The gentle sounds of a piano plays in the distance. The sounds were barely audible from the lobby of the hotel. A tall tree, decorated in creamy white twinkling lights and large red poinsettias adorns the sitting area, surrounded by luxurious lounge chairs. Opposite the tree, a roaring fire casts a warm glow against the dark mahogany wood which lines the walls.
Sally sits in one of the chairs, her legs curled up under her. She faces the fire, while her hand caresses a cup of hot tea. She can see through a window the snow is picking up, ensuring snowy surroundings at least another day. No matter, she enjoys the peace and solitude the weather delays afford her.
The concierge works steadily behind the counter. A young couple, barely in their twenties bound up to the counter. “Do you have towels? We want to hit the hot tubs,” the man all of about twenty asks as the young woman beside him giggles.
Sally recognizes the look of innocence, of elated happiness, of complete adoration. She hopes the girl standing before her gets her happy ever after. Memories she thought she’d relegated to the furthest corners of her mind flow back for an instant. Sally shifts her gaze back to the fire, a short wave of sadness flows through her as a single tear falls into her cup. It doesn’t matter now, her mind refocuses. She puts the cup down and picks back up her computer from the table. Time to check on work.
Oh, the wonder of the internet and instant connectivity to anywhere. Even hundreds of miles away, work never stops. She was thankful for this welcomed distraction from her thoughts. The stats all look good. All robots are running, and no errors with any interfaces. Throughput for the past two days were steady, especially going into the holiday. If things held up, she could shift focus to planning for next year tomorrow.
Dan walked up and tapped Sally on her shoulder. She jumped. “Done with work? I’m starving.”
Sally looked up at Dan. He’s a good partner and companion. His crooked smile and exaggerated gestures signaled to her it was time to close up work. “Sure, let me log off.” Sally disconnected and closed her laptop, then slipped it into her bag. She slipped her stockinged feet back into her shoes and they made their way to the lodge’s restaurant for dinner.