“What are you doing here?” I asked, immediately getting up from my bed, while eyeing him closely. “Why aren’t you with Rachel?”
Before he answered, he turned on the lights. At first, he stared at me from head to toe, then, he opened his mouth, “She and her family left the house an hour ago.” His eyebrow rose perfectly, “Do you even know what time it is?”
I actually didn’t, I’d lost track of time. “Hm... almost 10 Pm?”
“Midnight, kid.” He stepped towards me, never taking those icy blue eyes off me. “Do you think you’re dreaming again?”
“Why would I think that?” Midnight already? Had I spent all this time awake and thinking about irrational things?
“Because,” He started explaining me, “From what you said last night, in your supposed dream, you might still think I’m too mean and arrogant to check on you.” He finally reached me, and I was able to gaze at his cold eyes.
“Check on me?”
He didn’t answer. Instead, he carefully grabbed my hands and pulled them up so that he could better see them. “How bad is it?”
“It’s not bad,” I told him, shrugging my shoulders. “I had no broken pieces of the bottle in my wounds so... it’s just cuts.” Three on the left and one on the right, and it had been because of him.
He slightly shook his head, “And I even yelled at you like it had been your fault.” I said nothing, feeling uneasy with Adam here. I didn’t understand his ultimate motive to come here and say that. It just didn’t seem like something Adam Cooper would do, or at least, from what I’d seen of him. “I hadn’t realized it had been my fault. When I went to the kitchen to get something to eat-”
“You didn’t finish having dinner?” I cut him off. I knew he’d run away, but since Rachel’s parents were there, he might have thought better about what he was about to do.
“No, I didn’t have the patience to be on a dinner where all of them had rehearsed something to say to me about marriage.” He laughed softly, “Not that it matters to you.” He kept looking at my hands.
“Anyway,” He continued, “When I went to grab something to eat, I heard a maid talking to Glenda, explaining what had happened during the dinner. I was too pissed off to realize that what had happened to you had been my fault.”
“Yeah, you yelled at me, ′damn, kid, why do you always have to be in my way?’” I reminded him. Why the hell didn’t he let go of my hands? Hadn’t he taken a look at them already? “I was just behind you, about to pour some wine into your father’s glass.”
“When I’m pissed off, I really don’t realize what’s happening around me.” Adam revealed. I wondered why he was being so soft-hearted now.
“You won’t be able to clean my room tomorrow?”
I just had to laugh. I really had to. Putting my thoughts into words, he heard me, “What happened was your fault, you didn’t even realized it, you don’t even apologize, but you still have the nerve to come here and ask me if I’ll clean your room tomorrow?”
“I’m sorry.” He finally let go of my hands and faced me. “I’m really sorry for your hands, kid.”
I rolled my eyes and turned around, “Yes, I’ll be able to clean your room, I guess. The cuts weren’t that deep and the hand I normally use is the right one, which just has one cut.”
And like if we hadn’t even talked about that, Adam changed the issue of the conversation, “Your hairs loose again.” Yeah, and because I hadn’t yet combed it, it was really wild.
“Did you expect me to keep wearing a braid in my own bedroom?”
I took a deep breath and let it out slowly. I still saw no point of him coming here. “You’ve said you’re sorry, do you want something else, Adam?”
“No.” His face suddenly hardened. I was getting used to that arrogant and impatient expression. “I should go now.”
He turned around, but curious as I was, I still had to ask, “Are you going to see your horses?”
Adam didn’t turn around when he replied, “Probably. Don’t follow me, kid.”
“I wasn’t planning to.”
Adam looked at me over his shoulder when his hand touched the doorknob. A faint smile was on his beautiful face. “I’m sure you didn’t.” He opened the door, and pierced through me with those icy blue eyes one last time that night. “Have a goodnight, kid. Once again, sorry for what happened.”
And then, he left me alone.
When my eyes finally opened and I saw the sunlight coming through the glass doors that led to my terrace, I noticed my room seemed oddly lit up for the time that was... After all, it was only 7 Am.
