When I stepped inside the Coopers mansion, no one recognized me. I knew none of the guests would even look at me, given that for them, I supposedly was just one more of them, not to mention they’d never seen me working for the Coopers as their maid.
What surprised me the most was that some of the maids I encountered didn’t notice it was me. Was I that different from myself? I didn’t even have Alexis’ make up any more, though my hair was changed. After all, none of them was used to seeing me with my hair loose, except for Adam and my aunt.
As I made my way in between the crowd, I lowered my head so that no one would really notice the unknown girl wearing a Versace dress, as well as Prada heels, but unfortunately, I wasn’t that lucky.
“Eva?” I recognized the voice as being Becca’s. I turned around, and the moment she looked at me, her jaw fell open. “Oh my god, is that you?”
“Oh, Becca, I didn’t... expect to see you... already.” She was nothing compared to me, now. Although Becca was much attractive than I, she was nothing compared to me in that moment. While I somehow stood out in my dark pink dress, she was easily forgotten in the crowd, wearing the maid’s uniform, like I was supposed to.
“You’re, hum, Glenda... Well, why aren’t you working? Why did you... miss the morning shift?” The older girl was at a loss of words, really. Well, I understood her. I barely recognized myself when Alexis had finished working on me.
“Hum...” I avoided her eyes, “This is my day off.”
“What...? How? Why? Nobody has a day off on this day!”
“Yeah, well... I did.” I laughed nervously, as Becca just stared at me with her eyes wide-open, completely shocked.
“Why are you... even dressed like that?”
“I... went out last night and... I... since I just... came back a few minutes ago... I’m still wearing this, you see.” None of what I’d said was a lie. It was all true. Still, Becca didn’t seem convinced. Right now, she was more suspicious of me than ever. Maybe she was thinking about what I’d said, concerning this day being my day off, the day no one was free. “Well... I should go to my room or something... I’ll see you later, Becca.”
I didn’t intend on walking around the house like a guest. I didn’t want anyone to see me. Honestly, I really didn’t know what went through Adam’s mind to come up with this. I felt stupid! I didn’t belong here! So, I just turned around and set off to my bedroom, hiding my head from everyone I knew or that could recognize me – the Coopers, for example.
I was able to get to my room, and taking a deep breath, I just fell down on my bed. The second my eyes closed, I pictured me and Adam in bed, again. I couldn’t help but to feel butterflies in my stomach when I saw me and Adam in the hotel room, lying in bed, moaning, gasping for air, wanting to reach something beautiful and ecstatic.
Unfortunately, just because I was in my room, it didn’t mean no one else would bother me.
This time, the person that came to me didn’t even knock. My door was swung open and then slammed shut. I hadn’t even opened my eyes when the person spoke, and I made out who the voice belong to. “Tell me where the hell you were since yesterday, Eva!”
I pushed myself up and faced my aunt. I knew this was bound to happen, but I really hadn’t thought of anything to say to her. “I’m sorry I didn’t tell you anything, aunt... But, Glenda dismissed me yesterday and today, and I-”
“And why would she do that, Eva? Glenda never does that! Never! Especially on the same day than Mr. Cooper’s birthday party!”
“I don’t know, she-”
“Don’t you lie to me, Eva!” She suddenly cut me off, adding right away “Adam also spent the night out!”
I frowned at her, “What’s that supposed to mean? I got out of this house before Adam did!”
“And how would know that since you got out before Adam?” Oh, shoot! My aunt was right! How could I possible know that, if I supposedly got out before Adam? “You were with him, weren’t you, Eva? You spent the night with him?”
Automatically, I got up and turned my back on her. I wasn’t able to look into her eyes once my lies began. “I know that, because Adam was with Rachel when I got out of here, and I heard-”
“What are you talking about? Rachel didn’t come here yesterday!”
This time, I didn’t know what to say when I spun over my two feet and my eyes narrowed, suspicious. “What do you mean Rachel wasn’t here, yesterday?”
