Do not disturb
422 was the number of their hotel room. It was printed in cheap ink on a flimsy paper key (like the paper tickets she always used to pay for parking) instead of the usual plastic. She spent the cool misty morning with a girlfriend, but now the heat was pressing on her, and she wanted to wear her cream colored tank top with the pink and green lilacs painted across the chest. It wasn’t necessary, she was already wearing a tank top – black, somewhat moist from the humidity. But she wanted to feel pretty.
There was a “Do Not Disturb” sign hanging from the doorknob and she hesitated, the flimsy paper key halfway in the slot. It was their room, shared. He had decided to hang back that morning, tired from the night before. This sign was for housekeeping. But she felt uneasy about entering the room, knowing the reality of what they were to each other. It settled in her stomach and groaned there. They weren’t sharing each other’s lives completely. So maybe she should leave, forget the tank top, forget feeling pretty. He’s just sleeping, she thought. Or just mulling about not wanting to be interrupted with questions about clean towels. I’m being ridiculous, she thought. She sucked in a breath, deeper than the others, hoping that breath would push her forward through the door. It did, but before she could witness what she already knew to be true…