After all this Time - 1 in English Love Stories by Elizabeth books and stories PDF | After all this Time - 1

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After all this Time - 1

'There will always be
a reason why you
meet people. Either
you need them to
change your life or
You're the one that
will change theirs...'

Amaya disliked two kinds of people. One those who have opinion about anything and everything. Exactly like the aunty sitting in the next table, kept glancing at her and giving her a once over, contemplating how disheveled she looked. Amaya wasn't looking the best either. Her long frizzy hair sticked out due to the humidity in the air and her white top and long pink skirt was creased had seen better days.

The second kind is those who are unable to achieve their dreams even though the chance was placed on their hand in a platter. Just like her. She squeezed the half filled water bottle involuntarily. The tea stall, she was sitting in, wasn't busy at all. Except for her and that aunty, rest of the place was empty.
She didn't want to think about how she had failed yet again, after going through a lot even thought it was the only thing in her mind for the past one hour.
She shook her head in frustration. There's no way she had scored enough points in her speaking test to make it to the list. IELTS exam itself takes a lot of money and she had to save up for months to take the exam. She had worked her ass off for the past few months along with taking coaching classes. However, the emotional outburst she had while answering a simple question, she had sabotaged herself. The anger, shame and helplessness , it was so overwhelming that she could feel her pulse racing. 'I need to go, get out of here' she muttered to herself and stood up to do just the same. She paid for her water bottle and walled out of the
It was a sunny day. She felt like sun was chasing her down with all the heat and she just melted. Her white top clinged to her due to sweat and she was thirsty again by the time she reached at the bus station. Her water bottle was empty by the time she reached there.

Amaya was having a difficult time to find the bus that will take her away from all the noises around her. The buzz of the crowd , scorching heat n smell of too many people along with their sweat in one place, she could hardly stand anymore. The day had started better with so many hopes and wishes, but it went in an absolute wrong way, that she was tired of it.
Like the universe is conspiring against her as it had always been doing, nothing worked out the way she had wished. The bitterness filled her thoughts and she could almost feel it in her mouth. Her eyes searched the digital board that displayed the timing of buses desperately. There's one in next thirty minutes, she sighed in relief. As she sat down on a chair , her hands searched unconsciously in her bag for an old crumpled copy of ' Hiraeth.' The word itself meant something indescribable like longing or missing something like a home or person.
Maybe because it was that what comforted her, she knew she was missing something. The longing is there and it was so complex to put into words and explain, that she preferred to keep it inside her. It was like a dull ache behind her bones that constantly reminded her that she was struggling. However, the book was a comfort, almost like a memoir written by someone who had been through such a feeling of yearning in his own life.

She had picked this book up while she was in college , just because the writer looked young and handsome. Her life was much simpler back then, when the world looked promising and filled with options and opportunities. How naive of her to have such an optimistic sense about her future. When she read the book for the first time all she thought was 'aw..this is so dorky. Why so much gloom in a book. ' she didn't even try to finish reading it at first .
Then life changed around her , everything became difficult even existing. Eventually she found herself curled up with the book ,resonating herself with each and every word. Since then, it's a comfort place like having someone who could sympathise with her. She ran her finger through the spine of the old paper back and took a long deep breath. She could picture herself reading the book again at night today so that she could lull herself into a sleep. She opened the first page, as she have done numerous times in the past, looked at the picture of the author. It's a black and white picture, a cute guy with spectacle and dimple smiled at her. The familiarity of the picture brought a bit of relief to her, she could anchor herself for a moment before floating away into all her chaos.

Amaya slept throughout her journey back to Munnar. By the time she reached her destination, it was getting dark and chilly. The cold wind prickled her skin through her cardigan she put on as she got out of the bus.
The sky was a beautiful shade of orange and grey , Amaya took a deep breath trying to absorb the cold evening air so that her tired limbs would be able to get back to the resort which needs a swift walk towards the uphill, where the resort was located.
She walked through the stoned path illuminated with lights on either side.
Pink and yellow flowers covered the side walk , like they were welcoming her.
Lake view resort, where she has been working for the past five years, was one of the five star resort in the valley. There are so many resorts around Munnar and they are packed all around the year. Amaya started working here, right out of college.
She was aiming to migrate to Canada for further studies. She wanted to get away from her home as soon as possible since she felt suffocated at her home and she still does, but Mili is her responsibility now.
Mili.. thinking about her, Amaya smiled a little. If she has to count her blessings, Mili is her first choice. Everything else comes after this little girl she adores.
Even in her gloomiest days, when she finds it difficult even to get up in the morning, Mili is the only thing keeps her going.
Amaya dialled her mom's number and hoped she could chat with Mili, even though she resented talking to her mom.

'Ammu?' Thankfully it was Mili who took the call.
' Yes Mili...Ammu here. How are you? '
Ammu giggled a little. Masha is so funny Ammu...poor bear..' came a squeaky giggle which made Amaya smile.
Mili loved watching those cartoons where the characters talked less and did a lot like Masha. Come to think about it, Mili is starting to act like a little Masha herself.