“She wasn’t. Adam stayed the whole time locked up in his room.” I tried to hide my surprise when my aunt revealed that. Why had Alexis lied? Why had she told me Adam was going to spend yesterday’s afternoon with Rachel? “You were with him, weren’t you?” My aunt questioned me again, but with a rather tired tone of voice.
“I wasn’t with him.” I lied again, as I sat at the end of my bed, digesting Alexis’ lie.
“Where did you even get the money to buy that dress, Eva? It was Adam, wasn’t?”
“No, it wasn’t.” There went another lie... “I bought it with my first pay check.”
“The Coopers pay us well, but not enough for a dress like that.”
“It was on sales.” I could be talking to my aunt, and aware that I was lying to her, but my mind was focused on what she’d told me. I wondered why Alexis had lie, the reason she’d lied. I mean... she could’ve told me Adam would stay here until the dinner. I would’ve understood if he didn’t want to come with us.
“Tell me the truth, Eva. Adam didn’t spend the night here, just like you didn’t. Glenda never dismisses a maid before, after, or on the same day than Mr. Cooper’s party. Adam told her to do that.” It wasn’t a question. It was a statement.
“Aunt,” I suddenly raised my tone and got up again, looking straight into her eyes. “I didn’t spend the night with Adam, ok?”
She just stared at me. I knew she didn’t buy anything of what I’d told her, even if I was trying my hard to make her believe. If I’d told her directly that I’d indeed spent the night with Adam... Oh, she’d be furious at me. And she’d lecture me, claiming he was dangerous and whatever. She’d also say that stories like this didn’t work, and ended up badly.
“Very well, then. If that’s your final answer, I guess I have to accept it.” She was now standing in front of me, and without anything else to say, she walked up to the door and opened it. When she got out, I could listen to her whispering, “I’m sure Adam wouldn’t do the same...”
Aware that I’d heard her, my aunt just shook her head and before she left my room, she warned me. “Make sure you won’t get out of this room dressed like that, Eva. Someone might see. Someone might complain, and someone might not like it. And I know I won’t be able to grab you when you fall.”
Those were her last words for me, because she left right after. I couldn’t help but to feel happy to be alone again. This time, I didn’t go to bed. I went to my balcony, and sat there, thinking about what my aunt had said.
Her words still hung on my mind. Why had Alexis lied? Had Adam asked her to do that deliberately? Or... she maybe lied because she wanted me to think Adam was with Rachel, just before he’d be with me, like if she’d want me to think I was really just some girl he was trying to screw. That’s just plain stupid, Eva. Yes, it was. Alexis didn’t seem to be that type of girl to do that to me. But then, the only option I was left with was that Adam had told her to lie to me. If so, why would he want to do that?
I really wasn’t aware of the time passing as I kept thinking about that issue, over and over again. At some point, I strolled into my room again, and lay down in bed without taking off the dress, and still trying to find a reason for their lie. However, I couldn’t find a good explanation myself.
Lucky me, the person I needed to speak to, came knocking on my door around 6 PM. When I asked who it was, the female voice replied, “Alexis. May I come in?”
I straightened myself right away. “Sure.”
The blonde girl opened the door and came in, silently closing the door behind her, after. Smiling sweetly, she asked me, “Why are you locked up in here? You can enjoy the party! I’m sure Adam told you that you have this day off.”
“I know.” I didn’t smile back. “I just didn’t feel like walking around the house like the guest I’m not.”
“Oh, you’re a guest tonight! You don’t look like the girl I’m used seeing around the house, with an ugly uniform and a braid on the back of her head. You’re just... Eva.” She sat at the edge of my bed, not even asking for permission. At first, she remained silent, but then her smile changed into a wicked one, and I found myself being asked, “So... how was last night?”
“You know what Adam planned. I guess you know how it started and ended.” I told her dryly, not being able to look at her eyes as I gave her the confirmation of what had happened back at the hotel.
