Why Number 85 Makes Me Shiver
Two weeks ago, my friend and I traveled to Orlando for a holiday. He was in charge of booking the rooms as I went about the city looking for a car hire company to help us move around with ease. When I came back and found out that he had booked me into room number 85 in one of the hotels, my heart skipped a beat. He must have realized this although I am not sure if he knew why I responded that way. I do not know about you, but for me, that number has been associated with various mysteries. I will tell you about some of them.
You see, when I as a child, my aunt had taken me together with my younger sister to a hotel in Chicago. We were to stay there for a week as she worked on one of her projects before returning home. In the wee hours of the nigh while all of us were asleep in the room, one of the scariest things happened. There was a loud sound outside and before we could even figure out what was happened, the entire building was engulfed in flames.
What makes me remember this day is not the fact that there was a fire accident. It is because we were sleeping in room number 85 and we were the only ones trapped in the hotel. All the other occupants in the rest of the room easily moved out to safety but our door lock cold not open. All the keys could not turn the locks and even the spares that were with the room service department could not help.
The police officers who were trying to help us were almost giving up because they thought if they keep trying to access the rom, they too would end up burning to ashes. It must have taken the hand of God because somehow, one of the officers hit his boot on the door and it opened as we were unconsciously rescued.
I was still holding the hotel receipt that my friend had handed to me as I looked at the number 85 while remembering this incidence when he shook me and asked why I was lost in my thoughts. I pretended that nothing was wrong although he could clearly see that I was almost shaking and that it probably had to do with the receipt that he had just handed me. He must have said something but I did not hear it because my mind almost immediately went back to the events in my life that had characterized that number.
Sometimes back, I had entered into a competition and was going to win a million dollars if I was among the lucky winners. I was so excited not just because of the money but because it made me meet lots of amazing people. The whole thing was about participating in various activities and accumulating points. Everyone was supposed to pick a ball from a large basket and every ball had a number of it. As fate would have it, my ball had the number 85 and I thought it was going to be my lucky number.
At the end of the competition, nine people had already been selected to share the one million dollars and only one more person was needed. I was tied on points with a young blonde girl who we had become close friends wit. Her number was 52. At this point, the organizers suggested that we place the balls in a pot, shake it several times and ask a blindfolded neutral person to pick one that would be an eventual winner. I was so optimistic and was already seeing myself as one of the winners of the dollars. When the decision came, the man picking the ball pulled out number 52 and that was the end of my game.
That day in Orlando, these memories kept coming back and I could not take it anymore. What saved me is the fact that my friend seemed to read my mind and actions. He turned to me, patted my back and said that I did not have to stay in room number 85 after all. It was a great relief for me.