She cleared security with relief (she always worried even though she was likely the safest possible traveler they could have on board), wriggled back into her favourite Valentino flats and wrapped her Pashmina around her neck. She stood for a moment wondering what to do next? It was odd to be traveling on her own with no one directing her. She was so used to Edward’s directives that she sometimes stood completely still unable to move her body, like a laboratory mouse that had been conditioned to pause until the right cue came along. She sighed deeply with no small feeling of regret for the years she could not undo. On this trip, Edward would not be carrying her luggage or streaming angry comments on poor service non-stop in her ear or clenching his teeth as wings were de-iced or flights delayed or hotel rooms inspected, upgraded, or angrily changed. Thankfully she wouldn’t have to witness him returning his coffee rudely to waiters as she cringed at his brusque air of entitlement.
Gone. All of it. She sunk down in a comfortable chair in the first-class lounge and pulled out her new Moleskin notebook. She remembered in her first year of college how her English teacher insisted they all keep a journal and she had. Up until her marriage when her then new husband felt that journalling at night was taking away from their time together and so, she had quietly put it away and never opened it again. Until now. She could smell the new pages and the soft leather cover and feel the crisp paper between her fingers. She felt shy and could think of nothing to write so instead she made a list.
-find new walking shoes of some kind (new TB. or Valent., red)
-buy winter coat (wool/Harrod’s?/Westwood?)
-speak to Ted re: account info, logins
-find a hammam!
She’d read that hammams were excellent for detoxing the whole body. She certainly had a lot detoxification to do and she’d heard there were some good ones in London. That was how she would spend Christmas she decided. Not in some silver glittery dress smiling at Edward’s business contacts in a demure wifely act of interest and delight but rather in a steamy room with strangers losing a self she was loathe to keep inside her anymore. She smiled. That sounded both erotic and biologically interesting. Indeed, it would be snakelike and restorative. She smiled again. Edward hated public bathing and pools of any kind. She vowed to swim in every hotel pool she ever stayed in for the rest of her life.
This would be her first international trip alone. She felt a little ashamed. How could she, at this age. be doing this only now? Never mind, she scolded herself, get on with it and don’t rummage around in the past looking for why’s. Now is now and besides it’s time for a very crisp martini. No, that wouldn’t be good for her skin. Best to hydrate and head to bed. She felt the sag of jet lag seeping in as her driver made his way through the dark streets of London on the way to the Four Seasons Park Lane hotel where she was staying.
Live, Prue, live! came the voice from inside that she didn’t recognize as her own but yielded to it anyway and replied: yes, yes, yes!
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