Title: Indian Summer
Pairing: Connor / Lindsay
Summaries: Do you believe in destiny?
Comments: Greetings to all who love India and Bollywood, and Greetings to all my friends.
When Peter Axon and his girlfriend went up the staircase to Connor Doyle's apartmend, they stumbled first over a bag full of empty cans, then over a pile of old newspapers. "I can´t believe Connor moved into this lousy house," said Nisha angry. Connor was Peter´s best friend and almost-brother- in-law and he had moved into this scruffy house two years ago. As far as Nisha knew the man from the ground floor even had a problem with waste disposal and this conjecture was confirmed now. Connor actually lived only on the first floor, but to get to his apartment was just as hard as to lift a crowded school bus.
Actually, Nisha felt sorry that Connor was moved into this house. When Susanna, Peter´s sister and Connors former fiancée had died, he couldn´t abide their old shared apartment for one more second. He had rented the first-best apartment, he could find and by chance it was in this filthy house.
Peter fumbled for his key and unlocked the door to Connor's apartment. He had make a spare key two years ago and Connor didn´t even mind if he and Nisha showed up unannounced at his apartment. He had become accustomed to their checks.
Everything changed after Susanna's death and nothing was like before. Actually they wanted to marry and spend their whole lives together. But it came differently: Three years ago Susanna´s doctor had diagnosed breast cancer and she had fought for one year. Susannah lost the fight. She died, leaving Connor alone here.
Of course it wasn´t even easy for her brother Peter, but life went on now. He had met Nisha before Susanna's death and last year he had asked her if she wanted to marry him. Nisha hadn´t hesitated for a second and said yes. But since Susanna's death Connor never found one´s feet: First, he got these ugly apartment, he quit his job, sold Susanna´s dog and if it wasn´t necessary, he never left his apartment. Peter and Nisha tried to invite him to birthday parties, Christmas parties and New Year parties, but Connor never appeared. He left his apartment only if the food was scarce and he had to buy something to eat or when he couldn´t stand his empty home longer and he felt he needed to beat a punching bag at the gym round the corner.
Peter and Nisha entered the apartment. It was quiet and Nisha thought it was very scary. There were even times when Peter and Nisha had feared they would enter Connor's apartment one day and they would find him dead because he had poisoned himself, had been stabbed with a knife or anything else had happened. Fortunately, those days were long gone. He felt a little bit better ...
"Where is Connor?", asked the dark-haired Nisha and looked into the empty living room.
"Pray to God he's out for buying food," Peter said to her and at that moment the door to Connor's bedroom opened. He wore his pajama at 2 o clock in the afternoon and he looked as if he hadn´t shaved his face for days. "What do you want here?", he asked.
"Talking to you," Peter answered first. A little later, Nisha was looking for some tea in the kitchen, while Peter made two cups of coffee with the super-expensive coffee machine, which they had given Connor last Christmas as present. Peter didn´t like how Connor overindulged himself. He cared for nothing.
"We want you to accompany us to Mumbai," Peter let the cat out of the bag, "As you know, Nisha and I want to get married soon and before that we want to visit Nisha´s parents."
Nisha Singh was a native born Indian woman and she came in this country for studying. Then she got a job at a pharmaceutical manufacturer and hadn´t gone back again to India. She visited her family a few times, but she wanted to announce personally she wanted to get married.
"That's pretty far away," said Connor, "I´m not coming with you. I have no time."
Peter thought he had misheard. What was Connor planning, so he couldn´t travel to India? He already knew ...
"Connor, Susanna is dead for two years, now," Peter said a little offended, "You have grieved, you quit your job, you moved out of our apartment and since that you hadn´t a girlfriend anymore."
"Life is not just the urge to have to find a woman ..."
"Nice! If there is no one who cares whether you're here or not, it won´t mind if you fly with me and Nisha to India! And no discussion! Your plane ticket is already booked and paid! Your visa for India is also applied! Pack your things, our plane leaves tomorrow at 11 a.m.! If you don´t appear at the airport, our friendship is over ... Nisha, Come, let's go again...!"
