“One towel?” Chandler asked, flipping on the light switch in the bathroom. “What kind of hotel is this?”
“Hey, you asked me to find affordable hotels,” Janette defended. “This was the least expensive in the area that had a hot tub.” She looked into the cracked and dirty tub that didn’t look like it would hold water much less her body weight. Of course, she had a lot more body weight than she used to but still.
Chandler turned to her with a slack jaw. “You based our hotel choices on whether or not they had a hot tub?”
“After nine hours on the road, my body needs a hot tub,” Janette said. “You may be able to fall asleep with all the lights on and the television blaring, but some of us need to relax for a little while before bed.”
“If you would shut off the lights at a decent hour and come to bed you wouldn’t have that problem,” Chandler grumbled and slid past her to continue on into the main room of the suite.
“Maybe you should give me an incentive to come to bed and I’d shut off the lights sooner,” she grumbled back.
He ignored her and flipped on the lamp beside the bed. “What the heck is this? A bare footprint? On the side table? And who sat on this bed? Didn’t someone clean this room in between hotel guests?”
“Sure doesn’t look like it,” Janette said.
“There are holes in the filthy carpeting and this table is broken. Janette, I can’t sleep here tonight.”
“Maybe if you had helped organize this vacation you would have done a better job at picking hotel rooms,” she suggested.
“Are you blaming this on me?” He waved his hand around the room and raised his eyebrows. “Or did you set up the crappiest hotels on purpose just to punish me for not helping you enough?”
“You should know me better than that,” Janette said. “I prefer to sleep in luxury. I would never choose this on purpose. I’m just as appalled as you are. Let me get on my phone and I’ll see if I can find us something else.” She sat down at that broken table and pulled up Google Maps.
Chandler stood behind her with his arms crossed and a scowl waiting, once again, for her to do the work of finding a hotel.
Three phone calls to answering services on the other side of the world and they finally found a high-end hotel fifteen minutes away that had a vacancy. She didn’t even want to mention to Chandler how much the room was going to cost. He would probably have freaked out.
They dragged their luggage and cooler back down the hallway, entered the rickety old elevator, and strode back to the front desk in the lobby of the dilapidated hotel to demand their money back. Perhaps the threat of a one-star review that included the pictures they’d took of the disrepairs was all it took for the clerk to remove the charges from their credit card. He barely apologized for the condition of the hotel room.
Upon arriving at the Hilton, Janette breathed a sigh of relief that the lobby smelled so pleasant and was well-lit with several desk clerks all who had welcoming smiles. She hauled out her credit card and accepted their key cards with gratitude.
Their suite was spotless and spacious with a full kitchen, king sized bed, office area, and giant shower. No tub, but by then it was ten o’clock and they’d been on the road all day and had witnessed a tragic car accident.
“They even cleaned the remote control.” Chandler held up the television remote with a wrapper around it to show guests how sanitary their room was.
“It’s like they knew you were coming,” Janette said with compassion.
“Hey, I’m sorry I got upset.” Chandler laid the sanitized remote control back on the television stand and opened his arms for Janette to slip into a hug.
“Me too.” They both sighed at the same time as they held one another for a long moment.
Chandler pulled back and smoothed Janette’s disheveled strands of hair away from her sweaty and gritty face and asked the best question she’d heard in weeks. “What do you say we try out that enormous shower and get the grime off us before I give you an incentive to come to bed early?”
“I would love that,” she said with a soft smile.
They never did turn on the television.