Encounter at the hotel
|It was well past midnight and early morning. I drove my car to the hospital parking lot to enable me to think clearly. I sat alone in the car, wondering what the man had just said to me. Was it true that God used me to bring those helpless couples to the hospital?
Was it a coincidence that the computer system went wrong, I had to stay late in the office, the gate at home was closed and locked from inside and then I heard that small inner voice to drive around? I did not plan this way, but it just happened.
I had no definite answer for this, but I had more problems at hand. I could not stay in the parking lot. Not that it was unsafe, but a prestige and character issue. What if somebody saw or found me sleeping inside the car in the parking lot of the hospital? People would not ask for an explanation, but they would talk and spread rumors. With the standing that I have in the office, the church and the community, I could not afford this.
What should I do now? I did not want to go back home at this hour. After what I had done, it was not wise, and also it was too early in the morning to disturb them.
While sitting in the car and thinking, suddenly an idea struck me. I had been listening to these small inner voices many times before, and that same small inner voice again told me to do something memorable. What happened with those couples I helped would remain in my memory forever, but what I planned to do was also extraordinary and memorable.
I checked my wallet to make sure that the money I had withdrawn yesterday was there. (ATM had yet to come to our city. That was the reason we computerized our accounts). It was that small, silent voice I heard yesterday that told me to withdraw money. I had enough money, but that voice insisted to withdraw more money. By obeying the voice, I had extra money in my pocket which I could use for my venture.
So, starting my car, I drove away from the hospital parking lot. I knew all hotels would be closed by this time. But was it? Let me try my luck. I drove to the Best hotel in our city. I had been to this hotel several times before. I had been there for official meetings, conferences and marriage parties. We also went there with friends to enjoy coffee and other beverages. On special occasions, I had taken my family there for dinner. Being the best hotel in the city I lived in, I enjoyed these occasions of simple luxury that I could afford.
But I had never been there so late, or rather early morning.
Yes, when I reached the place, I found the doors half-closed. I was happy to find the hotel still opened. I entered inside.
The receptionist was half asleep in his chair while the night watchman was slouching on the couch.
Being the Best hotel in the city, they catered to the higher echelon of society. They also catered to big business people and foreign tourists. Therefore, they opened twenty-four seven.
I knew the hotel would be a little costly, but I had enough money, courtesy of that little small voice I had listened to. So, I could afford to stay here for one night.
The sleepy receptionist welcomed me. "What can I do for you, Sir?"
Can I have a room to stay for tonight?" I asked him."Luxury suite or ordinary room?" he asked.
"Please give me an ordinary single room? I will sleep for a few hours, I don't need any luxury room."
"Look, Sir, we don't allow for two people to stay in a single room?"
"What do you mean, two people?" I asked him.
"I think you understand, Sir. We have a policy of not allowing two persons in a single room?"What the receptionist said infuriated me.
I was about to explode and shout, but then I thought it better to keep my mouth shut.
"Please give me a single room?" I told him politely.
"Look, Sir, as I told you, we do not allow two persons in a single room."
"Look, there is nobody with me. I am alone."
"Are you sure, sir?"
Yes, I am hundred percent sure."
"Look, sir, no local person comes in so late in the night or rather early in the morning to stay alone."
Now I understood. There were people who misused the hotel for prostitution and other illegal activities.
I was about to tell the receptionist about what had happened to me earlier, but I thought better. He would not listen to my tale. It would be useless.
So, I simply requested him to give me a single room and he can check and verify whatever he wanted to.
Reluctantly he took the register, asked for my name and identity proof. I gave him what he needed.
After completion of formalities, the night-watchman took the key and led me to the room.
Before I fell asleep, I thought, what a world we live in. A few hours earlier, those couples I helped thought that I was an angel and now, here the receptionist of the best hotel suspected and doubted my character.
Just in one night, to some people I was an angel, and to some, I was a suspect or maybe a devil. What a contrast!