“I see. Adam was good to you?”
“Yes, he was.”
“Good. You’re his first virgin and he tends to get out of control when he’s mad or excited, so I admit I was a bit worried about you.”
“I’m fine, you don’t need to worry.” Ok, I had to ask her if she’d really lied to me, intentionally or not. I had to know. I mean, this had been bothering me throughout the whole afternoon! “I want to ask you something, Alexis, and I want you to be straight with me. I know you’re Adam’s best friend and all, but I have the right to know this – why did you lie to me about Adam spending yesterday’s afternoon with Rachel? I know she wasn’t there. My aunt said Adam spent the afternoon locked up in his room.”
Her expression suffered no changes. She kept smiling and looking at me as if I hadn’t asked anything important. But then, she shrugged a shoulder and revealed, “I warned Adam that you’d eventually find out about that. And now I’m the one who’s supposed to give you an explanation.”
“It’s something bad?” I asked nervously, when she got up and moved to stand before me, her hands over my shoulders, like Adam did, sometimes.
“Adam wanted you to think he was waiting for Rachel, because he thought that if you knew he’d be free for the entire afternoon, you’d want him to come or give you explanations he really didn’t feel like giving you. In addition to that, he also wanted some time for himself to think about what he was about to do yesterday... and today.”
Today caught my attention. “Today? What is he going to do today?” I pursed my lips, abruptly afraid of what I could hear.
By the way Alexis suddenly avoided my dark blue eyes, I knew she’d said more than Adam had possibly allowed her. “Hum... You... You’ll have the chance to see it for yourself if you come down... He’s about to talk to all of the guests and... he’s going to say something important to his father.”
“About me?” I asked her, right away.
“Oh, Eva... You have to see it for yourself. I’m not going to be the one telling you this.” Out of the blue, she turned around and walked up to the door. “Look, I know Rachel more than I know you. But, I kind of like you. Rachel expects too much of Adam and you expect too less of him, if that makes any sense. Anyway, I’m not the one who’s supposed to decide. I only know you for a day, but I know what’s going on between you and Adam, and... Look, if you want to see what he’ll do... Come down. He’ll announce his decision in moments.”
My heart skipped a beat. “Decision?” What the hell did she mean?
“I’m sorry for everything, Eva. Really.” Then, she finally turned and left my room, not even closing the door.
Wanting an answer for all the questions pilling up on my mind, I just went after her, running down the stairs. Unfortunately, I was slow, given that I wasn’t used to running after someone in heels, and especially on the stairs.
But I soon regretted it, when I reached the first floor and froze when this tall man with bright, arrogant blue eyes stepped in my way, coming out of Mr. Cooper’s office, and allowing Alexis to escape from me.
Being really short, and the man too tall, I had to lift my head up to face him. His blue eyes handed him to me – he was another member I had yet to know from the Coopers. And judging by his grey hair and wrinkles on his pale skin, I guess he was probably Mr. Cooper’s father...?
I knew that staring at someone was impolite, but the man also couldn’t take his mean blue eyes off me, as if disapproving me. He seemed so... mean and hypnotized. “I’m sorry, sir.” I began to apologize, “I didn’t mean to get in your way and-”
“Father, what...?” Oh, great. Just what I needed. Mr. Cooper was right behind me, and in that moment, he’d trailed. I couldn’t help but to fear his reaction once he’d see it was me, wearing fancy clothes and acting as if I was one of his guests. However, I didn’t expect that reaction. I heard his steps coming towards me, and then, I felt his hands on my shoulders, aggressively forcing me to spin, at the same time he asked, “Allison?”
After, when I was finally facing him, he scowled at me when he recognized me. Confused, and with disappointment stamped on his face, he questioned me, “Eva? What are you doing here? Why are you dressed like that? Why... Why aren’t you working like the other maids?”
“I-I’m sorry, Mr. Cooper, I... It’s a funny story, you see. Glenda... she-”
“Dad, Grandpa?” Oh, great! Another Cooper! “Eva?”
