Lily’s holiday

Mou Das
Mou Das
21 Min Read

The day after tomorrow was Lily’s flight. She was going home after five years. Due to her job posting, she moved to Germany, and after that, she couldn’t manage her time to go home. She was delighted to enjoy her professional life alone out of the home. This was how life was. We could never be the same in our life. Lily thought, in everyone’s life, sometimes they get forced to leave their comfort zones. Some people even do that deliberately. Lily got a total of three weeks off — 21 days. Lily was not that emotional as a person. She hardly got emotionally attached to something. Even she never cried in front of others. Instead, she tried to be the person who consoled others during hard times. But this time, when she was thinking about going home, happiness and excitement together made her slightly emotional. How would her family react? How does her little brother look now? It’s been five years, quite a long time. She murmured to herself.

Lily was already done with all her shopping. She didn’t buy too many things, but she bought some things she had been thinking of buying for a long time. When she went shopping, she felt like buying the whole shopping mall. She purchased a nice watch for her brother. That’s the only thing that could make him happy. Lily asked her brother a few days ago if he needed anything special. He didn’t want anything. ‘Just come home safe and sound,’ that’s the only thing her brother said. Lily wondered when her little brother got so mature.

Lily’s mother loved perfume. She never told, but Lily knew that. Once, one of their distant relatives gifted her an expensive sandalwood-scented perfume from Qatar. Her mother used to wear that every evening. Lily loved that aroma. Its scent was neither vital nor reminded me of a party or program. The perfume smelled like home. When Lily used to sit for studying in the evening, she felt peace in her mind that she was at home safe. The scent was in a nice little bottle packed in a rectangular wooden box. Later, they were still looking for that perfume. Lily tried to remember that particular scent from that perfume sometimes. But unfortunately, she couldn’t. Some feelings helped her to remember the aroma. This time she bought a lovely bouquet for her mother.

Her father used to wear a sweater for ten years. Nobody knew what was notable in that sweater, but that was her father’s favorite. Her father lost that particular sweater once when he went shopping. He said he was feeling suffocating while shopping in the crowd. So, he put off his shirt and hung that on his left hand. And later, he needed help remembering where he lost that old, discolored boring sweater when he returned.

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Lily and the other members were quite happy that the discolored, old, terrifying sweater was gone, but Lily noticed that it was not always about a thing but our memories that made people restore something for a long. Sometimes, we have some good times and memories disguised as our favorite things. It could be a cooking pan, a mere sweater, or whatever made them precious to us. Lily immediately felt she could bring that boring sweater back to her father. That time Lily couldn’t, but this time, while she was going home, she got the same bluish sweater for her father. Besides, she got some little gifts for her friends, cousins, and colleagues. Lily had just tomorrow’s work shift and was going home. She needed to pack a few things she could do after coming home. Thinking about all these things, Lily couldn’t sleep that night.

The following day, she woke up quite early. Tomorrow was Lily’s flight. Every time she felt happy when she remembered that. In winter, the sun usually rises from eight-thirty to nine am, where Lily has been residing for the last couple of years. Lily needed to leave home at 7 am. Suddenly, she noticed that her mobile phone was almost dead. Last night, she was so excited about her tour that she almost forgot to charge her phone. But then she felt relieved, thinking she could always do that on the bus. Lily grabbed her charger, phone, and bag and almost ran to the station.

The bus station was just two minutes walk from Lily’s place, but if someone got late for one minute, there was a higher possibility that she could miss the bus. Fortunately, Lily didn’t miss her bus. In the early morning, the bus got slightly busy, but still, it was not like her home country. Lily took a window seat with a charging point. It took almost 40 minutes to go to Lily’s working place. She kept her phone on charge and started thinking about exciting things she could do with her brother in the next three weeks. They planned to cook some dishes that Lily had learned from her colleagues. One of her colleagues cooked a whole duck with rosemary, garlic, and butter at Christmas. Lily was thinking, what about doing that experiment with chicken? (!) She felt her mouth had gotten watered instantly while thinking about that recipe.

