MADE IN NIRVANA
Patti was leaving for Italy two days later and they decided to leave for Varanasi on the same day, spending the last two days together. Franca had become very fond of her; she had found a friend who shared her passion for drugs but was a quiet person, leaving her plenty of space to express herself. This, of course, meant smoking a lot and after dinner at the restaurant, Maria decided to spend some time alone, to think and rest. On her way to the dorm she popped into the office where she found the receptionist with a white beard and leaf green turban which matched his eyes, Mr. Singh was his name. She told him of Manali and Jaipur, of the people she had met, while he listened, silent and attentive. With a worried expression, he asked how her friend was and whether they were still travelling together; he saw in Franca the potential to get into trouble.............
Franca was lying on a charpoy bed, made of a wooden frame with a woven twine base. When she saw Maria she smiled softly and gently lifted an arm beckoning to join her. Patti was lying nearby on a similar bed and smiled sweetly. Maria noticed at once Franca's eyes. Normally they were a light blue colour but now were even lighter, piercing, like ice. She sat on the bed's frame and watched her; she had never seen her so relaxed. Looking at Patti she saw the same spaced-out expression, her eyes were lighter than normal, the pupils almost invisible dots. "Have you taken opium?" she asked. The girls looked at her with a stare, as if they didn't see her, a smile pasted on their faces, motionless. The answer took a long time to come. "A little," replied Franca, eventually. Not knowing what to say, she asked if they wanted a chai. Both girls shook their heads, but didn't speak. They were in a world of their own, each one by herself, alone..................
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