Chapter 8: Libby
For the state being so tiny on the map, New York is pretty huge in person.
Buildings everywhere, advertisements premiering the oddest things, horns blaring nonstop…. It’s undoubtedly the busiest state in America.
After stepping out of the cab, gathering my bags and handing the driver my payment, a bellhop assists me as I lug my bags onto a luggage cart and pushes it into the hotel for me. “Thank you, you’re very kind,” I sigh, exhausted from the excess number of bags I have with me. I should’ve packed lighter.
“You’re welcome, Miss,” he replies, walking up with me to the receptionist. I hand her my ID and discuss what mature adults discuss when claiming your hotel room.
“Elizabeth Earnest, you will be in room 716,” she says, handing me two room keys (the second one as to which I’ll definitely need). Walking with the bellhop to the elevators and igniting the seventh floor button, we both wait in silence for the door to open.
But then the silence gets awkward and it becomes a necessity for me to say something. “Uh,” I come out with. “Thanks again for the bags.” He smiles at me over the pile of bags that separate us, nodding his head in acknowledgement. “There’s absolutely no way I would’ve gotten them to my room without your help.”
“No problem, Miss,” he replies, tugging at his uniform jacket and scuffling his beard a bit. He’s an older man with the eyes of someone who’s been through a lot, and my fingers itch for the bag that holds my camera on the cart. “It’s my job.”
Nodding, the elevator dings to let us know we’ve made it to my floor, and together we exit and find room 716. Inserting the key into the slot, the light blinks green and I walk into my new home for the next three months... and face the most depressing hotel room I’ve ever seen.
“Is this the right room?” I find myself asking myself. Walking back outside, having to veer around the old man and the cart, I check the room number and the key twice. Same number. “Great.”
“Have a nice day, Miss,” the bellhop calls as he walks back to the elevators. “I’m sure we’ll be running into each other again soon.”
“You too,” I mumble, walking back into my room and closing the door behind me. The carpet is a dull, woodsy green, the walls are a pasty yellow - the color of smokers’ teeth - and the windows are stained with bird poop. Lovely.
In my peripheral vision I spot my stack of luggage surrounding my new dresser (that’s also pitiful), reminding me of why I’m here in the first place. Digging the piece of paper out of my pocket, I unfold my most prized possession and scan through the list of things I have to complete before the end of summer - before I have to return and attend college.
There’s several things I can complete tonight, I find, but nothing I actually want to do. “Might as well get it over with,” I mutter to myself, snatching my camera bag and taking my camera from inside - my second prized possession. I have to take it while on this journey, one because I love taking picture, and two because it’s number forty-nine on Liv’s things to complete before she dies: Take a picture of every thing I do on the bucket list.