"Going back to the corner
where I first saw you
Gonna camp in my sleeping bag
I'm not gonna move
Got some words on cardboard
got your picture in my hand
Saying: If you see this girl can you tell me where she is
Some try to hand me money
they don't understand
I'm not broke I'm just a broken hearted man
I know it makes no sense
what else can Ido
and how can I move on
when I'm still in love with you" ("The man who can´t be moved" by The Script)
The threat seemed work: Connor appeared at the airport next day. He was not thrilled, but he came. After several hours of flight, they reached Mumbai on the west coast of India and outside the airport building Nishas brother was waiting for them, he wanted to pick them up. Sandesh loaded their bags into the car then he drove home. Nisah's family belonged to the richer families in India: They lived in a large, well-kept house with a fountain in the garden. They employed a cook and a housekeeper. Peter met Nisha's parents, while Connor was not interested in all this. So he decided to leave the house for a walk. Of course, Peter and Nisha noticed he had left and Nisha was very disappointed. "He and my cousin Jaya would be good friends, I´m sure... ", Nisha hoped the hadn´t shaved his face for nothing and, the gods knew nothing else, he hadn´t made more preparations for nothing.
The Singh family lived in the northeast of the city and nearby there was a small bus station. He watched how many people tried to rush to the old busses and he came past a queue. In front of an information desk a woman was arguing with an employee of the bus company. She thumped the table. Her English was very well and she pushed a bill on the table to the man. The man shook his head.
"Can I help you?", asked Connor and the woman looked at him.
"If you want to travel to Panaji in Goa by bus, you´ve unfortunately missed it. The next bus leaves in one week", said the blonde woman, picked up her backpack and asked, "Is there a train connection to Panaji?"
"No, I'm sorry. But you can travel form Indapur to Panaji by bus", told her the conductor.
"And how do I get to Indapur?"
"By foot," replied the man and pulled down the shade with his left hand. The information desk of the bus company was closed now.
"By foot?", she repeated and for a moment she had to consider what she should do next, "I really have to be in Panaji ... "
The sun beat mercilessly from the sky and she put a hat on her head. She was by far the most colorful creature he had ever seen. She wore a purple-colored jeans and a yellow T-shirt. A miracle the mosquitoes had not attacked her yet!
"When do you have to be in Panaji?", Connor found the question was pretty stupid because he didn´t even knew where Panaji was located.
"As fast as possible," she replied then she smiled and held out her hand, "I´m Lindsay, by the way."
"I'm Connor. Hi."
They went a little further and Lindsay pondered what she could do, if she wanted to arrive as quickly as possible in Panaji. One way of course, was that she would walk. So she asked at another open information desk how long the ride would last to the little Indian state on the West Coast called Goa: "How long does it take to drive from Mumbai to Goa?"
"A little more than ten hours", replied the man.
"And how long would it take by foot?"
Therefore this option was destroyed. She couldn´t walk alone to Panaji in five days.
"Why don´t you fly to Panaji", asked Connor.
"The airport is closed because of a toad pest." She sounded depressed.
"What, if drive you to Panaji?" Connor didn´t know why he had done that. There was something special about her...
"Thanks, that's very nice," she pointed to a busy road, "But the Indian roads are like a death trap." On the road the rickshaws and honking cars drove around wildly. Traffic rules didn´t seem to exist here and if it does, then the people were not in it. Connor accepted she was right.
"I set out for Indapur", suggested Lindsay, "and there I´ll travel by bus to Panaji." She bought a hiking map for the way to Indapur while Connor watched her worried. Should he allow this woman to set out for Indapur alone? She was already stared at by the Indian men, because blonde women were extremely rare here.
"Do you mind if I accompany you?", Connor asked suddenly and Lindsay was a little surprised. But she didn´t mind. "No, it would be very nice if you would come along."
While they were already walking on a dusty country road, Connor recalled he should better inform Peter, where he was and what he was doing. Fortunately, he had his cell phone with him, because he really wasn´t prepared for another trip. His clothes were in the house of the Singh family.
He chose Peter's number and he answered the phone after two seconds. Peter asked him, worried, where he was and Connor answered truthfully.
"On the way to Goa? What the hell are you going in Goa?", Peter asked in horror.
"Don´t worry. I met a very nice woman and accompany her to her family..."
"An Indian woman?", Peter asked immediately.
"No. Her name is Lindsay and I take her to Indapur, from there she travels by bus to Panaji. I'll call you if we get there." With these words, Connor finished their call and put his cell phone back in his pocket.
