I stepped outside the The Lanesborough hotel, feeling the nervous lump in my throat now turning into a sickening knowing that I most likely didn't get the job. I could smell the rain; it had been pouring for three days straight, but the rain has stopped while I was being interviewed. I sighed, giving the porter a mindless, faded smile and didn't even walk two feet when I dropped my umbrella, causing it to unfold with a loud crack. I only had time to catch a glimpse of a pair of jeansed legs rushing past me and inside the hotel as I was bending over to pick up my umbrella when a huddle of screaming ebullient creatures swarmed me, pushing me out of their way and down into a puddle of mud. "This must be what death feels like," I thought to myself, and then it all happened very fast: a worried face hiding behind a pair of thick rimmed glasses hovered before me, muttering something, then the hand belonging to the same person grabbed my arm helping me stand up rather harshly and guided me through the crowd of girls, inside the hotel that I'd left no more than five minutes ago.
The enormous screaming sound lulled once someone swiftly closed the doors behind me and the man still clutching my forearm. He kept walking towards the reception desk, and I began to fear that I might have somehow gotten myself into some kind of trouble, but he pulled me to the left and proceeded to walk around the corner, where, as I recalled, the lifts were supposed to be. A tall, slim man was standing in front of an open lift door and looked at me with a worried facial expression. It took me quite a while to realise who the man was - my gaze slid from his brown eyes to his seemingly overgrown hair and then it came to me - "Bloody hell, George Harrison of The Beatles!"
"Thanks, Mal," he addressed the man who was still not letting me go, and then turned back to me. "You alright, luv?".
"Err..." I stuttered. "Sure... I guess."
I looked down to finally register the damage (Mal quickly let go of my arm, as if taking my first voluntary movement as a sign to do so): I was covered in drying mud from head to toe, my beaded backpack was soaked and the cold and slimy sludge was dripping from my hair onto my left ear. I looked back at George and it suddenly hit me how ridiculous and surreal this situation was.
"Do I have mud in my ear?" I slowly asked in a light tone and awkwardly motioned my hand around the side of my head.
I could not make out George's thoughts, he just kept looking at me with the same worried expression, but Mal let out a loud sigh of relief. Finally George's penetrating gaze softened before he looked away for a second to hold the lift door open. Then he spoke again:
"Listen, I'm really sorry you had to experience them...lovely admirers of mine. I thought maybe you wanted to use our bathroom to tidy yourself up, it wouldn't feel right to let you go home like this." He made a quick gesture with his hand and then lifted it to scratch the back of his head.
"Err..." I began again, thinking I must look real stupid right now. I glanced at Mal who was standing on my right-hand side and back at George. "I really don't want to bother you..."
I didn't have time to finish my sentence when George cut me off in the middle of it.
"Hey look, all I'm sayin' is I wouldn't want to be walkin' 'round covered in mud. It's just a friendly suggestion. Yer free to leave if you want." He shrugged, looking calm and careless, but I could tell he was getting a bit annoyed by the tone of his voice.
I suddenly felt shame and a blush filling my face. George's passive rudeness mixed with seemingly kind intentions made me feel like a small child that was caught stealing a candy. I took a quick glance at Mal who, to my surprise, looked very angry, and nodded slowly.
"Yes, thank you," I said looking inside the empty lift through George's shoulder in order to avoid eye contact which, I was sure, would only increase my embarrassment in this situation. "A shower would be nice."
George stepped inside the lift and put his finger over one of the buttons waiting for me to join him. I was already inside and turning around to face the door when Mal growled at George:
"You. Don't think you're getting away with this so easily." he shook his head, turned on his heel and I could see him walking back the same direction from which we came before the lift doors closed.