You slowly drift in and out of consciousness. You hear the shower and know that your husband is already up. You’re half awake now.
You try to plan the day ahead. What can you do to bring a little more spice to your day, to break away from the routine of living in a hotel? What else is there to do in a city that is not your own and yet already familiar? You try to cheer yourself up thinking that there’s only two weeks left until the end of your husband’s contract in Toronto and then you’re going back home. To your apartment, your stuff, your friends, your tennis lessons, even your own car.
You ponder that every time you follow your husband to a new city you put your life on hold and when you return home, you pick up where you left off. Just like that.
Your husband kisses you goodbye. “See you later”, you say and wish him a nice day, like your mother tells your father every day.
Later, while checking your emails and facebooking, you have an idea. How about high tea? Given Toronto’s English heritage it shouldn’t be difficult to find a tea room, you reckon. Google suggests the Windsor Arms Hotel.
Somewhat excited that you found something new to do, you book a table for later that day and get ready to leave the hotel.
You navigate your way through Toronto’s public transport system and confusing roadwork on Bloor Street and finally reach your destination.
You order a full tea (loose leaf tea, scones, Devon cream, preserves and tiny sandwiches), sit back and relax. You let your mind wander and it takes you to unexpected places. You remember your wedding day, your first dance with your dashing groom, how much fun it all was. The memories are bittersweet, though, because your wedding was also a farewell. You moved to a foreign country shortly after, leaving friends and family behind.
“You let it steep for five minutes and it should be all right”. The waiter’s voice yanks you back to the present. You pour tea with milk and two sugars as usual, butter a scone and slowly become aware of what’s around you. You eavesdrop on the conversation to your right and listen to the music playing softly in the background. Viennese waltzes. Wedding music! You smile to yourself when you realise it was the music that brought back all those memories. You danced to these waltzes at your wedding reception.
And you begin to wonder what your life would be like today if you had married someone else.