You Can Never Leave – Part One by Dalmatia Flemming
“And here is your key. I think you will like this room. It has a wonderful view of the city.”
“Thank you; I do enjoy a good view. Good Evening.”
“Good Evening Miss Koenig. Best wishes for a successful business meeting.”
Ellen turned and looked out upon the massive hotel lobby, beautifully appointed with just the right mix of traditional and modern Japanese design. Noticing she had dropped her wallet, Ellen bent down to pick it up and upon arising, felt light headed and woozy. She paused a moment to let it pass and just assumed it was due to jet lag. She made her way to the elevator and up to the 53 floor. Her room was at the end of the long corridor.
Ellen opened the door to room #5379 and as she walked in, was immediately confronted with a most spectacular view of Tokyo. Ellen quickly deposited her luggage and slowly walked over to the window as if in a trance. Again she felt light headed and reached out for the back of a large chair to steady herself and then to sit down. She melted into the high backed, upholstered chair, her neck well supported as her body went completely limp.
Ellen looked out among the towering buildings and dazzling lights against the black backdrop of the night sky. The view before her seemed to move in and out of focus; lights at one moment the size of precise little pinheads and the next large and blurry as though looking through a window in the pouring rain. She could hear the city hum, even thought she heard individual voices. She thought she heard her name.
Ellen struggled to regain control of herself. She always took great pride in how well she could control herself.
She knew very well why she was here; she was the Director of Japanese Relations for a leading international software corporation and was about to lead a very important business partnership meeting. But something … what was it … something was nagging at her; affecting her very being.
It was 10:30 PM. Ellen needed to get to bed. The first meeting started at 7 AM and she had already lost a night’s sleep due to the long flight and time change. Ellen rose from the chair, still unsteady on her feet. She managed to brush her teeth, pull off a few articles of clothing, drop them on the floor and fall into bed.
It was not a restful night for Ellen. She tossed and turned all night. At one point, she awoke drenched in sweat, her skin cold and clammy. She pulled off her remaining wet clothing and rolled over to the other side of the king sized bed where it seemed warmer. She managed to fall back to sleep only to experience one odd dream after another, each one progressively unsettling compared to the last.
Promptly at 6 AM, the phone rang. It was her wake-up call. Ellen arose and readied herself for the day’s meeting as if on autopilot.
Now she could see the city scape in the daylight. She paused for one last long look. The buildings and landmarks were beginning to look familiar; she was beginning to get her bearings. She felt less out of control now. But what did it all mean … the odd sensations of the previous evening … the dreams which she could no longer remember. Ellen struggled to make sense of it. She left her room and headed down to the hotel conference room.
During the lunch break, her Japanese counterpart, Mr. Nagashima, approached her to chat.”
“Miss Koenig, you have done a wonderful job. I am very excited about the potential partnership of our two companies. I can’t wait to get started again after lunch.”
“By the way, my company has a nice evening planned for you and your team tonight. I hope you all will be able to attend. We have arranged for a fleet of Limos to transport you and your team there and back. We would like to make everything as easy and comfortable as possible. My team will be attending as well”
“Well, thank you so much Mr. Nagashima. I’m looking forward to it.”
The day’s meetings ended and the two teams gathered in the hotel lobby. Everything had gone well this first day. The two teams were mixing it up, chatting and laughing. Everyone was more than ready for a pleasant evening out. Up pulled the fleet of Limos, everyone hopped in and of they went.
It was now dark outside. As the others talked and laughed, Ellen began to focus more on the streetscape outside the Limo. She now knew exactly where they were. She was afraid she knew exactly where they were headed.