I got up and went to the bathroom immediately. I carefully washed my face and tried not to wet my bandages, though it was kind of hard. After I brushed my teeth, I traded my cozy clothes for that hideous uniform. Like every day, I did the braid, and after, I was ready; given that I was forced to be at this hour of the day.
On my way downstairs, I wondered why my aunt hadn’t still gone to my room. I didn’t put much thought on it, because I saw Brad walking out of his room and coming towards me. “Good morning, Eva. Sleep well last night?”
“Yes.” I offered him a faint smile. “You can’t sleep?”
His eyebrow rose, “What? Uh... yeah, I can... Why are you asking that?”
I shrugged my shoulders, “It’s early, why you up already?”
His eyes widened in surprise and he smirked, “Early? It’s almost noon, Eva!”
"Noon?” Noon?! Oh my god, I’d fallen asleep and no one had bothered to wake me up? Not even my aunt? Glenda was going to kill me! No, she was going to torture me, and then kill me! I involuntarily slapped my forehead, and I ran downstairs, totally ignoring Brad, as I was suddenly in a hurry to reach the kitchen.
When so, I sighted Glenda with my aunt and Rita. “Oh my god, I am so sorry! Nobody woke me up and I’m so sorry, Glenda! I didn’t know it was this late when I came across Brad on my way here and-”
“What are you talking about?” Glenda suddenly asked me, like if she didn’t understand what I was talking about.
“Are you feeling ok, Eva?” My aunt asked.
I looked at them, unable to say a word. All four of us looked confused, until Glenda rolled her eyes and looked at my aunt with threatening eyes. “You didn’t tell her I traded her day off?” Her eyes suddenly jumped from my aunt to me, “I decided to give you today off for you to rest, because of your hands.”
My day off was today after all? “You didn’t tell me anything, aunt!”
“I forgot!” She seemed just as surprised as I was, “I went to your bedroom around 7 Am and I didn’t want to wake you up just to tell you that you could stay in bed! I’m sorry, Eva. You can go back to your room or do whatever you want.”
Do what I want? What was I supposed to do today?
The answer popped up in my head straight away. I could take advantage of this day and stop by my hometown! I could visit my mother’s grave... and my friends! “If you’re sure... ok! Thank you for giving me the day off, Glenda!”
I turned around, though I still heard Glenda behind me, “I only gave you the day off today because of your hands otherwise you’d already be working.”
I kept going and didn’t bother to reply. When I was out of the kitchen, I heard my aunt calling me, “Eva!” Stopping, I waited for her to reach me. “What are you going to do?”
“Visit my hometown.” I avoided her questioning eyes. “I’m going to see some friends.” I didn’t want to worry her, so I omitted the fact that I’d also visit my mother’s grave.
“Oh... Do you need any money?”
“No, its ok, aunt, I have some. Thank you anyway.” I smiled, rejecting it politely. “I have enough to pay the cab and eat while I’m there. When did you get back last night?”
“Around 11 Pm. I’d have awakened you to talk about what happened yesterday,” She looked at my hands while her head shook in disapproval.
“But Becca told me you were too tired to see anyone.”
“Indeed, I was.” Becca was really cool. “Well, there’s nothing to talk about it anyway. Adam apologized to me so everything’s ok.”
My aunt eyed me as if she’d never seen me. “Adam... apologized to you?”
“Yeah,” I replied, shrugging.
“Well...” I was supposed to be asleep when Adam had gone to my room... After all, that was what Becca had supposedly told my aunt. Well, I’d lie. “I woke up around midnight and he appeared in my bedroom-”
“Adam went to your room with the purpose of apologizing for his actions?”
“Yes, he went there, though I think he didn’t intend to apologize for anything. But I made him apologize, of course. I mean, he went to my room and wouldn’t apologize? At least, he didn’t act arrogantly as I thought he would.” Finally, I stopped and caught my breath. I tended to speak quickly when explaining something or telling a story.
My aunt still didn’t say anything.
“But I’m fine now.” I added, taking notice of the curious way she gazed at me.
Seconds passed, but finally my aunt spoke. “Adam apologized for what he did to you, eh? He apologized because you made him apologize when he went to your room at midnight?” Was there anything freaking complicated in my explanation that seemed to confuse my aunt this much? I felt exasperated.