'Did you eat dinner?'
'Yes Ammu...I am a good girl. I promised you last time that I will eat well and be healthy. You can ask Ammamma...
I am eating well'
Amaya could hear the little pout in her voice. She missed Mili.
' Okay okay..I believe you. My milikkutty is a good girl...she cooed'

' When will you come to see me Ammu? I miss you soo much.
That 'so' was too long that it broke her heart a little.
She hasn't seen Mili for more than a month due to her coaching classes and also it was the season in Munnar. They were packed for the past two months and she was so busy.

'I will come by soon..You should go to bed soon...okay? I will call you tomorrow '
' Okay Ammu. Miss you' Mili fell silent for a moment.
Ammamma miss you too.

Ammamma never misses me Mili. She just doesn't care. Amaya swallowed those words and replied with all the cheer she could muster.

' Miss you too Mili. Tell ammamma I will call her later'
Amaya disconnected the call as she reached the entrance of Lake view resort. Parking lot was half empty. They are not busy today, although fair amount of guests are there. The side garden looked amazing in night too and there were couples lounging inside the garden. Since the weather was good enough, people garmthered here and there after their trip to tourist points. Most of them were waiting for the dinner she could tell from them fidgeting around the dining area.

Amaya greeted the security and headed to the lobby. Fresh flowers and candles made the place exquisite and the centre piece with roses looked so pretty. Wooden panels covered the walls, The place was built in an aesthetically pleasing way, She looked around, checking every small detail of the lobby. Even though she is not working today, her instincts are always on point.

' Hey...you are back. How was the journey?'
Mithila got up and smiled at her from the desk.
Amaya felt thankful that she didn't ask her about the disaster, that was her exam, instead chose a safer subject like travel.

' I slept all the way here..' Amaya suppressed a yawn.

'That's good then...it's not busy today and I am going to clock out in a bit. You should eat and get some rest too..you have a morning shift tomorrow ' Mithila reminded her.

Amaya nodded as her eyes wandered to the corner book shelf where her all belovedbooks were displayed. It was an old shelf which she got from the storage. It was solely her idea to start a small book shelf in their lobby. People comes to Munnar to feel the weather, lush greenery and tea plantations. Therefore, the staff had mixed responses for her idea. Some of them told her it's a waste of time and space but the management team gave a green signal. Most of the books were donated by the staff and some came from her personal collection. She arranged them according to the genre or sometimes according to the colour of their cover page. As she expected, there were people who walked up to the shelf and browsed it. She was happy to see the way their face lit up.
She kept a register for the books and made sure the guests returned the book when they checked out.

' Three books today. All from the top raw' Mithila interrupted her thoughts.
She grinned. Despite of all the tiredness, all the worries and troubles, when people acknowledged her efforts, it made her happy. Especially when people took the books of her favourite author. She walked up to the shelf and ran her fingers through the book spines. Hiraeth was there, her favourite book by Advaith Mohan. It was his first and least recognised work and her favourite. Hiraeth was kind of autobiographical, about a teenager who migrated to States and how he yearned to belong somewhere. The writing was a bit sloppy but it has all the emotions , so raw and real that she could feel it whenever she read it. After that book, he had written eight more books. Four of them were a mix of fantasy and romance, she liked them too. Then came the blood bath series, which made him popular.
Apparently, Advaith could write excellent thriller stories with full of psycho characters and lots of blood and mystery that could put Steven King to shame and Amaya in tears. She absolutely hated those books ,not because the stories lacked anything but it triggered her. If his first book comforted her, his latest works put her into a whirlwind, where she would often found herself trapped. So she stopped reading them after the first two books. Even though it wasn't her favourites, she kept all the five books in the series in her bookshelf. The three books ,which were taken by the guest were from that series. All of them ended in cliffhangers and he hasn't released the last book in the series. Actually she hasn't heard much about Advaith for the past four years. It's not like she could get to know about the indo Canadian writer personally, but he wasn't anywhere where she could Google him. His social media accounts were as inactive as a dead person. Except for an apology posted by his agent about the delay of the last book, which is as vague as possible, there's nothing about him.
Sometimes, she wondered what had happened to him to disappear like this, when all the writers maintained a constant engage with their followers, his millions followers got nothing.
Some book clubs and forums even conducted debates over the last book and the reason for the writer's sabbatical.
She has read all about it because she was curious too.
' Where are you Mr. Writer?'
She asked herself. She missed him in a way she doesn't understand herself. It's not like there's any personal connection or she was waiting for the next book to drop. It's just that feeling..maybe she has a secret crush on him?
'Really Amaya ? From where did that come' Her tiredness was catching up with her. She needs to sleep before her brain comes up with another silly finding.

' Amaya, could you give this menu and brochure to the private suite? '

'Oh? We have guest there? I mean really?'