I turned to face the man I liked, biting my lower lip, as I nervously stood in the middle of the three Coopers. Every single one scared the crap out of me, and I didn’t even know the oldest of them, Mr. Cooper’s father.
“Do you have something to do with this, Adam?” Mr. Cooper asked threateningly, pointing at me.
“What’s wrong, Arthur?” The eldest Cooper asked.
I glanced at Mr. Cooper over my shoulder, and saw he was gazing at his father. For the very first time and ever since I’d stepped inside this house, I saw color draining out of Mr. Cooper’s face. “Nothing, father. This is Eva... A maid, and-”
“There’s no need to argue, now.” Adam suddenly cut him off, stepping towards me. God, the more he drew closer, the safer I felt. “I want to say something you, in the living room. All of the guests are already there.”
Before Adam’s father could say something, the eldest Cooper asked, “She is a maid? What is she doing here, dressed like that, enjoying this party as the guest she clearly isn’t?”
“I... Father, this isn’t... I-”
“Grandfather, can we please leave this, for now? I’ll...” I heard Adam sighing, but then he continued, “I’ll tell you everything about this when the party’s over. Now, please. Let’s go.” Oh, I could definitely say he was in big trouble. And with that, so was I.
“Yes, I think we should talk about this later.” Mr. Cooper agreed with Adam quickly, suddenly afraid of something. That actually surprised me. I mean, when he’d caught me and Adam together, he’d punished me! And now that he’d seen me like this, and without Adam denying he’d been involved, he’d allowed me to escape, just like that?
Mr. Cooper passed by me and his father followed him, gazing at me with a puzzled expression, and I knew he was probably trying to decode what had just happened here. Just like I’d tried to decipher Mr. Cooper’s unexpected reaction and his confusion and disappointment when he’d seen I wasn’t the woman he was thought I was – Allison. Honestly, that named sounded familiar.
As I came back to reality, I noticed that this time, Adam hadn’t even stayed behind to say something. Oh well, I guess I’d have him in my room tonight, enlightening me, if Mr. Cooper wouldn’t fire me right after this.
At any rate, I went to the main living room, where Alexis had claimed Adam would make some kind of announcement to his father, in front of the guests.
Everyone was there. Even the maids. I could almost see all of them, walking around in circles, serving the guests, cleaning something or just checking if everything was ok. It was then when I sighted Alexis, following Adam with her blue-green eyes. I did the same as I decided to talk to her later, instead of running after her in the middle of this party.
Adam was now in the center of the room, with his father at his right side, and Rachel at his left, smiling to people as they all gazed at her beauty and hourglass figure that looked flawless in that strapless brown dress she was wearing. As for Mr. Cooper, he looked absorbed in his thoughts, even if aware that he was being watched by everyone in the room.
At last, putting on a sexy smile he seldom showed, Adam started. “Good evening, everyone. First of all, I’d like to thank you all for coming to my father’s birthday party. God knows how much he needs to have some fun and distract himself from his work and endless hours spent locked up in his office, or countless days spent away from home, due to all of the hotels he owns spread around exotic places. Still, I am not here to talk of what my father needs. I am here to talk about the great man he is and how much he means to me as a father, and a man.”
I rolled my eyes and folded my arms over my chest as Adam kept talking. I knew what this was – a crappy speech sons did to their fathers, that usually meant nothing. In this case, Adam’s case, I didn’t know whether it truly meant something or not. The words seem to come from his heart, but from what I knew about his relation with his father, they didn’t seem to have that special bond a father and son usually shared.
Since I thought I had the crappy speech all sorted out, I walked up to Alexis, slightly elbowing her in the ribs when I reached her. “Tell me what you meant before you ran off. Why did you say you were sorry? What is this decision you talked about?”
“Don’t you have something better to do, Eva?” Alexis frowned, still not looking me in the eyes. “Like, listening to Adam? If you’re so curious about what I told you, then listen to what he’s saying. You’ll soon find out what I meant.”
