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These were people that looked important. Or liked to look important. Special. VIP lounge-land from the Changi of Singapore to Zurich International, the type that was a cut above your typical business-class lounge, was a common landing spot for them, for here the air was perfumed, the living, easy, and your every whim, catered to. Maybe these people actually were important to whatever thing they were heading to while transiting through this Eden-like oasis that 99% of their fellow travelers couldn’t enter, or didn’t even know was existing in their midst. Yup, life was good here.
This story starts in such a place, at one end of the curved bar in the cushy newly-opened VIP lounge of LAX, a vast, future-facing space in bluish dissolve. Several of the 1%ers perched on stools by this end of a bar that served top-flight Champagne and whiskey, and everything in between. They were in their twenties, but didn’t carry themselves with the air of your typical important-seeming VIP-lounge habitue’.
“What I’m talking about is,” the polished one in the power-suit-Birkin-bag-combo jabbed a gel-manicured finger on her friend’s shoulder for emphasis, “look, when we were that age, when, you know, we were nine or ten…”
“Eleven,” her companion in the torn-jeans-and-luxe-cashmere faux grunge outfit corrected the power suit quickly, shrugged the finger on her shoulder off, and lazily hitched her heel on the side of the bar-stool she was half-sitting on. “Pour me another shot please,” torn-jeans asked the bartender. She raised an eyebrow at power suit as if to inquire whether she wanted one also.
A lean figure perched on one of the bar stools nearby couldn’t help but overhear them. She looked up occasionally to quietly observe the two obviously close friends who seemed to be oblivious to the hushed atmosphere that hung thickly around them. Their voices would have been normal-pitched in a typical bar or bistro, she thought. Under normal circumstances, the lean figure who’d been perched on her stool long before the two picked this end of the bar to hang out in, would have tuned out the funny conversation going on between the two friends.
But these weren’t normal times, the young woman thought to herself as she half-listened to their chatter. She needed a distraction from the utter chaos her life had become in the last week.