“Do you mean that I need to share a room with this brat?” Thandie yelled.
Rachel stood next to Thandie,watching the worried expressions of the receptionists. They spoke to each other in low voices, occasionally checking their computers. With the realisation that the stuff was in full panic mode and they would do anything to keep this woman in their hotel, Rachel was irritated.
“Do you want me to review your hotel in the state that I am in? I can post a live video right now.” Thandie said.
“Absolutely not. We are doing everything in our power to get things in order,” said the supervisor.
Thandie’s stage name was Natalie McKague. This was the name of a character that she played in her first movie. With the name stuck on everyone’s tongue, she got used to it and asked for rights to adopt it as her stage name. She was the most sensational actress from France, the world’s biggest action movies' actress and the most fierce woman ever known.
“What’s going on? I demand to see the manager!” said Thandie.
“There was a competition a few weeks ago and the winners of the discount are staying here this weekend.They are supposed to share the double rooms,” the supervisor told her.
“For goodness sake, I didn’t enter a competition.”
“We know Miss Majola.”
“Didn’t I pay for both beds?”
“Our new comer here made a mistake of not ticking your room as fully occupied. So, another employee booked Miss Newman the other bed in your room.”
“I am very sorry Miss Majola, please.” The new guy finally said.
“We know that you booked a room with two beds for yourself alone,” said the supervisor.
“I intend to keep it that way,” said Thandie. “Can’t you move her to another room? With fellow competitors?”
“No.” The supervisor replied.
“How? If you have ten double rooms, shouldn’t you give twenty people the discount?”
“Yes, but now, we saw one more bed and thought that we might have forgotten to add someone else.”
'Who is she?' Rachel wondered. 'She actually speaks and walks and as if she owns this place, or perhaps the world. Her guts!'
The manager finally came and greeted her with a smile. “My lovely Thandie.”
“Why did a stranger get into my room with bags and a correct access card?” Thandie said in a low voice, in the slowest dramatic way possible.
“This has all been a misunderstanding, you are our biggest client and I would very much love to see you happy. We will refund the young lady fully.”
The manager turned to Rachel, acknowledging her existence for the first time since he entered the room.
“Miss Newman, we are very sorry. We are out of rooms, but we will refund you fully and we will send you an email right now, you may come back in a few weeks and enjoy a single room. We will pay for all expenses fully. You will receive a 100% discount for everything.”
Thandie turned and looked at Rachel who was blinking rapidly.
“No!” said Thandie.
Everyone looked at her in astonishment.
“I cannot believe that I am saying this, but she may stay.”
“Are you sure?” asked the manager.
“Yes, we will work it out.”
“We will make it up to both of you.”
“I need my money for the other bed refunded.”
“Absolutely," said the manager.
They both quietly turned and walked back to the hotel room.
“What is your name?”
“Rachel, what’s yours?”
“That is a lovely name.”
“Thank you and yours too.”
They smiled and continued walking.
Suddenly, they were enveloped by an awkward silence.
Rachel was a student at Harvard Medical School. She won an 80% discount voucher, for a trip to Cape Town, and she couldn’t be more pleased. Her meals, the return ticket and hotel fees were included in this bargain. It was an unfortunate circumstance that she didn’t read everything on the long list of terms and conditions.
She played the supervisor’s words several times in her mind.
'You didn’t read the terms and conditions carefully Miss Newman. You are supposed to share a room with fellow competitors. You were supposed to choose one competitor, agree to share a room and let us know. If not, then we automatically chose roommates for those who couldn’t choose for themselves.'
Rachel thought that she could finally have the best vacation before heading home for the Christmas holidays. Her family was excited for her amazing adventure. The thought of experiencing of summer for the first time in December filled her with joy. She did not expect this drama.
On the other hand, Thandie went to Cape Town for her annual relaxation trip around the world, and this time, her adventure landed her in Cape Town, her father’s hometown. She enjoyed her annual trips, it was a beautiful way to spend time alone. She did not envision this drama.
Rachel winced when she remembered the condition of their room.
“How long have you been here?” Rachel asked as they entered the room.
“Three days,” Thandie replied.
“Are you kidding me? This is a prestige hotel. Surely they have housekeeping services?”
“How often do they come?”
“So, they were here this morning?”
“No, on Thursday.”
“You mean, yesterday?”
“I expected a cleaner room. After all, this room does not look like it was cleaned yesterday. There are clothes and papers in every corner of the beds.”
Thandie rolled her eyes.
“Also, it looks like you have been here for two months. How do you even live in this mess?”
“I am busy. What did you expect? Flowers? You can book another room if you want to.”
“Can we tidy up?”
“I don’t mind. Go ahead if you want to. You know what. I gotta go, see you later.”
Thandie left the room.
Rachel sank on the couch and cried. 'I wish that I stayed at home.'
