Chapter 3 – Extract 1 from The Paradise Induction!
The heavy smell on the British Airways flight and brief prison-time with JFK security Check-In, were distant thoughts. In a few hours, Chris would be in tropical paradise; The Pharisee Islands of the Caribbean—a brand new start.
The flight from JFK and arrival in San Juan had been rough, but Chris’ eyes receded as he fell into a pool of thought about his impending new existence.
He would be free; unbound to start off as he saw fit. Build his writing career in a place where it was less competitive than London. Learn to drive a car—this had never been a priority in London, but he would take the opportunity in this tropical heaven.
Meet a beautiful girl to share his island experience with, travelling the isles together, walking hand-in-hand down the many beaches with the intoxicating sunset in the background. He’d never had a girlfriend, so the prospect of meeting someone in such a pleasant scenario was exciting.
Then there was the idea of relaxing on the bays after work—a few tasty cocktails on a sun lounger with the sea lapping the shore. Learning how to sail a boat—maybe get a Captain’s license? Perhaps dive the oceans—a complete novelty. Explore the sea below with all the incredible, exotic creatures underneath swimming by. Perhaps even try jet skiing or any water-sport available? He could do anything! Then, enjoy the popular resorts around and the multitude of beach bars!
So many possibilities; so many adventures. So much good time to spend; start really enjoying life like never before. If he desired, perhaps move onto the United States to fully realise his future as a successful writer of Young Adult Fantasy novels—his dream. Or perhaps remain in the Caribbean, relocating to another island.
Life was looking bright.
Being in San Juan Airport, Chris had an eleven-hour connection time. Night had fallen and all the internal shops were closed, leaving him to search the large, spacious white-tiled, white-walled complex for a place to lie down and rest.
As he took a spot in a secluded area where other passengers were dotted around, he created a makeshift pillow with his bag and lay across several armless seats.
He noticed a man tossing and turning, sprayed out across chairs ahead of him. The man’s lips shivering in response to the air-conditioning throughout the place. Chris closed his eyes and seven hours passed in an atmosphere akin to the frost of a freezer.
He woke from jarred sleep with throbbing aches all over his limbs and teeth.
He ignored it, grabbing his bag, and moving quickly to check-in early for his next and final flight to the Pharisee Islands.
The queue wasn’t long at the small gateway to the departure lounge.
Chris stepped up to the metal detectors, loading his bag onto the conveyor belt of the X-ray machine. He made sure he removed every bit of metal, including his belt, and placed them on the personal belongings tray, also for the X-ray.
He walked through the metal detector portal.
The security staff member in front of him—a short man with tanned skin and a prominent moustache—looked up at the detector reading above, then gestured toward the large glass box at the side.
“Step this way for random screening,” he said.
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