“Thank you Sir.”
“We appreciate you letting us know you picked up the wrong suitcase” the Air Asia service rep said.
His flat voice had the air of being rehearsed from a customer response guide. It came with a thick Malaysian accent and manufactured politeness.
“A lady has also called in this morning with your suitcase sir.”
“You will need to return to Changhi Airport and report to the AirAsia International service desk as soon as possible.”
“No, we cannot pick up the case for you. You must bring it back personally. There will be paperwork to sign.”
He would need to make the short trip back to the airport from the Changhi business park where he booked a reasonable room for a week in one of the top hotels. The meeting delays that had first caused his too narrow eyebrows to pinch together in a frown, were now an asset to him and would allow him to return the suitcase and retrieve his own with ample time to change into a fresh suite before the negotiations.
This will only be a minor inconvenience to his day he reassured himself in an effort to dissolve his irritation at the situation last night.
Opening the identical Swiss black hard case and seeing a blue kimono with peakcock eye staring out at him had been a shock.
A quivering curiosity about the lady who the kimono belonged to emerged that night. The feeling continued to linger with him this morning.
He was silently pleased he may have the opportunity to meet the lady at the airport.
“How can I help you sir? A car to the airport? Yes, right away sir.”
He put down the receiver, slid the room key into his wallet, closed the hotel room door swiftly and made his way down the hallway with her suitcase in hand.