The morning after
Disclaimer: none of the characters are mine, but belong to their respective owners.
When Priya woke up, she was not quite sure what time it was. England and India were not exactly at the opposite sides of the world, but a time shift was there, and between that, Priya’s general nervousness and her overall tiredness, Priya just could not tell what time it currently was, and for how long she had slept.
“Hello!” she brightly said to the blonde girl as she entered the kitchen. “Uh, could you tell me what time it is right now and your name? I think I must’ve missed it last night.”
“Hello!” the other girl brightly replied. “My name’s Courtney, and yeah, we didn’t speak much last night – Gigi was there, and though the two of us are friends, yeah...” the blonde trailed away. “What was your first question, again?”
“What time is it right now?” Priya repeated her earlier query.
“Oh, right! It’s somewhere between one and two in the afternoon,” the blonde – Courtney - re-plied. “That’s why everyone – or almost everyone – is out.”
“Go on,” Priya carefully said unsure of how to proceed.
“Right,” the blonde nodded, sounding equally unsure. “Gigi is probably with her boyfriend as usual, and Mr. Giles and Faith, after having burned the midnight oil, are either still asleep or are back to studying. At least Mr. Giles is probably studying; Faith tends to come and go from the building as she pleases, and neither Gigi nor I have ever been able to trap her. Mr. Giles doesn’t even try, naturally.”
“Naturally,” echoed Priya. After hearing that her latest developments were because of Mother Nature of all goddesses, she began to have her doubts about the wholesomeness of all things natural, and the thought that a company would hire her as a lawyer after learning of her developments had only reinforced these doubts as well. “Right. Well, sorry for getting up so late-“
“No need, no need,” Courtney said quickly. “I mean, Faith already warned us that you might be experiencing some time shifts and all, and be keeping odd hours at least at first.”
“Faith? Not Mr. Giles? Not that I am grateful... I thought that he was in charge of this...company,” Priya said despite her better instincts: she remembered the patchwork – or not quite patchwork – being that was Faith LeHane and did not want to antagonize her – unlike her shark that most certainly did.
“Well, actually? As far as I could remember, it was more like a partnership,” Courtney said, feeling slightly uncomfortable for some reason. “Or rather it is, you know? Or rather, it reminds me a bit of my own parents – maybe it reminds Gigi too... are you okay?”
“No... I think I might be a bit homesick,” Priya confessed, regretting that she could not, unlike Raj, retreat into her ethnicity as a shield. Raj may have his flaws but he did have his defenses against the less friendly outsider elements, and they were rather impressive, as Priya belatedly realized. “My parents... my family... we don’t really see eye to eye, but...” she shook her head. “Sorry, I think my head is still a bit foggy. Can we start again?”
“You miss your family, your inner clock is still confused and you haven’t had breakfast – what’s there to excuse?” Courtney said calmly. “You know what could cheer you up? Shopping!”
“Shopping?” Priya felt incredulity take over confusion. “You’re serious?”
“Yup!” Courtney said brightly. “Shopping – in moderation – always brings some relief from life’s problems, you know?”
“Well, let’s try it – in moderation,” Priya said with a smile. “Right after breakfast!”
Maybe working and living here will not be so terrible after all.