“He’s just doing a crappy speech about his father.” I said, “I see this all the times in movies.”
“This isn’t a crappy speech and it’s not only about his father.”
“Oh, really?” I scowled at her, angry for the lack of attention. “Then, why is he just talking about Mr. Cooper?”
“If you pay attention, like, right now, you will see he’s not only referring to his father.” She finally gazed down at me, and I could see the worried expression on her face, as if she was also ashamed and embarrassed of something. “Listen, Eva.” She begged me.
I did what she asked of me, and not only started to listen to Adam, but I also focused on him, marveling the women’s eyes.
“My father’s an inspiration to me. He does everything for his family and work. And, even though he sometimes seems to care more about his work, I know it’s the exact opposite. And God, I know what I’m talking about. I know it more than Gabi.” Everyone laughed, understanding what Adam meant. He was always the one who had his father’s attention on him. “Anyway, I always tried to stand up for what he expects and wants from me. I know my father always wishes me the best and tries to help me decide what’s best for me, in the future, even if sometimes he has to seriously argue with me.”
I was actually a little surprised. This wasn’t the hostile Adam I’d seen at the first party the Coopers held here after they’d hired me. Well, this was his father’s birthday and I comprehended him if he wanted to say some nice words, before the likely argument that would follow when the party would end.
“My father was the one who helped me realize what I needed to build my future. And with that, I mean he’s always worried about my own relationship with my girlfriend, Rachel.” For seconds, he glanced at her, and frankly, it wasn’t happiness I saw in his eyes. Did Alexis see the same thing I did? “I am not a teenager, anymore. I’m no longer a college student! I’m a grownup man, now. I’m about to start working when the summer ends, and I expect to leave this house with good foundations. And that implies to have someone by my side all the time; someone I love, in order to hold me and talk to me when I need, like Gabi has held and talked to my father throughout the years they’ve been married.”
Ok, so... his speech had taken a 360 degree turn. He wasn’t focusing on his father anymore. The speech was taking a direction I wasn’t expecting at all. “Alexis... What... What is he talking about?”
Sighing, the blonde woman sadly answered, “Once again, listen Eva. And I’m sorry. It’ll make sense. My apologies will also make sense in some moments.”
I pursed my lips, anxious, and focused on Adam, again. “Rachel, I know you’ve yearned for this for a long time, just like my father. You both know how much I love you two, and that means I want to make you the happiest persons on Earth. So, dad...” Adam glanced at his father over his shoulder, and smiled sadly. “I’m finally doing what you wanted.”
Oh God... No, no, no.
“Rachel...” I saw him kneeling down on the floor, and by the time he managed to grab what he’d rummaged for in his pocket, my face fell and I could only listen to his voice, now. “Will you marry me?”
The world fell down on my shoulders.
“Oh, Adam! I... Yes!”
“Eva...?” It was Alexis’ voice, whispering in my ear, while all the others applauded the couple. I felt her hands on my bare shoulders, and I immediately reacted to her touch, as if disgusted by it. I shook her off me and I then gazed at her guilty face. “I’m sorry.”
My mouth remained shut. Still, I didn’t let my head fall. My eyes didn’t look at her. I focused on Adam and Rachel, suddenly smiling at everyone that walked up to them and greeted them for the engagement.
Stupid. Disgusting. Horrible, idiot and bastard. That was what Adam was and much more. He was just like Rick. He’d deceived me, and after, he’d just backstabbed me, right after the night we’d had.
All of a sudden, my eyes met Adam’s. He stopped moving. His mouth shut. His smile vanished.
I couldn’t stand looking at his eyes. I couldn’t stand looking at the person I trusted the most, after my mother had died. It was impossible for me to look at the man that’d made me believe in him, only to make a fool out of me.
