The kerfuffle was starting to wane at the periphery of my hearing

The kerfuffle was starting to wane at the periphery of my hearing, which was growing ever so closely to my immediate surroundings due to the long hours travelling from one point to the next, still on a seat that would constantly rumble and wobble due to the unstable weather. My seat neighbour would tell me that it was a common occurrence, and frequent travellers eventually got used to it, but by that point I barely had any energy to nod along with it without further worsening my sleep deprivation-induced migraines, let alone say that I couldn't have cared less. All the same, I somehow managed to make it to the other side, barely hanging on as I walked behind what felt like an endless line of people traversing a small, square hallway in the longest path physically possible. I made a vow to myself to never travel again, as I held back my tears, trying not to make a scene before dawn. As I stepped outside the birder control office, I was greeted by a mellow scent of raspberry that awakened my senses. The sweet aroma filled my nostrils, wrought havoc on my stomach and moistened my aching palate. And then, I heard a voice.

“Thank you for making it all the way here.”

Although admittedly foggy, ransacking my brain bore no result; I was certain of having never listened to that voice ever before, even if those words rang a distant bell of days past. While the more cautious side of my was tingling for caution, such was my exhaustion that I could not bring myself to care about my safety anymore. Whatever happened beyond this point, I told myself as my vision drifted away, was up to the ever-advancing hands of the clock to decide.

The first thing that I felt after that was the faint rumble of a car. I felt cramped, my knees to the height of my chest and my thighs aching; if I tried to stretch my legs, I would hit something firm with my feet, giving me no respite. I took a deep breath, and the smell of fabric came to me. Confused, I opened my eyes, and found myself lying atop someone else’s lap. I tried to spring away from her, but I was firmly held in place.

“Don’t move so suddenly! The car’s moving.”

The car? Am I being kidnapped, after all? I tried to articulate that I had very little money in my possession, but all that came out of my mouth was incoherent blabber. A finger was laid on top of my lips.

“We’ll have time to talk once you’re a little better rested.” “Is it all okay back there, madam?“ “Yes, it is. Please forgive me; my significant other just came from a day long journey.” “Sounds exhausting.” “I didn’t even want to bother with public transport at this point. But it’s okay – because he’s safe now.”

Consciousness drifted away soon after.