As I open my eyes, a smile immediately forms on my face. Without looking at the clock, I know I woke up earlier than usual.
I remove the blanket and put my feet gently in my slippers.
Just then there’s a knock on my door.
“Come in,” I say, standing up.
“How are you doing, Anna?” Abby asks, coming inside.
“All good, Abby,” I say, “I am so excited”
“As you should be,” She says with a chuckle.
“Just remember there might be some mean kids who can be a little too mean sometimes,” She says in a kind tone.
“Oh, come on. I have gone to middle school. I know what’s that like,” I say, reassuring her, “I’ll be fine”
“High school is a whole different level, honey,” She says with a sigh “But you got a big last name. That’s enough to protect you,”
“The same last name which did not let me make any friends?” I ask with a frown.
“Like Mrs. Moore says, sending you to a public middle school was a mistake on Mr. Moore’s part. I get that he wanted you to feel like other children. But the thing is your family makes you different. And you should get to go to a place where you fit,” She gives me a detailed answer.
“Why does money decide where should we fit and where should we not, Abigail?” I ask.
I call her Abigail only when we are having a serious conversation.
“Because it’s one of the most important things. People might say that it cannot buy everything and yes it can’t. But a poor person with stage 1 cancer is the same as a rich person with last stage cancer. It is what does not allow me to retire and work for my grandson. It does not decide everything but it decides a lot of things,” Her words put me in deep thoughts.
A knock makes me come out of my thoughts.
“Come in,” I say brushing my hair with my hand.
“Hello, sweetheart,” Mom says entering the room.
“Mom!” I jump with joy, “You are back?”
“Yes, darling. How could I miss my favorite girl’s first day? Today we all will have breakfast together. Your dad is waiting for us at the dining table,” She says with a smile.
“Mrs. Moore, when did you come back? You could have told me. I could have prepared a proper breakfast,” Abby says with her arms fold and eyes down.
“It’s okay, Mrs. Lee. The chef knew. We did not tell you because you can’t keep secrets from our darling daughter here. And we wanted to surprise her,” Mom gives a small explanation.
“Abby, choose my outfit for today immediately. I don’t want dad to wait and change his mind about breakfast,” I say excitedly.
“Okay, Miss. Moore,” She says and immediately runs towards my closet.
She becomes like this when mom and dad are home. That’s the only thing I dislike about mom and dad being here.
“Anna, sweetie, you still make Mrs. Lee pick your clothes up?” Mom asks and I nod.
“Mom, she has become Miss. Lee now. Her husband died last year. Chase also works now to cover up bills. Mom, could not we promote, Abby?” I ask with my puppy dog eyes.
“Anna, did she teach you all of this?” Mom asks with a scowl.
“What? No!” I say with shock.
“Then leave the salary stuff for me and your dad. Don’t worry about servants. Just focus on yourself. And tell me if they bother you. She does not use your credit card for herself, does she?” Mom asks folding her arms.
“No, mom! She’s not like that...,” I start saying but a ringtone interrupts me.
“Sorry, honey, gotta take this. It’s your brother. Let’s have tea this evening, you and me,” Mom says, walking towards the door.
“I have prepared your outfit, Miss. Moore,” Abby says in a shaky voice.
I look into her eyes and I see tears shining. That leaves me heartbroken.
“I love you, Abby,” I say and wrap my arms around her.
As I enter the dining room, I find my parents arguing.
They are so deep into it that they don’t even notice me.
“What did I say? We should not have sent her to that school. She could have been groomed if she went to a good school. She can’t even pick up her clothes. Can you believe that? And her attachment to that supervisor maid is so unhealthy. We need to put a stop to that. We should fire her,” Mom rants.
“What? No!” The words leave my mouth in a microsecond.
“I don’t have you here and I don’t have dad here. Last time I saw Liam was 2 years ago when he was leaving for Yale. The only constant relationship in my life is Abby. The only friend I have is Chase. How could you do this to me?” I say in one breathe.
“Anna, we are not gonna fire her. Your mom is just jealous that you are closer to her. I know how important she is to you,” Dad says.
“Jealous? Me? Of her?”
“Oh, sorry, mom. I should have considered your feelings. Believe me, Abby and I are close but you are the person I love the most,” I say, hugging her from behind.
“And what about me?” Dad asks with fake sadness.
“You cannot be compared to anyone, dad,” I say hugging him too.
“We all are getting late. Come on, sit, have breakfast,” Mom says pointing towards the chair next to her.
I sit on that chair and put an egg on it.
“Seriously, sweetie, don’t hang out with that guy that much. He and you are very different. He goes to the high school level of that old cheap school of yours. While you are now gonna study...,”
“Emily!” Dad says.
“What? You want that guy to be your son-in-law?” Mom asks raising her eyebrows.
“Mom, he is my only friend,” I say putting my fork on my plate.
“Sweetie, you are gonna make new amazing friends now. All right? But with those clothes, I doubt a little. Did I not tell you to go shopping?”
I take a swift look at my black dress to see what’s wrong.
I find nothing.
“Of course, that old woman is gonna pick up such clothes for you. She does not have any style. And that locket does not go with this dress at all,” Mom says eating her food.
“But I wear this all the time,” I say with an uncomfortable smile.
“You do? Why?” Mom asks.
“Mom, you gifted this to me, that’s why,” I say, standing up.
“I did?” Mom questions, looking towards dad, “It looks quite childish. That’s my taste?”
“I was seven...,”
“That explains it,” She says and snatches it from my neck.
Luckily, it does not break.
“If you need one, buy it. Stop destroying your fashion image,” Mom says putting it on the table.
“Emily, maybe you could gift a new one to her,” Dad suggests.
“Sure! Ruby or emerald, sweetie?”
“Taaffeite,” I say, taking the seat beside her again, “I don’t want it to be childish this time because I’ll be wearing it for the next 7 years”
“Ooh, nice choice, sweetie,” She says with a proud smile.
“An...Miss Moore, you have to be on your way in 10 minutes. Please hurry up,” Abby comes to remind me.
Walking towards the driver, I hear some familiar voices.
I walk towards those and find Abby talking with Chase.
“Why don’t you understand, son? Her parents are not comfortable with your friendship with her,” Abigail says with a sigh.
“I don’t care what they say as long as Ria wants to be friends with me,” He says in his usual stubborn tone.
“Hey, Chasey," I interrupt their argument.
"Hi, Ria," He says, walking towards me.
Abigail sighs and starts walking towards servant quarters.
"I am gonna miss you so much at new school," I say with a sad face.
"And I am gonna miss you. But at least we'll be together here," He says putting an arm on my shoulder, "And anyway I left middle school last year,"
"But we were in the same building in a way," I say.
"Don't worry, I'll always be there for you," He says with a warm smile.
I return the smile.
"Wanna play video games in the evening?" He asks. "Today I got off,"
"I am having tea with mom," I tell him, "Rain check?"
"Good luck with your day," He says, removing his arm.
"You too," I say and kiss him on the cheek.
OF THIS CHAPTER.
So what do you think? Don't forget to tell me your opinion in the comments. You know, I kinda feel exhausted thinking about repeating the whole journey. Waiting months for reads and years for comments. Hope this time it could happen sooner. Anyway, love you all.