NO MATTER what crowded country or over-peopled city housed their establishments, The Management made sure that every Jake and Jade had one luxury: a private room.
Jade silently thanked them for that small peace as she turned off the lights and locked up the pub. After such a loud and hectic night, the quietness soothed Jade’s ringing ears, heavy feet, and weary mind as she went through the door to the small foyer between the pub and the dorm stairs.
At the end of a short hallway by the staircase, no one ever noticed her room. She didn’t know exactly how that worked, only that people didn’t seem to realize there was a hallway there.
“I love the flowers with the painting,” a woman from Hong Kong had said to Jade once. She pointed at what to Jade was an open hall and what to the woman was a wall next to the stairs.
Jade’s room was always cleaner than the rest of the pub and hostel, though the regular cleaning staff didn’t know about the room either. Jade knew only that The Management had something separate arranged, but she never saw anyone else come and go.
After unlocking her door, Jade waited a moment before going inside. She didn’t quite know how this part worked either, but whenever she turned the key in the lock, the door seemed to take a moment to evaluate her, like a bouncer scrutinizing an ID. Satisfied, the door opened, and she breathed in deeply as she walked in to her haven and closed the door behind her. It locked with more than just bolts. Should anyone ever notice the room of the Jade of Agamuskara, the door was all but unbreakable. No one had ever broken into the room of a Jake or Jade.
The walls were the same cinderblock as every other room, but hers were painted a creamy white instead of rancid absinthe-green. She breathed in the room’s quiet serenity. Already something inside her unclenched and relaxed. She sighed when the door latched.
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