Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/view_item/item_id/2279271-Clouds-in-the-sky-of-life-Chapter-1
Rated: E · Prose · Women's · #2279271
Connie and Susan meet by accident when Connie and Jacob go to Hotel Seawind.
Clouds on the sky of life
Chapter 1
Version B
When: Monday, January 8th, 2001
Where: Hotel Seawind, City of Calidris, state of Maine
A long line wound across the lobby. Hotel Seawind seemed to be really popular. Jacob and I had received information from our manager that a room had been reserved for us in this hotel under our company's name. I looked at him. “It seems this takes a while.”
He nodded. “I’d expect a line this long somewhere in London or New York, but this is Calidris.”
The light gray granite walls were at least ten feet high and supported the mustard – colored ceiling. It wasn’t beautiful in winter, but the gigantic windows offered a good view outside revealing the bare trees and streets that were covered in snow.
I patted my forehead with a handkerchief as we walked to the desk. My thick winter coat made me sweat. I hoped I didn’t stink. Jacob and I had been sitting in the car the entire two-hour drive here. We had never taken off our winter clothes. The line moved pretty quickly. When there were only two passengers before Jacob and me, I saw a glimpse of the woman behind the counter. I gasped in surprise. She had red, wavy, shoulder - length hair and golden pin attached to her red blouse. She looked familiar. I thought my eyes played tricks on me.
“What’s wrong?” Jacob asked me.
“That woman behind the desk.”
“What about her?”
“I may know her.”
When it was our turn to check into the hotel, no one was blocking the view. My eyes had not failed me. It was her.
“Hello, Susan,” I said and tried to smile and sound delighted, even if her presence confused me a bit. I hadn’t expected meeting her. Not now. Not here.
Susan looked at me. “Hi, Connie! Welcome to Hotel Seawind,” she said. “What a pleasant surprise to see you here.”
I smiled. “Thank you. So, this is where you work.” My throat felt tight.
She nodded. “This is the place.”
Jacob looked at me and then at Susan. “Do you know each other?” He lifted his eyebrows.
“Oh, Susan is a family friend,” I told him and turned my attention back to her.
“We should have a reservation here. It should say Catkin Ltd.”
Susan typed something on the computer. “Yes, here is a reservation for two.”
She pushed two identical forms across the desk. “You can't compromise this formality with any guest, not even if you know one or more of them personally.”
“Thank you,” Susan said as Jacob and I gave the forms back after we had written all the needed information. “Here are your keys. Your rooms are on the fourth floor. I hope you enjoy your time here.”
“Thank you. We will,” I said.
Jacob and I dragged our suitcases across the lobby to the elevator and pressed the button for the fourth floor.
“You’re wearing that Merged Hearts–perfume again,” he said as we rode in the elevator.
“It reminds me of you,” I said. “Your aftershave has lavender, so I thought I’ll buy some lavender perfume. I don’t want to forget you and the support you’ve given me.”
“Aren’t you worried your husband will notice?” Jacob asked.
“I don’t think he’ll notice or doubt anything. I can always say I’m wearing new perfume to test if Laura can be in the same room with me.”
The bell chimed. The glided doors opened, and we stepped out with our luggage. I looked at the numbers etched at doors and compared them to the key card Susan had given me.
“This seems to be my room,” I said. “They gave me a corner room.”
Jacob looked at the small envelope Susan had given him and compared it to the numbers of the doors. His room was two doors right from mine.
# # #
As soon as the elevator door closed behind Connie and Jacob, I dared to breathe again. That went well. Of course, it would have been nicer to see Connie and Curtis together, but although Connie and Curtis were husband and wife, they weren’t each other's colleagues. They each worked in their own fields and were certainly good at their jobs, as I was at mine. I couldn't suspect Connie of anything inappropriate, at least not from what I'd seen and heard. Her voice had sounded a bit hoarse, though. I hoped she wouldn’t get sick during her business trip. Or hoarseness could be from being nervous too. But why would a business trip make Connie nervous? I was sure she was prepared the best possible way.
For the rest of the day, I focused on my work, checking customers in and out. I couldn't let a familiar face impede my work, as nice as it was to see Connie here. I also couldn't tell my husband that I had met Connie. Customers were a matter of confidentiality.
In the evening at home, I tried to be present for my husband as much as I could, but I had to admit Connie's arrival at Seawind had thrown my thoughts into disarray. I really wanted to believe Connie was just on a business trip. I had no choice but to believe her. The evidence all pointed in the direction that Connie was telling the truth. I didn't want to believe bad things about my family friend, but I decided if I saw Connie doing something that clearly didn't belong on a business trip, like kissing Jacob, someone should warn Curtis.
“My stomach growls like a wolf that has caught nothing the whole morning. I want to eat something,” Jacob texted me as soon as I had unpacked.
“Good idea. I’ve heard this hotel has an excellent selection of sea food,” I wrote him back.
We stepped out of our rooms, called the elevator and waited.
“Who’s Laura?” Jacob asked me.
“Laura is my cousin. Laura and I live in the same house. She’s married too, just like me. Her husband’s name is Duncan.”
"Does your perfume choices have anything to do with this Laura?" Jacob asked.
"It's just that I don't want Laura suffocating around me just because I wear a certain perfume. She has very sensitive lungs," I said.
"In other words, you have to blind buy and test it."
"I have to. If Laura gets symptoms, I can't wear it."
The elevator’s bell chimed and the doors glided open. We stepped in and pushed the L – button.
We stepped out of the elevator.
We went to the dining room. The water feature’s tinkling calmed me down. I was sure tomorrow would go fine. After that I’d reward myself with a swim. Today a mere shower would do. Then I’d slip between the clean sheets and enjoy the deep sleep all night to the morning. The hardest part of the trip was yet ahead.
"There's another woman behind the desk," Jacob told me after we had ordered the appetizer drinks. "It's not Susan anymore."
I sighed relieved. "Good. As much friend as she is, her mere presence has made me sweat more or less since our arrival."
"Calm down, Connie. Tomorrow goes fine. I promise. No one could've prepared to that presentation better than you."
After eating a delicious meal we took the elevator to the fourth floor. As soon as the elevator's doors glided close Jacob pressed the button and hugged me. Warm and intense feeling went through my body. I hugged him back. So muscular and masculine! How would he look wearing mere swimming trunks?
The bell of the elevator shook me from my dreaming.
"Until tomorrow," I told him.
"Until tomorrow. Good night and sweet dreams" he said.
# # # END OF CHAPTER 1 # # #
© Copyright 2022 Lucinda Lynx (lucindalynx at Writing.Com). All rights reserved.
Writing.Com, its affiliates and syndicates have been granted non-exclusive rights to display this work.
Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/view_item/item_id/2279271-Clouds-in-the-sky-of-life-Chapter-1