New York City on a spring Saturday morning in the Ross household and Jessie was the first one up. Outside it was a sunny day with a crisp wind whistling around the skyscrapers and over the usual hustle and bustle taking part in the streets. The sun’s rays of hot life-giving light reflected again and again off the glass windows including the one into Jessie’s bedroom. She let out a yawn with a mouth as large as a whale’s and ran her hands over her sleepy face after she stretched out her arms. Her flaming red hair was an unruly mess, her eyes were a little clogged with sleep, and her bedsheets and pillows looked like a tornado had hit her bed. She could have stayed in her warm and cosy nest of slumber but she knew she had to get up and start the day.
I groaned walking towards the top of the humongous staircase in my pink and purple animal print PJs, fluffy stripy slippers and pink dressing gown. I rubbed my eyes of the nasty sleep and looked down into the living room. Stuart was sat looking smart in his early morning pants doing a crossword in the morning paper that he probably stole from the lobby. How he got in here I had a hunch I knew how. And it rhymed with honey.
“Tony let you up?” I asked as I began walking down the stairs.
“Yep,” he chirped and jumped up to follow me into the kitchen. I went to the large family fridge to grab a leftover slice of pizza. I had no time to make myself toast or pancakes, and last night meat feast thick crust was yummy. I dumped it on a plate from the cupboard next to the fridge before setting it down on the kitchen table.
“Remind me to send a note to him saying don’t let you up no matter how much money you bribe him with, in capital letters and red ink,” I said, muttering the last bit then turned back to the sink to get some water. I took a quick gulp of the water refreshing my mouth and throat, then took a breath afterwards. A smile came to my face at the satisfying feeling, but then I turned back to the table to find Stuart sat in my place. My smile was replaced by a frown of annoyance. I opened my mouth to say to him to move but I was cut off.
“What’s a six-letter word for taken without permission? Is it stolen?” He asked looking at me. It was, but I was too busy thinking of a few names to call him. I managed to win back my piece of pizza back and took another seat at the table. Another thirty minutes later I had gotten my hot mess ready in a red sparkly top, skin-tight leggings, a blazer and some dark heels. I had a touch of makeup on as well, just because I’m a nanny doesn’t mean I can’t look gorgeous! And I do look gorgeous despite what the kids and Darla might say. After pushing my hair into place with my index finger I left my bedroom and saw Ravi was up now. He’d already got dressed into, brown pants, black saddles with white socks and one of those green colourful shirts he was always comfy in. He looked tired and I noticed Mrs Kipling wasn’t with him.
“Hey Ravi, you look tired, did Mrs K want some midnight crickets?” I asked and he shook his head.
“No, Luke made me play a video game with the tall, faceless man in the suit, I thought he was about Bertram in an alternate universe but turns out, it was a horror video game! I did not go to sleep at all last night!” he exclaimed nervously. I gasped, my eyebrows raised to match my wide eyes and dropped open mouth.
“I can’t believe Luke mad you play Slender! When he first played that game he didn’t sleep for two weeks! Your mom thought he was on a sleep strike and got in a singer to sing him lullabies to try and get him to sleep, you remember that?” I said and he nodded.
“Shawn Mendes may not have been able to make Luke go to sleep, but he did make Emma sleep without singing a word,” he replied. We both nodded again and Mrs Kipling slunk out the room slowly towards the stairs.
“I’d better go and feed Mrs K for you, do me a favour and make sure your brother and sisters up Ravi,” I said rubbing his shoulder and he nodded holding his hands together. He then scurried off to Luke’s room and I walked towards the kitchen down the back stairs. A few minutes into me preparing crickets for the lizard, Bertram came into the house out the back door panting in baggy sweats and a baggy t-shirt. I cringed as he turned to the fridge and I saw his sweat marks down his back. His bald head was as red as a firetruck. He pulled the ice cube tray out of the fridge and sat down at the table panting still. At least he was trying to be exercise. “I’m almost afraid to ask because I don’t want to drown in a sweat wave,” I began and he glared at me as he listened. “But why are you sweating so much? Is there a Backstreet Boys reunion happening in New York?” I asked and he sighed then put some of the ice cubes in a kitchen towel.
“No, I’ve decided to start exercising, Salma says she wants to dance salsa with me again and this time I want to be prepared!” He said excitedly and giggled. I furrowed my eyebrows at him.
“Drowning her in your sweat I don’t think will help. And you will have to go to dancing lessons too.” I added raising an eyebrow at him.
“Very funny,” he huffed sarcastically and went up the back stairs. “I’m going to take a shower.” He added and left. I looked down at the crickets and cockroaches I had in the bowl. Somewhere dead and somewhere alive, but all were about to go to bug heaven via a dinosaur’s stomach. I put into a bowl for a hungry Mrs Kipling after I heard her growl.
