Ella ate quickly; she just wanted to leave the presence of the housekeeper and the cook. They frightened her.
“I’m done”, she almost whispered. Crystal took her hand and walked out of the kitchen. Ella climbed the stairs slowly, all her excitement had gone. Crystal couldn’t help but notice how her aura had changed completely.
Crystal turned the knob and pushed the door open. For the first time she noticed the color of the bed sheet, it was sea blue and had floral patterns on it, she counted the numbers of pillows on the bed, they were four. She pulled Ella in and shut the door.
“Can I sleep with you this night?” Ella asked, she seemed frightened of something.
“Why? Are you scared of something?” Crystal was curious.
“Every night I feel somebody is watching me in the dark, that’s why I turn on the lights in my room every night, can I sleep in your room until I get back?” Crystal placed her hands on her hips. She has never shared a room with anybody, she was an only child, she always had her room to herself, even at Easton’s house she had a large room to herself. Why would she share? She wondered.
She paced a little and looked at Ella’s face at the same time. She imagined the little girl lying next to her, imagined her waking up in the middle of the night and saying she had a nightmare then the dreadful one, came to her mind, she imagined telling her bedtime stories. She remembered Easton’s warning of no attachment. Truthfully the little girl reminded her of herself.
“Don’t you want me in your room?” Ella felt unwanted. Crystal’s left hand went up to her forehead,
“Ella I want you in my room, but not sleep over the night”, Ella’s eyes became misty
“please Miss Rebecca”, Crystal was already loosing her guard, Ella looked adorable and naïve. Meeting Easton removed every form of naivety from her. She sighed and pulled her closed to herself, cupped her face with both palms
“you can stay with me”,
“really”, Ella’s eyes brightened,
“yes”, Ella’s arms went round her tightly
“thank you Miss Rebecca”.
“You’re welcome”. Ella released her grip on her and ran out of the room.
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Crystal wondered if she said anything wrong, she sat on the bed and felt the silkiness of the bed sheet, she laid back, inhaled and exhaled trying to relieve herself of the pressure she felt, she looked at the clock that hung on the white painted wall, it was 8:30pm. Her mind wandered until she dozed off. Suddenly the door opened, she sprung up ready to defend herself, Ella looked confused,
“it’s me”, when she saw Ella she sat back on the bed. She noticed Ella had changed into purple pajamas, her feet wore fuzzy slippers, she held her huge brown teddy that was almost her height. Crystal could smell her freshness.
“You took your bath?”
“Yes I did”, Ella got into bed and pulled the covers over herself, she looked happy and content, “won’t you have your bath also?”,
“not yet, it’s too early for me to sleep”, Ella giggled
“but I caught you dozing”. Crystal felt a little embarrassed but covered it by joining her to laugh. “Can I get a bedtime story”, Crystal saw this coming,
“no, not today, maybe next time, go to sleep”. Ella’s eyes dimmed
“goodnight Miss Rebecca”,
“goodnight Ella”. She looked at how peaceful Ella slept. She imagined a lamb sleeping in a circle of Lions. Ella was the lamb, herself, Francesca and Reuben were the lions. She took her eyes off Ella and left the room. She took a tour of the house; she paid attention to everything in the house. She could hear the faint voices of Francesca and Reuben coming from the kitchen. For some reason she thought they fit perfectly to be a couple.
Her thoughts went to the old man, she wondered if he had eaten. She walked towards the kitchen and broke into the conversation her stalkers were involved in.
“Has the old man eaten?”
“Yes boss, he has. I see you are doing your job well” Francesca said with so much sarcasm in her voice. Reuben got close to her, he brought his face really close to her, and she could feel his breath. She swallowed.
“Hey princess, you are here to take something precious. Do your secondary job, but don’t forget your primary assignment”, she pushed him away and wiped her face, she thought some moisture from his mouth splashed on her face.
“If Easton had people like you, why did he want me to do this job anyway?”
“I would say its just training. Maybe he wants to see how you would perform without attaching emotions to it”, he replied her. Everything about him irritated her.
She left to the room. Somehow she felt peace in this room. She had a peep into the bathroom, she liked what she saw, she smiled and shut the door. She didn’t feel like taking her bath. She just stripped down to only her panties and got under the covers next to Ella.
She thought a whole month with Ella and her grandfather, the thought of staying that long with the two termites in the kitchen under the same roof angered her a bit. Some part of her had an obligation to protect Ella from them, the other part wanted to just do her job and leave. She wondered what Easton wanted her to do. She raised the covers up to her neck and switched off the lamp on the drawer by her head side. She closed her eyes and thought about proving herself to Easton before drifting to sleep.