Tears kept falling down my face, but I couldn’t stop them no matter how hard I tried.
I could see through my blurred vision that I was leaving my hometown to a place I’ve never been before, going somewhere I wished I wouldn’t have to go. My aunt told me the name and directions to the city I was headed to, so I could tell the cab driver. Directions to a place I didn’t know.
Not that it mattered now. Nothing mattered anymore. I was broken, damaged. My life was ruined and I didn’t know what to do. I was certain of one thing though: I was going to live with my aunt, in a house where she worked as a maid.
I cried even harder now, much to the dismay of the cab driver. I’ve left all my friends and the place I once called home.
Home? No, not home. I’d left the house where I lived. I couldn’t call it home anymore. I had nobody waiting for me there. The only person that had always been there, watching out for me, had died.
My mother had died.
There. I said it.
Saying it didn’t help though, it only made me cry even harder, because now I was once again reminded of my mother, the only person who had always been there for me, had died
It had been a cruel event.
Without warning, her eyes had turned opaque, and she stopped talking. Losing all the strength her fragile, little body held for so long, she’d fallen on the floor, clutching her chest and crying in pain, and I was hit with the realization that she was having a heart attack. I remember grabbing the phone and calling 911. It had been too late when they’d knocked on the door to try to rescue her from what had taken her away from me, from everyone else.
Why her? She was perfectly healthy, no matter how fragile she seemed! She had two jobs that provided me with everything I wanted or needed! She always gave everything she could! Anyone who knew her loved her!
She was my mother! Why take her away from me when she was the only thing had left?
My shaky hands wiped the tears off of my tanned face; the gesture was useless since I couldn’t stop crying, but I didn’t care.
Time passed and I didn’t notice. By the time I could open my eyes and watch my surroundings clearly, the cab driver was opening my door. “We’re here, Miss. If I’m not mistaken, this is the right house.”
I couldn’t speak as my eyes faced the huge, white mansion that stood before me.
I got out of the cab, so I could take a good look at the place I was about to walk into and spend the rest of my miserable life in. Just like my aunt.
The dark green gate seemed secure enough when it came to someone robbing the property.
Between the gate and the mansion was a beautiful garden that spread to the sides and to the back of the mansion. It was impossible to see how much of the surrounding area belonged to the Coopers because it was so big, and from where I stood, I couldn’t see where it ended. Also, in front of the mansion, two expensive cars were parked. The first, in an extravagant shade of red, was a Porsche. From where I stood, all I could see was that it had only two doors. I guess I could say it was a small car, considering the shining BMW parked next to it. Not only was it larger, but it also appeared to be longer, coming out as the more comfortable car, yet no less expensive, I’m sure. It was hard to guess which beamed more, the extravagant Porsche or the lustrous charcoal-colored BMW.
“Here are your things, Miss.” The cab driver called my attention when he placed all of my bags at my side.
I eyed him with dark blue eyes. “Thank you,” I said, and tossed my wild hair back and reaching for my wallet, taking out enough money to pay the cab driver. “Here,” I handed him a bunch of notes.
He checked it and then said, “Well, have a good day, Miss.” He got in the car again, and drove away, looking relived to get rid of the weepy teen in the back seat.
Taking a deep breath, I looked up at the sky, whose color was changing into dark blue. It was late already. I looked at my watch and saw it was 8 PM. The trip had taken three hours total.
Reaching for my phone, I called my aunt and told her I’ve arrived.
Aunt Deena was the only person I had contact with on my father’s side of the family. He’d died before I was born so I never really got to know him. It had never bothered me though. I had my mother.
Had. Now, all I was left with were the memories I had of her.
I never used to see my aunt that much, really. In fact, whenever I was with her, I couldn’t sympathize with her as much as I wanted to. She was a difficult person to deal with, though she cared for her loved ones. At least that’s what my mother told me once.
Before my mind could drift off to any other thought, I heard my aunt’s voice calling me from behind the green gate. “Eva! Oh, you arrived at such a bad time... they’re having dinner!” She was obviously talking about the family she worked for as a maid.
Maid, I thought to myself. I’d graduated from high school and was ready to go to college... if my mother hadn’t died and I hadn’t been left with any money, which was spent on the funeral she deserved.
“I’m sorry,” I apologized as she got closer, “I didn’t mean to arrive at such a bad time.”
I saw her pressing a remote she had in her hand, and suddenly, the gate opened. I grabbed my stuff and walked into the yard. Then, I faced my aunt.
She hugged me the moment I approached her, and it was impossible not to notice how nice her dark hair smelled. No tears seemed to threaten to fall from her eyes, even though they were trying their best to fall from mine.
Thankfully, I was able to hold them back.
