In fact, this wasn’t my bathroom at all!
In shocked confusion, I looked around the room. The room was easily three times the chicken pen I lived in. It was empty but for a table and two chairs standing in the right corner. Blinking in confusion, I stepped back into my room in haste and stubbed my toes on the leg of my study table. The pain was very real.
I looked around my little room; it was as it had always been. Study table on the left, entrance door on the right, bed in front. A bunch of clothes were thrown in one corner of the room- my cache wardrobe I called it. The door behind me was the only other door in the room. It was exactly where it had been for four months. And it was supposed to lead into the bathroom, only it didn’t.
Stepping back into the not a bathroom, I saw that there was another door in it on the opposite wall, bang opposite the one I was standing in. Flinging it open and stepping beyond, I found my bathroom! Here it was, exactly as it was last night! My toothbrush and toothpaste stood in a glass tumbler on the basin. The throne was where it was supposed to be. The sooty, rusty fittings were as ugly as they were last night.
Where had the extra room sprung up from? And WHY?!
Icy fingers of dread tightened around my heart.
Going back into the extra room, I walked over to the only window on the right. I could see the street below, shrouded in the pre- dawn darkness. The wall opposite the window was bare. The switchboard was right next to the door leading to my bedroom. Dangling from the switchboard was a piece of paper I hadn’t noticed before.
The room you are standing in is a magical room called Passion Room. Don’t worry, you are in no danger, nor will you ever be. The Passion Room is our gift to you.
You may use this room for any purpose. It will remain with you for as long as you need it. If you change your residence, the room will move with you to your new residence.
A bounty of this kind comes with some strings attached- for your own good. These, therefore, are the conditions under which you may use the room:
1. A table and two chairs have already been provided to you. If you don’t wish to use them, you can open the window and throw them out. They will just disappear.
2. You can bring no more than three more things in this room apart from the table and chairs. The moment you exceed the three items rule, the room will vanish. It will not matter how small the items are.
3. Once you bring something in, it becomes a part of the room and cannot be taken out to be exchanged with something else. You may, however, get rid of anything by just throwing it out of the room.
4. This room will be visible to you and to one other person of your choice, no one else. To bring the person into the room, place their photo face down on the floor. The photo will disappear and that person will be a ‘registered’ user with the room along with you.
5. Three coupons are attached to this note. Write the names of the items you want to keep in this room and place the coupon face down on the floor. The item will appear within seconds. If you don’t use at least two of the coupons within eight days, the room would vanish.
6. While you are in the room, time will slow down. If you enter the room at seven o’clock and stay in it for five hours, it will only be eight o’clock when you step out. One hour of YOUR time will be equal to five hours of magical time inside the room.
Now for a word of warning. Since this room is not visible to others (except the person you wish to share it with), do not be tempted to move your existing possessions- books, clothes or laptop- into it. They must remain where they are so that your landlady/ family don’t wonder where they’ve disappeared to. Things which don’t belong to you- bed, study table or cupboard- cannot be moved into this room either. If you want any of these items, you will have to use one of your coupons.
Use the room and coupons freely; but use them well.
Good luck and God bless!
The Guild of Magical Creatures
Hint: The room is called Passion Room.
With near pathological irrelevance I thought, “They know my name!” The thought cheered me up immensely. I was important enough for the Guild of Magical Creatures (whatever it was) to know my name! They’ve singled me out and given me a magical room! ME! Wooot!!
As I rushed through my ablutions, I wondered what I would put into the room. All I possessed currently were clothes and books. And what did they mean, Passion Room? Passion for what? I had passion for money, how was I supposed to use the room?
I wasn’t able to concentrate on my studies at all that day. I couldn’t wait for the class to get over in the afternoon. I ran into my room at lunch time to check if Passion Room was still there- it was. I walked about in it, the wonder of it making me want to dance. A magical room… all for me… ESPECIALLY for me! Oh man!
For the next six days, I went about like a zombie.The more I thought about Passion Room, the more confused I got. Could I write the word MONEY on one of coupons and place it on the floor? The note said Items. Somehow I didn’t think money was an item. Was I willing to risk using up one of my precious coupon in this way? I’d better think things through first. I wished I could talk to someone about it, but who would believe me? I waited, I don’t know for what. Perhaps I waited for wisdom.
I spent nearly all my time in the Passion Room. I caught up on my sleep- and that was pure bliss! What I loved the most was that I could hear no sounds from the street- perhaps because of the time slowdown. All I heard was a low- drone which soon became white noise for me. It acted like a gentle lullaby.
I began to hate leaving my Passion Room and going about my studies and coaching classes. Every chance I would get, I would sit on the floor of the room for hours, staring into space, knowing time had slowed down for me. I caught up with myself. I slowed down inside. I had not realized how keyed up I had been for four months. I knew it only when the knot of anxiety dissolved in those blissful six days. Meanwhile, I looked at the unused coupons and fretted.
I was worried. Time was running out.
To be continued…