Few hours later when Thandie came back, the room was spotless. She stood on the doorway, frozen.
'My script!' Thandie screamed internally.
“I cleaned the room and I thought that it would be much better this way,” said Rachel.
“How kind of you!”
'This woman is rude,' she said to herself.
“Where my papers?”
“They are in a file on your desk.”
“Didn't housekeepers come today?”
“They did, but I was done. You are bratty! I gotta get some air.”
Thandie went through her scripts for the new movie for the rest of the day. She then realised that it was 19:00 and Rachel left eight hours ago. This made her anxious as she paced back and forth in the room. Three more hours passed and there was no sign of Rachel.
Rachel was excited to have finally left the gloomy hotel room. She wished that Thandie would be more welcoming. After all, she loved a great chat once in a while, especially since they were temporary roommates. Her time with the tour guide and other passengers was magnificent. She took out her phone and looked at the beautiful pictures of the misty cloth covering Table Mountain. This was almost the best day of her first day, until their jet boat got stuck on their way to shore from Robben Island.
The excitement amongst passengers had absolutely died down and the offshore breeze caused enormous teeth clattering.
Her phone rang, and she slowly answered.
“Rachel,” said someone on the other end of the line.
“It’s me, Thandie. I can’t sleep. Are you okay?”
“I am worried about you.”
“Where did you get my number?”
“From the reception.”
“Okay. Why did you call me?”
“Where are you?”
“In the middle of the ocean. Our boat got stuck and we are waiting for backup.”
“How long have you been waiting for?”
“I have no idea.It's been hours.”
Thandie hung up and Rachel’s steel hands didn’t have any energy to dial back.
Finally, they saw a portable yacht rushing towards their boat.
“Wow!” Everyone gushed.
They were all transferred to the yacht.
Rachel walked towards the nearest seat when she saw Thandie. She wore an oversized hooded sweater, of which the hood covered almost her entire face. Thandie rushed towards Rachel and gave her a long hug.
“What are you doing here?”
“I came for you.”
“Really?” Rachel raised her eyebrows.
“How did you know which ship was coming for us?”
“Oh! I just went to the harbour and found out.”
“Thanks for borrowing us your yacht Thandie,” the tour guide whispered before heading to his seat.
Thandie produced a faint smile.
“Thandie, what's going on?”
“Well, I will tell you when we get to the hotel.”
Racahel would drive the yacht herself if she could. It suddenly seemed like the slowest mode of transport in the world.
“Why didn’t you tell me?” Rachel asked after listening to Thandie’s story.
“You and I were not really on good terms you know. How was I supposed to say it? Hey, I am Natalie McKague. Or, hey, did you know that you are having an argument with Natalie McKague?”
They both roared with laughter.
“My little sister loves Natalie McKague. She mentions her, I mean she mentions you all the time. I don’t watch movies that much. She is going to be envious.”
“Have you been living under a rock?”
“I only use the internet for research or social media once in a while.”
“Wow! You are living the best life.”
They laughed at this remark.
“What about the yacht that rescued us?” asked Rachel.
“It’s mine, for the time being.”
“You bought it?”
“No, I rented it for two weeks. They couldn’t use it to rescue you and everyone else. The temporary owners need to find their yachts anytime they need them. I am sorry that they ran out of boats and ships and made you wait for such a long time.”
“Wow! You are nice.”
“Come on now, don’t make me feel bad. Are you hungry? We can order something. On me.”
Rachel shook her head, “Thank you very much for helping out today.We were freezing.I just need a warm bath and sleep.”
“Are you sure?”
“Yes. How is your name Thandie?”
“My father is Xhosa and my mother is Scottish from London. I am Thandiwe Imrie Majola Norman.”
“What does your name mean Thandiwe?”
“It means beloved.”
“How did you end up in France?”
“Well, my parents’ work. So, I grew up there. You may check everything else on google alright. Tomorrow it's my turn to interrogate you.”
“You are such a diva. People post incorrect stuff on google sometimes. I would rather hear things from you.”
“I am not a diva. I just try to have boundaries, then I get carried away. So, they refer to me as vicious. I have to admit, you did put me in my place.”
“Admit it, you are such a softie. I am so happy.”
“That I am a softie?”
“No.I longed for this moment, for us to chat like normal girls. I didn’t like the gloomy mood.”
“Honestly, I was actually enjoying it you know.”
“No,” she chuckeld.
“I enjoyed you treating me like a normal person. I didn’t like it at first, but you reminded me of my little sister. I am used to this kind of honest treatment from my family and friends. Most strangers idolise me.”
“I don’t know what to say”
“How about saying yes to the most adventurous days from tomorrow? I know the place very well you know.”
“Yes! Okay, I don’t know how to treat you anymore.”
“What do you mean? I am Thandie. ‘Your bratty roomie’.”