Mr. Perfect strolled out of the sweaty terminal building holding firmly onto Mrs. Wise-Perfect’s warm hand. Crowds jostled the newly-weds in their rush to get to the free shuttle service bus that would get them straight to the busy centre of the local tourist town. Mr. Perfect grumbled quietly under his breath at the incompetence of the travel agents to organise suitable transport as he watched the bus doors slide shut with a loud hissing sound.
There was still a sizeable swarm of unhappy people left looking for a way to get away from the airport. It was not a pretty sight. The quicker ones jumped on the line of waiting taxis. Others began walking down the road, towing heavy suitcases and juggling toddlers and handbags.
Mr. and Mrs. Perfect found themselves in the less than perfect position of ‘no option left’. They stood stock-still for a moment, watching the unfolding mayhem as a child would gawk at a pack of hyenas on a visit to the zoo. When it was clear that there was no usable motor vehicle left in sight, they turned towards each other, exchanged a loaded glance and walked slowly back into the now-deserted terminal building.
“Have you ever seen anything like it?” Mrs. Wise-Perfect asked her new husband, astounded by the unexpected experience.
“Far from perfect, I would say,” agreed Mr. Perfect. “I wonder what the best thing to do would be, here.”
“I think I’ll go back to the travel agency desk.”
“You want to complain? Perfect. I’ll come with you,” Mr. Perfect drew himself up to his perfect 5.11 height and puffed out his chest.
“That might be perfect, but it wouldn’t be wise, my dear. At least, not right this moment. I was simply going to appeal to their better nature and find us a way to get to the hotel.”
As it turned out, carefully expressed concerns do get positive responses. Mrs. Wise-Perfect had been wise enough to proceed with caution and the office junior offered them a lift to town in his aging, tiny cinquecento.
The young man, Tony – short for Antonio – managed to squash one of the Perfects’ bags into the slim-line boot, but the others he dumped on the front passenger seat. Mr. and Mrs. Perfect were sitting very close together, closer than they would have wanted to be seen in public, on the back seats of the little car.
It didn’t quite look possible, but after a short while and a helpful shove from the security guards, the car rolled downhill and it was capable to carry that speed around the corner, over the bridge and through most of the unruly traffic to the other edge of the resort.
They were passing the large hotels heaving with tourists right then and heading towards what looked to be smaller, more humble structures. Mr. Perfect was thinking how lucky it was that he wouldn’t have to spend the whole of his honeymoon sharing his perfect happiness with thousands of unknown people, all bustling to squeeze the best out of their holidays, just like he was.
Past a string of brightly coloured villas now, and Mr. Perfect’s face stretched in a smile of blissful expectation – which one would be theirs? The blue one? Or the yellow with white trim? And then the car turned down a dusty lane and stopped in a car park edged with equally dusty laurel. It looked like the wind had iced each leaf with a thin coating of white powder.
The Perfects stood side by side, stunned into silence. They could not take their eyes off their temporary home. Behind them, a car door slammed shut and they heard the cinquecento heave itself away, back down the road.