Forwarded by the ocean an unconscious woman coasted the beach in South Portugal, where people learn to surf. It took a year that the woman's mystery became faded away. In her past, there was a journey on the gambling map accompanied by the people, who were bound by a destiny which could be ruled by the people themselves.
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Dedicated to my grandmother Tsendkhuu Doljin
For someone, who was awaiting the golden rose sunrise over shimmering blue ocean, that was a morning of disappointment. But in the eyes of the curious gulls flying over the deep blue ocean under thick cloudy sky there was a discovery, a small focus from above, approaching the beach wave by wave, blow by blow with the rhythm of the wind.
About ten miles away, there was another discovery for the gulls, compared to the other one, the small focus seemed to rule the waves. Some gulls, which were circling close to the ocean would admit that the small focus was a surfer riding the waves. The surfer’s name was Alberto, after having won the world championship of surfing in Hawaii he had become an attractive offer from the School of Surfing in South Portugal, where he was spending his second summer teaching people surfing, who came from all over the world to spend a month or two months by surfing and enjoying both the ocean waves and Portuguese culture. Some of them were people aiming a surfing competition, but most of them were people, who wanted to be able to ride the waves balancing on the surfing board. Alberto was a man in his mid-forties, happily married to his first and last love since his mid-twenties. That summer his wife came along to teach English at the campus of the Surfing Club and their twin, ten years old girl and boy, were attending some intercultural events crossing over Portugal sightseeing. Other part of the year, they spent mostly at home in an English spoken Caribbean Island, which was blessed with the summer weather all over the year. Besides fostering their garden and children the couple occupied mainly with writing novels, composing music and making research for their new projects involving books and sound creation. That day, they had already spent a month in the campus and there was another month left till their return home.
Shortly after the dawn Alberto had slipped away leaving his wife and twin sleeping in the nicely kept wooden rent-house in Portuguese style, to ride the waves by enjoying the calm unoccupied beach and strong waves provided by the cloudy windy weather. On the beach there was nobody except him and few gulls which were landed to have a look at the sky from the ground. The surfing classes took place both in the morning and evening, afternoons they had a break for several hours to avoid the heat. Alberto had been riding the waves, reducing its height under and over the salty water of the ocean rinsed by its soft touch, his muscles in harmony with the blowing wind. He had ridden the highest waves of the blue planet and the world championship fulfilled one of his biggest life-dreams and he was happy to be able to share his experience and passion for the ocean with other people teaching the ways of riding the highest waves.
Having tensed his muscles and veiled his appearance under the rich water for two hours, he decided to go home to wake up the family and have breakfast together before the beginning of the surfing class. He approached his stuff on the beach, drank an energy drink, dried his body and by the touch on the head with the towel he had to laugh remembering the lacking hair, which had been shaved newly by his wife the evening before. His wife had become a challenge to shave the head of Alberto every month since her husband discovered his passion for surfing, very different from the men who had to have hours of meditation to let the hair grow. Alberto sat on the sand, feeling its softness to relax his muscles wrapped with the slow warm wind observing the mysterious ocean, calm and violent same time. He was accustomed to the two hours of riding every morning, both for fitness and passion, he had never felt bored to observe the ocean thinking about its mystery every time. In the world, there was nothing softer than water, same time nothing was stronger than the ocean. The ancient wise used to compare the ocean to an enlightenment, soft and calm, strong and powerful same time. Even the leader of Buddhism is called Dalai, which means ‚ocean‘ both in Tibetan and Mongolian language. There was also a Mongolian old proverb stressing the ocean: water rich ocean is calm, a well educated person is modest, in other word calm and serene. Despite the issues of the science and research, which made people blessed with the resources of the ocean, like the rich variety of fishes, gas, oil, remains of the pirate preys and hidden and lost treasures dated back to hundreds of years, not to mention the ferries using Archimedes principle, there was still a mystery to be discovered or maybe not. Some ways of thinking allowed us to believe that once upon a time the deserts had been an ocean, then it must be a transformation over seven million years regarding the existence of the desert Sahara, riding desert dunes like ocean waves. Assuming that the ocean could have been transformed into the desert, both in abstract and real, then even the once upon a time abundance is doomed to be disappeared forever promising no return, if you don’t treat them properly in time.
Wandering his thought accompanied by his sight over the waves, Alberto noticed the small focus from above in the eyes of the gulls, which had meanwhile coasted the beach motionless, ending the forwarding of the ocean waves, as if a journey had ended. From the distance of the Alberto’s position, that was not a small focus, but not enough big to reveal its nature to be told. He stood up and ran to the stuff and soon on the way he discovered a body of an unconscious woman. By the sight of the woman, Alberto became a shiver through his spine and was afraid to discover a corpse. He dragged the body up from the wet sand and lay on the dry, warm beach, afterwards he checked her pulse and discovered a low slow rhythm inside her cold stiff body. She was alive. He tried some first-aid exercises to revive her and then ran to his cell phone in his bag to call an ambulance. Till the ambulance arrived, Alberto had done his best to warm her up doing some first-aid treatments rubbing her body to revive the circulation. Her age, he couldn’t tell, the salty water of the ocean made her skin look older and dried, and she had lost her clothes besides underwear. Regarding her wrinkled shrunk skin, she must have been more than a week in the ocean, Alberto couldn’t imagine how it was possible to overcome the ocean. She could have been a passenger of any ferries or cruise ship, otherwise the other coast was the Africa or any small Island between the two continents. Both the ambulance and the police came at the same time and Alberto reported them everything what had happened, surrounded by curious witnesses, who were in other words early birds.
