He ended the call, but she still kept the phone pressed to her ear and looked at her new room. It looked too royal for a mere nanny. Her hand slowly left her ears as she tried to absorb her new environment. She could hear the faint sounds of the old man’s staff hitting each stair. She felt his presence by the door, she turned towards him, he looked over the rim of his glasses
“can you handle this job?” she forced out a smile
“my sleeves are pushed up for this. I am ready to get down and dirty”.
“Good, good”, he nodded. He excused himself and slowly walked towards his room.
She fell flat on the bed, closed her eyes tightly. She really felt like screaming, scream until she wakes up from this nightmare, it didn’t feel real. A tap on her face brought her. She opened her eyes to see the joyful face of the little girl.
“Can you give me one reason why you have been smiling? Nothing seems funny, absolutely nothing”. Ella smiled even more broadly
“I am smiling because I have a nanny, grandpa sleeps a lot, and he’s always tired. No one to play with, the housekeeper and cook all have unfriendly faces”. Crystal marveled at her fluency in pronouncing words,
“how old are you?”,
“six”. How the hell was she going to handle a child? She wondered. She never had a thing for children; she only had love for weapons not children. Ella bounced on top of her suddenly, Crystal’s arms crossed in defense involuntarily.
“I am hungry Miss Rebecca”. Crystal sighed
‘this is going to be a long month of torture with this chipmunk’, she thought. “Show me the kitchen” she said. Ella gleefully got up and tried to pull her up. Crystal smiled and made it seem like it was her effort that made her stand up.
As they climbed down the stairs, Ella tried to hop with one leg, with her arms spread out like a wing of a plane as she made funny noises with her mouth. A part of Crystal feared that she might fall and sustain an injury; another part of her didn’t care at all. Ella missed a step but regained her balance again.
That shot Crystal back to when she was little, about ten years old; she too did something similar to what Ella was doing. Her mom was behind her as they rushed to make it to church early, she spread out her arms and wanted to fly like a bird, her mom cautioned her not to, but she stubbornly insisted, and hopped making sure she jumped over two steps to the next. She missed her balanced and rolled down to the floor, dislocating her wrist.
She cried so much, her mom hurried down the stairs to pick her up, then she noticed her wrist bleeding. She looked at her wrist and still saw the scar. She looked towards Ella and rushed to hold her back
“stop it Ella you might dislocate something in your body”, Ella frowned
“but I do this all the time”,
“no Ella, hold my hand and let’s go down together”. The little girl reluctantly held her hand, unhappy her fun had been stopped.
As they got into the kitchen her eyes met a beautiful and well arranged kitchen. She noticed there were two prominent colors, white and silver wares. She stepped further and saw a lady and a man talking in low tones. She cleared her throat deliberately to get their attention. They turned their heads to see her. The lady was the one who walked up to her first.
“Hello my name is Francesca. I’m the cook. And that’s Reuben the housekeeper” she pointed to the man whose back was rested on the kitchen sink with his arms folded, he looked suspicious, “we have all been waiting for you Rebecca”. Crystal shook hands with her but didn’t want to get familiar with them.
“Please I came to get something for Ella to eat”. Francesca quickly got to work. She sliced fresh tomato, shredded cabbage with her hand, rinsed and drained it, then cut onions into five thin circles. She broke two fresh eggs and fried. She took four slices of bread from the fridge and placed everything she did between them, kept them in a flat ceramic white plate and handed it over to Crystal.
Ella held on to her nanny, even before Crystal came she had already developed an attachment to her. She just kept mute and watched the conversation between the grown ups. Crystal took the plate and noticed something was missing
“is there no liquid to take it with?” Francesca slapped her forehead and rushed to the fridge, opened it and brought out a jug of fresh apple juice. She opened a cabinet and brought out a glass cup. She gestured to the kitchen table; Crystal got the hint and followed her, holding Ella tightly.
She dropped the plate on the kitchen table, pulled out a chair and made Ella sit, she looked a little scared, Crystal took the glass of juice from Francesca and placed it in front of Ella, she gently urged her to eat. Ella started eating slowly. Crystal pulled a second chair and sat in front Ella. She watched her the way her own mom watched her eat when she was little. A tap on her shoulder distracted her; she turned to see the stern face of the housekeeper.
“What is it?” she asked trying not to look irritated “Crystal, we are here to keep an eye on you and not to have any emotional attachment with anyone. So keep your head above the water and don’t sink”. Her heart sank, she felt betrayed and not trusted. How could Easton do this to her? She had never given him any chance to doubt her capability. She looked towards Francesca,
“hello Crystal”, her eyes widened.
“You too!” just then her cell phone rang, she knew it Easton, she ignored it.
“If I were you, I won’t ignore his call”, she looked his face, she could see a smirk there. She answered the call; his baritone voice irritated her ears.
“Hello Crystal, I am sure you have met your new friends”
“I thought you trusted me”
“I do actually, but there is still a part of you that is soft, I have seen that. The way you look at that little girl tells me all, I hope when drastic measures have to be taken you wont hesitate”,
“how did you see the way I looked at her?”, he laughed
“I have eyes everywhere in that house”. She sighed feeling let down.
“You know I won’t Easton, I have never let you down, and I am not about to start anytime soon”. He smiled at the other end
“I know you have not, but just in case”. He ended the call. She stared at her phone for some seconds before looking towards Ella; her sandwich had reduced to half.
“What is it Miss Rebecca?”,
“its nothing Ella, try and finish up so we could go back to my room and tell me more about yourself”.