"What brings you to Goa?", he wanted to know from Lindsay.
"My father´s birthday. Since he won the lottery, he celebrates his birthday every year in another location. And this year he has chosen Goa ... and you?"
"My best friend. His girlfriend is a native Indian woman and they want to get married soon. Her family lives in Mumbai. He has forced me to come along because he thinks I hide myself in my apartment..."
"You fly to India with your best friend and his girlfriend and here you join a completely stranger to her family?"
"I had the feeling you need someone who is watching for you... I also had nothing to do. I found it very boring with Nisha's parents... Will we also see the Taj Mahal?"
"No, unfortunately not," Lindsay said but she would like to see this building, too, "This is in Agra, quite far away from here... Did you know that the great mogul Shah Jahan built it as a tomb for his wife, who died at the birth of their fourteenth child?"
"No. And I´m not interested at all... ", Inwardly Connor thought a stupid remark.
"Why is your best friend forcing you to come here?"
"Because ...", he hesitated for a moment and stopped. Connor wondered if he should tell her or not. Finally, he decided to play with open cards: He didn´t wanted that she interpreted the wrong thing, because he accompanied her to Goa. He wanted to let her know he accompanied her only because he was a polite person and not because he had any interest in her.
"Peter threatened to me our friendship would be over, if I'm not coming to India. Since the death of my fiancé, I let myself down."
"I'm sorry," he heard Lindsay say, "When... When did this..."
"Two years ago. But I'll handle it." Connor continued on his way and passed Lindsay. She looked at him anxiously. "What´s up?", he called to her, "I thought you want to be in Goa as fast as possible..."
Connor was sorry that he missed the lunch at the house of the Singh family, because now he was plagued by hunger. After several hours on the road, they rested on the edge of a road. While Lindsay gave him a triangular fried bread, an old man came by with a cart, drafted by a cow.
"That? I would say it´s a man with his cow." Lindsay regulated her hat.
"No, not this!... I meant this!"
"Bread Pakora. My favorite food", she answered, smiling.
"How are we supposed to eat this?", Connor knew that people in India were eating their meals by hand. But only with the left, the right hand was considered as unclean.
"No problem. I always have knife, fork and spook with me." She rummaged in her bag and handed him fork, knife and spoon. She had another one with her.
When she handed him the silverware, he noticed she was wearing a ring on her finger. He was horrified that her husband didn´t accompany her on this trip, and she had to ask a stranger about it. "Your husband isn´t taking care of you very well," he remarked and first Lindsay had no idea what he was saying. Then she saw the ring on her finger.
"Oh that! No, I'm not married. The ring is just camouflage. Otherwise Indian men would not leave me alone", she smiled, "If one gets too close to me, I always say he should stay away from me, otherwise he will have trouble with my husband."
After dinner they decided to continue their way. They came through a field of yellow marigolds and Lindsay picked some of them. Connor was surprised when she scoffed a marigold flower before his eyes. "Many Indian people eat these flowers," she laughed when she saw his astonished face.
"Are you here often?", he asked, "You know very well."
She picked more flowers. "Don´t worry, you're not redundant. It's nice to have a travel companion and... ", she stopped when she saw a huge elephant on the other side of the flower field. "Come on," she grabbed his hand and they went across country through the sea of flowers. Arriving at the elephant, she asked the old man, who was with him if Lindsay was allowed to touch the animal and the man did not mind. The skin of the elephant and felt rough and in her pocket Lindsay found a few peanuts which she handed to the pachyderm. She laughed when the animal stuffed the nuts with his trunk into his mouth.
"Can we ride him?", Lindsay then asked and the Indian man nodded and he wanted to help Connor first on the back of the animal. Connor wasn´t in the mood for elephant riding but he did it for Lindsay. First, Connor sat on the back of the elephant and then Lindsay sat to him.
"Hold on to me, okay?", asked Connor and she threw her arms around him. She just hoped that she wasn´t tempt to cling too obviously to him.
"I've never ridden on an elephant," she laughed when the big animal among them set in motion and swaying back and forth.
"You like it?"
Lindsay thought for a moment. "Yes, it's wonderful." It was great to ride on a real elephant, but she didn´t mean that. For her, it was much nicer and more pleasant to wrap her arms around him and enjoy the warmth of his body. Actually, the climate was already hot enough, but...