By that time, Lily had already reached. All her colleagues knew Lily was going on vacation. Everyone wished her a safe journey when she was leaving. Two of her colleagues were from her country; they wanted Lily to bring some of their stuff when she returned. Lily got their addresses and gave her address as well so that their families could contact Lily and hand over their property.

Lily came home at 2 pm. Her menu was quite simple today, tuna curry with hot steamed rice. She cooked only for lunch and dinner. Her flight was at 3 pm tomorrow. Lily was thinking of making her breakfast at home with bread and egg, and later she would have lunch at the airport. Pretty simple. Sometimes, Lily couldn’t help but praise herself for cooking so deliciously. She cooked tuna fish exactly how her mother cooked dried fish at home. She always added some green chilies and coriander to the curry, enhancing the double taste. Lily could have cooked better. Because she found the whole cooking process quite complicated, so many ingredients needed to put in a dish. That’s just a waste of time and energy. Lily thought the body needs food; the taste is a human being’s extravagance. But she indeed loved to eat.

In the meantime, Lily was done with her lunch. Now, only two things left. She was weighing up the luggage and rechecking the flight time. Her flatmate had some measurements. She helped her measure the bags, which were more than perfect, not overweight. Lily didn’t want to fall into any problems at the airport. She would have kept some stuff at home rather than giving it to the airport authority. Lily got a straightforward piece of luggage as she only had a few things. She had everything at home when she left. She only brought a few casual dresses and gifts; that’s all she got to travel with. Her flatmate got astonished when she saw Lily traveling only with a single piece of luggage. She told me they had to pack at least ten pieces of luggage when they traveled. But it made sense to Lily, as they had children. Lily took a little nap then.

When she woke up, it was 4 pm. She needed to take all her cards and passport in a little black purse she always used for keeping cards. She always kept the pouch in her shoulder bag. Sometimes she needed the cards for various daily-life purposes. She took the shoulder bag to check if the little pouch was there with all her cards. Unfortunately, the purse was not there. It happened so many times that Lily put something in one pocket and kept searching in another part. This time Lily searched once, twice, and a hundred times, but there were no black things inside the shoulder bag. She dug in her jacket pocket, almirah, oversized luggage, reading table, bookshelf, under the bed, kitchen, everywhere. There was everything in her room, but no black pouch. She called her flatmate to see if she saw any black bag anywhere. Unfortunately, she didn’t.

It was 6 pm then. Her office was already closed, but there will still be employees for some additional work. It could be possible that Lily left her pouch in her locker accidentally. Why not check the vault? Lily didn’t have a personal car. Therefore, she needed to travel by public transport. She felt like she sat on the bus for eternity; the roads seemed endless. But she was optimistic she would get her black pouch in her office locker. She had everything in her bag she needed to make her flight home tomorrow.

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When Lily reached the office, it was already dark outside. She had only the whole night and half of the day tomorrow to make the tour. It was pretty cold outside, and she almost forgot to have a proper dress-up for the cold outside. How could she be so silly! Lily was murmuring to herself. When she reached the office gate, she found she had forgotten the office key to enter. And she needed to find out someone’s number from the evening shift who could open the gate for her. Now she could do two things; first, she could call some of her colleagues if they knew anyone’s number who could open the gate for her and let her in, and the second was to wait outside if anyone left and she could go inside. The wind outside was so freezing that Lily was almost shivering. Her hands were paining so intensely that she felt blood would come out of her finger at any moment. She somehow managed to call someone who helped her enter the office. Lily wished with all her heart to have her black pouch in her locker. But breaking all her hopes, she found the locker empty without anything colored black.

Now she must wait 30 minutes for a bus to return home. Tomorrow was Lily’s flight home; she was running from here to there to find a little pouch in this piercing cold. By thinking of all of her irresponsibility, she was feeling such mixed feelings of anger and helplessness in herself that she was sobbing.

After coming home, she sent a mail to her manager and requested him to let her know if anyone got a little pouch anywhere in the office by tomorrow morning. It was already late at night. She ransacked every corner of the room one more time after coming. She was feeling exhausted. Furthermore, she was still determining if she should cancel her flight. Even if she canceled, she didn’t know when she would get back her black purse. How long could it take, one week? Then she would only have two weeks to spend with her family. Sometimes, she hated her callousness; how could she lose her passport just the day before her flight home?

