He didn’t know where he was or how he got there. He was just… there; in the blur of a bright, white tunnel with the smell of floor polish and a strange humming sound above him. He tried to focus on his surroundings — squinting until he felt dizzy — but it didn’t get any clearer.
Was he dead?
He closed his eyes and thought hard, but he couldn’t remember dying. Perhaps there was a car accident or a plane crash — sometimes, when something like that happens, it’s so horrible that people’s brains forget it on purpose. But he couldn’t remember being in a car or a plane, let alone a crash. He couldn’t remember anything.
The dizziness came over him again. His legs wobbled, he fell backwards and hit something hard and flat. His eyes still closed, he felt behind him with the palms of his hands. The hard flat thing felt like a wall, reassuringly cold and solid. He rested there for a moment, listening to the sound of his own breathing and forcing his fast, shallow breaths to become longer and deeper until the dizziness subsided.
He opened his eyes to the brightness and waited for them to adjust to the light. Gradually, he saw that he wasn’t standing in a tunnel after all, but in a corridor, with a polished tile floor, white-painted walls and ceiling where fluorescent tubes buzzed and lit up the space around him.
He wasn’t dead. He was in some kind of office building.
There was a door beside him with a glass panel at eye level which enabled him to see into the dark room behind. The light filtering from the corridor was enough to make out the outline of a chair, a desk and a computer. At the back, a window looked out into the night sky with the twinkling lights of a city below. The office was high up — he estimated the block had to be at least ten storeys tall.