Series- Are You Still Single? Episode 1- Always the Bridesmaid Never the Bride Part I
“Are you still single?” she screamed from across the lobby.
“Fuck off you oversized elephant,” I roared inside.
I blinked twice to bide myself time before smiling sweetly at her.
“I am, Aunty Mildred. Yes I am.”
Honestly why does she bother asking? She can damn well see I’m on my own.
“Do you see anyone else with me you thick twat?” I envisioned myself saying as I looked this way and that trying to source Mr Invisible.
Instead, I inhaled the scent of sweet coffee and femfresh as we locked in some kind of long lost hug. Lost- I wish and not long enough!
“How are you Aunty?” I strained stifling a sneeze.
“Oh muddling on..muddling on,” she said somewhat predictably.
“Looking forward to tomorrow. You checked in yet?”
I shook my head.
“Peter would’ve loved this,” she said admiring the begonias on the reception desk.
“Oh don’t let me keep you. Check in and come talk to me later. I’ll just be milling around here no doubt..”
Peter was her husband. He passed away ten years ago. She’d been a widower ever since.
A widower. What a horrible word. Sounds as if the widower should be the one 6 feet under not the ‘deceased.’ He was a nasty piece of work. Demanding and demeaning. Everything has to be just so. Aunty Mildred was more of a maid than a wife.
Well that’s if she calls a happy marriage, I’m thoroughly pleased to be, ‘still single.’
“I’ll show you to your room,” beamed the bellboy.
He was young, fresh faced and eager- couldn’t have been more than twenty-five. As he lifted my suitcase, I felt a pang of sadness hit the back of my throat.
Aunty Mildred looked at him sternly; I think she secretly enjoyed me being single. To her I was a 35 year old woman just as miserable as her and in twenty or more years’ time I too could be staring out the window drinking a bottle of wine, having a cheeky cigarette and stroking an over stroked, over fed, depressed cat.
The lift felt claustrophobic as we travelled up to the 3rd floor together.
“Been working here long?” I asked awkwardly.
“First week,” he chimed, his French accent punctuating the air.
Ting!! The lift stopped. I reached for my suitcase but my lift companion swept it off its feet and was down the corridor before I could say, “I’ve got it!”
As I watched my suitcase have the ride of its life, gliding effortlessly down the hotel corridor, my heart felt heavy.
“Here is your room. Is there anything else Madam would be requiring?”
For a minute I thought about saying, “You, me and an hour in my hotel room,” but I thought better of it.
“I’m all good,” I found myself saying.
Good?! Well if it was ‘good’ it wasn’t by choice!
He even held the door for me his outstretched arm laid against it like a welcoming hug. As I walked past the door, I caught a whiff of his aftershave.
“Enjoy your stay Madam.”
I plonked myself down on the bed exhausted.
A wave of loneliness washed over me like a blanket. I crawled under and slept like a baby.