~~At the Hotel
It had been a very long day, now all I want is to rest for a while.
I arrived at the airport at 6.00 am, already tired and stressed, my first appointment started at 7.00 am sharp, can’t be late, not for this client. Catching a cab was my first challenge for the day, followed by back to back meetings.
The hotel is one of my favourites, quiet, and upmarket enough to give me that, “I’m doing ok feeling”. As I unpack and contemplate a quick shower and a long, long rest, a loud noise is coming from outside in the hallway, I try to block it out, probably someone having luggage problems, wish they would shut the ffff up, please. My mind wonders, I am so tired, maybe they fell over their bloody bags, I should see if I can help? Oh no, not this time, what has my family always said about getting involved in other people’s problems. It never ends well, at least not for me, and somehow I always end up being the bad guy.
The noise moves further down the corridor, sounds like more than one person, maybe a family, hope they are ok, now for that shower.
Someone is banging on the door, not now please; just go away, then the alarm bells in my head start to go off, you know when you get that sixth sense in your gut that tells you to run. I had that sick feeling, answer the door, don’t answer the door? Look for a way out, what are my options, all this in a few seconds. I must be tied to react like this, no need to panic, it’s probably the hotel staff apologising for the noise. No staff are going to bang on someone’s door like that, who am I kidding.
I pick up the phone to call reception, no answer, it just keeps ringing, the banging has stopped, I’m scared now, ok get a grip, leave the phone off the hook, an check the spy hole, should have done that first. No one is there.
As I open the door I can smell a strange aroma, not sure what to make of it, as I look out I can see luggage everywhere and a porters luggage trolley turned over, the porter is lying on the floor next to my door, this can’t be good. That strange smell, then it hits me GAS, bloody hell, I run to my room, grab my mobile phone and dial 000, then I run and open all my windows and hang my head out.
The operator has that calm reassuring voice, but I’m not in the mood to listen to her standard speech, so I interrupt her, and yell GAS, please help, and what does she say? Would you like, fire, ambulance or police? all three, I say, I am at the Amarda Hotel and there is a Gas leak, people are hurt. Can you give the address? She says, ok, be patient I think, I am at 221, George Street, Sydney, the Amarda Hotel and there is a GAS leak. The operator assures me she is organising services now, and could I please stay on the line, I would, but I remember the porter in the hall way, and that I left my door open, great thinking.
Leaving the phone on the window sill, I take a deep breath and head back to the porter, luckily he is not very big, so I can grab him around the shoulders and drag him back into my room, and shut the door, poor guy, just doing his job. I drag him as close to the window as possible and put him in the recovery position, I am doing great, wait forgot to check if he is still breathing first, yep but not very well. I grab my phone again and ask the operator if someone is on the way, that I have a porter affected by the gas in my room with me.
The operator assures me that ambulance and fire rescue are on their way and I just need to stay calm, Hm, easy for her to say, but she is right I know, but I think, that could have been me out there in the hallway. How many other people in the Hotel are affected, surely someone else has realised what has happened and called 000.
As my mind wonders to the possible scenarios, I can hear the ambulance and fire sirens coming, I have never felt so relieved. It takes them about another five minutes to arrive, by which time; my mind has everyone in the Hotel dead, with a possible gas explosion going off any second, every second in my mind.
I can hear noises in the hallway now, banging and doors being opened, someone knocking on doors. I think for a brief moment, about when I first heard the banging this evening, that I should have checked, when I first heard the banging, I think; I should have answered the door sooner. It’s another 5 minutes before there is another knock on my door the voice of a fire rescue person calling out to me. As I open my door and point to the porter, I think, these guys, the ambulance and fire officers get involved in other people’s problems every day and if they didn’t where would I be, where would we all be?
© Copyright 2016 banjo. All rights reserved.
Short Story / True Confessions
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