Still, my aunt seemed pretty serious about it. And surprised. I decided to add, “Well, I didn’t really force him to apologize like some kind of ultimatum, I mean, I’m a maid...”
“Yes, you are a maid.”
“...but I confronted him and he said he was sorry.” End of story.
“I see.” She only said. I didn’t quite get why she was having such surprised attitude. Yes, Adam was arrogant, heartless, everything I still thought of him, but he’d had the conscious he’d hurt me. Was there anything wrong about the fact that he’d apologized? Yes, I was a maid, so what? All of a sudden, my aunt put it aside, “Well, try not to arrive late, ok? If you need anything, call me.”
“Don’t worry, auntie.” Then, I spun over my heels and hurried upstairs.
The moment I got to my room, I undid that stupid braid and finally, finally, traded the goddamn uniform for some normal clothes! Some tight jeans and a white halter top seemed just fine for today. Casual was my style. I grabbed a purse, stuffed it with everything I’d need, and I was then ready to get the hell out of this house.
On my way downstairs, I called a cab. I hadn’t forgotten the address for this... mansion so I gave it to the cabdriver.
When I got downstairs, I walked out of the huge mansion through the main door, and suddenly heard voices to my left, “Where do you think you’re going?”
It was Mr. Cooper’s voice.
“I have no idea!” I heard Adam, and right after that, I heard the click of the doors unlocking. I took a few steps towards the gate, and was now able to see both father and son, arguing again, in front of a red Porsche. “All I know is that I want to get out of this house! I can’t stand you, always talking about marriage! For once and for all, dad, I’m too freaking young to get married, even if I love her that much!”
Did they know that they were yelling at each other in the middle of the property where anyone could hear them? Anyway, I didn’t care. I rushed to the gate, so I wouldn’t be caught by any of the Coopers. I’d already caused enough problems.
When I reached the huge green gate, I looked at it, and wondered. How the hell am I supposed to get out of here? The gate seemed locked and too heavy for me to move it if I tried to.
“Going somewhere, Eva?” I looked at my left side and saw an older man with brown hair turning grey, though his face gave me the expression he was in his thirties. He smiled at me, and introduced himself, “I’m Simon,” As soon as he pronounced his name, I knew who he was.
“I’m Deena’s niece, as you probably already know.” I smiled as well,
“I’m waiting for a cab, so I was wondering if you could open the gate....”
“At your orders.” He winked his eye and pointed something at the gate. It immediately started opening.
“Thanks!” Finally, I walked out of the suffocating property of the Coopers. However, because the cab hadn’t still arrived, I just stood there alone, noticing Simon hadn’t closed the gate after I’d crossed it. Since I stepped into this house, I haven’t seen Adam and Mr. Cooper have a civilized conversation, except when they’d been forced to.
I was quietly standing there, when I suddenly saw a red car coming out of the property and turning towards the side I was on. I also noticed Adam was driving it, and when he saw me, I was sure his blood boiled. Here I was again, in his way, after he’d argued with his father. Man, I was screwed.
He suddenly stopped the car and I heard him, “What are you doing here?” He asked from the inside of the car, with a rather out of controlled tone of voice.
“It’s my day off.”
It took him a couple of seconds to say, “That’s why that red haired went to clean my room today.”
“Where are you going?” I could tell by his expression that he was angry, though he seemed to be making an effort to control it.
“Visit my hometown. I’m waiting for a cab.”
“Oh.” God, I hated these little chats. I was a maid so couldn’t he just take advantage of that and ignore me, like he always did? “Do you want a ride?”
My eyebrow rose. Was he serious? “I’ve called a cab.”
“You prefer going in a cab rather than on my brand new Porsche?” He seemed annoyed with my negative answer. Why was he doing this?
“Maybe.” I replied. “If that means I’ll have to put up with that arrogant mood of yours, then, yes,” I shrugged, “I do prefer going on a cab.”
Adam didn’t break. “Just shut up, kid.” He drove forward until the door of the passenger’s seat was right in front of me. “Get in.”
I didn’t. “Do you always offer rides to other maids?”