Lily was getting angry with herself by thinking about how her family members would react to her silliness while they were expecting her to have it at home soon. Lily was sad for them and decided that if she had to cancel her ticket, she would not go home for two weeks. She will not go home in the next five years. That will be the best punishment for her.

It was needless to say; she didn’t sleep the whole night. By that time, she had talked to a few of her friends. Luckily, one of her friends went through the same situation last year. But he had time to apply for a new card required for an emergency visit. Lily got a ray of hope to try her luck with tomorrow’s half-day. The following day, she left home at seven. Every minute was precious for her then. Sometimes, Lily spent almost nothing for many hours, but then she ran out of time. First, she went to the police station, but before that, she informed the bus authority by phone that she had lost her passport.

Lily felt sick in two things without even being sick. The first was the hospital, and the second was the police station. The police station looked like a corporate office. In her country, once she had to go to a police station with her friend to collect some papers for her friend’s job purpose. She had a panic attack when she saw some of the prisoners standing helplessly holding the rods of the prison. She left the place just right that moment.

Lily entered the local police station. There were two gates. As the first one opened, she entered, the door back to her got closed, then the second one opened, and she stepped forward. Everyone looked unnecessarily severe there. Two foreign travelers had issues; they were talking to one of the officers. When she entered, one of the giant police officers came to her and wanted to know how they could help. Lily explained everything. The officer took her to a desk, told her to fill out a form, and explained how she had lost her bag. Lily did everything accordingly. Later, she had to wait for a few minutes in the sitting area inside the office. Lily had noticed she was feeling comparatively better than tomorrow after coming to the police station. The reason could be she was not the only person there going through difficulties. There were others in the police stations as well who were in a way more trouble than her.

What about those two tourists who came here for a few days vacation? And they were in a terrible situation after losing all their belongings while they were supposed to have a fantastic time with their near and dear ones. In contrast, Lily could then change her travel date to next week and try to get an emergency permit to travel. It’s simple. But Lily could not stop thinking about why she felt better seeing others in a terrible situation. Is it like we all find solace when we find someone in the same position? Possibly, we don’t want to feel alone. Others in the same situation mean we are not alone in this strange problem. Unfamiliarity creates uncertainty. And uncertainty causes stress. Lily was then stressed.

After a few minutes, the officer handed her a piece of paper, writing she had lost her bag, and informed the police station. Meanwhile, her friend had already booked an appointment for her in the embassy to discuss the matter. The crowd in the embassy was unimaginable. She thanked her friend in herself for the meeting. Lily still had 5 hours left to catch the flight. She was slightly sick and remembered almost eating nothing after her lunch yesterday. By then, she got her call, and Lily felt stuck when the officer asked her what had happened. She was feeling tired of saying the whole incident again and again. Also, thinking herself, what if the officer said it is impossible to provide any emergency permit within this short period? Then, why was she worrying about something that the officer didn’t even tell her yet? By thinking everything, Lily thought herself stupid.

When she explained everything, the officer consented to approve the permit. However, she had to fill up all the information in a form online and needed to pay a fee for that by which Lily could buy three lovely pairs of shoes. It was not the right time for Lily to think about money. Instead, she was just happy that she got a chance to apply for an emergency permit. While trying to fill out the form using a public computer, she found she needed to remember all her passwords. She didn’t have that much time on her hand. Somehow, she filled out the form, but the bank card needed to be fixed while she went to pay. Lily thought everything was working well, except her mind. Was it like she took a lot of stress in a critical situation? No. Otherwise, she would have been stressed at home without doing what she was doing yesterday. At some point, luckily, she remembered everything, paid the fees, and got the permit to make her most desired tour.

While Lily was having her lunch before boarding the plane, she got a call from the police station saying they got a black pouch with Lily’s cards inside. They will send the bag to her address as soon as possible.

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By Mou Das
Mou Das is a Bangladeshi student pursuing Master's in English Literature and Culture in Copenhagen.
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