“Room Service!” I knocked again.
No answer. No sound from within. There was no “Do Not Disturb” sign on the door.
I checked my instructions. Nothing about leaving the service outside the door. I checked my phone. Five minutes until my shift was over. If I brought the service back to the kitchen, there would be questions and scrutiny. I might be docked pay. I might be delayed. I checked my phone again. I was meeting my girlfriend in twenty minutes. Just enough time to change out of my uniform and run to the concert hall. If I missed her performance again, she was going to break up with me this time for sure.
It’s not that I’m crazy in love, that’s not my m.o. But I do love her and I hate chaos. If she broke up with me, it would mess with my concentration, and I’d fail my bar exams. If I failed, then I’d lose my scholarship and hotel work would become my permanent employment, and as you’re about to learn, it was not my vocation.
I pulled the master key from my pocket and stuck it in the door. Green light and it opened. I walked in quietly, in case the guests were sleeping. They were not sleeping. They were wide awake, but frozen. The woman was standing, speechless, her hand shaking. In her hand there was a gun, which was also shaking. In the bed was a man and another person of uncertain gender. The upper portion didn’t match the lower portion, and it appeared that the blankets had been thrown aside to reveal this fact as if it would mollify the woman with the gun. She did appear to have been surprised, but she didn’t lower the gun or remove her finger from the trigger.
The woman was about thirty. She was tall with long, blond hair and a good body. Not my type. I prefer small brunettes like my girlfriend. (I’m not such a big guy myself, but just a hair short of average height and wiry. No complaints from my girlfriend, except in respect of my seeming disinterest in her violin, which I’m not, but I’m just learning to like classical music. It helps with studying.)
I could see that the woman with the gun would be someone else’s type. It occurred to me that she’d even make a nice change for me, an interesting comparison to what I’m used to.
I assumed she wouldn’t be used to the scenario before her, which was why the man, I suppose, had pulled back the covers, as a sort of visual explanation.
The man’s lover grabbed the covers and pulled them up, concealing the heretofore exposed nakedness and disjointed body, and began to scream. There were words, but since I didn’t understand the language or even identify it, I can’t tell you what was said.
I put the tray down. Two minutes until my shift change. I texted my girlfriend. “Nearly there.”