Four Room Hotel by Vallie Lynn Watson
The Lavender Room
On her trip to New York she toured Dylan’s hotel. Veronica met him in the tiny marble lobby. Dylan told her they served peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and hot chocolate at ten every night in the lobby. He said he hadn’t changed much at the hotel.
In the first room she thought she could even smell lavender, and he pointed to the bundle in a cylinder glass vase on the desk. It added an unexpected masculinity to the room, like the linger of cologne.
They could only get to the room through its green-tiled bathroom. It was large, a porcelain built-in tub, a glassed in shower. Fluffy mauve bathmats.
The bedroom was papered around with cream and mauve vertical stripes, the pattern broken only by tiny-slatted plantation shutters. Behind the glass windows was brick. He showed her the inside of the closet, its walls signed by hundreds of guests over the years.
The room was peach and yellow, some heather blue and soft green. Butterflies everywhere. The bed, peach-painted wrought iron. He said his aunt and uncle had fought about the cost of having butterflies painted on the claw-foot tub.
He took a big brass key from his pocket and opened a door. She climbed behind him to the attic. Dusty furniture was piled in the middle and books were stacked along the walls.
The first thing she noticed was the green flowered chaise lounge angled from the corner. Then she felt claustrophobic. Newer oversized furniture and smaller antique pieces, all similarly-colored wood, took all wall space.
His aunt and uncle had lived in this room for almost twenty years, Dylan told her, and he almost never came in here. They left quickly.
Vallie Lynn Watson received her PhD from the Center for Writers and teaches creative writing at Southeast Missouri State University. Lynn’s manuscript, A River So Long, was first runner up in the 2009 Miami University Press Novella Contest. Excerpts from the work appear or are forthcoming in Pindeldyboz, Staccato Fiction, Product, Journal of Truth and Consequence, Women Writers, Sunsets and Silencers, Oracle, 971 Menu, Trailer Park Quarterly, Moon Milk Review, and Ghoti.
Read the first part in this series, The Family Luggage.
Photo: We’ll Start by Breathing
© 2010, Metazen.