Episode 75— Chapter 84
Cobb raced out of his apartment and jumped into his Impala. He was unaware of a black SUV parked on the opposite side of the street, a hundred feet away. Cobb sped away and the SUV followed from a distance. Cobb’s car turned down Juniper, following the GPS instructions, and continued down the street. There was nothing at all familiar about the streets or neighborhood, Cobb thought as he looked out both sides of the vehicle, searching for anything that might jog his memory. He continued slowly down the street; the GPS audio indicated he was a short distance away. Was the Georgian Terrace really the same hotel he had stayed in more than a hundred years before?
Destination is on your right. 500 feet.
Cobb continued slowly until he came to a stop in front of the building. He looked out the window and stared in wonder. He had never seen anything like it. Half of the building was a vaguely familiar stone and brick structure, similar in appearance to early twentieth century architecture. The other part consisted of a glass tower that rose twice the height of the old edifice. It was as if the building mated his two disparate worlds together, old and new, and it gave Cobb hope. Within the walls of this unusual building, maybe there was a door that would take him from the future to the past.
Cobb paused briefly as he studied the hotel’s entrance; had there been double or single columns in the portico? He couldn’t remember.
Is this the right place?
Cobb tentatively walked up the stone steps onto the front terrace, and then into the hotel. The lobby’s classic interior seemed vaguely familiar, but he couldn’t be sure. He went to the reception desk and asked if he could reserve a specific room in the older wing.
“You have stayed with us before?” the receptionist asked in a friendly voice.
“I think so, ma’am. But it was a long time ago.”
Looking at the young man who appeared to be in his mid-twenties, she replied, “Well, it couldn’t have been too long ago, unless you came with your parents.”
Cobb nodded with a smile, “May I inquire if Room 420 is available; I have very fond memories of that particular room and I would be very grateful to spend the night there again.”
“Let me check.” The woman typed on her lap top for thirty seconds. “Well, it is in the older structure, but yes, it appears to be available.”
Several minutes later, Cobb entered the elevator and pushed the 4 button. The elevator door opened onto the fourth floor and Cobb proceeded to the end of the corridor until he came to the room; it seemed to be in the same location as before in the hallway. Recalling the remark from the hotel clerk in commemoration of his magnificent batting average of 420, Cobb expelled a sarcastic chuckle, wondering what room he would have received now that his average was two hundred points lower.
He took out the card key and opened the door. There was something distinctly familiar about the room; he remembered how the wall paper had transformed from evening to morning on that crisp November day. He recalled the feeling of disorientation, before venturing outdoors. It was coming back; memories which had been buried since the accident.
Cobb stared out the window. He was too restless to sleep, so he took the elevator back down to the main lobby. Cobb was unaware of two large men seated side-by-side on one of the lobby’s sofas, each one holding a mobile phone but glancing at him as he walked into the ground floor restaurant.
Cobb ordered a salad, steak and wine. He kept praying that he would be able to return home, giving little heed to the parapsychologist’s caution that the month and day were important factors in creating the optimum environment for a return.
Following dinner, Cobb walked out of the restaurant to the elevator. As the door opened, a tall and well-built man joined him. Cobb pressed the 4 button and moved aside, so that the other passenger could select his floor. The man looked at the lit floor button and nodded—he was apparently on the same floor. Cobb walked to his room, barely noticing the man following from behind. Once inside, Cobb turned the television on and began watching the national news networks as he slid under the bed’s covers. His mind was elsewhere and he began to feel an overpowering fatigue, as though he had been sleep-deprived for months.
He turned the television off and quickly embraced the slumber that would revive and restore him, and bring him back home.