"That one," the customer, who looked like he was in his early thirties said to Scarlet, as he pointed at a wine glass on the cabinet behind her. He was dressed in a red suit and he carried a black suitcase. He probably had a long day at work with the way he yawned almost every minute.
"The one with the red cover."
"Oh," Scarlet said and turned her back to look at the one the customer had just requested for. She covered her mouth with the back of her right palm as she yawned slightly. Maybe it was the customer's yawn that was contagious, or maybe she was also as tired as the man, she could not tell which, but she knew it was more of the latter. Her baggy eyes and the tiny dark circles around the corner of her eyelids made it seem like she hadn't had a good sleep for days.
"You mean Gyorles?" She asked the customer, although, not looking at him, as she picked up the bottle of wine he had requested for. "Yes, that. Whatever the name is." The man replied nonchalantly.
He pulled up the sleeve of his suit to check the time on what seemed like a million-dollar wristwatch. He looked up at her and said sternly, "room 20. Don't make me wait for my order."
"Cash or card, please?" She had turned to face him by now. "So, I can know whether…" Her voice trailed off as she stared at the customer she was talking to walking out on her without letting her complete her statement. She rolled her eyes but didn't pick any offence. She had gotten used to it. Working in Galway Hotels, the most popular hotel in the whole of Belgium, came with its prosand disadvantages. At least for her, it was far better than her former job in which she had gotten fired, about two months back, for something that was not her fault. Serving food and beverages to customers as home service here at Galway seemed like a better work to her because of the pay that came with it. But then, she had only just begun to adjust to the disadvantages that came with it. One of them was what the customer from before just displayed; rudeness.
Scarlet carried the tray which contained a glass of wine and a glass cup from the counter and headed to the room number the man had called for her. She carefully carried the tray in one hand when she was about to knock on his room door. Thankfully, he opened on the second knock.
"Drop it on the stool by the bed." He said as soon as he opened the door and closed it back immediately she walked in. He had changed his clothes by now and was now putting on a freer cloth of a baggy shirt and shorts. Scarlet did as she was told. She emptied the tray and placed the cup on the stool, but as she was about to place the glass of wine, it slipped from her hand to the floor. Realization hit her immediately as the bottle shattered on the floor with all its content splashing around, even on her clothes, and on the bed sheet laid on the bed next to the stool.
"Jesus Christ!" She exclaimed in shock as she bent down to gather the broken pieces of the glass. "Woman!" The customer exclaimed and banged his hand on the wall next to him. It was pretty obvious from the look on his face that he was pissed at the sight of the mess she had just made. "I ain't paying for another one, I hope you know that?" He asked with raised eyebrows as he folded his arms and stared sternly at her. Hearing what he said, she sprang up from the floor immediately.
"I am so sorry about this. I promise it was not my intention. My hand slipped and it fell." She said in the most polite manner possible, a look of actual sincerity on her face.
“And… and I'll call the cleaners to take care of this mess right away. But before then, should I make another order for the same bottle of wine?" He scoffed immediately after he heard her speak.
"How much do you think that wine costs? You work here, don't you?" She nodded her head slowly. The wine was indeed costly, but looking at the man, she felt he could overlook the broken one and get another one without giving her any trouble.
"Yes, I do. And I am so sorry about this. It won't—" "How much?" He cut in. "Uh?" "How much is a bottle of Gyorles wine?" He asked her, the stern look still on his face. So, he knew the name of the wine, she thought to herself as she recalled how he had referred to the wine as 'the one with the red cover' when he wanted to order. She had concluded that he didn't know the name of the wine and probably wanted to try something new. "I am talking to you, young lady!" He said, raising his voice a bit. If the room was not soundproof, she could bet that anybody outside the room or a passer-by would have heard him shout at her. She flinched when he shouted at her, even though he was not right next to her.
"It's… it's uhm, 180 EUR, sir." "You expect me to pay another 180 EUR over a new drink?" He asked and chuckled mischievously. "I have other things to do with my money, woman." "I am so sorry, sir. I never wanted it to sound like that in any way. I would—"
"180 EUR will do." He said as his eyes trailed her body from head to toe, concurrently licking his upper lip.
"Damn," he said to himself. "What?" Scarlet immediately walked closer to him. It was until she attempted to walk that she felt a sharp pain in her feet. She groaned and limped as she looked at the part of her feet where the pain came from. It was then she realized that one of the pieces from the broken glass had pierced her leg. The red liquid that was dripping from the injury mixed with the red wine that had poured on the floor earlier. She limped closer to him notwithstanding.
"Please, don't do this. I can't afford that much money." She clasped her palms together and raised them in front of her, to show she was sorry.
"Oh? It's fine then." He replied and shrugged his arms. This gesture surprised Scarlet that she raised her head to look at him surprisingly.
"That's it?" She asked and then gave a small smile. Before he changed his mind, she quickly thanked him.
"Thank you so much, I appreciate this. I'd call the cleaner now and—"
"I wasn't done yet." I knew something else would come up when he said he didn't want money, she thought to herself.
"There's a second option for you if you can't do the first one, which you can't." He said and chuckled. She smelt danger and evil from his chuckles, but she didn't want to jump to a conclusion just yet.
"Oh, don't fret. This one is much easier. I'm quite sure you can afford it."
"And… what is it?" She asked as she raised her eyebrows a bit, looking at him questionably.
"Strip. Just one night will do." He smiled at her immediately after he said that. The grin on his face was wider than any other person's grin she had ever since in her entire life.
"What the heck, man?!" She blurted out. "How the hell is this better than the first option? I should pay with my body?" She scoffed and added, "not like you don't have the money to order another one."
She rolled her eyes at him and immediately turned. She was about to go pick up the tray from where she had left it, but she felt a grip on her hand immediately. He dragged her backwards by her arm and she fell to his body. She could feel the bulge in his trousers and without any further thoughts, he grabbed her from behind. Scarlet began to fight with all the strength in her to push the man away. He also wanted to satisfy his sexual urge at that moment at all costs. He aggressively turned her around, pushed her to the bed and forcefully pinned her to it. Transfixed on the spot with no other way out to free herself, she did the only thing possible at the moment.
She kicked him hard in the balls with her right knee. He stumbled backwards and groaned in pain, holding his penis. Immediately, she took that as a cue to escape. She immediately limped to the door and thankfully, he had not locked it earlier. She tried her best to run, despite her wound, knowing fully well that the man might come after her. Slamming the door behind her, she escaped and ran off.