I was rudely, and very unwillingly, dragged from a delightful dream by raised voices outside my bedroom door. The dream involved a naked Hugh Jackman and a tub of whipped cream, and had just reached a very interesting point – literally – so, needless to say, I was somewhat reluctant to return to the real world. Especially such a noisy one.
A woman’s voice was the loudest. Even though the thickness of the hotel bedroom walls and door muffled her words, it was perfectly clear from both volume and tone that she was pissed. In more ways than one.
There was a man’s voice too. Lower, soothing, presumably trying to calm her. I was too comfy in my king-size bed to get up and investigate. Let hotel security deal with her. I rolled over and shut my eyes, trying to tune the noise out.
But then there was a loud banging on my door. And it didn’t stop. I sighed and rose, pulling my dressing gown on. Like Marilyn, I prefer to sleep in the nude. Though I personally prefer Nina Ricci over Chanel No 5.
“Come on you bitch, open the door!” Those words were easy enough to make out. I obliged her, though keeping the security chain in place.
“Do you know what time it is?” I asked, in my most sarcastic, icy tone. Not that I knew what the time was, though I guessed from the bleary-eyed faces of the guests across the hall who were standing at their door watching, that it was probably the middle of the night.
I didn’t recognise the woman, who tried to push her way in, even though she must have seen the chain was on. She was tall, broad-shouldered and well-built upstairs, if you know what I mean. Her face was flushed with anger and alcohol, eyes glaring at me with hatred.
There were two men, in hotel uniform, behind her. One was glaring at her with the same level of malevolence she was directing at me. He looked like he was itching to grab her and drag her away, kicking and screaming. His colleague was shooting rather desperate, and apologetic, looks at me. He opened his mouth to say something, but the woman beat him to it.
“Where is he?” she shouted. “I know he’s in there with you, you trollop! George, get your good-for-nothing arse out here now!”
I sighed and rolled my eyes. So that was it. There was an errant husband on the loose in the hotel somewhere. And, for some reason, his wife thought he was with me.
“I don’t know anyone called George,” I said, quietly and calmly. “And I’m all alone in here.”
“Liar!” the woman cried. “You’re just his type. Blonde, blue-eyed, skinny as a rake, and you smell like a harlot!”
A harlot, huh? I guess she’s not a fan of Nina Ricci. I looked her up and down slowly. “Is that his type?” I said. “Really? So why did he marry you then?”
I regretted it as soon as I said it, even though one of the security men snorted with laughter. Not that I cared about hurting her feelings, but because I could see it instantly made her even angrier. I guessed there was only one way to appease her.
“Come in and see for yourself,” I said. I tried to close the door so I could unchain it, but found her large foot in the way. “Do you want to come in or not?”
She eyed me suspiciously, but removed her foot. I took the chain off and opened the door again, swinging it wide open. I switched the lights on as she stormed into the room, the security men following in her wake.
Her attention had, naturally, gone straight to the bed. Only the side I had been sleeping on was disturbed. I exchanged grins with the men when she dropped to her knees to check under the bed. George would have had to be thinner than Olive Oyl to have fitted under there.
“Don’t forget to check the wardrobes,” I said. She gave me a dirty look, but proceeded to do exactly as I suggested. Then she checked behind the curtains, behind the sofa and, finally, disappeared into the bathroom. She was in there longer than the size of the room warranted. I exchanged puzzled glances with the security men. Then we heard the sound of retching. I hoped she was considerate enough to at least have done it in the toilet.
“Sorry about this madam,” one of the men said. “We’ll get her out of your way as soon as she’s…er…finished.” The toilet flushed as he spoke, then came the sound of running water.
When the woman emerged from the bathroom a minute later she looked completely different. All the anger and attitude had gone out of her. Her face was still flushed, but from embarrassment this time. She wouldn’t meet my eyes, keeping hers lowered as she shuffled forwards. I started to feel sorry for her.
“Sorry,” she muttered. “I had someone following George on Thursday night. This is the room number he gave me yesterday.”
“Thursday night?” I queried. “I only checked in a few hours ago. You can check with reception. If this was his room, he’s found another one since.”
She nodded, muttered another apology, and headed for the door.
“Wait,” I said. “What’s your name?”
Startled out of her shame, she looked up at me. “Mandy,” she said. “Mandy Richardson. Are…are you going to lodge a complaint against me?”
I shook my head. “No. But I’d like you to write an open apology to everyone on this floor who you’ve disturbed tonight. And apologise to the staff here too. Enough of their time has been wasted, don’t you think?”
Mandy nodded, promptly apologising to the security men.
“And Mandy, one more thing. This George of yours. Is he worth it? Worth doing this to yourself over?”
She looked at me, miserably. “I love him,” she said. “Wish I didn’t sometimes. But I do. I miss him when he’s with her. So do the kids.”
Children too, huh? George sounded like a right charmer. Poor cow had it bad.
“When you find him,” I said. “Give him an ultimatum. Tell him he has to choose. The ‘trollop’ or you and the kids. If he chooses her…well, then you’ll know he’s definitely not worth it. Right?”
She nodded. “Right…Thank you. You’ve been very kind. Especially after how I’ve treated you. I’m not usually like this.”
“I believe you,” I said. I walked her to the door. To my surprise, and I think her own, she hugged me before disappearing out the door and heading purposefully to the elevator.
The security men both shook my hand, thanking me for calming her down and apologising again for the inconvenience.
The bleary-eyed couple opposite were still hovering in the doorway. They looked rather disappointed that the fireworks were over. I smiled sweetly at them before firmly shutting the door and slipping the security chain back on.
I picked up my phone and dialled a number. A sleepy voice answered.
“You were right,” I said. “She was on to us. It’s just as well you left early. She’s just gone.”
He started to say something. I cut him off. “Shut up George,” I said. “You really are a piece of work. Were you ever going to tell me you had children? No, don’t bother trying to explain or make excuses. We’re done. I suggest you make things up with Mandy. She won’t put up with this shit much longer. Goodbye George.”
I hung up. And I found that, instead of being upset that I had lost a lover, I felt relieved. I had never set out to be a homewrecker and it stung that I had been part of causing another woman so much pain. George had clearly been feeding us both a load of crap for months. I was well shot of him.
I turned out the lights and climbed back into bed. “Now then Hugh,” I mumbled into my pillow. “Where were we?”