Chapter 3: Hotel LunchAnd so there I was, completely alone and exposed in the front of my girlfriend's car. I took off my seat belt and anxiously looked around the car park to see if anyone else was around. The hotel looked small, and the fact that there were only three other vehicles parked outside reassured me that I might be able to get away with avoiding any human contact. Thankfully it seemed as if there were no people nearby, and after checking all around for the third time I was satisfied that I was alone. I took a deep breath and opened the car door.
I swung my legs out and put my feet on the floor. Using the windshield and open door as support I hoisted myself upright. The dress immediately fell about my shins as I struggled to keep my balance in the heels. I took a nervous step forward, then another, and slammed the car door behind me. Woah. With nothing to hold onto I felt like an ice skater pushing away from the safety of the wall for the first time. Gingerly, I turned to face the car and shuffled my way to the suitcase in the back. With one hand firmly on the side of the car I leaned over the back seats, feeling the dress constricting around my chest as I did so. I quickly grabbed the handle of the suitcase and lifted it, first balancing it on the door before straightening up and letting it drop to the gravel by my feet. Even the simplest of tasks became a chore in this get up!
I heard a noise from behind me and I turned around in time to see a landrover pulling into the hotel. My stomach lurched and I pulled out the handle of the suitcase ready to make a bolt for the hotel. As the landrover approached I was somehow relieved to see it was a woman driving it, but nevertheless I was desperate to get inside. In a heroic effort I started to stride towards the lobby doors, wheeling the suitcase quickly behind me. With every step I took I could feel myself close to unbalancing - the suitcase juttered along awkwardly behind me as it rolled along the gravel. Miraculously, I managed to get inside the hotel lobby just as the landrover engine turned off and the woman started to get out into the car park.
The lobby was in keeping with the outer appearance of the hotel - it was compact, with a traditional wooden reception desk and a set of wooden stairs to the right which presumably led to the rooms. To the left there was an open door but from where I was standing I couldn't see inside. Kate was leaned over the reception desk and turned as she heard me come in.
"Ah, here's Emily with our suitcase!"
I froze as the woman at reception made eye contact with me and smiled. 'Emily'? Since when was I called that? I was certain that at any moment the receptionist would see through my disguise. I focused on remembering my reflection, and Kate's words in combination with how good I looked helped to bolster my confidence. I managed a weak smile before quietly joining Kate's right side with the suitcase. I kept expecting to wake up; how could I really be here, in a hotel lobby, dressed like this?! It was all I could manage not to break down into a panic attack.
"Okay, here's your key! You'll be in room number 27; if you go up the stairs to the third floor you'll find it on your left."
Kate grabbed the key and flashed me a wicked smile, before stuffing it into her shoulder bag.
"Thanks, but I think we're going to grab a bite to eat first. Does the bar serve food?"
I barely paid attention to the receptionist's response as I looked over Kate's shoulder to the open door. Above it was a sign which simply read "BAR", and looking through it revealed exactly that. I could make out a wooden bar on the right, complete with bar stools (and barmaids!), and there were tables for eating on the left. Judging from the noise eminating from that direction there were quite a few people in there too; this nightmare seemed to only get worse! The next thing I knew Kate was reaching across my legs for the suitcase.
"Okay, great! I'll leave the suitcase with you and we'll pick it up when we go up to our room."
She yanked it up onto the counter and grabbed my hand. No... we couldn't be going in there! Not wanting to draw attention to myself, I saw no choice but to allow Kate to lead me to the doorway.
"Please, can't we just go to our room!?" I whispered, eager not to attract attention. "I feel like everyone's looking at me!"
"Well of course you do, hun. You ARE wearing a dress. But trust me, to everyone else here we're just two girls having a meal in a bar, okay?"
Kate pulled me inside and led me around to the left to a small table in the corner. Flustered, I sat down. There were people everywhere! I could see at least two barmaids on duty as well as a couple of guys sat at the bar drinking pints. On the surrounding tables I could see a man and a woman sharing dessert, and on the far side of the room was a woman struggling to eat some lunch whilst at the same time maintaining control over two excitable little girls. Was it lunch time already? I suddenly realised I had no idea what time it was, and a look at the clock above the bar told me it was 1.30pm. With this realisation came another - I was starving! I'd been up since 8 and I hadn't even had a chance to eat breakfast!
