The Retreat

A short story

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When I turned up at the Monastery on Saturday, I did so with no expectations that said all was to be as expected of such an event.  I was met by a kind welcome from the hosts, Peter and Kate, and a three other humans nervously seeking something to make their lives richer, plus a few robed monks floating around setting the scene.  Introductions were made; the three humans consisted of Dave, Ruth and Ian.  There was a prolonged section of small talk enforced by a missing participant who was on the way.

He walked in and I immediately noted an interesting change to the focus.

It was a very odd few minutes everyone seemed to pause in anticipation, then, as he walked straight past us and over to the books browsing ignoring us, we tried to carry on as if he wasn’t in the room.  Eventually I think the others actually forgot he was there.  Or maybe like me, they just had to assume that Peter and Kate knew who he was and he was not one of us.  Anyway, whatever they thought, I was hoping that the latecomer was going to be as interesting as this mysterious book browsing guy looked.

About 5 minutes later, and 5 minutes after the official opening time of our retreating adventure, Peter made a decision, “I think we will just get on and start, we are waiting for one more and I know he is on the way but I don’t know how long he will be” The mystery guy walked over and said “I think that’s me”.  All was solved, further introductions made and a slightly uncomfortable air overtook the space, quickly and nervously laughed off by all.

He sure knows how to make an entrance. My curiosity is heightened.