She watched the tears running down the stranger’s face and suddenly knew exactly what that jerk had done. But feeling awful for her wasn’t going to help the situation.
What she needed was a plan. Left with nowhere to sleep and no way home, the poor woman needed retribution. She approached her with her offer — fully aware that she could lose her job for what she was about to do.
Ana Ash had dealt with her fair share of strange situations. Working the late shift at the desk of a hotel downtown for a few years meant she didn’t even bat an eyelid when the unsavory characters began to stumble in anymore.
Tonight, she was hoping for a quiet evening with minimal drama. But she had no idea who was about to walk through the doors.
Suddenly, Ana heard a ruckus in the corridor and her heart sank. She stood up, straightened her blouse, and fixed her best hospitality-industry smile firmly on her face.
A well-dressed group of men whooped and jeered as they rounded the corner, with their sloshing drinks from a nearby bar still in hand. Ana looked at her watch with a sigh. It was 3 AM.
One of the men, assuming the role of the leader of the group, sauntered up to her desk and leaned closer. In a hushed, confidential tone, he immediately launched into a story about a woman he’d met at the bar that night.
Ana tried to look like she was listening attentively, but she was distracted by an unsettling feeling. Aware of the rest of the men’s eyes burning a hole into her chest, she remembered what her mother always told her.
The man continued with his story. By the sniggers coming from the rest of his group, Ana assumed that he was bragging like a frat boy and didn’t take him seriously.
But then, she realized that there was a point to the man’s story. Ana listened, her mom’s words ringing in her ears. Nothing good ever happens after 3 AM, she had always said.
The man revealed that the woman at the bar had been “hitting” on him. He’d told her he wasn’t interested multiple times, but, apparently, she was very persistent.
Feeling uncomfortable, he and his friends left the bar and had ordered an Uber to the hotel. But it wasn’t until they got into the Uber that the man realized that his room key was missing. But while he was telling her this, something about his story just didn’t sit right with Ana.
Because she worked in the service industry, Ana expected to have good customers and bad customers. And some were just downright rude. Nevertheless, she resolved to always try her best to give all her customers equally good service.
But she wasn’t prepared for this. Call it a woman’s intuition or experience, Ana just knew there would be trouble. And she was right.
The man said that he suspected that the woman he’d rejected had stolen his room key, and he was concerned that she was going to try to enter his room. He asked Ana to deactivate the key, and if the woman came and asked for him, Ana was not to let her in.
He described her in detail: her weight, hair color, height, body shape, and the dress she was wearing — but what raised red flags for Ana was that he said it all in a mocking tone, while his friends grinned and snickered among themselves.
Ana had no choice but to do what she was trained to do in that situation. She pulled up his reservation, deactivated all the access cards, and made him a new set. She even offered to move him to a new room to make him feel more comfortable.
But she was taken aback at how much all the men chuckled when he declined. He accepted the new access cards and they went up to their room, and that was that. Only, it wasn’t.
An hour later, Ana was doing the shift handover with her colleague, counting up her cash drawer in the back office while he manned the front desk. She hadn’t had a chance to tell him about what had happened earlier.
Ana stepped out of the back office and was met with a sight she will never forget. The woman that the man had described earlier had shown up, and the plot thickened considerably after that.
Ana, holding her bag and about to leave, sees her coworker buzzing the doors open and the woman comes racing in, seeming to know exactly where she is going.
Barefoot and holding her heels in one hand, she runs down the lobby and reaches the elevator. Ana rushes to her coworker to tell him what happened earlier, but he looks dumbstruck.
Pointing to the screen that has the room reservation up, Ana’s oblivious coworker explained that the woman had tried to use the room key, but it didn’t work. So he asked her for her room number and last name, and she is indeed on the reservation.
Ana looked at the reservation notes and saw a woman’s name listed. The man’s name was listed as the primary, and hers was listed as secondary — which meant that she was allowed to be in the room. What was going on?
Ana, confused for a second, thought that perhaps the woman who had rushed in wasn’t the same woman that the man had described to her. she called the man in the room to check… just to be safe.
She explained the situation, saying that they had permitted her access because her name was on the reservation. He laughed and said that he’d “forgotten about that,” and asked Ana to remove it. And then, all hell broke loose.
Ana, confused, tried to clarify. “Sir…just to be clear, the woman you met at the bar tonight was with you at check-in hours ago and was allowed keys then, but now she is not?”
The man then laughed with all his friends in the room and says: “Awww….guys I confused the poor girl… Yeah, sweetheart, she’s banned from the room. Don’t worry about the other details, just take her name off.” What was going on?
“…I see,” Ana replied. “Then, if she isn’t going to be on the room anymore, would you like us to call the police and have her removed from the property?” The man replied: “Hahaha…woah! That’s too far there. Don’t worry, she’ll get the hint soon enough.” Ana hung up, feeling very suspicious.
She told her coworker that she was going to stick around in case anything else happened. Then, the woman appeared. She got off the elevator, sobbing. She was on the phone with someone. She sat down in the lobby. Now was Ana’s chance to find out what was going on.
Ana gathered that the woman was on the phone with her mom and sister. Ana gathered that she had been invited out to spend the week with her boyfriend and meet all his old college buddies.
This was the first night, so they had all met up for dinner and drinks. She had nipped to the restroom, but when she came back, she found her boyfriend talking to another woman on a dare from his friends. When Ana heard this, her blood began to boil.
The woman, whose name was Erin, confronted her boyfriend and he retaliated by humiliating her in front of his friends and the entire bar.
He called her names and mocked her while his college buddies joined in, egging him on. He yelled that she was “nothing without him” and dumped her, right then and there. But the worst was still to come.
Her boyfriend and his buddies got an Uber and left Erin stranded at the bar, with no money and no ride home. She had to use her phone’s GPS to walk all the way back to the hotel, which was two miles away.
She couldn’t walk that far in her heels, so she took them off and walked barefoot. Now, she was pleading for help from her mom and sister because the men wouldn’t let her into the hotel room to get her luggage or her wallet. Ana couldn’t believe what she was hearing.
Ana’s heart broke as she listened to Erin’s conversation. She couldn’t believe what her boyfriend had done to her! But feeling awful for her wasn’t going to be much help, the poor woman needed retribution.
Her ex needed to feel just as worthless as Erin was feeling right now. So Ana began to formulate a plan to do just that.