The intruder

I WAS attending a five-day seminar a few years back on how to sell books to customers on a house-to-house basis but I guess I was not cut out to succeed in that field because while all other participants absorbed the speaker’s lectures, I dreamed of lying on a cool bed and snoring the day away.

We were billeted in the hotel where the seminar was held in Cotabato City on a twin-sharing basis. I shared the room with another girl who was so enthusiastic about the seminar that minutes after our first meeting, I immediately predicted that she would be one of the successful topnotchers in selling books in the future.

However, try as hard as I could, I failed to share her enthusiasm in enticing customers to buy the children’s books, health books and other kinds that the sponsoring company was campaigning for us to sell to people.

I was a reluctant participant in that seminar, prodded only by the persistent request of a friend to join. The first day passed smoothly as it was set for acquaintance and briefing about the seminar. The following day however was heavy with lectures and workshops such that by the third day, I was ready to call it quits and pack my things. My roommate however persuaded me to stay one more day if only to get the gist of the lectures.

At three p.m. that day, my head was alredy nodding towards the speaker’s direction. Not in agreement but from sheer drowsiness. Finally, I decided to slip from the workshop and headed for our room to grab an hour’s sleep.

I drowsily marched to our room and turned on the doorknob. It gave way to my touch. My sleep-befuddled mind argued that I still have not inserted my key when the door opened but I just told myself to reprimand my roommate later for leaving our door unlocked.

Half-asleep, I stumbled to the room and hurled myself straight to the bed to sleep, nearly tripping on a pair of boots on the floor. I pulled the sheets over my body and was surprised to smell a strange perfume in my pillow. I decided I must have imagined things and closed my eyes to sleep, soothed with the sloshing sound of the shower in the bathroom.

I must have been asleep for about a few minutes when the door of the comfort room opened and the banging of the door awoke me. I jolted up and realized that my roommate was in the seminar hall when I left earlier.

“Then who–” my unfinished question was answered when a man with only a towel draped around his waist emerged from the bathroom door.

“What are you doing here?” I fired the question at the woman but she remained at the bathroom door, as astonished as I was.
I looked around and became fully awake when I realized that the shoulder bag on the coffee table was not mine. I also saw that the boots on the floor were not mine, but obviously belongs to another woman. In fact, everything in the room definitely was not mine.

Embarassment enveloped me as I realized that in my drowsiness, I had stumbled into the room next to ours. Mumbling an apology to the woman, I hurried out and rushed to our room to hide my embarassment.

I refused to go out for dinner that night, fearing that I will meet the woman again. I did not say anything to my roommate about what happened, but since then, I always take extra care to check and double check hotel room numbers before barging in to them. *

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