"Do you believe in destiny?", She asked suddenly.
Connor was surprised that she wanted to know this and wondered how she came up with this idea. "No."
The elephant swayed his weight back and forth. With the elephant they weren´t much faster than with walking, but it was fun. The Elephant leader said goodbye to them after two miles. Their paths parted at these cross way. Their journey would continue to the south. They reached a small farm before nightfall where they could stay for free.
Connor offered to carry her backpack and so they walked a good mood along the beach next day. She was wearing a white top with a pink skirt, while Connor was still wearing the same clothes as yesterday.
"I have an idea!", suggested Connor, "We walk along the sea and eventually we arrive in Panaji."
"We have to reach Indapur, remember?", she laughed gaily.
"At the moment I would be happy if we would take a short break. My feet hurt." Connor sat on a rock and looked out to the sea. They were hiking since this morning and he felt tired. Lindsay sat down beside him on the rock, got a bottle of water from the backpack and took a sip. "Back there is a cave," she noted and Connor turned around. In fact, there was a cave not too far away.
"Shall we take a look?", asked Connor and Lindsay gave in. Why not? They had enough time to look at the cave. Because they were alone on the beach, they left the backpack here and made their way into the cave. Behind the entrance was a slope , the water was only up to their ankles. They decided to walk a little deeper into the cave and when they looked at the impressive rock formations, they did not notice how the water rose slowly. Only when it reached to Lindsay´s knees, she noticed something was wrong.
"Let's go back," she suggested worried, grabbed for Connors hand and they wanted to go back to the cave entrance. The slope had been turned into a waterfall meanwhile. More and more water flowed into the cave and it already reached to their hips.
"Don´t worry. If the water rises enough, we swim out of the cave!", suggested Connor and in this moment they were both hit by a wave, they were pushed under water and washed inside the cave. When they appeared again, they couldn´t see the entrance anymore and suddenly Lindsay knew they would drown here. She swam to Connor. Their heads were only a few meters away from the ceiling and the water was getting higher. Connor tried to capture on the slippery stone wall.
"We must try to swim to the entrance," he suggested, he swam forward but the next wave threw him back against the wall. His back ached for a moment, but he ignored it.
"What do we do now?", asked Lindsay. The water was cold and she was trembling all over now. Connor once again grabbed for the rock wall. The water pushed them more and more to the ceiling and now it was already up to their shoulders.
"I wanted...", she began and Connor looked at her confused: "You want what?"
"I ...", she stammered, not knowing what to say. Then she swam again to him, put her arms around his shoulders and kissed him. At first he was surprised then he felt a pleasant tingling. Connor had not felt it for a long time.
He returned the kiss vehemently, when the next wave, pressed them completely under water. They still held each other in the arms and she didn´t thought about leaving him.
If he would die now, Connor thought to himself, this was the best way to die.
He opened his eyes and saw a small light flashing in the distance. Although he didn´t really want he let Lindsay go, took her hand and swam toward the Light. As it became more glaring, they finally reached a water surface and gasped for air. Apparently this was a small tunnel leading out of the cave.
Connor first helped Lindsay with climbing up and when she was safe, she helped him out of the cave. Exhausted, they lay in the grass, gasping for air. As Lindsay turned her head, she noticed that they were on a cliff above the beach.
Breathless Connor finally said: "We have made it."
"Yes," she agreed, sinking back into the grass, "Look, what happened down there in the cave was not..."
"It's all right," Connor said to her. They both stared at the bright blue sky. "That happens when you think you must die."
They recovered a little from the shock and were waiting until their clothes had dried by the sun and then they went back down to the beach to pick up Lindsay's backpack.
After they had decided now to go further inland, they arrived in the evening at a small mountain on which was a building, decorated with colorful flags. They heard singings and Lindsay knew immediately what kind of building it was.
"This is a Hindu temple!", she cried, "I am not a Hindu but to pray but can´t hurt."
"A temple?", asked Connor and wanted to remind her that they should quickly come to Indapur, but Lindsay was already on her way to the building. Connor followed her and discovered a few red letters on a wall. Most letters where unknown to Connor. Only one of them was known to him: It was the sign of Om, a syllable which meant "holy" in Hinduism.
