“I’m glad to see everyone is up and ready for the day. I’m sure everyone knows their place here.”
Everyone nodded. She looked at me.
“You must follow Lizzy, she’ll explain what your duties are day to day. Lizzy has been here longer, she knows the rules.”
Lizzy nod her head.
She grabbed my arm, and we walked to the other side of the kitchen while the old maid talked to the rest of the staff. Lizzy started to wash dishes.
“Should I help with this?”
“You have to peel potatoes then when you are done with that you can start on the frisking the eggs for breakfast. The Edwards’s family gets fed first. If and only if we do a good job we will get to eat. Breakfast is done then we’ll have to ask old maid what is the next thing to be done. If not then we have to find Ms. Edwards see if she needs anything to be done. She’ll find us something to be done but when she’s in a good mood. She’ll let us relax or have tea time. That is rarely the case. Everyone of the family or friends ask us to do anything. Just do it, don’t make a fuss.”
I started to peel the potatoes. I will try to not make a fuss if anyone tells me to do anything. It’s not in my natural to play it safe. I am normally very short-tempered, bold and I speak my mind. Here I feel like have to hold back and keep leveled headed.
“Have you heard everything I’ve said.”
“Do you have any questions for me?”
“Yes... ummm... how did you get here? How did anyone else get here?”
“I was brought here by a man. I don’t have to talk about it. We don’t talk about it. If you work hard enough to pay off the debt that they paid for you then maybe you have a choice to live here and work. Every month I get paid. It’s not much but I have a roof over my head. You can get paid like I do. It allowed me to I paid off my debts and family debts. Make sure you know if you run away from them. They will kill you or you will have to owe extra $100 more on top of your debt.”
She seemed to be very nervous. I am very shocked what Lizzy said. They will kill me if I run away?
“They will kill me?”
She looked around before she spoke, “Yes they will. It happened to the last girl.”
My eyes widened and tears started to form my eyes. That’s what happened to Annie? I couldn’t believe it. I thought maybe she paid off her debt, and thought she got away from this horrible place. Every time I thought about Annie, I thought she could she get away from this place and start a new life for herself. That is what I hope I can do after I pay off my debt. Maybe I could go back to the gypsy community.
“I found her notebook in my room.”
“Yes I didn’t what to tell anyone but...”
She stopped what she was doing held my hands.
“She told me what she was going to do. The running away and the notebook. She wanted it to be easier on the next girl that lives here. She told me everything the day of her running away. I begged her not to try to run away, but she wouldn’t listen. That was the last day I saw her.”
She had tears falling down her cheeks.
“That was almost a month ago. She was my best friend since the first day. We here brought here the same day. She almost had a few days before she could choose to stay here and work or go. Annie was like a bird in a cage here... I was told by a friend of mine that was on the hunt for her with Mr. Edwards. She killed herself. She stole Mr. Edwards pocket knifes, and she cut her neck with it.”
Mr. Edwards... That monster. How could he let someone kill themselves. How can he be that cruel and heartless. Did he even try to stop her from killing herself. Does he ever think about anyone but himself?
After Lizzy and I were done making breakfast. The butlers went into the kitchen began to serve the Edwards’s family. Lizzy and I went back to work and finished cleaning the kitchen.
It’s been a few weeks since I left my community and I began my new life here. Mr. Edwards kept on calling me “Gypsy women.” It’s really been getting on my nervous. It’s like he does it on purpose. To see how I will react to him calling me that. Mr. Edwards hasn’t even tried to learn my name.
I began my cleaning duties for the afternoon, I had just finished cleaning the hallways. With the feather duster and now it’s the rooms and Mr. Edwards’s office. I knocked on the wooden door.
“You may come in.”
I open the door and bowed.
I started to dusted off the bookcases with the feather duster. He gave me a quick look then look down at his cup of coffee. He picked it up and knocked over half of his cup of coffee on the floor next to his wooden desk.
“Gypsy women, there’s a spill on the floor. Clean it up.” He order while smirking.
I nodded and walked across the room to clean up the spill. He has my golden cross necklace in the desk. That necklace maybe not worth a lot in money value but to me it’s worth a lot. I have to get that necklace back. I was almost done with cleaning up the spill about to get up. That is when he knocked over the rest of his cup of coffee again. The splash of coffee spill onto my apron of my maid outfit. This irritated me.
He said, “Gypsy women, clean it up.”
I was on my knees wiping off the coffee on my apron; I quietly got off my knees and said “I have a name.” He glared at me, I stood my ground.
“What is your name?”
He asks me, through his teeth.
“Esmeralda.” I answered quickly
He smiled. I blushed.
“You know I still have your necklace in this desk. It’s locked and I have the only key to it.”
“Yes I know, please give it back Master Edwards.”
I said it as gently as I could and without attitude.
“You have to give me something in return.”
He smirked and blushed. I covered up the chest and pulled down the skirt of the maid outfit.
“No nothing of that order…For now.”
“Then what do you what from me?”
“I want a kiss.”
Without thinking, I blurred it out, “my first kiss!”
“Your first kiss?”
“I have ... never kissed anyone... My heart belongs to another. I can’t... I really need that necklace back. Please, Master Edwards.”
“No. I want that kiss.”
I looked down. My heart belongs to Riley and only Riley. He’s a boy my age in my community. We were supposed to be getting married. We grew up together and our families were close. It was only natural we’d end up together. That’s what we talked about before everything happened. He was saving up to ask my dad’s permission for my hand in marriage.
“Who is it that has your heart? That heart WILL be mine.”
I blushed from his words. “I can’t tell you, I’m sorry Master Edwards.”
He was getting angry and I could tell it.
“His name is Riley. He’s from my community.”
“I never want you to see him again. Understood?”
“Yes Master Edwards.” I nodded.
How can he be so cruel. I don’t want to give him my first kiss. My heart belongs to Riley and only Riley. When I pay off my debt than I WILL see Riley again and I will marry him.
He stared at me then got up from his desk and walked away. I went back to work, cleaning the spill. I turn around feeling him look at me as i was cleaning then walked away.
“Esmeralda.” He said while I turned to him.
He smiled and walked upstairs. I shook my head, what was that about? I thought to myself.