I shook my head in a disgusted way and just spun over my heels. I tried to calm down the fury that I felt growing inside me, boiling my blood, threatening my usual calm temper. I just wanted to get the hell out of that room, that house, that city. I wanted to leave everything and everyone, and disappear to never be seen again.
But then, the pain worsened when I heard his pleading voice behind me, just when I was so close to the way out of that room. I wanted to keep going, I wanted to leave him and make him feel the guiltiest person on Earth, if he even felt guilty. But... I was just too weak. “Eva... Look at me.”
And I did. I did look at him when I turned around. I tried to push back the tears that threatened to fall as I looked into the most dangerous eyes I’d ever seen.
“How could you?” My eyes narrowed, and my vision became slightly distorted, because I just couldn’t help but to cry. “You... You’re... I don’t even have words to describe how sick you make me feel!”
“Don’t say that, kid...” Adam said as he drew closer. “I’m sorry. I wanted to tell you, but I didn’t know how-”
“Oh, so the best way to tell me this was to have me here the moment you actually asked her to marry you? Right after the night we had? Was that why you wanted me to have this day off?”
“Don’t do this to me, kid. You know I’d never want to hurt you.” His voice... so evidently regretted from what he’d done. So... stupidly luring. He gave one more step and our bodies almost touched.
But the moment his hands touched my shoulders, I reacted.
I slapped him right across his face, and I couldn’t care less about someone seeing it. “Don’t you dare touching me!”
The people around us immediately focused on the new center of attentions. I didn’t care. I just wanted him to know how furious and hurt I was! How much idiot I felt, now! And how sick I made myself feel for allowing him to have me like that, without making any questions and without thinking about his sudden reason to spoil me, to have a romantic dinner with me, to make love to me... when he’d tried to so hard to stay away from me in the past weeks.
I wasn’t able to control myself. “Don’t you even dare telling me to calm down, Adam! Don’t you tell me to shut up after what you just did! How could you? How could you?” More people joined the ones whose attention was just on us.
“I don’t want to listen to you, ever again!” I yelled, aware that everyone was whispering around us. “Don’t ever speak to me again, Adam!” And then, I just turned around and left the room, ruled by the guests’ silence, listening to my yells. Listening to me yelling at Mr. Cooper’s oldest son.
Still, Adam wouldn’t give up. He went after me, apparently not caring about the fact that this was his father’s birthday party, in his own house, with everyone he knew there, including Rachel, Adam’s brand-new fiancée.
“Eva, stop! Listen to me! Look at me!” Adam yelled, and once more, too drawn to him, I spun over my heels and fury took over me.
“How can you even ask me that, Adam? How can you even have the audacity to ask such thing from me?” I was so out of control... Luckily, no one was on that corridor now, since Adam had reunited every single guest in the huge living room before he started the speech. “You made love to me, Adam!”
“I know, Eva, I know... And I’m sorry, but-”
“I don’t want to hear you excuses! I hate you, Adam! I hate you more than Rick! More than everything and everyone, do you understand me? You make me sick!”
“What is going on here?” I heard another voice, past Adam.
“Eva? What happened?” Now, I easily recognized that second new voice as being my aunt’s, cutting off Adam.
“Nothing!” I yelled at the three of them, not caring that one of them was my boss. “Nothing happened! It’s just that I’m sick of Adam and everything about him! I’m sick of knowing people that just make a fool out me as soon as they get what they want!”
“Kid, you need to cool down!”
For the countless time, Adam tried to approach me, but I spoke with hate on my voice, “You’ll never touch me, again. You’ll never hear my voice again, and you’ll never see me ever again, Adam. I hate you.”
Done. I was ready to leave that house and everyone I’d met after my mother’s death. I was ready to just disappear.
And that was exactly what I did. I just ran away from there and left Adam alone to deal with the sharks. I didn’t care if Mr. Cooper had heard that argument or if my aunt finally got to knew that I’d been lying to her about my involvement with Adam.
To hell with them all.
I’d never seen them, again.
That was my decision the moment I stepped out of that house.