The Vacation

“Soup!” She sang out as she arrived with two steaming bowls to where he sat hunched over his laptop.

“What soup?”

She almost laughed at his look of suspicion and mistrust as he looked from her to the tray in her hand.

“It’s my own recipe. Try it.”

“It must have a name?” He grumbled as he accepted his bowl.

“What’s in a name? Careful! It’s hot.”

“I like to know what I am eating.”

“First taste it. If you like it, you can name it.”

He took a cautious sip. “Hmm, not bad.”

“There you have it – The Not Bad Soup!”

He grunted and went back to his laptop.

“What are you doing?”

“Planning our next vacation.”

“I don’t want to go to any hill station. It’s too cold and everything is so uphill.”

“There’s downhill too.”

She rolled her eyes. “Let’s go to the sea side. Goa would be lovely this time of the year.”

“Goa’s all booked up and expensive.”

“Andamans?”

“Same problem.”

“Hill stations aren’t expensive?”

“Not in this season.”

“I don’t see the fun in spending money to freeze. We can do that at home.” She pulled her wrapper closer.

“Think of the view. The clear blue skies, the snow capped mountains.”

“Kerala is lovely.”

“Their cuisine is too spicy.”

“They have multi-cuisine restaurants.”

“They are all spicy.”

“Come on! Not everything is spicy.”

“Name one.” He challenged.

“Appam and stew? Avial…”

“You haven’t made avial in quite a while now.”

“That’s because it is too spicy for you!”

“Very funny.” He said sourly. “I can’t live on avial and appam for days on end.”

“As if at hill stations they will serve food to your exacting standards.”

“Some places do! Remember Kasauli…”

“That was Kasauni and it was a guest house…”

“It was Kasauli…”

“I remember very clearly it was Kasauni.”

“Who made the arrangements? You or me?”

“Who forgot the key in the door? You or me?”

“That’s different…”

“How’s that different? We could have been robbed. The key was hanging on the door the entire night.”

“But we weren’t were we?”

“We could still be! Who knows if somebody made a copy of it?”

“You and your overactive imagination.”

“Yeah right! What if I had left the key hanging on the door?” She glared at him.

“Let’s go to Munnar. That’s in Kerala.”

“What’s the catch?”

“No catch. We’ll visit Thekkady too, see the elephants…”

“Wow! That sounds lovely.” She smiled.

“And finish off in style with a stay in a houseboat, take leisurely trip down the picturesque backwaters of God’s own country.”

“Let’s not make it a rushed tour. Let’s take our own time at each place. I don’t want to run from one place to another like we usually do. That’s very exhausting.”

“There you go complaining again. We aren’t traveling thousands of kilometers and spending lakhs of rupees just to stay in a hotel room are we?”

“Lakhs of rupees?”

“But of course. Especially if you want to take your own time at each place.”

“It’s too expensive.”

“And wasted on you. You don’t have any stamina and to be able to truly get your money’s worth, you need to walk a lot. But you…”

“As if you can walk for miles…” She jeered.

“Of course I can! I slow down for your sake…”

“That’s right, put the blame on me. Lucky for you that I tire out just before you do.”

“Nonsense!”

“Why don’t we plan a trip and gift it to Raja for his wedding anniversary? They both work so hard, I am sure they will enjoy the trip. And ever since he was a baby he has been crazy about wildlife.”

“Sometimes…just sometimes,” he scratched his beard as he reluctantly admitted, “you manage to give a sensible suggestion.”

“I always make brilliant suggestions but it is you who refuses to accept them.”

“Hmphh. One word of praise and there you go flying high. Come down to earth and find out from your son when he is free.”

“I am not asking him! That would spoil the fun. Besides he would then insist we go along.”

“So what’s wrong with that?”

“No! Who wants their in-laws along for their wedding anniversary?”

“I wouldn’t mind!”

“You mean you wouldn’t mind my in-laws going along. But if it were your in-laws…”

“What are you going on about? My in-laws, your in-laws, why do you always complicate matters?”

“I don’t complicate matters – it’s you who is unable to deal with home truths.”

“What home truths?”

“That you would be okay with your parents going along with us for our wedding anniversary but if it were my parents…”

“Don’t assume things…”

“I am not assuming things. Remember when…”

“Oh there you go again, digging up buried incidents and airing your imagined grievances…”

“Imagined? Excuse me, they are all real…”

“That’s what all crazy psychos say.”

“What did you call me? A crazy psycho?”

“I know. It was wrong of me. I apologize.”

“What?! I don’t believe this!”

“What?” He looked at her.

“You apologizing…”

“I have no issues apologizing when I am in the wrong.” He wore a self-righteous expression. “And I admit I was wrong to insult the ‘crazy psychos’ by lumping you with them…” he shot her a sly look.

“What! I swear I will murder you one of these days.” She fumed but her lips twitched.

“What’s for dinner?”

“Your heart – served raw dripping with blood.”

“Hmm interesting. Do you think I will be able to eat it…?”

“Oh forget it! You are impossible.” She stood up.

“Hey hang on! Where are you going? We haven’t decided where to go for our vacation.”

“To the kitchen – to make dinner.”

“How about avial? May as well enjoy Kerala right at home.”

“You should have said so right in the beginning that you wanted avial, rather than make a song and dance about a vacation to…”

“Just to refresh your memory, I suggested hill station…”

“That was just a red herring. You knew I would object and then you would lead…”

“You have such a suspicious mind…”

“You are such a conniver and manipulator…”

“You are getting smart in your old age.”

“So you admit…

“I don’t admit to anything.”

“But you just…”

“I was just trying to give you a compliment but you…”

“That’s because you…

“Because I what….

***

A/N This was meant to be a flash fiction submission but it just went out of control and as you can see they are still at it 😉

I thought this could fit the daily post prompt – None

Do let me know if this worked or not – thanks for reading, hope you have a good