"Okay, you sit here and look at the menu and I'll go and get us some drinks."
And with that Kate made her way over to the bar. I envied her confidence, but then again being a girl was the norm for her! I picked up the menu and held it high so as to cover my face from any onlookers. 'Just get through this' I told myself. 'Just make it up to the room and then I can convince Kate to take me home.'
Moments later, Kate returned.
"Heere we go!" She placed two cocktail glasses on the table. The cocktail was a bright reddish pink, and to make matters worse each came complete with a little girly umbrella!
"What the hell is that?" I spluttered.
"This is what us girls drink, silly. I could hardly order you a pint of lager when you're looking so dainty in your little outfit!"
I felt the familiar feeling of my face flushing with embarassment - Kate was clearly enjoying my discomfort. I took a sip from my glass and was surprised at the pleasant fruity taste. Then I remembered what had happened at the reception desk.
"Oh yeah, and since when were you calling me Emily?!"
"What? Don't look at me like that! Would you rather I told everyone your name was James and you're really a guy? You needed a name.... you are going to be here for a weekend, after all!"
She might've been right about that, but still! It wasn't like I had chosen to be out in public like this! Everything felt like it was moving so fast - my first panties, my first dress, my first trip outside... and now I had a name and was in a public bar! It was all so much to process in the short space of a morning.
Out of the corner of my eye I could see the barmaid coming over. Shit! How was I going to order? I had no idea how to talk like a girl!
"And what can I get you two lovely ladies to eat?"
"I'll have the salmon please!" Kate chirped. As the barmaid scribbled something down I tried to get Kate's attention. I pointed to the menu and widened my eyes, looking intently at her.
"Oh! And Emily here will have the chicken salad... she's on a diet, poor thing!"
"Okay, thanks! The food will be ready in about ten to fifteen minutes. By the way... I LOVE your outfits! Are you two sisters or something? You look very alike."
Kate looked at me the same way she had at the reception desk and I sensed another surprise was coming. "Actually we're um, partners. The outfits were my idea, we're celebrating our first year together!"
"Oh, congratulations! You make a cute couple. I'll bring the food over once it's ready!"
Kate beamed from ear to ear as I quietly looked away. So much for staying below the radar - Kate had just announced that we were a lesbian couple!
"Listen, Kate... what exactly is going on here? Why are you doing all of this?"
"Not now. I'll explain everything once we get to our room, I promise." She held my hand reassuringly, "don't worry. I'm not going to 'out' you or anything like that. It's just a little adventure we're on together, ok? Try to relax and enjoy yourself!"
Our meal went without a hitch. The barmaid made a few more comments and wished us a pleasant stay, but I found that I was able to almost enjoy the compliments now that I'd relaxed a little bit. Eating my food enabled me to take my mind off of the situation and I was surprised at how natural everything started to feel. Kate finished her food first and disappeared to the lady's room briefly, but I found even being alone didn't bother me so much as long as I occupied myself with my food.
It was about 20 past 2 by the time we'd paid and were back at the hotel lobby, and it felt good to know that we'd soon be out of the public eye and in the privacy of our own room. Kate took the case from the receptionist and I followed her up a steep set of wooden stairs to the third floor. Progress up the stairs was slow - I relied on the full support of the banister as I hobbled up them in my still unfamiliar heels. Kate wasn't much faster, but then she had the case to deal with as well. I found I also had to be careful to lift my dress slightly so as not to step on it - it only came down a bit below the knee but these were really traditional steep stairs!
Finally we reached our floor and in front of us was a narrow corridoor with rooms on either side. Kate put down the case and rolled it behind her, practically skipping her way down the corridoor before stopping in front of a room. She double checked the door number before holding the keys aloft and shaking them in her hands: "This is it! Emily's weekend starts here!" I gulped as she unlocked the door and I followed her and the suitcase inside.
I slammed the door behind me and breathed a sigh of relief at finally being out of public. We'd made it to our hotel room and now Kate had some serious explaining to do.