Two weeks had passed since I last saw Gideon.Things at the office seemed a little worse and business was not getting any better. Our newly-invented device was not selling as we’d expected.We were fast approaching another financial crisis. In the past few years, it began to seem as though my life had been a journey from crisis to crisis with only brief pauses in between.Then, unexpectedly, I had to make a trip to the Midwest.
A potential account we had been courting for the past six months suddenly exhibited tremendous interest in our product. It would be a short trip, just two days. All travel and hotel arrangements made, it was soon time to leave.
No matter how many times I’ve flown,there’s always a sense of excitement as I approach an airport. The noise of the jets generate thoughts of faraway places that intrigue me, but this was a business trip and all my thoughts had to be concen-
trated on the matter at hand.
After a pleasant flight,it was but a short cab ride to my hotel. I would be ready in the morning for my meeting with Mr. Seymour, the head of the company.I had never met Mr. Seymour in person but hoped he would receive my proposal in a favorable manner. A good night’s rest and I would be raring to go, I thought. As I was filling out the necessary registration form, the desk clerk smiled and said, “We have a message for you, Mr. H.” I opened the note. It stated simply that M. Tarkas would meet me later.Perhaps it was Mr. Seymour’s idea to send someone to meet me.
I went to my room, unpacked my small overnight bag and took a quick shower. Then I phoned home to let everyone know I’d arrived safely. When it was time for dinner, I went down to the dining room. As I was walking across the lobby, a lady stepped up to me and said, “Hi! I’m Marla Tarkas. You’re
“Should I know you?” I asked, momentarily startled. “Gideon told me you’d be here and asked that I offer my help.”
Ah, here we go, I thought. Gideon again. And I hadn’t seen him in weeks. Who was this woman, anyway? How had Gideon known about my trip? Perhaps, he had called my office and someone had mentioned it to him.But my secretary never gives out that kind of information.I must admit that I resembled a giant question mark as I stood there looking at Marla.
She smiled at me sweetly. “May I join you for dinner? We’ll talk more then.” I nodded numbly and we went to the dining room. When we were seated, I looked at Marla with evident discomfort.
She was beautiful but had a distant look,as if deep in thought. Her eyes were blue and her hair seemed to reflect a golden glow. She appeared to be perhaps 25 or so,but certainly not more than 30.
“How long have you known Gideon?” I asked. “Oh, for ages,” she said, smiling.
“I haven’t seen him in weeks. And I really don’t know Gideon that well.Had lunch with him once.Are you good friends?”
“He’s one of my closest friends. We’ve been through a lot together.”
“I wonder how Gideon knew about my trip,” I said, hoping that Marla would shed some light on this. But all she said was, “Gideon knows many things and has his own ways of finding out.”
I rolled this around in my mind for a few seconds, but could make no sense of it. Then I asked, “Do you work around
“Not too far away.”
“What’s the name of your company?”
“You probably never heard of it, but it’s called G & M Enterprises, Inc. I’m in the PR Department.”
“Isn’t that the same company Gideon works for?”
“Yes, but he’s in a different department,” she replied.
It was now all clear to me.Gideon and Marla knew each other because they worked for the same company. Gideon found out, one way or another, about my trip,called Marla and asked her to help me. He was only trying to repay a favor.It was so simple. Yet, why go to such extremes to repay a small favor? All I did was help him to get his car started, or so I thought.
The rest of dinner was spent telling Marla about my meeting with Mr.Seymour in the morning and the large contract my company hoped to land.We even talked a bit about the state of the economy. When we were through with dinner, she insisted on paying the bill. I objected, but she wouldn’t hear of it. “You’re my guest, John,” she simply said.
As we left the table,she wished me success with my meeting the next day. I thanked her politely for dinner and for the time she had spent with me. Then she mentioned something about my receiving a phone call later that evening and was gone before I could question her. Since I wasn’t expecting any phone calls, I was puzzled. Perhaps I thought, I’d misun- derstood and Marla herself would call later.
I returned to my room, relaxed and read for a while. Whenever I travel, I always take along a few good books. This trip was no exception, so I stayed up and read while waiting for the phone call Marla had mentioned.
It was getting late and I needed a good night’s rest to be fresh and ready to go in the morning. No phone call yet. I definitely must have misunderstood Marla. Thinking of what the following day would bring, I put away my book, turned off the lights and fell asleep. And as I slept, I dreamed. To read the rest of the story visit http://www.spiritual-simplicity.com