A little while ago, my sister and I had lunch at a vintage style cafe. While we waited for our scrumptious lunches to arrive, we wandered throughout the cafe, admiring the eclectic knick knacks that filled almost every conceivable space.
And then we came across this suitcase display which I fell in love with. And it in turn inspired me to write the following story.
Dreams Don’t Forget
“I love those suitcases,” a woman said. “So vintage!”
Sara didn’t need to look up from the floor she was sweeping to know what the woman referred to – she’d arranged the display herself – but still her eyes lingered toward them.
Four suitcases, each tattered and worn from journeys past, were stacked strategically on top of each other in a sort of haphazard pyramid.
These vintage suitcases were one of the features she most loved in the shop. And the one she most hated.
She often wondered about the places those suitcases had seen. Had they travelled across the sea into distant lands where adventure and maybe even danger awaited them? Or had their purpose been closer to home, a vessel for pyjamas and gifts as they floated in and out of homes?
Sara had accumulated the suitcases gradually, one at time. Two at thrift stores, one at a market and the other in a garage sale. But if she were honest with herself, it was as though these suitcases had found her. Of course it was crazy. Stupid. But that’s how it felt. As if they were waiting for her, beckoning her. Urging her to partake in their adventures.
Sara sighed. If only life were that simple and she could just get up and go on a journey like these suitcases had been. But the dream of travelling had become like an aching muscle. An aching muscle that she tried hard to ignore, as though if she continued to refuse acknowledging it, nothing would need to be done. And then she wouldn’t need to resort to panadol or a doctor. Because the ache in the muscle would, eventually, disappear.
But some aches were pesky and stubborn and were in it for the long haul. Which made pretending to be happy with the same routine day in, day out, all the more harder.
The bell sounded at the door as the two women left the shop. Sara walked over to the suitcases, the dustpan still in her hand.
She got the sense that these suitcases didn’t much like being piled upon each other, with nothing to do but wait for dust to settle on them and absent-minded comments to float over them. In fact she had the feeling they were rather impatient, as though they were gritting their teeth and merely biding their time until another opportunity came along.
Sara had mentioned the idea of travelling to her boyfriend several times before. And while he hadn’t exactly been against the idea, he was just…indifferent. There were always more pressing matters to focus on. Which meant that the travel subject always landed in the Maybe pile. Maybe after the car is paid off. Maybe once I get that promotion.
Sara exhaled. She was getting fed up of Maybes. If something didn’t change now, when would it?
“We’re going to Amices for coffee.”
Sara spun around. Her coworker Annie stood at the door. “You coming? Earth to Sara….”
“Is everything okay?” Annie said.
“Oh, yes. Yes, of course!”
“So…do you want me to get you something?” Annie’s voice trailed off as a frown filled her forehead.
“No. I’ve got somewhere else I need to be.”
Slowly, a smile began to spread on Sara’s face.
“Ohh,” Annie said. “A hot date, eh?”
“Nope. Better than that!”
“Really?! Well, do tell.”
Sara walked over to the bin and emptied the dustpan’s contents. “I’m off to the travel agency.” She grabbed her handbag. “I’ve got a trip to organise.”