“Of course not, but they’re not kids like you.” I sighed. What the hell was wrong in calling me Eva? “Are you going to get in or not?”
I bit my lower lip. Should I get in or not? What if he was some kind of pervert and no one knew about it? I caught myself shaking my head. I’m so stupid. He’s not like that. If I went with him, I wouldn’t spend my money on the cab now, just on my way back, and that meant I wouldn’t have to worry about the money if I wanted to have dinner there. Besides, if Adam was some kind of pervert, I’m sure someone would have warned me.
I made up my mind and smiled as I got in, while saying the name of my hometown. “Do you know how to get there?”
“Of course.” As he began driving towards my hometown.
At first, neither of us said anything, and since I couldn’t stand that awkward silence, I revealed, “I heard you and your father arguing... again.”
“Really?” He said with a bored tone, not surprised at all. “It was the same issue. Marriage.”
“I know, I could easily see what the fight was about. I haven’t seen you and your father have a civil conversation, from the moment I got here.”
He took his eyes off the road for a moment, “Ever since you came? You only saw me arguing with my father like... two times.”
I avoided his icy blue eyes, and revealed slowly and carefully, “Well... I heard you arguing with him the night I followed you... Not to mention I also heard the fight about the party...” Did I want him to kick me out of the car? I was talking about stuff that I was better off keeping to myself!
Why did I always say what I shouldn’t when Adam was around?
“The day you followed me?”
“You’re always in my way, kid.”
“Eva.” I corrected him, taking a deep breath at the same time. He annoyed me so much. Anyway, I changed the issue immediately, “So, did you miss me when you woke up?”
Adam actually smirked, “Why would I miss you?”
“I don’t know. I was just kidding.” It was just a joke, I hadn’t meant it.
“Yeah, I did miss you.” He laughed, and then added, “The red haired walked in my bedroom with no permission this time, and simply started babbling about you cleaning my room, like if I’d give a damn about it. I think she said you didn’t know how to clean my room.”
“She said that?” I really wasn’t that surprised. I had the feeling Rita didn’t like me. Well, the feeling was mutual anyway.
“Yeah. I think she doesn’t like you.”
“I don’t like her either.” I folded my arms over my chest and looked out the window.
“Uh, catfight.” Adam chuckled, though he’d said it with a sarcastic tone. “No, seriously, she’s usually quiet when she cleans my room, but she was impossible today. I couldn’t stay one more minute in bed.”
“You didn’t stay in bed much longer with me either.” The way I’d said it, made it sound like I’d actually been in bed with him, but Adam got the message. Anyway, it was true. He’d just stayed in bed for a while when it had been me.
“I know, but I couldn’t stand her today. You’ll clean my room tomorrow?”
“I think so, which means you’ll have to put up with me again until the end of the week.”
“Just until the end of the week?”
“Yes, Glenda told me I’m going to be in charge of your room only this week so that I can get used to cleaning a room every morning. Since yours is the easiest, she wanted me to get used to it until Sunday, I guess.” I explained him. Looking at him now, I could see he was getting less annoyed and angry. Good, I didn’t want to up with his bad mood in the next two and a half hours.
We stayed quiet for a while, but then it was Adam the one who started another conversation, “What do you think of my family?”
My eyes widened straight away. Why the hell was he asking me that? What was I supposed to say? Was this some kind of trick? Breathe, Eva. And I did. “Well,” I started fearfully, “This is only my third day, and it’s my day off... I really don’t know what to think of your family now.”
“Come on, don’t lie, kid. I know you must’ve heard something about my family from the other maids.”
“I heard nothing interesting.” It wasn’t a lie. “But I can tell you what I think of you all, from what I’ve seen.” I waited for him to consent it, and when he did, I asked, “You want me to speak honestly?”
He rolled his eyes, “Of course, kid.”
“Ok, then.” Maybe he wouldn’t really get mad at me... Either way, I spoke my mind, “I think your father controls you too much; your mother, I mean, Mrs. Cooper, she likes that everything is perfect and also likes parties – and this I actually heard you saying the day you saw me in your room for the first time; and your bother Brad, well... he seems a like playboy to me.”
