Ken was jolted awake when the captain announced their upcoming landing in Hong Kong. He closed his eyes to allow himself to remember what was happening in his dream state before the interruption. He was dreaming about his dad, they were walking together when he was young. It was just the two of them on an old two lane road in the middle of the woods. The place felt familiar and yet, Ken could not completely recall its location.
Sitting straight up in his chair, surprising the woman next to him with his sudden movement, the realization struck him like a lightening bolt, on this walk his dad was telling him that he had to leave. Ken’s mind whirled. His breath came in shallow and quickly. “Oh my god, how had he forgotten that his dad had warned him. That his dad had tried to explain why he was leaving, when he would go, and that he wanted to always be there for him.” The memory was rushing at him in full force, like a treasure chest that had been lost at sea for years, it sprung open, full of truthful answers. “Why had he buried this memory,” he questioned as he leaned against the seat in front of him.
“Can you please put your seat in the upright position sir,” the attendant asked, looking at him.
“Yes, sorry,” he responded, pushing the button to adjust the seat.
Looking out the window he inhaled deeply, watching the monstrous city come into clear view below. As the plane lowered itself towards the expanding city of Hong Kong, Ken sat lost in a time warp. Sadness pulsed through his veins in rhythm with the plane’s engine. Feeling the wheels hit the tarmac, he tried to compose himself, for a he had a day full of meetings. Reaching down to his briefcase, he checked to make sure the magazine was in place. He sure didn’t want to lose it now, for he had many questions that he wanted to ask. This revelation opened up a whole new perspective and awareness.
As the doors opened, Ken waited his turn to stand and deplane. Swallowed quickly by the swarm of people headed towards customs, he hoped the process would go quickly, it should since he came fairly regularly. Awaiting his turn in line, he allowed himself to recall more details about his dad. It felt funny after all these years to visualize and feel his dad’s presence within his being. Like a cow being pushed through a chute to the next pen, he moved through the line and into the main airport. Quickly he found the hotel courtesy van, grateful he had enough time to go to the hotel before he had to meet John at the warehouse office.
On the ride to the hotel he checked his phone. A message from John confirmed that all was on schedule. He had a sweet little goodnight message from Jesse who was now sound asleep as he entered morning time in China. The significant time difference made communication with home challenging, thank goodness for WhatsApp, it bridge the time zones with ease, keeping him connected to Jesse and his office.
His first meeting with John started at 10:30am, it was presently close to 9:00am, maybe he had time to quickly write down notes about the dream. Shaking his head again, he took a yawning deep breath as he stared out the window, buildings and people flashed past as they scooted through the crazy traffic. He was still stunned by his now found memory. “Why had his twelve year old brain decided to forget such an important memory. His dad had promised to stay in touch, had shared that he would always be there for him, but, he had never heard from his dad. Did he die. Had something really bad happened after he left,” questions cluttered Ken’s mind and heart. “Where could he turn for answers,” he thought.
Taking the small suitcase from the attendant he handed him a tip and walked into the hotel lobby. He had stayed here several times over the last couple of years, so he comfortably knew his way around. Signing in at the front desk he thanked the receptionist and headed to the elevator with his room card. His view would not be as nice as last time, he was only on the eleventh floor, room 1111, easy number to remember.
Placing his suitcase on the bed he quickly splashed his face, brushed his teeth and changed his shirt. Looking in the mirror he decided his appearance passed inspection. Taking a pad of paper from his briefcase he sat down to write what he could remember with regard to his dream. Glancing at his watch, he folded the paper and slid it into the magazine which was still neatly tucked in the side pocket of his briefcase. He did not want to let this powerful resource out of his sight.
The Uber driver alerted him that he had arrived and was waiting, quickly he grabbed his sport coat and headed towards the elevator. On the way to the warehouse he left a message for Jesse, so she would wake to a good morning from him. It was strange how he felt closer to her, somehow the discussion about having children had opened up a layer within him that he had kept tightly closed since he was twelve years old. He was not ready to talk to anyone about his dream remembering, but, he felt that it changed everything.
It was time for him to search for his dad. He was not sure what he would find, he really hoped that he was still alive, cause he had a lot of unanswered questions. As they pulled up the warehouse, he allowed himself to acknowledge that it was time to have a serious chat with his mom. Momentarily his body reacted with goosebumps, for he had not connected with his mom in months and even then it was all surface conversation.
“Ken, welcome to Hong Kong,” blurted John with enthusiasm.
“Thanks John, great to see you,” responded Ken as he shook the hand offered him.
“Are you ready to go over the numbers and then meet with couple of local producers,” John asked Ken.
“Yes, I’m ready. It sounds like a very full day,” smiled Ken, shaking his head to clear the mind.
“Fuller then you think, for tonight we will be having dinner with the producers from South Africa. They came into town so they could meet you and discuss what they hoped to accomplish when you visit them next month,” shared John.
This news excited and disappointed Ken, he really wanted to meet the South African connections, for he was very curious about their farms and even more interested in the nearby wineries, however, he also wanted more time with the magazine, so he could glean more clarity.
To be continued… 24