cherry blossom tree outside hotel

Meet Me At The Cherry Blossom Tree

Meet Me At The Cherry Blossom Tree: Part 1 of 3

When you find yourself in a storm, don’t stop on the edge, push through to the eye where you’ll find peace and rest from the chaos.

‘Are you kidding me, Sir?’ Enraged at the airline representative calling to deliver the bad news. ‘Why won’t you let me on this plane, I need to get home for my sister’s wedding dress appointment,’ I’d never really been this late home before. I’m due to fly out tomorrow, but I’ve just been informed that’s not likely to happen. Normally when I fly to Europe for work it’s a few days there and home, minus a few delays but nothing like this. This time I’m stuck in the trendy Hammersmith bar in a mid-range budget hotel in central Berlin, in the middle of a global pandemic where nobody knows what’s happening. 

‘Miss Janey, I’m sorry but there’s nothing else we can do right now. Give this number a ring and this team will be able to assist you further’ said the politely spoken customer service agent from Panair.   

Forty-five minutes on hold for a five-minute tale of rejection from the British Airways as word gets out that the United Kingdom has officially gone into lockdown. All flights have been canceled and anyone outside of the UK will now be ferried in on a filtered special booking and screening system that seems long and convoluted. 

The kind barista from behind the plush cafe bar inside our hotel said,’Can I get you another coffee?’

‘Oh, yes please.’ I suddenly noticed my half-drunk coffee was now stone cold. Just before a text comes through from Lilly. 

Don’t worry sis. We’re talking with Ben’s parents and thinking of moving the Wedding to next year. Ben’s stressed about it, but we’ll be ok. Let me know what’s going on with your flight home. Ring us when you can. Lilly. X 

The irony of it all. Lilly by far was the most angst of our family group of four and here she is calm as a cucumber. 

Things haven’t quite slowed down on this side of the continent yet. I’ve got an emergency meeting at 5 pm with our design team. Working for a digital marketing agency with offices in five countries across the world has its perks and a fair few pains. 

‘Excuse me,’ said a tall handsome man with pristine shabby chic hair, smartly dressed with piercing brown eyes making his way past my table and out of the cafe bar. Suddenly the world stopped in motion as I caught my breath in the moment distracted by his beauty and at the same time surprised that he looked so familiar and made me look twice. 

The walk to the office was a beautiful stroll and calming despite the news I had this morning, surprisingly all I had on my mind was that mystery guy from the hotel. 

‘Janey, did you pick up the project file for Elf?’ Elf is the code name for a big high-end client the agency is working to win over for next years Christmas TV ad, but I managed to wangle my way in at the Christmas party. ‘Yes…’ I tried to reply before Tim Brady, who is heading up the project, jumped in and interrupted. ‘Who wants food today? Remember we’ve got our working lunch at 12. If you are in can you let Cassie know your order before 10 am please,’ shouts Tim with his Aussie accent. He is about the same age as my dad, with grey hair and thick-rimmed glasses, slim with the whole art director vibe going on. 

After the meeting I did a quick self-tour of the open-aired office, things have changed around here since my last trip. The walls are covered in brightly covered post-it notes with a new couch and reading nook at the bottom of the office floor. As the lights started to go dim, I realised that this may be the last time I see this office for a while, considering what’s going on. So I slowly leave and make my way back to my new home in what is a strange environment for me. ‘Gosh, I hope the Airline pulls their finger out and they give me a flight tomorrow’ I thought.

I hope you enjoyed part one of my short story. Can’t wait to read part two? Join my Patreon community for exclusive access and read the next instalment today.