I waited for Adam’s comments. But the fact that he hadn’t started yelling was a good sign, right? “What can I say... you’re right, kid.” He kept his eyes on the road, not showing me any feeling. “My father likes to control me, Gabi likes to party, and yes, Brad really is a playboy. I can even tell you he’s slept with some maids.”
I didn’t care about what he’d said, since I just memorized the part about Brad. Was he really certain about it? I mean, he didn’t give a damn about maids, why would he know that? And... Adam must have guessed my other thoughts, because he asked, “Thinking which maids Brad as slept with?”
“It’s none of my business.” Oh, but I was dying to know.
“Kid, I know you’re curious.” He laughed, “I can say with all the certainty that he’s slept with Linda and Rita.”
“Are you serious?” I even shifted position to better look at him. Seriously, Linda and Rita?
“Oh yeah. I’ve warned him tons of times. We can never trust maids. They might get knocked up on purpose to just suck on our money.” I unconsciously snarled at him, feeling insulted. “What?”
“I’m a maid.” Again, I folded my arms. Really, I felt offended! “And I’m not like that. I’d never sleep with any of you with that purpose.”
In front of us, the light just had to turn red in that moment. Now, fully gazing at me, he asked, “You wouldn’t sleep with me? What if I started hitting on you?”
Not in a million years. I wasn’t a slut. “No, thanks.”
“Are you sure?” His frosty blue eyes pierced through my body, and whilst they were that icy blue color, they actually made me feel warmer.
Adam’s lips curved in a faint smile. “I believe you. You’re still a kid to even think about that. Besides, there are maids I believe that don’t go against their principles. Like... that pretty blond girl, Becca...? I heard Rita saying you’ve been with her a lot.”
“God, did that girl talk that much? And I’m not a kid!”
“Oh yeah. And for me, you’re a kid. You have a childish voice, and a childish face, with childish expressions!” He paused. I gazed at him, and he Adam now seemed to be thinking about something. “You looked like a total child the night you followed me and I had to carry you to your room.”
“Oh come on...” I looked away. It had been just that night! “I was tired and sleepy...” My tone suddenly changed to attack him, “And I do not have a childish voice, face or expression!”
He shook his head with the same faint smile on his pinkish lips, “Whatever.”
The red light finally turned green and we turned silent again. But then, I remembered call my friends. I reached for my purse and grabbed my cell to call my three best friends, which were Jamie, Chris and Lucy. I just wanted to know where they were so that I could tell Adam where to go once we were there.
“You’re going to meet up with some friends?” Adam asked me when he saw me hanging up the call. I talked with them quite a while, and whereas I was busy with it, Adam didn’t interrupt me. He just kept his eyes on the road, not feeling bothered about me talking to my friends for almost an hour.
“Yeah,” I replied, “I need some friendly company.”
“I’m not friendly enough?”
“You’re being friendly now. I really appreciated you giving me a ride, even if it was just because you wanted to get out of there.” Concluding, I’d enjoyed his company. I thought we’d bore each other, but no. Adam was nice actually.
“It’s ok.” He shrugged. “You’re not such a bad company too.”
“I’m not such a bad company?”
“Yeah.” He grinned, but didn’t dare to look at me. Asshole, though I knew he was kind of making fun of me.
“You’re impossible.” I said, shaking my head while I looked through the window. Finally we’d reached my hometown. Adam didn’t say anything else, so I just focused on my town and on my friends once more. I had been really busy during my last days here so I hadn’t been able to say goodbye to them in proper manners. But I’d redeem myself today! Not that this would be my last time here. I’d get back on my next day off.
Sometime later, Adam asked me, “Where do you want me to leave you?” I told him the directions to this diner me and my friends used to go to have a snack after classes. I hadn’t had lunch, and neither had they, so... we’d talk while eating.
After I told Adam the directions, he got there in a heartbeat.
The moment he parked the car in front of the diner, I saw my friends straight away, inside it. The boy, the tallest and slimmest of all was Chris. He had short brown hair and brown eyes. I just loved the dramatic attitudes he sometimes had. My eyes turned to Lucy, the prettiest of us girls. What could I say? She was a total Barbie – blue eyes, athletic body, and blond hair. I envied her, of course. Then, last but not least, my best friend Jamie. She was the sweetest person one could know. Jamie had hazel eyes, brown hair with shoulder length and a smile no one could resist. She was the one who supported me throughout the whole thing when my mother died. Jamie and Lucy were there as well, but not as much as Jamie.
