“The season is going to peak in a month. There are going to be a lot of bookings”
“Does that mean that the shift will extend?” said a worried Chantel.
Chantel was only three months into the front desk. The pressure has already started to appear along the edges because of the holiday season. The whole day she had been standing beside and following Rosha’s instructions, smiling and greeting guests. She notices everything with a laser sharp eye. The poise, the stance, the tint on the lip, carefully made coiffure and the mannerism of her reception manager, Roshavera Gjergjani or fondly; Rosha.
Rosha came from a household of olive farmers in the old county of Garth. They had a family farm with livestock, vegetables and grains. It was sufficiently endowed to feed the family. Rest of the requirements were taken care of by the sale of olive pickles and olive oil in the farmers market every Saturday. Men in the family used to work and learn olive farming along with heirloom recipes of pickles. Women used to take care of the house, the family shop and the family. Rosha was the only sister to her three brothers, so she got the chance to study as there were adequate helping hands already. She was clever and soon after graduating from community college in Garth, she was accepted in the top corporate school of Grohchfrunch. She pocketed her first job as the Reception and Staff Manager at Thistlefield Resorts a year ago. At the age of 26, she was smart, dynamic, feminine and extremely charming with her words and voice. Chantel only admired her because of all this.
Chantel Agnes Leveque at the age of 38 was single with an abandoned dream of becoming a choreographer and no one to call during lunch breaks. She had a set of divorced and remarried parents and the last she met them happily was the first day show of the movie; Gladiator. She inherited a studio apartment in downtown, Grohchfrunch and has been living off the trifling pocket-money she receives from her father. She purchases some wine and fancy dinners for herself and her occasional flings with the money she makes by teaching ballet to 4 girls in the nearby gymnasium.
She gets free at dusk and generally has no one to meet after that. She is afraid of evenings. Dusk brings anonymity. It is the time when Chantel has no schedule. She is already home from the tuitions and all she deliberates about is getting vanished in the rat race. A girl, who had fancied of being in front of hundreds of people on the stage, is now greeting guests on the front desk of hotel’s lobby and this is what bothers her. She left her career after struggling to get into Broadway theatre.
“Wrap up at 5:00 pm! It doesn’t sound bad unless your shift starts at 5:00 am in the morning. Good gracious Rosha, don’t you know I go for a run down the Rosewood Park after my shift ends at 2:00 pm? I have a damn schedule unlike others”. Chantel had always been slightly blunt and she always took the liberty to be forthright because of her age. Being the girl from the modern city; Kopafurth, she thought she knew better than the country girl from Garth.
“It gets very gloomy. Evenings upsets me.” said Chantel with a thwarted burst of a heavy breath.
It was 4:00 in the evening and Chantel was already 1 hour late for tuition classes so when Rosha asked her out for a cup of coffee, she gave in profusely. As they quietly sipped from their mug full of cappuccino, the sun was becoming pale.
“My dear Chantel…” said Rosha.
“Life starts in the morning. It sure does. With the sun rising, touching the pure dew drops with its rays and leaving a glitter behind and all that life’s rosy bullshit. Life in all its glory stretches out straight and the real hustle begins. By the noon, it gets dreary already. Most of the energy has maxed out and from that point onwards, it will only recede. Some fellows are burned out while some are smothering. In a race to excel where stopping is not an option, everybody puts up a merry face to get past each breakthrough. The only immediate solace one looks forward to be in is the hour of dusk; the hour of privacy. This is the time when you can walk past each other without getting noticed or judged for that frown or running mascara. Here forward, everybody sheds their pretensions, fake smiles, stiff necks & poised backs along with their sweaty clothes of the day.
Yes, the dusk marks an end of a bright day. Some crib about all the desires unfulfilled, others lament on choices mistaken. Some cry on lost love while some simply cry for companionship. It is a whole wide arena of emotional slaughter. But the very same dusk also marks the beginning of a very important intermediate process; the rejuvenation! It is a time for some contemplation. The butterfly might close its wings and call it a day, but there are another set of little wings waiting their turn of flight. Those are the wings of a moth. Amidst this daily evening apocalypse are the people who put their shit together, pour themselves a cup of inspiration from the teapot of faith.”
“So Ms Chantel A. Leveque, get yours together and take a flight of imagination with your weary and hairy moth wings towards some contemplative light.”
Rosha had said all of this almost in one-go as if she was reciting it from a piece of paper. She spoke as if she wanted to shake some guts out of the misplaced dancer’s body.
To this Chantel, looked into the last tip of the setting sun and said, “Yes, dusk is not so bad after all!”
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