“Come on, Eva.” My aunt said, breaking the hug and helping me with some of my stuff. “I have to introduce you to the Coopers!”
I cleared my throat, “Introduce me?” I asked, surprised. “They’re rich, why would they want to know who I am?”
“The Coopers like to know who works for them. You should feel lucky because Mrs. Cooper let you work for her without meeting you first.” She said, hurrying towards the mansion, while I was struggling to keep up with her.
The moment my feet touched the white marble steps, I started thinking about the family I was going to be introduced to.
God, it would be so embarrassing. Even if I was eighteen years old, I was as shy as a five year old.
I didn’t notice my aunt opening the main door that led to the richly decorated foyer, as I thought about what kind of people I was going to work for. “They’re in the dining room, second door to the right.” She started. “Place your bags here, Simon will put them in your room later.”
Simon? Whoever that was, he was doing me a huge favor, because I was tired of carrying these heavy bags.
“Come on, come on.” My aunt pulled me as she led me through the long and well illuminated hall to the door she mentioned. It was a broad and tall corridor that ended with a lustrous set of staircases. I could see doors and corridors in each side of the staircase that would certainly lead me to other parts of the mansion that I’d get to know about tomorrow.
The mostly abstract paintings, either big or small, that decorated the walls, pricy porcelain that gleamed in cabinets and expensive furniture seemed to be a trait of wealthy people. Carpets of different shades, all in different shades of brown, yellow and red, enriched the impeccable floor and the hall itself.
At some point, my eyes raked over the overpriced furniture, to the walls, but I couldn’t find any photographs of the family. As I considered which type of people they could be, I heard my aunt the second time. “Don’t say anything unless Mr. or Mrs. Cooper asks you something.”
I didn’t even have time to reply, because a second later she opened the door and threw me to the sharks.
My eyes widened as I faced an old fashioned dining room with a touch of modernity. But my mind soon forgot about how the room was decorated, because I was faced with the silent family that was staring straight at me.
At the head of the table was, who I assumed was Mr. Cooper - it had to be. The man of the house always sat in that chair. He had a severe look, and his frosty blue eyes felt like they were easily piercing through my body, assessing and judging me. He had very short black hair and a pale complexion.
At his right side, I supposed, was his wife, Mrs. Cooper. She was smiling at me and showing me her all too perfect white teeth - so I smiled back politely. Her skin was very well treated, despite being at the least 40 years old. Her blond hair fell beautifully over her proud shoulders and back, framing her face and giving a beautiful contrast with her brown eyes.
On Mr. Cooper’s left, was an empty seat. But another seat over, a boy sat. He was staring at me, and God, I felt so humiliated. He seemed to be eighteen - my age - and that made it all worse! His eyes, although blue, didn’t compare with Mr. Cooper’s. As for his hair, it shared the same color as his mother’s, but a length similar to his father’s.
“Welcome to our house.” Mrs. Cooper said, getting up. “I’ve ordered the maids to arrange a room for you, so you should be fine.”
“Thank you.” I said quickly, anxious to escape that test.
“What is your name?” She asked nicely. However, frustration boiled within me; I was certain my aunt had told her my name. Had she forgotten it already?
“Eva. Eva Hudson.”
“Gabi.” Mr. Cooper’s cultured voice boomed, cutting off his wife. “The girl must be tired, let her rest so that she can start her day early tomorrow. We have Adam’s graduation party, remember?” He didn’t even look at me.
“Of course.” Mrs. Cooper said, not angry at all for being interrupted. “Just so you know, I am Gabriella, and this is my son, Brad.” She pointed at the boy in front of her.
I nodded with an uneven smile on my face, and finally, my aunt spoke for the first time since I stepped into the dining room. “Well, we’ll let you have dinner quietly.”
“I’m sorry for the interruption.” I apologized politely.
Mrs. Cooper smiled. My aunt hurried, “Come on, Eva, let’s go.” Before I could turn around, I heard my aunt speak again, “Oh, hello, Adam!”
Another one I have to meet? I asked myself. Nevertheless, I took a deep breath and turned around to meet the last one.
My body froze instantaneously when I saw him behind me. He was tall and had broad, muscular shoulders and narrow hips. If my eyes were dark blue, his were bright, icy blue. They looked beautiful and dangerous, probably able to attract or attack anyone dumb enough to get close or cross the limit.
His hair was dark brown and just touched his jaw. It framed his face perfectly. His skin was just like Mr. Cooper’s, although Adam had a pinkish hue on his cheeks, softening his milky complexion even more. Still... that didn’t make him appear any less mean or dangerous. On the contrary, his beautiful complexion highlighted the mean strike in his eyes. He didn’t even offer me a smile, and he wasn’t interested in me at all. At least Brad had smiled.