In front of the temple Lindsay bought a pretty long shawl out of pink and blue silk and with gold embroidery. She put the shawl over her head, put down her backpack, took off her shoes and after she rang a bell at the door she entered the temple.
Connor was waiting outside the door and watched how she walked to two statues, stopped in front of them and prayed with palms pressed together.
After two minutes she came back to him and put her shoes back on.
"Who is man with the elephant's head?", A better question had not occurred to him. He thought it wasn´t right to ask her for what she had prayed.
"This is Ganesha. He embodies wisdom and intelligence."
"And to whom did you pray?" Damn, now he did it anyway...!
Lindsay had just been standing in front of two statues. One of them had blue skin, a peacock feather on his head and in his hand he had a flute. The other deity wore a gorgeous dress and equally magnificent headdresses.
"These are Krishna and Radha... I'll tell you another time, for what they´re responsible."
When they left the temple, it was getting dark and they went down the hill in a small village. How they learned from the inhabitants, a movie screening should take place in the evening and Connor and Lindsay have been invited. So they looked for a nice place on the ground and spread a blanket on which they could sit down. Many people had already gathered in the village square, a meadow.
Because Lindsay had gone off to get something to eat, Connor was sitting alone on the blanket and he found a travel guide in her bag. He read it for a while and when she sat down cross-legged on the blanket next to him, he frowned, "What is it?"
"That´s Curry Madras, given to me by a woman. Here!", she handed him another plate of rice and meat in a yellow sauce. He asked if he really could eat this and she said it was one of her favorite foods. He tried it and the food tasted really good. Suddenly something happened on the movie screen and Lindsay set off her plate. "The film begins."
"Why should we watch it?", Connor wanted to know when he saw the title of the film, "It's about a lot of drama. A man loves a woman, she loves him too, but they can´t be together because their families have something about it. After at least three hours of cheesy dialogues, colorful costumes, tears, songs and dances and… as I said before, lots of drama, they marry and are happy forever."
"If you say this, it sounds terribly unromantic."
"Life is not a Bollywood film. Often there is no happy ending." He spoke from his own experience after all. However, he let Lindsay watch the movie and she tried not to cry too much, when at the end of the movie the two lovers on screen, played by Kajol and Shahrukh Khan, held each other in the arms and got married happily.
"I know it´s not my business," Lindsay began in the morning, after she and Connor were woken up. The summer was very warm and this year was a dry year, since the monsoon had not begun yet. They could stay out and because there was no hotel in the small village, they spent the night in the meadow, which was used as place for the film screening.
"But why did your fiancé die?"
"She had breast cancer. She learned it three years ago and tried to fight it for one year." When he told her he already knew, why she asked. "I can handle it. Really", he assured her. Then he went on his way to the little river at the end of the lawn and washed his face.
Lindsay really hoped to find out a bit more about him. But if he wanted no conversation about the death of his fiancé, she accepted this, of course. Alone, she went to the woman who had given her the curry last night because she said if she needed breakfast, she should come to her. The woman spoke a mix of Hindi and very little English, but it was enough to understand that she and Connor were on their way to Indapur and from there to Panaji.
Connor came back to the blanket refreshed, when Lindsay reappeared with two plates. They ate a red sauce and flat bread this time.
"What are we eating?"
"Curry with Naan bread. This is..."
"Let me guess: One of your favorite foods?"
She smiled. "Yes, that's right."
For the first time Connor noticed, how sweet her smile looked. She was also very pretty. Even if she was traveling by foot for days and even if she was wearing a false wedding ring for camouflage.
"If we hurry, we can reach Indapur tomorrow," Connor said to her and he actually found it was a great pity that their paths would separate then.
As Connor had said, they arrived at the bus station in Indapur next day and Lindsay bought two tickets to Panaji. She had asked Connor to accompany her not only to Indapur, he should accompany her to Goa, too. During the eight-hour bus ride she could not say a single word because she did not know what to say. Actually, she knew what to say, she just didn´t know how. He also seemed to be quite attached to his former fiancé...
The bus reached Panaji and luckily she knew the way to the hotel where her parents wanted to celebrate her father´s birthday. "Here we are...", said Connor when the front door of the hotel was in sight.
"Here we are, right…. Would you like to stay for the party?", she asked and he said he couldn´t do because he didn´t even know her parents. "The problem is: my mother has seen you and she won´t let you go now..."