I immediately got out of Adam’s expensive car, but before I ran towards the diner, I walked up to Adam’s side of the car, leaned down and said,
“Thank you for the ride, Adam.”
“You’re welcome, kid,” He said with a blank expression.
I kept smiling. “I’ll see you at the house later, ok?”
“Sure.” He didn’t smile, didn’t even give me one of those cold looks.
Then, I turned around, feeling as if I’d left something unsaid. After taking one step, I stopped and stood there, knowing Adam was still behind me, looking at me with those icy eyes.
He was going to spend the day wondering around some place, right? Well... I could always invite him to spend the day with me and my friends... I knew they wouldn’t mind of having him around – especially Chris, since he was gay. But most importantly, I wouldn’t mind his presence.
So, I spun over my heels and caught his gaze. “Do you want to have lunch with me and my friends? You can spend the day me, if you want. I know it can be boring, but it won’t be worse than wondering around without any particular destination, I’m sure.” There I was again, talking too fast – and nervously.
He didn’t answer straight away, “Are you sure they won’t mind? They’re supposed to have you for the whole day.”
“Oh, come on, Adam. They’ll have me all day; they won’t mind the extra company. Besides, I’m sure you’re hungry. It’s almost 3 PM and none of us has had lunch yet.”
“Ok, then.” I allowed myself to finally breathe. Thank god he wasn’t like those guys we had to insist a lot more to come. Anyway, Adam got out of his Porsche and locked it. I smiled, and then turned around and led myself and Adam to the diner.
As soon as my friends saw me, they immediately yelled in the middle of the diner, “Eva!”
The three of them got up and practically ran towards me, suffocating me with hugs moments later. I laughed with joy. I loved them. “How are you, Eva?” Jamie asked first with her big and sugary smile.
“I’m fine! What about you three?”
“Oh, we miss you, silly!” Lucy said.
“Summer sucks when we’re not together,” Chris said with that characteristic voice of his. Unlike Adam’s deep and cultured voice, Chris’ was kind of high-pitched. When I focused my eyes on him, I noticed him looking at someone behind us.
Knowing him as I knew, he was surely staring at Adam. “That beautiful man doesn’t stop staring at us.”
I turned around and saw Adam, some feet away from us. I guess he wanted to give me some space with my friends first. However, I couldn’t help it. I reached him, and pulled him, “Come on, Adam, don’t be shy.”
Without a word, Adam let me lead him. They were all speechless, and I knew they were mentally ranking him. “Sweetie, you got yourself a boyfriend so fast?”
“Of course not, Jamie!” Like if I’d have the time for it. My time was consumed by my work and thinking about my mother. “This is Adam. He’s Mr. Cooper’s son, you know, the family I work for.”
“It’s nice to meet you, Adam.” Chris spoke first, probably thinking of a way to get him.
“Chris, he’s straight and has a girlfriend.”
“Oh really?” It was Lucy’s voice, “Then why is he here with you? So far from home?” Lucy’s timing was worse than mine. She should have asked that to me when we’d get the chance to be alone.
At last, Adam spoke, “I couldn’t let her come alone.” He looked down at me, “Isn’t that right, kid?”
“Kid?” The three of them said in unison.
I looked up to face him, “It’s Eva, Adam. And the cabs are safe. Besides, you only asked me if I wanted a ride because you didn’t have anywhere else to go!” I swore, if he called me kid again in front of my friends, I’d do something. “Anyway, let’s sit.”
My friends turned around and led us to the table. I sat at Jamie’s side, across Adam, who was sat between Lucy and Chris. “Tell me, Adam,” Why couldn’t Chris shut up? “Rich guys always hang out with their maids?”
“No,” He replied right away. With an amused smile, Adam added, “Unless they look like kids, like Eva, for example.” I rolled my eyes and looked away. He really enjoyed calling me a kid. “I’m not good to let a kid wonder alone.”
