In the early morning hours, I quietly closed the hotel door behind me. Trying not to let the lock click too loudly. It was quiet in the hallway, too quiet. I leaned up against my door, taking deep breaths, clutching my back pack closely against me, before heading down the hallway to the fire escape. I figured the elevator wasn't an option at this time. All I had was my backpack to lug but all the while as I was making my great escape, I kept wondering if I should've just brought my suitcase as well.
When I got down to the bottom, I stopped and listened for anyone else. I had done this on every floor coming down. I slowly pushed the door open, peeking out, hoping it was clear of all persons but to my surprise, it was the alley. I stepped back and wondered how I ended up here. I had initially thought I would come out near the lobby area because I had pasted the fire escape door on my way to the dining hall. It came to me later that there had been three fire escapes throughout the hotel. I had not realized that two elevators had actually been constructed in the middle of the building. Two fire escapes at either end of the hotel, with one that paralleled the elevators. Such great luck I was having up to that point.
I ran down the alley, hoping the taxi cab that I called for would be waiting for me. I went straight out to the curb, close but not too close to the hotel entrance and waited patiently. As the taxi pulled up, I threw my bag in and handed the taxi driver the address and directions.
He looked at for a long time, shook his head, looked back me and said "Prendre un bus...C'est trop loin j'ai"
“What… what does that mean?” I asked impatiently, trying to decipher it in my head. From the sound of my english question, the taxi driver realized I probably didn’t understand, rolled his eyes and said it again so I could understand. I just know he said something about taking a bus.
“Too far out of city, you need to take bus. I’ll take you to bus station. Okay?”
I nodded quickly, “Yes, yes that will be fine.”
As we drove away, I tried to hide my face, even sitting low and pushing back hard against the seat. I think I was sweating bullets at this point. I know the taxi driver had no idea what was going on or that I was trying to make an escape but Jesus… he drove right in front of the hotel.
As we got to the bus station, he handed the card with Jeans’ name on it and address, telling me to give it to the clerk and they'll give me a ticket. I thanked him and rushed into the bus station.
There was a line. I didn't know what to do. I hoped I wasn't being followed or being watched. I looked around, no one batted an eyelash at me so I figured I was okay. But still, I had to be careful. I took deep breaths and tried to relax. The line got shorter. As soon as I got to desk, I handed the card over, saying I needed a bus ticket to that place. The attendant smiled.
“What takes you to the countryside?” She asked. Her English was clear, then I realized she wasn't from there, “It's beautiful country. That estate is very popular. A lot of visitors go there.”
“You don't sound like you're from here.”
“I'm not, I'm from a little town in Arizona” she laughed, “Where are you from?”
“New York. I met an older gentlemen on the plane coming over. He invited me to come out.” I felt relieved for some reason. Maybe just meeting someone from the States, getting as though the last couple days were a dream. A very bad dream.
“You're all set. Usually most tourists stay a day or two but I left your return time and date open. I hope you enjoy your stay.” She smiled handing my ticket to me.
I thanked her.
I waited in another line to get on the bus. I must've looked anxious or something because a man standing in front of me as if I needed to use the restroom, at least that's what I think he said. Damn, I should've paid more attention in French class. Brushing up on my French wouldn't have hurt either. I just shook my head at him.
Finally. I found a seat and held on tightly to bag. Thankfully there weren't too many people getting on. I was able to sit alone. I was even thankful when the bus finally started to pull away from the depot.
As the buildings have way to open country, breathed a sigh of relief. I was feeling comfortable enough that I feel asleep. A mistake I shouldn't have done at a time like this.
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