"What do you mean ...?" Connor didn´t understand what she meant and he noticed a woman hurrying to them and she hugged Lindsay. Apparently it was Lindsay's mother. Next, she thanked Connor because he had accompanied Lindsay all the way from Mumbai to here and then she criticized her daughter because she thought, Lindsay would be alone on the road. Connor was also invited to the party which took place this evening. "Peter and Nisha won´t definitely miss me," Connor suggested. He accepted the invitation and entered the hotel with Lindsay and her mother. It was a beautiful, traditional Indian hotel with courtyard and fountain. It looked a bit like the house of the Singh family in Mumbai.
Lindsay´s parents had rented the entire hotel and Connor got a large room with sea view. He enjoyed the rest of the day, slept for a while and when it was time to get ready for the party, Lindsay's mother knocked on his door.
Of course she had noticed that Connor had no luggage with him so she brought him a suit he could wear at the party. He was very grateful, but wondered about the color. The entire clothes were black. "A black suit?", asked Connor, "Looks like I'm going to a funeral."
"In India you wear white clothes on funerals. Trust me, black suits you. You will look good." Lindsay's mother smiled. She had noticed how Lindsay looked at this man. Her daughter hadn´t looked at a man in this special way and she decided to take matters into her own hands.
The family met for a big party in the hotel ballroom. Everything was decorated with flowers and Connor felt a little out of place. At least he did not know these people. "Connor, is everything right with you?", Lindsay's mother suddenly asked and he nodded.
"Nice! Then feel right at home", her mother went back to her guests. When a band began to play local music, he decided it was time to go. He would look for Lindsay and then say goodbye for now. Finally, her mother had said he should feel at home and at home he would go to bed if he wanted. So he went on his way to the stairs and he stand rooted to the ground when he saw her standing before him.
Lindsay was wearing a gorgeous traditional Indian dress. It was pink and she thought with her blond hair she looked like a Barbie doll, but for Connor she was the prettiest creature on the entire Indian subcontinent. He could not refuse when she asked him to accompany her to the table. So Connor stayed at the party for a long time.
Passed midnight, he asked her if she needed a moment of pause. Finally, they already had celebrated throughout the evening.
Lindsay seemed to be enthusiastic about his proposal and she suggested walking along the beach together. At this time of the year the nights in Goa were still very warm and the palm trees on the beach swayed in the wind. The sea roared. "You look very beautiful tonight", Connor said to her.
"Thank you ... You don´t think it looks a little too cheesy?"
"No, a sari suits you," he did not know what else to say to her. He thought he was out of practice. After all, he had not intended to find a woman again...
Lindsay smiled and grabbed his arm. They walked along the beach, watched the sea. "Radha and Krishna, the gods in the temple, do you remember?", he suddenly asked and she nodded, "I know now for what the two are responsible."
Lindsay was terribly nervous. Radah and Krishna were two gods who had loved each other passionately and found each other in each of its incarnations. She did not want to be asked by him whether she had prayed that he fell in love with her. Because if she would have to say no this would be a lie.
Fortunately, Lindsay discovered a sawed-off palm trunk in the sand. She grabbed her sari, climbed on the tree trunk and balanced on it. "Give me your hand," she asked Connor, as she ran over a shaky area. He handed her his hand, she went forward and lost balance yet. Connor caught her and it took a second until she noticed he held her in his arms. Their eyes met and she could not resist, she had to kiss him. The kiss in the cave had been a little hasty, but now was the right moment. Their lips touched for a gentle kiss and Lindsay let out a relieved breath when he returned the kiss. His hand was on her waist and touched her skin. His temperature rose more and more.
Lindsay wrapped her arms around his neck, her kiss was more intimate.
"Let's go," she suggested suddenly and together they went back to the hotel. The birthday party for her father was still in full swing, but she wasn´t in the mood to go back to the party. In front of her door she stopped and Lindsay searched desperately for words. As Connor kissed her goodbye, she knew what to say. "Don´t leave me alone tonight," she murmured. Together they entered the room, he closed the door behind him and he helped Lindsay out of her pink sari. They spent their first night together.