“Adam, don’t exaggerate.” I narrowed my eyes, “You’re in my territory now.”
“Are you threatening me?”
“You can’t do anything here.” I stuck my tongue out.
His lips curved in a faint smile, “I can just dial Gabi’s number.”
My smirk disappeared instantaneously while Lucy asked, “Whose Gabi?”
I avoided his predator eyes, “My boss. He’s threatening me.” I explained. “If I do something that he doesn’t like, he’ll call her and she’ll fire me.”
“He’s mean...” Chris said with a certain hunger in his voice. Maybe I should’ve been the one to stay at Adam’s side. “Too bad he’s straight.”
Adam looked at Chris with a rather surprised expression. “You’re gay.”
“A proud one!” Then, he sighed, “You’re so much prettier than the three of them altogether...” We all laughed, except for Adam. My guess was he wasn’t having as much fun as we were while watching Chris hit on him.
Finally, the waitress came and we all ordered our lunch.
I spent some time talking to my friends about what had happened while
I’d been out for the past three days. God, I was really going to miss these summer days, where I’d just spend my time with them... I knew I could visit them on my days off, but it wasn’t the same...
The food came quickly and we started eating. I heard Jamie say, “I’m sure you’re not used to eating this crappy stuff, right Adam?”
“I’m not much of a whiner when it comes to food.” He gave a huge bite on the hamburger he’d ordered. “Besides, who said the food from chefs was always good? I confess a hamburger from MacDonald’s is much more welcomed to my stomach than some dishes my chef cooks sometimes.”
We laughed, but that didn’t stop me from feeling this certain arrogance coming from him. Maybe it was because of Chris, or the three of them altogether. Or maybe it was because of me. Or maybe I was just being an idiot.
I let my mind wonder about it, when I suddenly heard Lucy, “Everyone misses you, Eva. And it has only been three days since you left!”
“I know, I miss you guys too!”
“My mother has been visiting your mother’s grave often,” Jamie revealed to me, “You know how she liked your mother.” I turned my face away and only Adam and Lucy could see my eyes. God, Jamie’s mother was nothing to mine, and she visited my mother more often than me, her living daughter. I hated myself for it.
Nobody spoke for some moments. None of them had the guts to do it. They didn’t have the courage to look into my eyes, afraid they’d see me crying.
“Tell me,” Adam then spoke, probably trying to ease the atmosphere around us, “What dirty things do you all know about Eva? She’s eighteen and every eighteen girl has done something she’s ashamed of.”
Chris was the first to reply, “I can see you so don’t know her, Adam. Eva’s the angel of the group. Jamie’s the nicest, Lucy’s the most athletic and... I’m the most sluttish.”
I couldn’t help but to laugh.
“Yeah, I can see that.” Adam looked sideways at my male friend. Oh, he was totally hitting on him, and Adam wasn’t enjoying it one bit.
“Oh my god!” Lucy suddenly said with a high-pitched tone. “Talking about dirty stuff! Do you know who Rick’s next victim is?”
The moment I heard that name, I just felt like throwing up. I hated that son of a bitch. I didn’t ask who it was, because Lucy hurried to say, “Laura! Remember her? That pretty girl? They’re dating!”
“It’ll only last a month.” I commented. “Once he’s done with her, he’ll break up.” And when I said done, I meant sex. Rick was a true playboy.
All he cared about was sex.
Adam’s icy blue eyes were gazing at me, trying to read something I wasn’t saying. Then, his mouth curved, and he dared to ask, “You were involved with that Rick, weren’t you?”
My jaw dropped. How the hell could he know that?
Too shocked to say something, Lucy answered for me, unfortunately. “Yes, she was involved with that pervert. I can still remember all those days you cried because of him. He really devastated you, didn’t he, Eva?”
Oh god, why couldn’t she just shut up? That was something Adam did not need to know! Still, I just nodded and said nothing, afraid I’d spike Adam’s curiosity.
“Why did he devastate her?” Understanding he wouldn’t get anything from me, Adam attacked Lucy.
