Check in at the Deja-Vu Hotel was anything but normal. It is difficult to imagine such a place existing anywhere outside of a fantasy. But John and Rebecca walked through the front door and were greeted by a middle aged woman whose hands were clasped lightly, an enormous smile warming her careworn face. She was altogether delighted to see them, as if able to perceive something imperceptible, like the compatibility of the color of their spirits.
“Do you have a lock?” the woman asked.
John was puzzled by the question.
“We do,” Rebecca answered obviously in the loop.
“It was in the confirmation email,” Rebecca filled John in.
Two porters arrived.
“They will take you to your rooms,” the woman advised.
One porter led John one way while the other took Rebecca in the opposite direction. This caused some confusion for the two. Rebecca looks back at John her hands raised questioningly to her sides.
“Are we not going to be in the same room? It is our anniversary after all” John asks.
“Yes, yes, of course. You will see, all is ok,” the woman insists in Romanian overtones.
And the two are led off in opposite directions.
John is guided first to a small but warm and comfortable change room. A young woman in a smart white coat pops into the space in front of him. “You can strip down to whatever point you are comfortable, you can put on this robe then.” She points to a leopard skin patterned robe hanging on the back of the door, then walks out. John thinks the robe a lark, but at a closer look sees it is actually of a very high quality. John undresses and puts on the robe and waits quietly for a moment or two.
Rebecca is escorted into a small, comfortable and dimly lit change room as well, but a very different experience awaits her. Two female attendants dote on her. They complement, and praise her features and offer her soothing refreshments. Pampering her seemed to be their sole mission. A third woman enters and with a kind hearted voice began asking Rebecca questions.
“What was the most wonderful time of your life?”
“What is the most romantic memory ever?”
“What are you grateful for?”
Rebecca struggles to answer but smiles the entire time, recollecting many wonderful memories.
“Ok, stand in the middle of the room, feet together, look straight up,”asks the kind hearted voice.
Rebecca notices the lights have dimmed. The coffered ceiling becomes a night sky.
The attendants began to massage her while slowly disrobing her. Rebecca maintains her stance except where needed to assist the attendants.
Finally, they offer her a robe in a zebra skin pattern, of very high quality, soft to the touch and a perfect fit.
John meanwhile had been ushered into a room lit by just a single candle at each end. Seated in a masseuse’s chair he was now receiving a massage, though he could not see who was delivering this deeply relaxing work. The hands were small so he assumed female. As she worked her way from his shoulders to his back then his thighs, she stroked between his legs lightly, sensually, and then carried on down each leg and finally massaged his feet. Her face hidden the entire time behind her flowing hair and the low light. She stood up and taking a bottle from a shelf poured him a shot. He drank it without hesitation. The smoothest bourbon he had ever tasted, he had two more.
She held aside a curtain of a shower, he showered, and following instructions on a little sign, proceeded out of the shower the opposite way he had entered. Dried himself off, and then put on a robe that had been placed there with his name on the hanger tag. This robe was lighter, sheer, and in fact, white with a gold piping trim.
Rebecca was now bathing in a tub of aromatic oils and salts and florals, a secret recipe. The effect of which was so intoxicating as to cause mild hallucinations, and delusions of space and time. The attendants had to help her to her feet. They dried her and dressed her in a robe like John’s, but remained at her side for a moment or two, until her stability returned, then escorted her to a vanity were the attendants tended to her hair and make up.
The kind hearted voice held aside a curtain, “Enjoy the rest of your evening. Well, I know you will.”
Rebecca proceeded past her and through a door into a large room, looking to her left she saw that John had just entered the room at the same moment.
This was the oddest bedroom either of them had ever seen. It was the size of a small gymnasium, with walls twenty feet high. Dark velvety curtains hung on two sides swagged part way up then sloped across the ceiling and disappeared into a ring in the center. The doors they had entered through were symmetrical and placed between them was an elaborate curio cabinet with numerous little drawers and cupboards all with a heart motif façade. On the opposite side a small round table with two chairs was centered between French doors that had been propped open revealing a view of a private garden with a rectangular pond. The twilight sky beautifully reflected in the still water, a warm glow emanated from the cabana lights beyond the pond, little lights on a string hung artfully, that remind of ‘baby’s breath’ the little white flowers that so often are included with red roses.
To the left of the French doors was a hutch with bowls of fresh fruit, breads, cheeses, and chocolates.
But the centerpiece of this room was the bed. It seemed to be floating on air, and though not particularly elegant in its design, it none the less seemed to have a glow about it.
Throughout the room tiny pendant lights hung randomly both in their height off the floor and in their location as well,creating a sensation of being amongst the stars.
The music playing in the background became clearer as the ambient sound of life beyond quieted, Debussy, Clare de Lune.
Rebecca stood at the French door and was looking out beyond the cabana, and in a confident tone said:
“It’s a curious thing …all the events in one’s life, and how they bring you to where you are now”
John poured himself a glass of wine, then took some grapes and cheese and sat down at the table. Rebecca continued,
“Yes, it’s true, I think, there is no such thing as an insignificant coincidence. And yet how common is it to want to go back to the various crossroads of our life and make better choices, based on what we now know?”
“But Rebecca, those who hold on to that wish list forget that they are different people now than when they made the choices they did, and only arrived at where they are now for having lived through the very experiences they now want go back in time to change.”
“True, but people have regrets.”
“Maybe its better to have no regrets, after all, your future is IN your future, not in your past.”
The music had transitioned from classical to the old Procol Harum song ‘A Whiter Shade of Pale’.
John put his wine glass down while rising up towards Rebecca.
He put his arms around her and they began to dance around the room to the familiar song, then another, Billie Holiday’s ‘God Bless the Child’.
Then when Rebecca heard the opening refrain to the Joe Cocker hit ‘You Can Leave Your Hat On’ She pushed John back onto the bed and put on a solo performance for him, her silky gown eventually making it’s way to the floor, And ran and jumped onto the bed with him as a finale.
But not for long as Rebecca’s curiosity got the best of her.
“What is in that crazy cabinet with all the drawers and doors?”