“That’s our new maid, Adam.” Mrs. Cooper revealed. But even after his mother had spoken, the young man said nothing. In fact, his only answer was an almost noiseless grumble.
I couldn’t take my eyes off him. He was really tall. I knew I wasn’t that tall, but my head reached, what, his chest? I felt like a dwarf! Oh well, I always used to feel belittled near these kind of - rich - people.
I lowered my head once he passed by me to sit down at the table to have dinner.
A mayhem of emotions exploded in my chest. I felt frustrated and angry. Sad, and heartbroken. I didn’t want them to look at me that way. I didn’t deserve it. I may be their maid, and maybe they were the ones who would pay my salary, but they had no right to look at me that way, to look down on me because I didn’t have the same social status they have, or ignore me as if I was nobody.
My aunt placed her hand on my shoulder at that moment, and I fought to keep my emotions in check. I heard her saying, “If you need anything, just ask.”
As for me, I turned around quietly and let my aunt lead me out of the dining room. Once I stood in the hall again, I looked for my bags but couldn’t find them there. The moment I opened my mouth to ask, my aunt already answered my unasked question. “Simon must have already taken them to your room. He knew you were coming and knows where your room is.”
My aunt started pulling me towards the huge set of stairs that were located at the end of the huge hall. “Your room is on the last floor. There were no other rooms available on the maids’ floor, so Mrs. Cooper was kind enough to let you stay there. Otherwise, you would have had to share a room with someone else.”
Thank god Mrs. Cooper had been that kind. And no, I wasn’t being sarcastic. I hated the thought of sharing my room. My room is my room, my space and nobody else’s. Especially when I need one to be alone and shed the tears I’ve been holding back since I’d gotten here.
I climbed past two floors before arriving to mine, where there was only one room. Since my aunt didn’t say anything about the other floors, I supposed she would inform me about them tomorrow. If I had to work here, I had to know where everything was, including the places I was forbidden to enter.
The floor was full of dust and needed a good cleaning and it looked like nobody had come up here for a long time. Given this house was so goddamn spotless, I expected this part of the house to be dirt-free as well, but no.
I opened the door to my new room, and took a look inside it.
The first thing I noticed was the white curtains that weren’t exactly white anymore, and behind them was a hardly noticeable glass door. I slowly opened the door, and found myself standing on a balcony. My very own balcony! I decided to return back inside my new bedroom, and take a better look around.
There was only one Queen sized bed, which I considered to be quite good, since I expected a smaller one. Its frame was made of a dark wood that was in a desperate need of cleaning. I could see it was already made, with what appeared to be white sheets and a blanket that I was sure I wouldn’t be using even once during the summer. Opposed to the bed was a plain brown door, and when I scurried in to find out what was behind it, I was actually smiling. I had a bathroom for myself too! How awesome was that?
In the corner, close to the glass door and the bathroom, was a tall, narrow wardrobe, but I didn’t worry about the size of it since I didn’t have that many clothes. There was also a set of drawers by each side of the bed, and a desk right beside the door.
Overall, it wasn’t a bad room. I was expecting a lot worse. It’d need some urgent cleaning, but aside from that... not even the disgusting beige-colored walls ruined the excitement that had momentarily built inside me. I’ll take care of it when I have the time, I promised myself.
“What do you think of it?” A voice asked behind me. I turned around, and I spotted my aunt in the doorway. “I know it’s not much, but it was the best I could-”
“Thanks,” I cut her off. “For doing this for me... for giving me a home... when you knew I really needed one.”
“It was the least I could do for you and your mother, Eva.” She smiled sweetly and patiently, something she rarely did. Unfortunately, it didn’t last long. She straightened her shoulders and turned serious again. “If you need anything, I’ll be one floor down, the third room on the right, okay?”
“Okay.” I doubted I’d need something. All I wanted was to be left alone with my sorrow. “Hum, do I have any chores for tonight?” I asked my aunt feebly.
“Oh no,” my aunt shook her head. “Mrs. Cooper understood your situation and said you wouldn’t need to do anything tonight. You can rest for the time being. I’m sure you’re tired, it was a long trip. “I was tired, but not from the trip. Even though it had been a long trip, three hours of driving, I wouldn’t consider it so long that it would leave me tired.
“Well, have a goodnight, Eva,” she said.
“You too, Aunt Deena.”
I was finally left alone.
The second she closed the door, I threw myself on the bed, the only thing that seemed clean enough for me to use. And even if it wasn’t, I really wouldn’t have the patience to clean anything now.
I shifted to a more comfortable position, and finally let my tears fall freely from my eyes and my mind flashed back to all of the memories I had with my mother...
After a while, I tried to mentally prepare myself to spend the rest of my life working as a maid.
Sighing, I mentally saluted myself, Welcome to heartbreak, Eva.