Laura looked round the flat one last time. Windows shut, check. Radiators off, check. Electronics unplugged, check. She unzipped her holdall to confirm she had the basics. Some tops, an extra pair of trousers, toiletries, a camera, a book and her netbook. She would buy whatever she needed on the journey. She grabbed her handbag which was slang on the bedside table and quickly looked inside it; passport, wallet, credit cards, keys, mobile phone and charger and a beautiful, engraved flask.
The taxi driver walked up to the three-storeyed building and rang the bell for 3A. After a few seconds, a woman’s voice called out, “Taxi?”
He replied, “Yes, this is the City Taxi service, for Laura Pons.”
“I’ll be right down, thank you.”
The intercom went dead.
As the plane took off, Laura looked out to the horizon. Dawn was just breaking. Low cost airlines always did that to you. Either very early or very late flights. She looked at her itinerary again. Menorca to Madrid, Marid to London, London to Miami, Miami to Quito, Quito to Tokyo, Tokyo to Kerala, and Kerala back to Menorca via Madrid. It was what her father had wanted. A little of him in all those places. She wanted to piece together the life he had had before she was born. The places and faces mentioned over the years. A beach in Kerala, a forest not far from Quito, a shrine outside Tokyo.
She adjusted her seat back as the “fasten your seat belt sign” came off and wondered what each place would be like. Faded photos she had seen could not be very accurate today. Places changed. People changed.