Frightening and disturbing…

I wrote this true story a few years ago now, back in the time when we could go away for weekends without a second thought:

We were staying the weekend in a city which for some reason seemed really busy; we struggled to find a hotel, or bed and breakfast place, and in the end the accommodation we had was in a pub; it was bed only, no breakfast… a bit annoying but not a disaster.
We arrived at the pub and were shown up several flights of stairs, through several fire doors, along several passages, to a room on the corner of the building, with a nice view along the sea front and with a bit of sea just visible through a light mist. As well as being bed only and no breakfast, the room was not en-suite, which we’ve come to expect these days. Our room, number 5, was next to number 6, off a small hallway, and the bathroom was just opposite.
Our room was nice, clean, well-decorated, comfortable bed, wardrobe, dressing table, bedside tables, but odd things were lacking… There was no wash basin which is usual in non en-suite rooms, no waste bin, only one small pillow each, one double socket, so to plug in the electric kettle it had to sit on the floor, there were no mats so putting a hot cup down on the bedside tables risked leaving marks on the surface. We had towels in our room, but there was no hand towel in the bathroom, and again no bin…
The Friday night we slept well, but were aware there were no staff in the pub… also there was no phone in the room – we had our mobile phones, but there was no-one to contact if there was a problem.
The following night there was a couple in the room next door, number 6; I know this because in the night I woke and could hear them rowing – well I could hear him being very abusive to her, it was rather horrible. I could hear every foul word he said, moaning at her for doing something or another. When we woke the next morning the row was continuing; my husband went to the bathroom across the corridor and while he was away the trouble next door escalated… The man was shouting, the woman began to cry, there thumps and crashes as if something awful was happening… what could I do? At one point the door slammed and then there was knocking, as if he’d thrown her out… he let her back in and the row continued… the language was awful…
I was hoping my husband would come back so together maybe we could knock and say… say what? Then the door slammed again and I could hear their voices as they went down the stairs. My husband returned, and I told him what had happened… I felt awful, the poor woman… I’m sure there was violence, but I don’t know…
What could I have done? Nothing… there was no staff in the pub to get in touch with, no phone in the room to go through to a manager… It was a long way to get down the stairs, along the corridors, through the fire doors, even if there had been staff on duty… It was frightening and disturbing…

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