The next morning he was the first who was woken up. Lindsay lay beside him, still sleeping. He thought about what had happened the previous night. No doubt, it was a wonderful, sensual night. It was great to be loved by such a special person as Lindsay. She was an incredibly beautiful woman and after the vacation he wanted to see her again. As soon as she woke up he had to ask urgently where she actually lived.
His cell phone rang in his jacket pocket and he answered the phone. "Good morning. When will you come back to Mumbai?", Asked Peter and Connor sat up half on the bed. At that moment he remembered he also had forgotten to call Peter when he arrived in Panaji.
"We are here to visit Nisha's family, remember? If I counted correctly, you already arrived yesterday."
"Peter, I'll call you back later," Connor ended the phone call. He did not want to talk to Peter. He had apparently awakened Lindsay by the phone call: She stretched and turned to him. "Good morning," she said, smiling.
"Good morning," he murmured and kissed her. Full of longing Lindsay threw her arms around his neck. "Who was that on the phone?", she asked and caressed him.
"Peter. He wants me to go back to Mumbai."
Her face darkened. "Will you do it?"
"No", the answer came immediately and she began to smile, "But I have a question..."
She was curious what he wanted to know.
"Where do you life if you don´t travel with strange men through India?"
As it turned out, they both lived in the same city and Connor couldn´t understand why they never have met before.
"You know, a very beautiful woman once asked me if I believe in destiny... At first I thought she would be pretty crazy, but now... Now I believe in it."
"Cos if one day you wake up
and find that your missing me
and your heart starts to wonder
where on this earth I could be
Thinking maybe you'd come back here
to the place that we'd meet
and you'd see me waiting for you
on the corner of the street
so I'm not moving
I'm not moving" ("The man who can´t be moved")
Connor didn´t thought about going back to Mumbai. He enjoyed the time he spent with Lindsay before they both went home. Even now, he hated the thought of being separated from her and he knew she was the same. Presumably that was the reason why she wanted to be with him around the clock.
Two days later, they spent the afternoon at the beach. First they walked arm in arm through the sand, then they sat down and watched the sea. Lindsay clung to him and enjoyed his warmth. "Have I already told you how much I love you?", she asked.
"Several times in the recent days," said Connor and she laughed softly, "Have I also told you that I love you?"
She nodded, stretched for him to kiss him.
"Connor!", he heard suddenly a voice and he immediately recognized it. He turned around and saw that Peter came up to him. Peter looked stressed.
Connor apologized to Lindsay, got up and walked over to Peter. "What are you doing here?", he asked.
"Picking you up. We want to fly home. Finding you wasn´t very difficult by the way: There are not many hotels in Panaji", now Peter noticed the blonde woman who was sitting in some distance in the sand and looked a little anxiously, "Is that Lindsay?"
"Yes, that's Lindsay," Connor immediately noticed the sullen tone in Peter's voice, "Are you angry?"
"Because of Lindsay. I mean, she is ..."
"Do you think I would be mad because you fell in love with her?", asked Peter and Connor didn´t even need to try to make excuses, "I´m glad you came to India! Without this trip you'd never met her... Listen, I know you´re still attached to Susanna but you must also think about you and live on... Unfortunately, we fly home tomorrow, so pack your things." Peter left and Connor went back to Lindsay. He sat down next to her in the sand and she asked him what had happened. When he told her he would fly back home with his best friend tomorrow, she shook her head sadly.
"I know this moment had to come sometime, but not so quickly," she sounded desperate.
Worried, he reached for her hand. "Yes, it comes much too fast ..."
They had only this evening together and Peter suggested, because if they ever were in paradise Goa, to go to a beach club. Nisha rebuked him for this idea: "It is Connors and Lindsay's last evening together. I think the two have something better to do than spending it with us." Thus Nisha decided they would go out alone.
Connor and Lindsay had arranged to spend the evening together at the beach and the closer the time came on which they wanted to meet, the more uncomfortable they were. They had found each other here in India, although they lived in the same city for years. Therefore, it was not a farewell forever, but Lindsay was still afraid that she would break in tears at the airport.
Connor decided to find a new job and then a better apartment when he was at home again. Of course he was going to see her again and for the case they could be together forever (which he could imagine), he didn´t want to explain his children one day why they lived in a shabby house (but he would like to tell them how he met their mother at a dusty bus stop in Mumbai). He smiled. This woman just needed one week to turn him from the depressed mope in a man who thought about his future with starting a family. Did he exaggerate? No. He found it went too fast? No, actually not.
