pictures of each other and as a group. They also exchanged contact numbers promising to keep in touch and parted their own ways.
Radhika felt a heavy load off her shoulders after they parted. She had no grudges against anyone and just laughed at destiny for making them plan this trip so that she could meet her look-a-like and thanked the creator for giving different personalities to two people who look alike.