So, this is it, I thought to myself as I looked out the window. Through the cab window, my eyes were nearly blinded by the ever-clear blue sky over the tightly compact buildings crowding what seemed to be a fairly busy city street. The colors jumped out at me—it wasn’t anything like I’d seen in New York. It was almost as if everything in the city was handcrafted or made with an individual architect in mind from the start.
After such a long plane ride, I wasn’t sure how to take it all in. The sights made me feel at home because of the buildings and the abundance of people, but at the same time, they weren’t the kind of people I was used to. A diverse mixture of the same people. All different shades dressed in different varieties of clothes. Diversity was commonplace in New York, but the lack of business suit wearing working class Yorkers made this seem more at ease.
My cab driver was wary of the others on the road with us. It wasn’t like back at home. Mopeds, people on foot, everything seemed to share the same road. Thank God, I don’t have to drive, I thought, trying to relax back in my seat. Even though I’d only spent the past few hours on the plane, it left both my mind and body exhausted. The best I could feel was relief that I was finally in Brazil.
It didn’t take long to reach the hotel. The highest rated hotel in Brazil, was also the closest from the airport, thankfully. My cab driver got my attention, and after giving him a tip, I was moving my luggage into the lobby.
From bottom to top the hotel seemed to shine and sparkle. Countless people walked in and out of the doors, some obviously tourists or staff members. They managed to keep the white marble floor impeccably clean showing off Brazil’s flag in the center of it all. Once I reached the front desk, I presented them with my ID, and they handed me my room card key without many words exchange between us.
I started to lug my carry-ons to the elevator, but a bellhop stopped me to give me assistance. “Oh, why thank you!” I said to him with a smile. He smiled in return, putting my bags onto the baggage cart and rolling it into the elevator with me.
“Hope you enjoy your stay, miss,” he said with a humble bow. He had a certain charm about him. The tan skin and light gray eyes really made him stand out from the other staff members. “We only want to offer the highest quality service to our patrons.”
“Of course, and might I say that you’re doing an excellent job so far!” I replied as we reached my floor. He trailed behind me as I searched for my room. The red carpet beneath us almost made me feel as though I really was important somehow. The golden doorknobs on every door and the crystal doorframes made it hard to believe that I was worth such treatment. Is this what all big cases had to offer?
“Ah, here we are!” I announced. The bellhop rubbed his hands together, urging me to try my keycard. “Sorry, this is my first time being somewhere so… Well, you know.” I fiddled with the knob a little, but it quickly gave way to the keycard.
Ahead of me was a room ripped from a dream inspired by a movie. Everything was perfect. The room was varying shades of blue all around aside from the cream-colored pillows and insides of the bed sheets. It was spacious, cozy, and clean. There was enough room for a small chair, a deep cream armchair, and a coffee table by the window.
The bellhop swiftly came in and set my luggage down by the bed. He drew the curtains back and then beckoned to me with two fingers to join him. Still lost in a daze, it took me a second, but eventually, I went over to the window and stood beside him. He urged me to peer further out, and I could see some of the locals going about their day.
Just across from us was a construction site next to a park—barren at this time of the day. It was still in the early hours of the morning. However, some of the locals managed to catch my eye. The children running about on the street and their parents trying to catch up with them brought a smile to my face. Wouldn’t see something like that back at home…
I sighed contently and turned to see the bellhop eying me curiously. He held out his hand wordlessly, and in an instant, I knew what he was after. “You’ll have to excuse me… My boss paid for this trip, so…” I pulled out my wallet and fished around for a suitable tip.
The bellhop didn’t seem to mind the wait, his eyes presently staying expectant. I handed him a few bills, and he nodded approvingly.
“Thank you. I hope you enjoy your stay.” With his final words to me, he left me to myself, and I immediately fell in the bed. As I melted into the foam-like mattress, my eyes closed slowly. They were so heavy from the trip, I hardly had the energy to put my clothes away or start looking at the case.
Just before I drifted off, a vibrating phone caught my attention. Irritated, I answered it and asked, “Hello?”
“Hey, Reed. Just calling to check up on ya. You make it to the hotel?”
“Yeah, I’m here.”
“Okay, good. Baldwin should be coming by later on in the evening to pick you up. Get some questions prepared beforehand, so he doesn’t catch you off guard.”
“Yes, sir. I’ll be ready for him.”
“Good. I’m sure you’ll do great.” Click.
I threw my phone to the other side of the bed and closed my eyes again. It didn’t take long for the darkness to take me as I drifted off to sleep.