Student or Learner
This is the first part of my short story Strawberries. Please, would you proofread it.
It was around midnight when the sheik and his entourage finally arrived. We had expected them the whole afternoon, and the hotel manager was becoming impatient and anxious that the sheik had changed his mind, and instead of our hotel had taken rooms at one of our rivals. When I came to the hotel to start my night shift, the manager was already in a bad mood. His hopes were dwindling with every hour and he was completely powerless.
In this little spa town there is an everlasting competition between hotels where every single guest counts like an important victory in a long battle. In our hotel we had before some celebrity guests: musicians, singers, writers and diplomats, but never before did we have an honour to host a sheik.
He had reserved two suites for a whole week, and we all hoped that his presence in our hotel would have a great advertisement effect. The fact that of all other hotels the sheik had chosen ours was a great victory on which our manager wished to build the reputation of our hotel.
During the night the manager called me twice to hear if there was any news of our important guest, and when I gave him a negative answer, he swore viciously, shouting in the microphone that sheiks were fools without brains. The only thing they had in abundance was their petrol dollars. He would never again take any reservation from a sheik, even if he were the richest person on earth. He started coughing and choking, and knowing that he had a problem with his high pressure, I could only hope that he would not die talking to me.
The night was quiet as it is usual on Mondays, and the nearby street was completely empty. I sat at my desk doing the crossword, and I had almost completely forgotten the sheik and my irritated boss. I only waited for the morning to come, to go home and crawl into my bed.
And then almost from nowhere there was a screech of the brakes, and when I looked up I saw two silver metallic Mercedes pulling up at the entrance. From the first came out a middle-aged man, woman and little child, and from the second two tall and well-built men. They all came inside and the sheik gave me a broad smile and excused himself for being so late.
They had a problem with one of their cars which needed an urgent repair and the replacement part did not arrive quickly. His English was excellent, he was talking politely and he did not look like a sheik at all. In his dark suit and white shirt, he could be any of hundreds of businessmen who pass through our hotel every year.
I expected him to have a harem of women covered in dark veils, but in front of me was a short, plain woman with dark curly hair wearing a simple red dress. The only thing which could indicate their wealth was woman’s golden jewellery and expensive golden watches they both wore on their wrists.
I gave them the keys of their rooms and the sheik gave me the keys of their cars. I went outside and sat in the first car for a few seconds without starting the engine. I breathed deeply in the smell of the leather of the seats and expensive perfumes, which still remained in the air. I could only imagine what kind of life sheik had when he was able to afford such cars as if they were toys. While other people had to sweat blood to pay their rent and other costs, he and his family could travel all over the world, stay wherever he wanted and as long as he wanted, and his bank account was only getting bigger.
That reminded me of my job as a night receptionist and my own misery. I was feeling that I was going to become depressive and I started the car and drove it into our underground garage. I did the same with another Mercedes and went up to the fourth floor and knocked at the door of the sheiks’ suite. He was smiling again, took the keys of the cars, opened his wallet, picked up two banknotes without giving them a glance and gave them to me.
I thanked him and before he closed the door I told him that if he needed something I would be down at the reception desk the whole night. He gave me a broad smile again and thanked me. When I was alone I looked at the banknotes and could hardly believe my own eyes. They were both 200 Euros. Never before had anyone given such a generous tip.
TO BE CONTINUED
Thank you again for helping me and proofreading my text.