Salam ealaykum, my dear fellow virtual travellers. Are you ready for a new country? And a new Stream of Consciousness prompt from the lovely Linda over at Linda G Hill ?
“Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “luck.” Use it any way you’d like. Enjoy!“
Find her prompt post and a whole lotta great blogposts working with her prompt here.
After staying for quite some time discovering Tunesia Mallory & Bianca have made their way to Egypt. They stayed first in Cairo and visited the Pyramids. But as Bianca is such a book fan they had to go to Alexandria to the new great library.
I want to mention one thing: The story does live in an alternate universe where we do not have to bother with COVID. There are political and environmental issues that are similar to our reality but all is made up. Please forgive me 🙂
Please check out here if you missed the previous Stream of Consciousness virtual travel & music adventure instalments.
“Holy guacamole!” gasped Mallory. “What a wall!” said Bianca. “I know you said the building is impressive, and the pictures were awesome, but look at this!” Mallory stared up the curved white wall with carvings in many languages. It looked like the architects had woven together many stone slabs with carvings on them. “I wonder how the inside looks,” Mallory said. “Did you say the other side with the water and the slanting round glass roof is supposed to remind us of the Lighthouse of Alexandria?” Mallory moved her black scarf out of her face. She wore one of her favourite black dresses. This one with many white doves of different sizes on it. Bianca looked back from the wall towards Mallory. “Yes, so the page says, even though I can’t quite see how that works!” She shook her head. “I think it might be the combination of water, glass and the light reflecting.” Mallory mused. “Hey, there is some architectural understanding in you, isn’t there?” Bianca teased her. “Shall we go in?” she went on. “I cannot wait to see the books. And the museums!” Mallory looked over at her friend, who wore wide, deep blue trousers and an Arabic top in a lighter blue. “Of course, after I tried to get us tickets for weeks, I am not missing that.” Bianca took Mallory’s arm: “You know, I am in so much luck to have you with me. I appreciate this so so much. You have no idea what a gift you are giving me with this!” Mallory leaned her head on Bianca’s shoulder for a minute. “Yes, dear…” she said. “How can I not give my favourite bookworm her book fix!” They laughed as they entered.
They’ve slowly made their way through the museums of archaeology and calligraphy. “In just a few hours, we learned so much about the history of the ancient and the new library. That is the luck of the curious, ” Mallory said as they sat down on the gallery overlooking the main library hall. Bianca looked up to the slanted glass roof. “It looks awesome!” she said, ignoring Mallory’s comment. Mallory looked up too. “It does,” she agreed. “And so clever to have integrated shades too. Definitely necessary in this heat!” Bianca said, still looking up. “I wish I could study here!” “And I wish I had something to eat and drink!” Mallory sighed. Bianca laughed. “It is, after all, a working library and cultural centre. There is food for thought but not for the body.” Mallory rolled her eyes. “Just my luck. I am so hungry. We were here for ages! Can I prise you away? Egyptian coffee, maybe?” Bianca sighed this time. She watched a group of young women in modern clothes walk down the stairs. They were chatting away while holding their laptops under their arms. “They are lucky!” she thought. She could not see where they went. “Give me a little more time here, please. Let’s just walk a through the shelves, and then we’ll go and find a restaurant.” “OK! But let me sit here, and you promenade through the shelves!” Mallory answered and stretched her legs in front of her. Bianca turned towards her: “Are you sure you are the younger one of us?” she huffed. Mallory did not react at first. “Yes, I am, but look at my size! Once I get that down, I’ll walk for hours with you!” Bianca put her hand on Mallory’s shoulder. “Sorry! I know how much that bothers you.” Mallory smiled, but it did not quite show in her eyes. “And you walked much more than you ever have with me today. Thanks!” Now the smile reached Mallory’s eyes. “No problem. I need to make a start somewhere, don’t I? It is so frustrating to get out of breath as soon as a little hill comes. That’s not a good condition for exploring the world!” “That’s the spirit!” Bianca answered. “Maybe you want to start meditating with me. That might help you get over whatever stops you.” Mallory looked sceptical. “If only she knew,” Mallory thought. “Off you go!” she said to Bianca and watched her walk away.
She looked down and pondered the concrete pillars for a while. “Viviene always called my legs pillars!” she thought. Her stomach felt suddenly like concrete. “I wish I could stop thinking of her nastiness. It destroys everything” Mallory sighed and sat up. She breathed deeply out and in as Bianca had taught her a couple of weeks ago. “Panic attacks! One “lovely” gift from my ex. Why did I stay so long with her?” Mallory rubbed her neck and took a deep breath as it felt like she could not get enough oxygen. She closed her eyes. “Thank goodness for Bianca’s knowledge!” She let her mind go empty. But a deep dread crept up in her. “I am not ready for meditating. It just brings all back!” she thought. Her heart stopped racing when she hugged herself.
“Are you alright?” Mallory heard Bianca saying. She opened her eyes and took another deep breath. “Where did you come from so suddenly?” she asked. “I saw you looking down like you see ghosts.” “In a way, I did!” Mallory crunched her nose. “But can we not talk about it. Just go and get a coffee?” She got up and walked towards the exit sign. Bianca followed her without asking more.
“You did the breathing?” Bianca enquired while they were walking to the exit. “Yes, thanks!” Mallory still hugged herself. She didn’t look at the other visitors or Bianca. Just down on the ground. “I just want to get out of here!” she thought. “Out of here…” Bianca put her hand on Mallory’s shoulder. “I am here!” she said quietly to Mallory. Mallory put her head on Bianca’s shoulder. “Thanks,” she whispered. “I will tell you one day.” “That’s ok! Let’s simply get out of here!”
A little later, they sat at a cafe on the seafront. Mallory could breathe lighter now. “So good to be at the seaside,” she thought. “Something Viviene hated. It gives me this feeling of freedom from her.” Bianca looked worried at her. Mallory smiled. “It’s ok now,” she said. “I am sorry I destroyed your visit to the library.” she grabbed her cup of milky coffee. “You did no such thing!” Bianca said. “It was about time to get out and get something to eat. But don’t you think it would be good to start talking?” A shiver ran over Mallory’s back. “I never told anyone,” she thought but said: “Maybe. Just give me time, please!” “Ok, but know that I went through some difficult times in my life. I probably understand more than you know.”
Mallory still smiled, but her eyes were sad. “I am sure you do. I am just not ready.” Bianca looked out to the sea, holding her glass of orange juice. A joyful tune played in the background.
“I know!” Bianca said after a while. “But know, when you are, I will be there. It is so hard to get over some stuff!” “That is so true. Thanks!” Both kept listening to the sea and Sherine.
Thanks, my dears, for staying with me until the end.
I appreciate your presence.
Please stay safe, stay kind and remember that you rock!
Just one more thing before you go: The hospital that is treating me is fundraising for a dedicated breast cancer unit which would allow some same-day diagnosis and better premises for patients and staff.
Please, if you can spare a little money hop over to their Just Giving Page and give as little or much as you can. Or share the page on your social media. So far the campaign has raised about half the amount needed: £451,124 of £800,000 (May 2021).
Your support means a lot to me! Thank you very much.