December 12, 2019. The day the Bates Motel (re)reopened.
Most of the guests had arrived that morning, in time for the grand reopening ceremony. The press was there in full force, not just from the local paper there in Fairvale, but reporters from all around central California.
Nothing else was planned until later that day. Megan had scheduled the first four nights that the motel was open to be screenings of the movies (and ignoring the remake from 1998, no matter how good Viggo Mortensen was at playing Sam Loomis). She was planning on setting up a portable projector and screen out in the dirt-packed parking lot and setting up a small s'mores station to go with it.
But until then, she and her friends just had to wait: for the movie to start at 8 PM, and for the guest of honor to show up.
Mary Samuels hadn't come with the crowd that morning when the motel opened. So Megan kept checking the office to keep an eye out for her.
Mary didn't end up showing up until late that afternoon. Ashley just happened to glance out the window in the front door on her way to get a snack in the kitchen and let Megan know.
As Megan got Mary checked in, Mary said, "Hey, sorry for flaking on the big opening earlier. I... didn't want anybody seeing me show up, even though my book signing tomorrow would be big enough."
"Why here?" Megan asked. "Why not stay somewhere in town?"
"Closure, maybe? It's been almost forty years, and the last time I was here in my late teens, things kinda ended abruptly."
She continued, "Hey, is Statler's Diner still out there halfway between here and downtown?"
"Oh, yeah, it's still there," replied Megan. "Though Myrna took over about then years ago when Statler retired. I dunno what's gonna happen to it soon, though. I hear Myrna herself is retiring in the next few years."
If things went differently, Marion Crane would've gone to the diner ten miles up the highway from the motel and five miles outside of town, like Norman had initially suggested.
In the mid-1970s, Ralph Statler bought out the diner to save it from closing.
"Might as well go out there," Mary said. "I missed lunch on the drive over."
"Mind if I go with you?l asked Megan. "I wanted to go pick up dinner for myself and my friends. I need to get back pretty quickly for the movie showing tonight, so I wouldn't be able to stay long this time."