Twenty minutes after she ran (levitated?) off the elevator from her oh so Cozy Room, Monique Justus picked up her iPhone in a modern hanging porch swing at W Bellevue, looked at the screen … Ding! … and just shook her head. Monique repeated a line she could not stop saying. She said to no one, “I can’t believe it.” That ding sound, the annoying sound when a text lands in an iPhone, just wouldn’t stop, and Monique, bemused, tossed the phone onto the wooden table in front of her.
“Can’t believe it,” Monique said. “Eighty-eight texts.”
She got out of her swing to pose for pictures with The Reporter, twice named the city’s “Best Reporter.” There are times when people are so happy they appear to be almost in a daze, and that was Monique, right now.
“I’m not mad about it,” Monique said. “It’s a good problem to have.”
Monique just sat and thought for a few minutes, and looked at the Reporter.
“How are you gonna write THIS?” she said.
“There are good experiences, and there are great experiences, and there are Spielberg epics,” he said. “Winning the 20Y Ticket falls somewhere north of good experience on this spectrum. Well north.”
Monique: “Is this real life?”
The Reporter looked at her, and then at the ticket. “Well, I’m here, aren’t I?”
“I am at a loss for words,” Monique said. “Speechless. Biggest moment of my life. My whole life.”
Monique looked up at the ceiling of the hotel’s Living Room (the brand’s take on the hotel lobby), showcasing exposed A-frame beams reminiscent of a log cabin home.
She collapsed into a deep sofa with plush pillows.
As the euphoria was winding down, Monique Justus walked out to The Porch, just steps off the Living Room, and sat by the roaring fire.
The Reporter said, “Be ready tomorrow. You get to experience time travel. Big day.”
Her phone kept chirping. Alone. Everybody wanted a piece of Monique, and boy, was that different. What did her future hold? No one knows.
“Listen,” said Monique, “this is an answer to prayer. I’m getting a chance to experience a time machine.”
“Each time machine is what they call a ‘Hyperaccelerator,’” said The Reporter. “I believe you will be experiencing the H360.”
Monique lifted both hands up, and exclaimed, “H360!”
“Monique, congratulations,” said The Reporter. “I need to get going. Next time I see you you’ll be a Time Traveler. Or, as they say, a Daredevil.” They hugged, knowing they’d see each other again.
Before he exited the lobby, he turned around and said, “You are going to love their Executive Concierge. She is a ‘keeper of the keys.’”
Monique had no idea what he meant by this. She checked her texts again. “Now it’s 205,” she said, and she shook her head.
For the longest time, maybe an hour, she just sat there, enjoying the moment.