A light and rhythmic rapping on the partially closed door jolted John into consciousness. His grogginess felt as heavy as any drug or medically induced sleep. Myriad dark spots playfully teased him and for a split second he forgot where he was.
Fading daylight flowed through the hall and leaked into John’s open door. Pale blue meekly glowed through his partially open windows as he made his way to the door. He almost stumbled over one of his sleeping feet as he hobbled from his wicker chair, but the sturdy walls supported him.
“I must have fallen asleep,” John apologized.
“Your hoarse voice is a good indication.” Steve teased. He noticed John’s unpacked bags on the floor. “You must be exhausted. I’m really sorry to bother you, but we were expecting you for dinner and when you didn’t show…,”
“Hey, forget about it. I should have been there.” John smiled, caught in a stretch.
“You new guys have a hard time adjusting to the time. Sometimes our days get pretty long and tiring, and it takes all you have just to get out of the plane and trudge to bed. “Anyway, I thought you might come to dinner, it might make you feel better.”
“Dinner sounds great. Just give me a few minutes to clean up. I was actually getting undressed earlier, and when I sat down to take off my boots, I must have fallen asleep,” John admitted.
“I’ll let you get ready. “About 10 minutes?” asked Steve.
“That’s plenty of time.”
After brushing his teeth and enjoying a quick shave, John felt 70 percent better. His fatigue still rode him like a pack on an overburdened mule.
Jeffrey W. Bennett, is the author of Commitment-A Novel and other non-fiction books, novels and periodicals.