1- Meeting my Doom...
Opening the locker door as usual I say, “Good morning!” to no one in particular. I had just landed this amazing job as a receptionist/Hostess at a nice upscale hotel located right here in sunny Los Angeles, California. This hotel was owned by none other than The Cunningham Group, who also owned several other hotels, banks, trading companies, as well as other affiliate companies located overseas.
“Good morning Sophia, can you believe that the VIP Masked Ball is starting tonight? I am so pumped for it...” I hear Jenny say, Jenny was my only friend here at work. We are the same age and have become very close as she too aged out of Fostercare. Honestly, she is pretty much my only friend at the moment, I find myself confiding in her a lot about almost everything in life.
“Oh I know, it’s so exciting! I bet you’ll be busy since you work in the casino, I’m sure many of the patrons will make it there.” I reply to her with a smile on my face. She got the job that I wanted, but the guy who interviewed me didn’t think I had it in me to be a dealer. He felt that my face and innocence were suited more for the open reception job at the hotel lobby’s front desk. That is where he placed me, and that is where I have been working for the past four weeks. I was brand new here so I was never allowed to talk to or help the elite guests that came to stay, I mostly served the lower-class consumers who wanted to stay in one of our smaller more affordable rooms. “They still don’t allow me to help the elite guests, I am only able to help guests on the lower floors of the hotel still... but I am hoping one day I can move on up.”
I watch as she finishes tying her little skimpy uniform before looking at me, “Well sweetie, I’d say that is probably the number one goal of every employee here,” she smiles softly before placing a hand on my shoulder as if to comfort me and I smile back at her.
“No you don’t understand Jenny, ever since I saw the ball air on TV last year I’ve dreamed of working here for this specific event,” I tell her as I step away opening my locker and pulling out my work shoes. I begin to slip them on as I say, “There are movie stars, top athletes, and tons of other super-famous people attending this one party!”
“I do know though Sophia, as I applied here for the same reason only I didn’t think I’d get hired because of the fact that I am only 18 and out of Foster care.” She smiles at me as she straightens up her tie in one of the many mirrors inside this room. “I actually thought I was dreaming when I got the callback and was told I had gotten the job.”
I was surprised to discover she felt the same way as me, “Me, too!” I reply as I stand up gathering up the rest of the things I needed for the job. “Hey, are we still good for lunch?”
“Oh my god... what if some rich guy sees me and suddenly falls in love with me!” she squeals out jumping up and down, totally ignoring my question.
I let out a small laugh, Hahaha... keep dreaming. Love doesn’t necessarily work like that sweetie.” I answer back smiling. Keeping our elite guests happy is very important, especially around the Masked ball as it only happens once a year. But as I was pursuing a management position I knew that it was just as important to keep our normal guests happy as well. I wanted to work with the elite, on the higher floors of the hotel in the more spacious and elegant rooms. I wanted to become a concierge.
This evening marked the eve of the hotel’s biggest and most known event, The international VIP masked Ball... it was such a big event that it went on for five days and nights. It brought tons of international publicity for the hotel. Since the hotel still holds its normal events as well it was even busier and tenser around here than it usually was. Heading into the lobby, I immediately notice a large crowd gathered. I saw several well-known reporters amongst the crowd there. Then I saw famous people I had only ever seen on TV started exiting their limos and entering the hotel one after another. “Oh my god... Sophia look... look who just got out of that limo!” I heard Jenny scream, grabbing my shoulder and shaking it in her excitement. “They call him the boss around here, he’s always on the VIP list every single year!”
“What, really? Where?” I ask, looking towards the famous people arriving. Even though I hate celebrity gossip, I can’t resist joining her in trying to get a good look at the man. That man I see is tall and surrounded by beautiful women. On his left side were two very famous supermodels, both of them dressed very glamorous and very highly known. On his right is a famous actress, she too was dressed in a glamorous dress. All of the women around this guy were gorgeous and famous...
“They say that he lives here in the penthouse suite, and I hear he’s been there for a while now!” she says as she watches him walk by, admiring how he glides along and I glance at her with wide eyes.
“Wait a minute, just one night in that suite costs tens of thousands of dollars!” I admit my eyes staring at her in surprise, it made me wonder what he did to be able to afford to stay in the penthouse suite here. I watch as the man continues to walk straight ahead... I can’t seem to tear my eyes from him.
