I smiled at the young friendly receptionist as I gave her my car keys, I'd written my real name on the card for the valet and it was such an anti-climax.
I glanced longingly back towards the entrance I'd just walked through sensing the ghost of my former self. Fearlessly arriving in a revealing black outfit before embracing the elegant stranger of the evening.
She handed me my room keys and gave me directions. I knew this hotel like the back of my hand but I politely allowed her to finish. As I walked through the corridor I again sensed her. The one-dimensional seductress I’d created who only came to life when requested. She was a better version of me; more beautiful, more interesting, more generous. She rejected mundanity and frequented luxury hotels like this, accompanying anonymous lovers for champagne-soaked dinners before unashamedly giving them what they craved: intimacy, attention, sex.
Of course, I got what I craved too, the men and women I met with worshipped me. I offered an exotic escape from reality and they compensated me handsomely. Not only with money and lavish gifts, some took me to heights of physical pleasure and emotional freedom I simply could not replicate in real life.
I remembered how un-phased I’d been when challenged. ‘My husband has already checked-in’ I’d purr as I shrugged off suspicious hotel staff and made my way to the room.