On the way to the hospital, he called his wife and she said that she would come to the hospital too. Shortly after he had arrived the ambulance station his wife joined him in the waiting hall, she had brought some turkey sandwiches and coffee for breakfast. Almost an hour later the doctor appeared in the waiting room and informed the couple that the woman’s life was rescued, but he had not yet enough information on her health and couldn’t tell when she would wake up from the coma and if she would be able to lead a healthy life afterwards. Then the doctor guided the couple to the room where the woman was lying on the bed stuck with medicine and measurement cables, she was looking much better after having got cleaned and changed into the hospital cloth. The doctor promised to do his best, and two policemen remained in the room accompanied by the doctor and a nurse, as Alberto and his wife left the hospital hurrying to their duties, English and surfing classes.
In the following days the couple visited everyday the unconscious woman, who was still in a coma, but the complexion of her relaxed face was revealing that the medicine had already begun to effect on the circulation. She was a mystery like the ocean where she came from, as if a siren landed on the coast transforming herself into a human body leaving her past in the ocean.
* * *
Less than a month earlier, out of the people’s knowledge, who were trying to revive the woman delivered by the ocean waves, there was a lively atmosphere in the casino hall filled with music and shimmering glamour of the people on a luxurious cruise far away from the surfing campus in South Portugal blessed with special turn of the ocean waves.
The inner decoration of the casino hall was meeting every expectation of the people to be a part of the gambling letting them forget that they were on a cruise, even the era seemed to be different provided by the dress code which must be kept to be welcomed to the atmosphere. For the passengers who didn’t know the rules, in other words the exclusive fun factor on the board, there was a boutique providing a broad range of the twenties wardrobe with all its shimmers and exaggerating details like feathers and powders meeting the french fashion in the twenties, to rent or to buy.
The windowless, velvet bordeaux carpeted cruise cabin, the casino hall under its golden light reminding everlasting candles had never been empty or half full, maybe it was the most beloved part of the ship. The passengers filled the cabin gladly giving sense to the ancient atmosphere dressed as in the twenties with a mental enrichment of the millenniums, not to mention the tragedy of someone which made the victory of another one ruled by the unfair balance of the gambling.
In the middle of the hall, one of the fully engaged gambling tables was occupied by five people from different past, but they were sharing their present with each other every day when they put together at the gambling table which was reserved exclusively for them during the stay on the board. None of the five people was interested in any other part of the ship honestly. There were five chairs occupied by two women and three men, but the service man was ruling their poker game for four parties. At the first sight, two of them seemed to be making a couple. The woman of the couple looked like to be in her thirties, besides her everlasting closed eyes, she could be considered an attractive woman with nicely kept figure and tasty dress, waist long red hair which was sharing the same color with her eyebrow. Her closed eyes were the mystery hiding its color and luminosity, the effect on her fine formed face, but in fact the real mystery was her ability to ‚see‘ eyes closed, in other words a kind of telepathy, she used to be called a fortune teller. But that kind of magic must have stayed out of the knowledge of their table neighbors, in whose eyes the man next to her seemed to be her eyes, choosing cards of her hands, only a rarely blessed sharpness of an observation would tell that the woman with closed eyes was choosing the cards. The woman was called Telly. The man next to her looked older than her, in fact they both were giving an impression of neither being a couple, nor a family. The man’s name was Billy, he was a man in his fifties, well kept both his body and his finely deep wrinkled face with a handsome friendly touch under the silver gray, chin long hair. Billy was an experienced antique dealer whose main business consisted of historical pieces dated back to the mediocre hidden in the Egyptian and Moroccan desert, besides he was a renowned historian specialized in the Arabian culture. On the board, he was considered as an unbeatable poker player. Some fast and furious rumors over the limited space of the ship board were claiming that he must have been unhappy in love, having blind wife, which should have been balanced with that much luck in the gambling. The other woman, who had chosen a seat opposite of the two people in one party, Telly and Billy, was almost at Telly’s age. She had a shoulder long blond hair not sharing its color with the eyebrows and her name was Alice, she was a wealthy young widow, consoling her troubled soul caused by the mourning after her husband’s death by gambling. Her big dark brown eyes were accustomed to the world where people had to wear invisible glasses to poker successfully. The man on Alice’s right side was Adrian, short brown haired friendly man in his late forties blessed with easy humor, also well kept looking handsome with a big nose and gentle smiling eyes, proving his nice taste for cigars and drinks. His private life remained as mysterious, but he was a writer, a philosopher whose works had become bestseller all over the world translated into more than fifty languages. The third man’s name was John, he was an extraordinary successful broker and a gentleman with short black hair and drilling black eyes over his everlasting short smile at the most extent of his small mouth with a golden tooth twinkling from its upper right side. He was a kind of surfer who rides waves not of the ocean, but of the stock exchange graphics.