“OMG... Sarah, look Lucas is finally here!” I hear girls all around me start to shriek, and suddenly the crowd surges forward pushing me forward.
“Whaa....?” I say as soon as ladies start running and bump into me forcing me forward and out of the crowd... right into... SMACK! I literally run into him, OMG... I had just run into him. “Oh I-I’m so s-sorry!” I speak as I glance up into his face, But he was holding onto me preventing me from falling on my ass... he was nearly hugging me, and his hold was so tight. I watch as he raises a brow and stares down at me.
“Hey now... nobody touches him! What do you think you are doing?” I hear one of the famous women say from his side, I glance at her and see that she was giving me a pretty nasty look. What the hell was her problem? I ask myself inside of my head.
“Yeah, how dare you touch him... you filthy girl!” said another one of the girls before sticking her nose high into the air as if to attempt to seem superior to me.
I glance up into the man’s face again to see his grimace, as he tightened his grip on my arms. “I really am s-sorry!” I begin to say to him, but he cut me off before I could finish.
“I want you out of here, remove yourself now!” he says in a cold harsh voice.
“What?” I asked staring into his face in sudden shame as he releases his hold of me and pulls away causing me to fall on my butt. Literally, I fell all the way to the ground, with wide eyes I observed him making his way through the crowd away from me. How could he have been so cold? I watched as he brushed off his suit and then he shot a nasty look my way as he entered the elevator. OMG... that scared the crap out of me.
I stand up rubbing my lower back as I left the crowd, I hear rushed steps coming up behind me and I turn to see Jenny rushing up with her hands outstretched, “OMG, Are you okay Sophia?” she asks looking concerned as she checks my face to make sure nothing was really wrong with me.
“Yeah, yeah... I am fine!” I answer her still very flustered about what had just happened, I was so confused about the whole thing.
“Sophia... he caught you in his arms, and held you! I am so jealous... how did he smell? Did he smell good?” she asks as she continued to rattle on and on about how awesome it was that he touched me and held me.
I stare at her, “I don’t know Jen, I wasn’t really paying close attention to the way he smelt. Everything happened so quickly.” I reply. He actually seemed pretty scary... I have never had a stranger glare at me so coldly before. Smoothing out my clothes, I hear the sudden unmistakable sounds of high heels click-clacking on the marble floor behind me and I straighten up knowing I was in for it.
“Excuse me, what just happened?” I hear her snap as I turn around to face her, the hotel bully, Lydia Marshal. “How dare you make such a full of yourself in front of such a distinguished guest!” she raises her voice at me, and I notice that as always she was accompanied by her two goons. She very rarely went anywhere without them. They all stared down at me in hatred, as far as I know, Lydia has never really liked me. She seems to enjoy making my life a living hell while I am at work. She has been at the hotel longer than I have, and so has seniority over me.
“I’m sorry, it was an accident!” I began to say to her.
“No... it is your fault, Sophia, your fault for not paying attention to what was going on around you!” she glares down at me. Everyone here was taller than me, I was only five feet. “You are working at the reception desk, checking in the lower guests anyway... you have no business even interacting with any of the VIP guests. If you want to talk to them, you’ll have to become a higher-rated employee, the more stars you earn the higher you serve. Remember that, the next time you even think of coming close to one of the VIPs!” she finishes while raising her lip in a pout.
“Yeah!” says her groupies in unison as soon as she finished.
“To punish you for your lack of respect towards him, I want you to go to every floor and drop off every welcome basket at everyone that has a guest arriving today. I will let your boss know that I borrowed you today!” she says with a snarl, I knew that she enjoyed very much being able to boss me around like this.
“Let me guess, you want me to do this all by myself?” I ask her, releasing a sigh that was going to be a lot of rooms.
“Yes... why? Is that a problem for you?” she asks, crossing her arms across her chest and tapping her foot in irritation.
I shake my head, “No, not at all. I can handle it!” I reply with a smile. Even though she was a bully, I knew she held a higher position than me so I knew I had to do as she said. Therefore, I turn and walk away toward the elevator to head to the basement to start collecting the welcome baskets I needed to deliver.