The bedroom is outstanding. It is not a bedroom, it is a whole apartment. It has two bedrooms in it, it is ridiculous. It is bigger than our first apartment, and I recalled our honeymoon, in that small hotel, and I know that the bill of that entire trip was probably less than what this room costs per day. I couldn't even dream of places like this back then, I didn't even know that they existed. The lake can be seen from this room. The pictures of the hotel don't make it justice; it really floats at the middle of the lake, like something out of Arabian Nights or a movie, and there's the lily pond that the building encircles. A lake within a lake. ``Happy anniversary,'' he said, while I went to the balcony and he went to the bathroom. Twenty-five years, that's a lot of time. More than half of my life.
I could see the city was still moving, though the sun is almost setting. I'm tired from the long trip, the airports and the plane seats. I can't sleep in planes, even in these new chairs that transform into a bed. The noise, or maybe knowing that I'm ten thousand feet above earth, I guess.
``I'm filling the tub,'' George says. I nod. The bags are left unopened, someone from the staff will open them later. I don't like it, but George wouldn't let me open them myself, arrange everything in the closet. I open one of them, grabbing a dress and looking for clean underwear. The bathroom is large, with all the marble you could want. It's a big tub. George comes behind me. ``Tired?'' Yes, a lot. He can see it. ``I'll leave you to take your bath. I'll pour a drink for me.'' He probably thought a long time to say this and leave me alone, but maybe he's tired too. He's not young anymore, and even being used to fly, he's probably tired too. Long, long trip. It's odd, you sit on a chair for hours, and then when the door opens again, you are thousands of miles away, and tired.
The tub is too hot for me, I turn the hot water off. I take the rest of my clothes off, feeling self-conscious. I don't like to be naked. I lie down in the tub, feeling better. ``Honey?'' I call. I hear him outside, but he doesn't reply. ``Honey?''
``Don't let me be here too long.''
I know I'll fall asleep very quickly.
I wake up startled. George is sitting by the tub. ``You fell asleep. It's the jet lag.'' I don't even know what time it is. George is wearing only boxers. His body looks so different from when I married him. ``You want to come in, right? Give me a moment and I'll be right out.'' He doesn't understand why I don't let him see me naked anymore, but today he complies. I leave the tub, and dry myself quickly. There's a big, white, long fluffy robe for me, with the hotel's monogram embroidered, and I put it on. George is sitting on the bed. ``I think I'll just have a shower.'' I agree, and when I hear the water, I start to dress.
This time I feel well when I take my robe off. The bedroom has a big verandah and window, but nobody could see me. It may be India and its effects. I walk around the room, naked, feeling free. But, before George leaves the shower, I'm dressed. I let him close the zipper, he always enjoyed doing it. He lets his hand flow over my back when he pulls it up.
All the hotel staff dresses in white dons and red turbans, with big mustaches. It's like I'm in a movie, I feel out of place. This hotel used to be a palace, George told me. It sure looks like it, with details everywhere, carved on the arches and all. It's too fancy for me, I feel embarrassed. George does the loud version of himself, he does that whenever he wants to feel important. I don't know why he took me here, he knows I hate to leave our country. He hates, too, but I think he wanted to show off to everybody, he'll take pictures in his expensive new camera and when we come back he'll show around.
I see the couples all around, eating quietly, some of them are quite young. It seems that we won't have anybody to talk to, I was hoping that we could find another couple from home. But they are all foreigners, many of them young.
I don't like the dinner, I miss the food I'm used to. George makes some comments about the food, and I mumbled, ``But you wanted to come here...'' He immediately says that it is a beautiful place, costed a lot of money, but that he has the right to complain about the food, because the money he's spending should let him have whatever he wanted to eat, not this odd food.
We leave for the room after a walk around. George tries to talk to some of the couples, but they don't want a conversation. They are there for each other. I say that I'm tired, and we come up.
I know George won't let me alone, like he did before. I don't even try, I know he's tired and will be quick. Oddly, I can't sleep afterwards; it takes me a while, and he's already snoring. Well, in a few days we'll be back home again.