The five people: a blind woman also an undercover fortuneteller, an antique dealer, a recently widowed woman, a philosopher and a broker, they were completely focused on the gambling map by enjoying the presence surrounded by the amazing theatrical atmosphere of the twenties. Their table was considered the most dangerous place measured by its jackpot but also its high risk of big loss, according to the common wealth judgment only ‚lunatics‘ would have chosen that table. The lunatic could be someone, who was tired of the life playing all his money before putting an end to his life, or someone, who was trying to compensate his misfortune in love matter with a victory at the gambling, and it can be also someone, who had understood that the life was a kind of gambling regarding the force beyond people’s power which people had to face, and what he had learnt from his experience would be the adequate tactic that would make him win in the casino hall.
That was the third win of Billy and Telly, having played against Alice, Adrian and John. Billy turned to them asking,
„Are you sure to remain in the play? That has been the third game which devoted to let you make your decision, if you rather should give up losing your money and quit the game or keep playing till your bank account send you red bills.“
In fact, it was Billy, the silver haired attractive antique dealer and historian with a good knowledge of the desert and its hidden treasure, who rented the table till the final destination of the cruise. Telly could have made him certain about his victory and she never had let him down, the woman who had a meaning of a precious antique compass discovered in the endless desert, telling the whereabouts of the North Pole which had remained the same since the existence of the earth.
The black haired broker, John, answered twinkling his golden teeth from his small mouth,
„Well, Billy, why are you so sure about our loss? Like the weather that never rain forever, we could win and make you lose on the gambling map, like the sun after rain, and after the sunny happy will come the rain and storm followed by the sunshine.“
Billy was smiling, but said nothing. Telly stayed calm and at least during that three plays she hadn’t said any word and showed any change of expression on her fine formed face, her everlasting closed eyes would have revealed them her real origin. If it was Billy, who chose her wardrobe, he was an extraordinary tasty man. Telly’s yellow shimmering dress, accompanied by her yellow sparkling gloves holding the cards made her look beautiful despite the closed eyes which were hiding her soul and feeling. Her red hair was laying over her shoulder forming a picture of a mysterious witch in the twenties, holding tarot cards playing with people’s destiny merciless. But a book shouldn’t be judged by its cover. It was pity that the woman could not be able to enjoy that much colorful sight for sore eyes. As John mentioned the weather, Telly was performing the sun with her yellow dress and gloves, shining on the winner Billy by her side.
Adrian, the handsome philosopher replied,
„Oh, dear, I would stay keep playing. Anyway, it is not the matter of winning or losing, for me the most pleasure is the playing and enjoying the game. By the way, John, the weather is a good comparison regarding the stock exchange ups and downs which you have been ruling or maybe ruled by, your strategy of the playing with shares would let you win this game, if the winning was the most sense making purpose of yours.“
John nodded to him smiling. Alice, the rich widow, drown in her mourning after her recently died husband, who was the love of her life. She was wearing a black dress closed up to her chin and the only color in her appearance was her make-up, stressing or making her big brown eyes, and the red lipstick on her wry smile. Obviously she had chosen the gambling on the luxurious cruise as an only alternative of committing suicide. She turned to the other four players and said in a very determined way,
„I would like to keep playing too, and me too wonder, what guarantees Billy his everlasting victory speaking too soon.“
Alice was an attractive woman anyway, and her determined way was proving that she was someone, who always had mastered her own way and brain, despite the fortune of her passed away husband whose money she was throwing away to survive the mourning.
Billy laughed hinting the hands of Telly, which were hidden in sparkling yellow gloves and said,
„As long as the cards are held in the Telly’s hands, the victory would be smiling by my side. Anyway, I am happy for you my dears, you are the most amusing and pleasant partners I have ever had at the gambling map. Well, maybe John is right having the logical optimism like we bear up with the stormy, rainy weather, to enjoy the sun.“
John, the broker, and Adrian, the philosopher, and the rich widow Alice were smiling, but Telly kept her emotionless expression on her face with everlasting motionless closed eyes. After some hesitation making her elbow long chiffon white gloves straight, Alice turned to Billy,
„You brought Telly just to let her hold your cards? As long as you the one who has got the brain and sight, the cards could be held by you instead to bother that poor blind woman.“
Billy’s expression became serious and replied,
„My lady is supposed to be blind but she is not deaf, she deserves the human respect.“
Alice nodded and her wry smile disappeared.
Nobody could tell, if Telly was Billy’s lover or just his business partner with her lucky hands holding cards for him, then what a hell of a superstition. Their appearance in the casino hall was strange compared to the couples on the board, who spent their togetherness paying attention to each other attending the board entertainment or making love in their room. Regarding John and Adrian, there was no further consideration, as a
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