I was traveling from Amsterdam to Toronto and the flight landed late. Passing through customs and immigration’s in Toronto, I missed my connecting flight. So the flight companies arranged accommodation for the night stay in a nice hotel called Fairfield, the Marriott groups and also arranged for dinner and breakfast services. I was brought to the hotel with my luggage in a shuttle, accompanied by another lady passenger in same situation like me traveling from Philippines. I had 11 hours connection haul so was dam tired of the travels and so was that lady. The guy dropped us to the hotel main entrance emptied our luggage and left us wondering. Meanwhile, I saw a trolley inside the hotel and dragged it out for us to load our luggage and enter inside the hotel. We both helped each other loading and went inside by dragging the trolley. When we find someone in similar situation like us, there is instant bond and connection between both individuals. Arriving to the reception we checked ourselves in with the regular protocols, she looked at me and said “are we gonna stay in the same room???” to which I replied with a smile “I don’t know…” The front desk gave us separate keys and informed about the shuttle services to the airport starting at , in every 20 mins and ‘first come first serve’. She told me to come with her in the morning shuttle around 4:30 am as she had flight at 7:30 and since we both missed our flights we were asked to come 3 hours before flight time. I saw that same scared person that once dwelt inside mine. I replied and informed her that my flight was at 8 am so I won’t have to go that early. We both were allotted rooms next to each other so carefully we both dragged our trolley through the elevator and helped each other through the process of unloading luggage in our rooms. That lady was shy and under-confident, so every-time I initiated the conversation, considering her as ‘the person’ that at some point in my past was inside me. During this process she expressed her frustration about the tiring flight travels, hustle of the immigration and customs and finally the trouble of missed connection, which was very relatable. Through this whole time we never exchanged our contact information, neither our names. At last, while departing I smiled at her and said “it was nice meeting you.” To which she just smiled at first, so I turned and encouraged my steps towards my room. Realizing that she won’t see me again she came back to my room and said “my name is Catherine butler, and it was nice meeting you” So I forwarded my hand to her for a handshake and replied “my name is Kazumi Makwana, nice to meet you, good night.”
I entered my room, freshen up, took fresh clothes from my baggage for next morning, made some work related emails and calls and tried to take some good sleep with struggling jet-lag. The room had queen sized bed on center of one wall, opposite to flat screen and window with half curtains open so that the street lights can peak in. The shadow of the street lights entered my room and fell on my bed on which I was lying. It gave the illusion of moon light in a dark quiet night. I was so tired that my body felt relaxed as I stretched my legs and spread across the bed under the blanket. I promised myself to take business class in my next travel as my legs were numb by sitting in same position all the time. I rechecked my alarm and set it for 4:30 am showing me sleep time of 4 hours and 50 min. Then I recalled the reception guys information about the shuttle services starting at 4 am in every 20 min which I calculated that I would have to take the 5:20 am one and the airport services told to arrive 3 hours before flight time. So I rescheduled the alarm to 4:15 am giving me enough time to brush, take bath, get ready and unload my luggage in down the hallway to the elevator by myself. After locking my phone I closed my eyes slowly and started to fall asleep.
Suddenly I felt that someone was staring at me through those curtains. I opened my eyes to find nothing but the air conditioner wind that made the curtains move. Better close your eyes and go to sleep, you just have 4 hours of sleep left. I know you haven’t been alone in a long time plus cherry on top in a completely new place, said to myself. I closed my eyes and couple seconds later when I was half asleep I felt a something slowly rolling over my legs under the blanket. It felt like a touch. I was so tired and sleepy that I couldn’t open my eyes completely to see what was it. Still I managed to open half my eyes to see nothing. My body was too tired to respond but my brain was still active sending me fearful signals and confirming presence of someone else in that room apart from mine. Keeping in mind the condition of my body I decided to ignore those signals and go back to sleep. Couple seconds later my mind was awakened by the feeling of being tied up and not able to move an inch of my body and still having that feeling again of someone touching my legs under the blanket and slowly rolling up. I rolled my eyes down to sea bump under the blanket slowly moving up and that wasn’t my leg. I turned around my head to see my shoulder and was shocked that I wasn’t tied by any ropes then how come I couldn’t move even an inch of my body. Such incidence has happened with me before where I’m too tired and feel trapped inside my own body, it’s because your body is way too tired to respond to your active brains signals. But this time I had seen that bump too. Could it be possible that my brain have imagined and showed me an image of that bump just to make my body in action. I don’t wanna waste my sleep in such nonsense fearful signals and the stay awake all the night. I have a flight to catch early morning. I cannot afford to miss this one. There is no one under your blanket it’s just your fear. Don’t let it take you with it. I opened half my eyes to see again and couldn’t find that bump anymore. May be it’s just the shadows of the folds of my blanket that gave my brain that image of a bump. Convincing my mind to fall back to sleep I slept. I don’t know whether it was seconds, minutes or hours later I woke up with a feeling of someone tying me up again. This time I didn’t open my eyes and said to myself stop feeding your fears, kazumi. Your body is really very tired. If there was really someone he/she might have taken actions already. Why would they wait all this time?? Just stop overthinking. There are no ghost, nor aliens inside your room. It’s just your brain. Remember that saying “danger is real, but fear is a choice” so choose not to feed your brain with fear. I started performing my daily meditation by just lying down and imagined myself as a point of light so bright in this room to clear all the darkness and clutter away from me. Within seconds I felt that my body was no longer tied and felt relaxed. I showed my fear the quickest exit doors of my mind. I continued my meditation until I fell asleep.
Next morning I woke up refreshed and with a good feeling. I started acting according to my planned schedule. I don’t know what was it that night, whether it was really someone or just my fears. I had seen documentaries on aliens kidnapping people and raping someone or using them in science experiments or whatever. It might be true or just fake story. What I know is that we humans perceive something that is unknown to us as fearful and dangerous. Danger is real but fear is a choice. What we need is just a courage to understand what’s unknown to us, then we are always left with a choice whether to stay ignored, fearful and give all our energy and power to someone else or we can choose to ignore fear, be curious about the unknown and find something extravagant.