They Open Up A Little

Hello, everybody. Can you believe it? Another week is over! I am sorry if I repeat myself, but I find it terrifying how time flies, even on the days we had nothing else to do but wait for house sales to go through. So, off we go to see how Bianca and Mallory get on.

Disclaimer:

I want to mention one thing: The story does live in an alternate universe where we do not have to bother with COVID. Political and environmental issues are similar to our reality, but all is made up. Please forgive me 

Please check out here if you missed the previous virtual travel adventure instalments.

“Bianca!!!” Mallory shouted from the stairs leading up to Immigration in Wattay Airport in Vientiane in Laos. Bianca jumped up from her seat and ran to the younger woman who was dressed in her usual black dress with small colourful flowers on. “Mallory! So good to see you!” Bianca said when they hugged. “You look good!” Bianca held Mallory a little away and looked her up and down. She had lost a little weight, but the biggest change was in her face. Mallory smiled broadly. “Good to see you too! I missed you!” “I missed you too.” They hugged again before sitting back down. “So, what happened up in the North of Sri Lanka!” Bianca asked. “Not much, really!” Mallory said with a grin. “You must be joking!” “No, I am serious. I met this spiritual woman on that island I was talking about. She sold juice on the side of the street and invited me to her home. Out of nowhere. Not sure why I went with her. It just felt right, you know!” Bianca raised an eyebrow but said nothing. “That woman must have been a magician if she could make Mallory smile like this”, she thought. “And…?” Bianca asked.

“She asked me to stay and help her in the house. I helped her clean, cook a little, do a bit of gardening, and we meditated. Well, we meditated most of the time. She had that wooden hut, but her garden was huge and full of palms and healing plants. There was a little seating area in front of a spring, and that’s where we spent most of the time. At first, I badgered her to tell me what I needed to do, but she just smiled and said: “Be patient. Sit. Breathe.” So that’s what I did.” Bianca shook her head. “Why? I know I introduced you to meditation, but that seems a little excessive.” I think there is no “why”” Mallory answered, taking Bianca’s hands in hers. “I stopped asking, you know. It just is. Things just are. No why. It is such a relief!” Mallory smiled at the customs official who approached them. “Let’s get into Laos and explore,” she said to Bianca.

video credit: Mr History via YouTube

They sat in their hotel room the next morning, and Mr History just had finished his short rundown of Laos history on Mallory’s phone. “I am not sure I would have come if I’d known the country is socialist,” Bianca said and sipped on her cup of tea. “Even though it’s not as bad as North Korea. I think the Laos officials are a bit more open to the outside world!” she went on. “Looks to me like they have figured the tourist stuff out” Mallory answered. “Even though they seem to keep their people quiet about how life really is in Laos. At least Wojtek’s video suggests that to me. Look here:”

video credit: Just Wojtek via YouTube

“You are right, but we’ll find out in the next couple of weeks. Are we going to Luang Prabang too?” “I think so. And we should do some hiking in the mountains.” Mallory suggested. “Sounds good to me. By the way, what did you do all night long last night?” Mallory giggled. “Did I keep you awake with my typing?” she asked. “Yes.” “Why didn’t you say anything?” Bianca leaned back in her chair and looked at Mallory for a moment. “Why haven’t I indeed?” she thought. “I guess I didn’t want to disturb you. Or push you away again!” Bianca then said. “Push me away again?” Mallory raised her eyebrows and leaned a little over to Bianca. “You never pushed me away!” Bianca turned and looked out of the window towards the pool and palms. “It felt like it.” “Because I didn’t contact you?” Bianca looked back at Mallory, and her eyes got a little wet. “Yes!” she whispered. “Oh, Bianca!” Mallory stood up and hugged her friend. “You gave me the push to sort myself out. I had the time to just let everything fall into place and gain the bigger picture.” Bianca leaned into the hug and sighed. “I know I am being stupid. But I like you, and I missed you terribly even though I thought I would be glad to have some time for myself!” “I am glad you are being stupid!” Mallory laughed and sat back down in her chair. “It’s good to have someone who cares about you. Vivienne never cared, even though she knew how to use the word.” Mallory sipped on her orange juice and then went on: ” Not sure I ever told you about my parents. I lost them when I was 8, and my granny took me in. She was as distraught about mum being gone as I was. She didn’t care too much about my dad but would never say anything. But granny died too, and I only had Vivienne left. Mum and Dad both had not much family, and even if there was anyone, granny never kept contact. Thought other people were all a bit strange too much into newfangled stuff.” Mallory laughed, but it sounded sad. “If it would have been for her, we would still live with outhouses and sew our own clothes.” Bianca smiled. “She sounds a little like my old neighbour. She passed away a couple of years ago.” Mallory didn’t seem to listen. “I guess I helped granny as much as she did me. Just sticking together doing stuff. Even though my clothes made my classmates laugh. All so old-fashioned.” Mallory hugged herself. “She never knew of Vivienne or how she was to me. We never went to see her. I wasn’t there when she passed!” Mallory sighed and hugged herself.

Bianca stroked Mallory’s arm. “I am sure she knew you loved her. Young people have to go their own way, and there is not always time to connect,” she said. “Maybe”, Mallory answered. “I miss her. I miss my parents, and I thought when I am grown up, it would be easier.” She hugged herself a little more. “I doubt that!” Bianca said. “I lost my parents when I was in my 30s, and it still hurts. You just learn to live with the pain, I think.” They sat for a while, saying nothing. “But coming back to your question: I have started a blog.” Mallory suddenly said. Bianca clapped her hands. “That is brilliant! You need to show me!” “I will. But first, it’s time for breakfast and a tour of Vientiane!”

To be continued…

Thanks, my dears, for staying with me until the end.

I appreciate your presence.

Please stay safe, stay kind and remember that you rock!

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