Sunday, August 31, 2008

Beaches of Marina

“Yalla, wake up my love”, his mother said as she gently placed a kiss on his forehead. “You’ll miss the bus if you don’t hurry”.
He slowly turned in his bed. He looked at the time. It was 4:30 am. The bus leaving for Marina Beach Resort was at 5:30. He struggled to get out of bed…how he wished to have a bit more time to sleep! He went to the bathroom as his mother prepared him a cup of tea and some sandwiches. He’d drink his tea now and leave the sandwiches for the bus. He washed his face and dressed quickly. His suitcase was already packed from the night before. His body was still aching as he sat sipping his tea with his mother. He had done a lot of hard work during the past few days and all he dreamed of was a few days of sleep.

“Cheer up my sweetest..” his mother said in a tender voice as she looked at his tired face. “You’ll be at the seaside…the sea wind does wonders for you…you always come back looking great.”
“Yes mother…for sure,” came his blunt reply.
He was ready to go. He gave his mother a big hug and a kiss.
“Take care of yourself my dearest and call me when you get there”, came her concerned voice as he picked up his bag and headed for the door.

He had a long way to go to reach the bus, but he made it just in time. It was already full of young people like himself, some of whom he recognized from previous trips, all heading for the different beach resorts along the North Coast.

He took a seat by the window. He dozed off for a while, dreaming that he was lying on a golden beach with his beloved, holding hands and whispering in each other's ears. How he adored her and longed for them to be married!! Would that day ever come?? He woke up with a start as the bus stopped at the toll station. He looked out of the window and saw rows of cars packed with suitcases, bicycles and filled with happy smiling vacationers all heading for the beaches.

He finally reached his destination. It was already past 8:30 am. He jumped off the bus, greeting on his way all the familiar faces. He met a group of the guys heading for the beach.
“Hey, you’re late”, called out one of them. “You’d better hurry up”.

He ran to his room, quickly undressed and put on his blue overalls and white boots. He picked up his fork and ran for the beach. There was just a handful of holiday makers. Everybody else was still sleeping. He joined the group of men-in-blue and began sweeping the beach. Coke cans, food scraps, tissue paper, empty bottles, candy wrappers, all sorts of trash left behind by vacationers or thrown unto the beach by the sea had to be swept every morning. Everything would be clean by the time the crowds hit the beaches later on in the day. He slowly worked at his job, at moments feeling a strong desire just to lie down and sleep on the soft golden sands. He wished he had rested during his short break, but he had to work on his days off as well. It wasn’t easy making ends meet, let alone putting something aside for the future. He stood for a while under the shade of a wooden umbrella and looked out at the beautiful blue sea stretching out into the horizon. He felt a cool sea breeze gently brushing against his face. It reminded him of his mother’s words and her tender voice. He smiled as he went back to sweeping…and sweeping…the beaches of Marina.

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