The remains of the day

The pool at the Royal Davui. Photo by David Lansing.

We were all a little morose at breakfast this morning. Cindy and Elina departed yesterday; Marguarite, Katie, and I depart tomorrow. So this is our last full day at the Royal Davui.

“What haven’t we done yet?” I ask as Siteri brings me my banana pancakes.

“I haven’t gone kayaking,” says Katie. “I should do that. Around the island.”

“Have you ever kayaked before?” I ask her.

Katie shakes her wet hair. “I’ve been in a canoe,” she says. She asks Marguarite if she wants to go kayaking with her. Marguarite grimaces. “Maybe,” she says in that way that you know means no.

“What haven’t you done?” I ask Marguarite.

“I don’t know,” she says. She thinks about it for a moment and then says, “You know what I haven’t done? I haven’t been in the pool.”

“You’re kidding.”

“I know, right?”

So after breakfast, Katie dons her Under Armour outfit, and Gus, her Hobie Cat instructor, comes down from the Marine Centre to teach her how to paddle the kayak. Marguarite and I sit under the shade of the banyan tree watching as Gus and Katie carry a bright red kayak across the sand and in to the water. Gus steadies the sit-on-top while Katie tipsily gets in. Gus pushes her away from shore and Katie tentatively starts paddling. She paddles the kayak the way she steered our skiff—zigzagging one direction and then another. Gus laughs watching her.

“We’ll never see her again, will we?” says Marguarite.

“Nope. She’ll be in Suva by nightfall.”

Later in the afternoon, Marguarite and I meet at the pool. We’re the only souls here. I get in first. “How’s the water?” Marguarite asks.

“It’s lovely,” I tell her, floating on my back.

Marguarite slips in without getting her hair wet. “Oh my gosh!” she says. “It’s so nice. Why haven’t I done this sooner?”

“Don’t know.”

We walk around in the shallows, our arms stretched out in front of us, above the water, like old women doing water aerobics. We talk about Jack and Diane; about our new movie, Sex and the City 3.

“I’m not sure I want to be Carrie,” says Marguarite.

“No? Who do you want to be?”

“Maybe Samantha.”

Fine, I tell her. She can be Samantha.

Katie, done kayaking, comes down to the pool. “How was it?” I ask her.

“Good,” says Katie. “But it gets kind of boring after awhile.”

I ask her if she went all the way around the island.

“Gus said I probably shouldn’t. I think he was afraid the current would get me and take me to Tonga or something.”

“We were afraid of the same thing,” I tell her.

Katie sits on a chaise and watches Marguarite and I paddle around the pool. The sun starts to get low in the sky. Marguarite and I get out and dry off with the last rays of the sun. Shadows cross the pool. The off-shore breeze has picked up. It’s almost chilly out. Katie stands up. “What time is dinner?” she asks Marguarite. Cocktails at 6:30, dinner at 7, says Marguarite.

“Good,” says Katie. “Just enough time for a nap.”

I dry off and head back to my room. I sit on my deck for the last time and watch the sun set. The sky holds the last blue light of the day. Slowly my room gets dark. Soon, I think to myself, I will need to get up and shower. And turn on a light or two. But not yet. For now I want to just sit here and enjoy the remains of the day.

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1 comment

  1. Angeline’s avatar

    Saying goodbye to a place like this must have been terribly hard.
    Thanks for a good time by proxy.

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