The Zahir (A story about getting even)

I was NOT happy with my accommodation. I booked a self-catering apartment on the beach (with “distant sea views”) and when I arrived, I found that I had actually booked a whole house (with a person inside it)


Now, if I have gotten a good vibe from the person, I would have thought that perhaps there was an adventure to be had, but I did not.  It was definitely NOT love at first sight.


Her bedroom became my bedroom. Her spot on the couch mine. The coffee mug with her name called my name. Shit was weird.


But, I was there on a “pilgrimage” of sorts, and I needed to remain centered.

I noticed that the book on the bedside table happened to be “The Zahir” by Paulo Coelho — one of the very few of his books I had not yet read and the VERY book I had lost in the airport. It was fate.  There was no way I was going to be polite and let her continue reading it, so I grabbed it.  I carried it around the house from room to room (just in case she pounced) and savoured each beautiful moment of reading pleasure. 


The home owner had a way about her. Even when you could not see her, she was there.  Like in Big Brother.  She was hard to ignore.


I got lost in the pages of the book, and each time I felt irritated by her presence (washing the dishes, folding towels, bloody making coffee at 5am) I would just keep reading. It came as no surprise to me that The Zahir means ‘the obvious’ or ‘conspicuous’ in Arabic.  I mean, what are the chances?  Those were the only words I could use to describe the home owner. Always bloody there!


I wrote her a note when I left. I said “Thank you for sharing your home with me. I will always remember your presents…I mean presence! xoxo”


…and then I tucked her book (aka the “present”) into my suitcase, along with the mandatory miniature toiletries and waved her goodbye.


I figured we were square.


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