Mithila smiled conspicuously. They know each other for the past three years and were room mates for a brief period before she got married. Even though, they were not friends, they were acquaintance who shared a cordial relationship. Amaya often thought about it, why she is unable to make friends with anyone? Maybe it was due to her inability to hold a conversation that's not related to work.
Maybe others found her unapproachable? There's no one she could ask what is wrong with her.
Therefore, when Mithila smiled at her like sharing a secret, she can't stop feeling a little anticipation in her chest.
These friendly moments were rare.

'Yeah..really. That too for next ten days. I did not get to see the guest though. He must be someone important because someone from the management accompanied him.'

"Probably some filthy rich person who doesn't have any worries about lavishly spending a lot of money '
Amaya sighed. She wasn't jealous of someone else's money but she was sad that her hard work and money all went to vain after her performance in speaking task. What a shame. How many shifts she have to do ,so that she could appear for another test. Then the thought occurred to her.

' Did the guest asked for personal assistance? Is there anyone who already got assigned?'
Her voice got squeaky a little.

Private suite guests sometimes ask for assistance like showing them around or babysitting little kids who would like to stay back rather than going out.
That means another opportunity to make some extra money and tip .
Amaya really could do with some money right now.

' No. He checked in around six. He hasn't requested personal assistance but asked for the night menu and brochure.
If you want to make a good impression, this is your chance. '
Mithila tapped the brochure and menu cards on the desk.

Amaya didn't have to think before taking them.
'Thanks Mithila... See you tomorrow.
Good night. '

She opened the door and stepped out to the chilly weather. It's a bit windy and temperature is dropping. Amaya hurried to the staff accommodation area hugging herself to keep the warmth. The private suite was located in the far end of the property. Bit secluded so that it has more privacy. That said it was costly. There were three suits, which were designed in the form of tents, all of them offered stunning view of the hills and valley. It also had a private kitchen along with bedroom and bathroom and a private pool too. Over the past five years, Amaya has seen some celebrities and businessman among others. Sometimes they will ask for personal assistance, which meant a lot of tip. Amaya really needed to save up again, if she ever wanted to take the exam again. So she never let go off a chance where she could take one more shift.

She walked through the well lit path. Kids were playing around the infinity pool with their parents. All are wet and their teeth are clattering but that didn't stop them from smiling brightly. This is why people come for vacation., where they could spend some good time with their family. For smiles and happiness.
When will I get a chance to feel like that ?
She wondered.
She crossed the staff accommodation apartment and walked upto the suite rooms.
She checked the room number written on the menu card. Making sure she is on the right room, she pressed the calling button.
She steadied her breath and counted ten to one, counting numbers sometimes worked for her, to collect herself, so that she could present herself as calm and composed.
She needs to charm this guest so that he would pick her if any personal assistance needed.
Amaya is good at her job. It's like wearing a mask or shield to cover herself. She would smile and talk politely. She could seem friendly and dependable, intelligent all at once. Because her guests just needs her service, they don't have to deal with all her troubles. All have their own hardships to deal with that makes it easier to forget about others.
Amaya didn't think that her life is harder than any of them..but sometimes she wished someone was there to listen..like Ashi. She shivered a little. Her thoughts always wandered to Ashi weather she wanted or not and leave her in utter dismay. That's what happened in her speaking exam too. One question about something that you regretted in your life, which she could have answered with any hypothetical situation, she just blown up. She couldn't breath properly for minutes, her chest was so tight like someone was squeezing her lungs. Thinking about that now, making her breathless again.
She shook her head, she doesn't want to tangled up on her emotions again...not now...not ever if possible.
She pressed the calling bell again and waited for a response.
She kept herself still, keeping her focus on the door but there wasn't any sign of the guest.
Is he asleep already? It's only 7.30 though. She had checked for DND card on the door handle before pressing the bell .
One more try and if he is not opening the door , she will leave. She could come in the morning, maybe on her break time.
She was about to press the bell again and the door made a clicking sound and a black hooded face peeked out.
It was a bit unexpected that Amaya jumped a little.

' Are you alright? Did I scare you?'
Amaya presesed her lips together like she wanted to keep her nervousness inside her.
Now that hoody guy has opened the door a little, Amaya gets to see him closely.
The ruffled hair, covered his forehead, eyes a bit sharp, like he is assessing what's in front of him , the sharp jaw line...Amaya held her breath. I know you...she whispered.

' Pardon?' He looked puzzled now but Amaya couldn't hide her frustration.

' What are you doing here Advaith Mohan? '

He looked flustered now. His one hand on the handle and another on the door, contemplating weather to shut the door on her face or not.

Somewhere in her mind she knew she made no sense , to him or to herself.
She is just overreacting. Maybe?

It turned out that she can't handle a lot of drama in a single day. It's not a fragment of her imagination. She is not hallucinating either. She looked at him one more time..yes. he is right here.
She needed time to process this. So she mumbled an apology that she hoped he heard and ran from there with her all might.

~~~♡~~~

Hey
After such a long break, I am here with a new story.
Hope you enjoy this one too.
Updates are going to be slow like a turtle..sorry in advance.
Hope all of you are doing well and safe.
See you( hopefully soon!!! )