What had she done to him? And where was actually the drama in their story? He knew it would come...
While he thought there was a knock on his door. "That´s strange", he thought. He and Lindsay wanted to meet later in the hotel lobby.
Nevertheless, he opened the door and he was surprised when her mother stood before him. "Do you have a moment for me?", she asked and he asked her in. They sat down at some chairs on the balcony. It was a dry, hot summer day.
"I want to show you this," said Lindsay's mother and laid a sheet of paper on the table. It showed a circle which was crossed by several lines. She asked him if he knew what this was and he nodded. It was a horoscope.
"Lindsay doesn´t know our neighbors and she knows nothing about this chart, so please don´t tell her," her mother smiled, "It´s our secret. My neighbor is originally from Mumbai and astrologer. Kiran Singh predicted that..."
"Did you say Singh?", He suddenly interrupted her, "Are they related to Nisha?" He would have to ask Nisha later, because Lindsay's mother replied she didn´t know.
"Anyway, the astrologer predicted Lindsay would find a treasure from an incredibly high value but before, she has to travel through the land of the gods and spices. She would never being separated again from this treasure."
"Does that mean ...?"
"That means it was not by chance you came here. We were responsible she travelled to India. It took a lot of effort to convince my husband that he celebrated his birthday in Goa and in fact she should arrive here, too, but I couldn´t know that the airport in Panaji will be closed because of a toad plague... Meeting you in Mumbai, was destiny. Connor, I think you are the treasure of which is mentioned in this horoscope. Of course, she told me you fly home tomorrow and you both live in the same city."
"Well, I also believe it was destiny that I met Lindsay. I'm not going to leave her alone."
Lindsay's mother smiled. She was a very spiritual person and she loved this country. "You were a divine couple," she smiled and got up. She left Connor alone and he remembered he was arranged with Lindsay. He moved quickly into another T-shirt and then he went on his way to his goddess.
The evening and the night passed by too quickly and they said goodbye to each other heartbroken in the lobby. "When do you fly back?", he asked.
"In two days," she looked up at him. She couldn´t look into his eyes, because then she would begin to cry again. A thick lump formed in her throat and she swallowed it.
Connor noticed it and gave her a gentle kiss on the cheek. "See you then ...? You want that I pick you up from the airport?"
When her mother heard this question, she smiled. She had hoped he would ask this. And Nisha was amazed, too: Connor really wanted to break out of his sleepy daily routine because of Lindsay? This trip to India was really worth it...
"You don´t have to pick her up from the airport", Peter suddenly growled in the background. He talked on the phone to a lady from Air India, who said the flight had been delayed because the monsoon had begun in Mumbai and they would fly home together in two days. They didn´t believe the monsoon had just set in by chance ...
Connor exhaled relieved. The prophecy of the astrologer had been fulfilled. He knew now they would stay together forever. When he thought this he remembered he had almost forgotten to ask Nisha if she had an aunt named Kiran. "I have," Nisha was a bit perplexed, "But I have never seen her before. She emigrated a long time ago."
Lindsay also didn´t understand why he asked her about her aunt. He told her she should be happy they could spend two more days together. He began to believe their encounter was not quite as fatefully, as he had thought, but...
There was Nishas aunt, who was the neighbor of Lindsay's parents by chance. Lindsay never met this woman, but she secretly created a horoscope for her, which implied she would find the man of her dreams in India. Then her parents decided to celebrate her father´s birthday in Goa and Lindsay came to this country.
Connor was forced by Peter and Nisha to come to India. On a crowded bus station in Mumbai, where the rest of Nishas family lived, he met Lindsay. He could have met any woman, but he had met just her.
For him, India was no longer the most horrible, boring place, as he had first thought. It was the most beautiful, most divine place in the whole world.
"Glory to thee, ruler of our hearts and of India's destiny!
Punjab, Sind, Gujrat, Maharashtra,
The land of the Dravids, Orissa, bengal,
The Vindhyas and Himalayas, the Jamuna
And the Ganges and the ceaseless waves of the Ocean
All arise at thy fair name and seek thy blessings,
Singing their hymn of praise to thee.
Glory to thee, Oh Goddess of India's fortune!" (National Anthem of India)