CAN YOU FEEL THE LOVE TO-NIGHT?
The long road stretched ahead tantalizingly, inviting the car to experience its speed on its smoothness. The car raced ahead, not losing this opportunity, which could never be found on a city road. The cool fragrant air inside the car brought back memories of New Zealand and its invigorating air with its huge coastal plains and the hot springs, where they had gone five years ago for their honeymoon. But, no-one who now peeped inside the car would say that the honeymoon had ended. She smiled in pleasure as she adjusted the Ambi Pur® dispenser with one hand even as her other rested on his thigh entwined with his hand.
And can you feel the love tonight
It is where we are
It’s enough for this wide-eyed wanderer
That we got this far…
Elton John’s velvet crooning swirled inside the car, enveloping the besotted couple who were heady with the specialness of the day. It was their fourth wedding anniversary. Away from the monotony of their everyday routine life, the freedom of speeding on the highway was intoxicating. Their hearts thumped equally hard, the magic of intimacy lit fireworks in all their nerve endings. They were so jealous of this private moment they did not want to stop even for food. She fed him chicken nuggets and potato wedges with her fingers and giggled when he took a bite of her fingers. The cool fragrant air inside the car continued to remind them of New Zealand springs. The sun had set long ago and a couple of hours later they would reach the SunSwept resort where a candlelight dinner in a private suite awaited.
Could any other road trip be more perfect than this was the thought they shared silently in their minds.
SIXTEEN YEARS LATER
“Mom, please pick me up from the gym. I’ll shower at the resort.” She cut off the call on her mobile, swearing under her breath. The sixteen-year-old son on the line was old enough to go to the gym, but not old enough to be left behind alone in the house as a punishment for not sticking to the schedule.
“Mom, does the SunSwept resort have a swimming pool? Did you tell them that it is your twentieth Wedding Anniversary? Are they offering a complimentary cake?” The fourteen-year-old daughter shouted out the questions from the back of the Chevy Beat, even as she chomped her way through a take-away pack of Schezwan noodles and garlic chicken Manchurian, which would keep away the hunger pangs for the three hours it would take them to reach the resort.
The Beat glided to a halt outside the gym and she got out to sit at the back as the son always insisted on sitting in the front. She didn’t really mind. She had a tendency to nag her husband while he drove and he said this made him nervous.
The terrible odour of sweat that emanated from the exercise enthusiast made her wrinkle her nose and hold her breath till she was safely seated in the back.
As soon as he sat down, the son started fiddling with the music system eager to put on his favourite EDM.
“Justin Beiber! Really?!” He taunted his sister.
“Dad! Tell Bhaiyaa to let Justin baby’s song continue to play.”
“Justin baby! Ha ha ha. Really ROFL , sis!”
The father’s words of reproach drowned in the loud beats of EDM as they blasted out of the Bose speakers.
The son sipped on the protein shake from the gym café. The daughter, defeated by the might of the elder son, put on her earphones and was soon lost to the world of juvenile music. Maybe the next three hours of the journey would pass peacefully.
But it was not to be. The sweaty smell of the gym clothes combined with the oily, sour smell of the Noodle-Manchurian mix was beginning to make every one gag.
Mother was the first to notice. Her nose was always the first to know things. It was a busy nose.
The Ambi Pur® mini vent clip was empty. This was an emergency. They crossed their fingers as the car came to a halt outside an auto accessories shop. Yes, they stocked Ambipur car fresheners and which fragrance would they prefer?
“Let’s take the Sky Breeze,” said the son.
“No! No! No! I want Thai Dragon fruit. I love its pink cover,” countered the sister.
Mother hit her hand on her head. These petty arguments would continue unabated. She wondered at the wisdom of taking two hyper kids on a road trip even if it was for a celebration. The babel of noises had become huge.
“We will take New Zealand Springs and that’s final,” said Father, suddenly, and when Mother looked into the near-view mirror she saw Father’s eyes were on her.
The son was studying Science to take up engineering after the twelfth grade and the daughter was working on becoming a fashion designer eventually. They would be fine once they outgrew their adolescent pangs.
Mother smiled at Father as they remembered yet another perfect road trip of many years ago.
(This is an entry for the Indiblogger Ambi Pur ‘The Perfect Road Trip’ Challenge).