“EWWW!” I whined grimacing at the grossness of her gulping them down with her long black tongue flicking around. “That gets grosser every time!” I complained to and walked back to the living room. As I dusted off her hands off from dealing with disgusting bugs, Zuri came downstairs in bright pink leggings, a multi-coloured star print shirt and silver slip-on shoes. She’s was also clutching Chubby the bear with her curly dark hair pushed out of her brown eyes with a glittery headband.
“Jessie? Can I ask you something?” She cutely asked tilting her head with a little smile. I awed at that cute face.
“Of course you can sweetie,” I replied bending over so she was level with the little girl’s height.
“Does Bertram know that Mom and Dad are coming home for the weekend? Because he usually sucks up to them to get time off,” Zuri questioned. I glanced to the side in thought not remembering him doing the usual sucking up then shook her head.
“No,” I replied dragging the ‘o’. Zuri shifted her weight onto her right leg and smirked.
“Wanna see how much he’ll pay to get us to say nice things about him?” She asked cheekily knowing it was blackmail. I looked frantically at her then the ding of the elevator was heard stopping my thoughts, and Mrs Chesterfield’s daughter Cassandra walked in with some papers under her arm.
“We’ll talk later.” I hissed to Zuri and shooed her away pushing her gently by the shoulder. Zuri nodded in agreement then dashed off into the kitchen.
“Hi there Jessie!” Cassandra began brightly walking into the Ross’ living room. I smiled at her wondering why she was here and hoped the kids hadn’t already done something to anger Mrs Chesterfield.
“Hi Cassandra,” I greeted before getting a surprise in Cassandra hug from her.
“Oh, okay,” I stuttered and hugged back lightly.
“I’m here to give some last-minute papers to Morgan and Christina about that very important-”
“Sorry but they’re not here right now, but you can hand them to me,” I interrupted but Cassandra laughed before easing an eyebrow at her.
“You didn’t let me finish,” she replied then presented me with a handwritten note from the papers she had. “This is from them. I suggest if you want to keep your job you listen to it,” she told me. She then turned on her heels and strode back towards the elevator and leaving me to read the note.
“Don’t interfere with our plan and don’t ask questions until we talk to you, wait this isn’t Christina’s or Morgan’s writing, this is your writing!” I exclaimed turning around to Cassandra as she pressed the button for the elevator.
“They said it, I wrote it!” she shrugged and the ding of the elevator was heard again before the doors opened revealing Morgan and Christina. “Ah, Morgan, Christina, we were just talking about you. I have the documents, and I didn’t say a word to little miss noisy over there,” Cassandra said, whispering the last part not so subtly and pointed one of her long fingers at me.
“Hey!” I protested and frowned at Morgan and Christina. “Is that really what you guys call me?” She asked her bosses who looked at each other looking for words to form an answer.
“No of course not! I think that’s a conversation for another time,” Christina dismissed smiling, then she lead Cassandra to her desk near the door into the kitchen on the other side of the living room. She opened a drawer and took out an old document. “Here’s Emma’s, now do you have the other one?” She said to Cassandra handing her the paper. Cassandra quickly looked it over while nodding to Christina then handed it back.
“Yes and here is the other one.” she said and gave Christina the document she desperately wanted to put with ‘Emma’s’. I tried to see what was going on with frown but Morgan stood firmly in front of her with his hands laced in front of him stopping her in her tracks.
“Oh,” I stuttered getting they really didn’t want me to see and blocked my eyes with my hands. “You’re not going to let me see are you?” I asked Morgan who shook his head with a serious look on his face.
“No, but I do think I would make an awesome security guard!” Morgan broke into a childish grin and laughed. Cassandra and Christina shook hands happily now that they had done what they had done. Cassandra then strode to the elevator, pressed the button and got in.
“I’ll go and get her, you may want to tell noisy- I mean your wonderful nanny about what’s going on,” she suggested jerking her head sideways to gesture to me as the elevator doors rolled shut. I glared at her for the few seconds then turned to Christina and Morgan.
“Jessie,” Christina began then she walked over to me and hugged me. “We just wanted to say that you have been the very best nanny to our kids,” Christina said with a bright and grateful smile. I smiled back thankfully and flipped my hair over my shoulder proud and a little smug.
“Well, I wouldn’t say best, but if you say it,” I shrugged but on the inside I punched the air in victory.
“We’re really thankful for you and we hope you’ll stay with us after we tell you this and understand what we tell you,” Morgan said standing next to his wife and put an arm around her.
“Why what are you guys gonna tell me?” I questioned looking from one of them to the other and back again.