She wondered if she could sneak through the gym room and up the back stairs, avoiding Jack altogether. She tried the door to the gym but it was locked. She turned as she heard the shudder of aluminium, someone was coming into the pool area.
She recognised that shape - it was Jack.
He came over and put his arms around her. She let him and rested her face on his chest. Her mind was racing. Even an hour ago she was single and now she had two men - dangling. Maybe that was too many. She couldn't even keep one going with Nathan before. But it felt like all her genes were sticking her to Jack and crying "oh yes!"
She didn't want to let go. Her mind was slipping away and looking down, bemused at the instincts kicking in. She grabbed her mind back and decided to swim against the tide.
She pulled herself free. "I'm sorry, there is someone back home. I can't do this."
Not knowing quite what to do next she just decided to go. At the door back into the brightly lit foyer, she paused. "Thanks for all your help, especially today." Then she let the door swing shut and made for the lifts hoping there was one waiting. As she arrived some guests walked out and she slipped in and relaxed as the doors slid shut.
The next day she was gone.
Sitting on the 747 all around her people were setting up their wee mini homes for the twelve hour flight, by the time they reached Auckland, they would all know their seats intimately; all the hard bits, the soft bits and the unexpected broken bits.
She still had to write up her experiences of bringing people together for Jacob Macy. She thought back over the week. It was strange, that despite everything, the highlight was still the visit to the Reservation. It had really felt like entering another country, nature was not so constrained but encroaching on everything. The values and attitudes you could feel were so different from the city just up the road. How could neighbours living so close to the place have never visited and from her trip be so uninterested?
She thought about her neighbours in the apartment block. She only knew one of them, she had been too busy to bother, what with work and now she thought about it - her own selfishness really. Maybe Millie had a point. Maybe Jacob was wrong with his grandiose plans of people going on trips. Then she realised the whole trip had come about because Jack had sat beside her on a plane and bothered to chat. People coming together was happening all the time in small ways just mostly unnoticed and, at least by her, unvalued. She had wanted big success, big baskets of gratitude for her efforts bringing people together, but maybe it was one on one where it counted. One was as valuable as thousands. Could she write that up for Jacob and would she be able to resist the temptation to check how many times it was viewed on his website? She resolved to stop treating life as a competition - though she still didn't want to be a loser...
Paper clips and string
5 hours ago