Celebrities and the crème de la crème of the business world stayed in this hotel. If you were a regular Joe with a regularly lacking bank account then staying in one of their rooms for less than an hour would surely bankrupt you. The true American Psycho, Patrick Bateman, would have stayed here with something akin to pride and admiration.
Verity Grenad? stepped out of the room with the red door; she clung to the frame for support as she turned to face the handsome stranger she was leaving.
“Call me?” she slurred almost incoherently whilst balancing precariously on too high heels.
The dark-haired and tanned-skinned stranger watched her pull up her fallen bra strap, and check her lipstick for sullied teeth in a compact mirror, all with an expression of endless emptiness.
Miss Verity Grenad? lost her battle for control over her balance and stumbled drunkly out of the doorway. Rather than close the door the man stepped out after her with a weary, almost inaudible, sigh. After getting no more signs of emotion, or of anything other than exhaustion, she took it as her cue to leave; she tripped and relied on the mellow yellow walls for support before leaving the stranger in peace, by way of exiting in an elevator.
The man was a rare inhabitant of this hotel, odd in that actually he lived there, and had done all of his life. His earliest memory is of the scarlet red door that had once locked him and his family out and away of the prying eyes of the rich socialites, who, sadly, with increasing regularity – which inevitability accompanied the hotel's increasing popularity – roamed the hallways outside his Red Door Haven.
Now, however, he stood alone. The top floor of said hotel was unique, for it boasted a simple, push-to-open window. It had a white frame with peeling paint - as, by his request, it remained as it was and no one was to re-paint it; his shred of antiquity, history in a world where construction of all buildings seemed to have just finished that afternoon.
The stranger opened the window with force, as time had caused the panes to become stiff and somewhat decayed – letting in the outside clarity of crisp air thus became a struggle. The window was considerably larger than one might have imagined, and with it being the bleak mid-winter, a gush of frost laden air briskly flooded the hall.
His eyes lingered on the shimmers of stars hanging on a midnight black sheet, almost completely hidden by the thick fog - the curse of living in a city. His heart ached as he longed to be past the fog; to be sitting on a hill somewhere, grass damp with dew, staring in wonder at such a clear sky he'd never seen before...but it was never going to happen – for calamity was hiding right round the corner.
The top floor corridor was almost completely vacant – except for, naturally, our stranger – and its emptiness was more than present in the silence that surrounded The Man by the window. On closer observation it can be found that there is a skinny-legged black spider curled in the corner of the corridor; it is waiting patiently for its prey, though it will be waiting a long time and some could argue unfortunately so as its death will most likely come first. As the man stood, taking deep breathes of intoxicated City smoke, he could faintly hear the sound of the elevator car slowly making its way past each floor, the metal ropes creaking a touch under the weight. Our Stranger turned and watched as the little light indicating the elevator’s change in floors patiently passed on to the next number and the next; until it finally stopped at the very top floor - the floor with the room with the Red Door.
The double doors opened and revealed a teenage girl with midnight black hair with matching eyes. Our Stranger's face lit up as he held his hands out to his little daughter. The girl's eyes frosted over at this futile gesture of love. Too little too late. She raised her hand, steadier than perhaps it should have been, and it was then that the stranger finally realised she was here out of hate, and not love. His arms returned to his side as her finger pulled the trigger. The crimson blood left complicated patterns on the mellow yellow wall, and the metal rope creaked once again as his daughter departed. Death and the frosty intrusive air quickly turned his body cold as he lay, still, in the corridor on the top floor.
No one stays on that floor anymore, but everyone remembers the stories told about that night. About the fine and flimsy line between love and hate – of its presence even amongst families. The rumours are still spread, and the legend still remains of The Stranger who lived in the most expensive hotel, in a solitary room – his Red Door haven.
© Copyright 2016 Jeyssika. All rights reserved.