Chapter 5 (1)
Sam hesitated only for a second before walking past his family. He excused himself, saying he wanted some air. The truth was that he wanted to avoid Jess’ gaze.
He had betrayed her; betrayed her trust; his promise to her that same day. And he couldn’t stand there and watch her watching him. Or what would come next.
He didn’t know where he wanted to go but he knew where he didn’t want to be.
It was unfortunate that she and his entire family should walk-in just at that very moment. Well, there were worst moments that they could have possibly walk-in on but still…
Sam stepped up to the elevator, never turning back towards his family, and pressed the button to open the doors.
There wasn’t much of a wait, as the elevator was already up. But still the few seconds it took for the doors to slide apart felt like years to him. All the time he could feel his family’s eyes on his back.
As he stepped into the elevator and the doors started to close, Sam felt a sense of relief. The feelings that boiled inside of him didn’t go away. But it was good to be finally free from the gazes.
However, his relief was short lived.
“Good evening,” said that all too familiar voice.
He spun around and found himself face to face with their blue-eyed hostess. Maybe it was his state of mind, but he could swear her eyes were little darker than the light blue eyes he remembered that she had before.
“How…” he started but couldn’t find the right words to finish.
“How are you enjoying our accommodations?” she asked with that same cheery tone. “I hope everything is up to your requirements. That they help you forget your troubles and worries.”
“Yeah, everything is Dandy,” Sam said as he turned away from her.
“Good! Here at Elysium Falls Hotel, we seek to be an oasis from all your worldly troubles; a haven from the storms of life.” She said with a smile and Sam found himself staring at her with disbelief:
‘Had she just quoted Dean?’
“Is there anything else I can help you with?”
“Urgh no! Thank you. I just need some time to myself that’s all” he said recovering.
“Oh that’s not possible”
“You can’t be on your own. Elysium Falls Hotel is all about immersing yourself with other people. Finding comfort and release from being with others around you. That is why we cater to group entertainment…of all kinds.”
“Fine,” he said turning towards the elevator panel “I’ll just immerse myself with my neighbours,” he said as he tried to find the floor buttons.
“I am afraid you misunderstand me. When I meant people, I meant people you came herewith. Your family, your loved ones. Not strangers; one should always be careful who one spends time with.”
She was right. As Sam scanned the elevator panel he found no other buttons on it than for their suite and the lobby.
“So I can’t talk with anyone else?”
“You can. You can talk with Jess, your mom, your dad, even Lisa and Ben!”
“But no other guests?”
“We try to give all our guests equal opportunity to enjoy their stay here. To get the full benefits of their time spent in the hotel. It would not do to have their minds troubled by problems of other people. Or have their stay tainted by wild stories” she said as she stared at him.
Sam didn’t say anything after that. Just pressed the button for the lobby and waited for the elevator to take them there.
All was quiet in the elevator all the way down.