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The Keeper of Secrets: The Blank Page

It was a new place; the skies were still overcast. He had been through these gates a few times before. Each time it was to put into action his re-settlement plan. Now it was time to settle down.

Planning and execution of the plan ensured that he was exactly where he wanted to be, when he want to be. He picked up 3 newspapers from the stands and walked out, away from the chaos. Finding a cab and loading his stuff, he sat down to immerse himself in the newspaper. He knew the way to his hotel like the back of his hand. A temporary pit stop, he thought to himself. The chosen hotel was anything but a pit stop. With its facade facing the snow clad mountains, restaurant that served the best of everything and plush and cozy interiors; it could be called a king’s hangout.

He liked the place. The food was good and especially their coffee. The moment he walked in he had his bags taken to his room. He never waited; he called in earlier to let them know he was coming.

His room as he had demanded faced the mountains. There was something about mountains that enamored him. Their immovability; their sheer size. His newspapers had found a place on the couch.  A generous tip ensured no disturbance of any kind.

He stood watching the mountains for a minute. Reality beckoned, he realized he needed a shave and shower. He spent time getting clean. He had to wash off a past.

Clean clothes and rejuvenated he headed for the restaurant with his new companions; the newspapers. He had been in the same place over the past few years and the regular staff recognized his face etched in stone. His eyes, cold, passive yet piercing and observant. He was an intimidating man of few demands. He ate without a word. Neither praise nor reprimand was ever forthcoming.

Today he was somehow different. There was a spring in his step as opposed to his even paced stride. The truly striking feature was he was smiling at the hotel staff with a thank you for all that they did for him.

Awaiting his food and coffee he pored over his accompanying newspapers. The food, as always was good and he ate slowly; intermittently reading the newspaper, watching the street and the imposing mountains.

After he had his fill of food and coffee, he left a generous tip with the newspapers neatly folded on the table. He took the elevator to his room and fell on the couch letting it all sink in and consecutively planning his next move.

He knew he had spent enough time here and he had to move. On his cab drive to the hotel he noticed a car dealership. He would have loved a Mercedes but like all his decisions, utility was placed above desires. He decided to go back there and look at the cars they could offer. As he walked to get to the car dealership he noticed he was the only one walking in the cold. He walked into the dealership and a cursory look around and he saw what he wanted and went right to it and finished the purchase in a short time. Planning it all out months in advance had helped. He drove it to the nearest gas station and topped her off. He drove the behemoth to the hotel and asked his bags to be loaded in the car. He thanked the hotel staff all over again.

His next stop was a supermarket where he bought all the things needed to run a home. Home; the word struck him as he has just a few hours ago set fire to a few and left a pall of death and gloom in others.

He paid for his purchases and loaded them into his off-roader. It was time to restart his life. His new home was secluded from rest of the lot. The garden was full of weeds and uncut grass, all competing among each other for place. He walked straight in and first checked the essentials, like power and water. He set up his laptop and was tempted to get online to check again but it did not matter now. He went up to his bedroom and decided that his new life would have to begin with a nice nap. For the first time in years he relaxed in sleep and slept fitfully. His vengeance was all over. He needed new energy to start living again.

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