Luckily, Jamie came in my defense. “You’ll have to excuse Lucy, but she talks too much. It was just something that happened to Eva two years ago. Since Eva herself hates that issue, let’s move on to another subject, ok?”
Adam shrugged his shoulders, “No problem.” But something in his eyes flickered.
“Tell us something about you.” Chris took advantage of that moment to have Adam talking about himself, other than me.
Adam was not looking at Chris when he started answering. His frosty eyes were on me, and only me. “My name’s Adam Cooper, I’m twenty-three years old, I was born on November, I have one younger brother named Brad, my father runs a bunch of hotels in Europe, I’m practically billionaire, I just finished med-school and in September, I’ll probably start working on my own clinic.”
I tried to catch my jaw before Adam realized it had fallen. What had taken me three days to find out, my friends had gotten to know all of it in half a minute!
“Not to mention you’re gorgeous.” With a sassy look, Chris added, “And older than us, which means you’re an experienced guy...”
Impatiently, Adam snarled, “I’m straight, man.”
“That is what they all say in the beginning.”
“Oh, don’t worry about him,” Lucy said, shaking her hair in the air, “He gets all horny when he finds beautiful guys like you. One time he...”
While we ate the rest of our lunch, Lucy started telling a story about Chris and a guy he’d met when we’d gone out at night. It was always the same thing, if the guy ended up being gay or bisexual, we – girls – would be the ones to go home without anyone. I didn’t mind, of course. I was thankful for it. The more perverts like Rick were far away from me, the better I was.
“Well, shall we go?” I started to get up, and Adam did the same straight away, “Let’s pay, guys.”
“No need for that.” Adam spoke, “I’ll pay.”
“Shut up, Eva.” Chris elbowed me in the ribs. “He’s the rich one here!”
“I’ll have to agree with your friend this time, kid. Just shut up and go outside. I’ll meet you there in a second.” When Adam finished talking, Chris grabbed me and forced me to go outside with Lucy and Jamie behind us.
The moment I turned to face him, I had three pairs of eyes gazing at me with impertinent smiles, “What?”
“You must be an excellent maid, Eva.” Lucy giggled, “He’s gorgeous, handsome, nice in his own way, rich... and you’ve managed to bring him with you.”
“He is also out of my league, four or five years older than me, has a girlfriend, will probably marry her in the near future...” I numbered several reasons to my friends. God, why did they have such perverted minds?
“I bet that Porsche belongs to him.” Chris pointed behind me.
Before I could reply, Adam was already answering behind me, “Yes, it’s mine. I got it one month ago. It’s pretty, isn’t it?” Expensive like it was, it just had to be pretty. “Any of you want a ride around town?”
“Yes!” They all said in unison. I chuckled. Adam was winning them so easily.
When he unlocked his car, my friends immediately ran towards it. The moment Chris reached the passenger’s seat, he asked, “Can I-”
“No.” He snarled at him, cutting him off. “That’s Eva’s place.”
“She’s a kid!”
“Oh, now I’m a kid to you too, Chris?” I walked till him and punched his arm, “Get the hell out of my way, that’s my seat!”
“Fine!” Sulking, Chris moved back and went to the backseat where the girls were.
After we were all comfortable inside the car, Adam asked nicely, “Ready to ride around town, showing off my car and see jealousy stamped on people’s faces?” Oh, he damned knew how to control my friends. “During the whole afternoon?”
“Yes!” God, and I was the one treated like a kid.
“The whole afternoon?” I asked Adam while the kids in the backseats were laughing about something. “I thought you’d leave me after lunch.”
“I have nothing to do. Like you said, I prefer being here other than wonder around without a destiny.” Then, he pierced through my body when he looked at me, “Why, do you want me to leave?”
“No, of course not!” I hurried to say. I hadn’t even meant that! I was enjoying his company to be honest, though I wouldn’t let him know that. It would be weird if I told him so. I was just a maid for him. “Well, shall we start our ride around town?”
He smiled, amused, “Sure.”
Then, Adam started the car, blinked his blue eye at me, and took off.
And frankly, I had the most fun day I’d had since my mother’s death.
Yes, we behaved like total kids, but it was one hell of a fun day. We spent most of the time driving around town on Adam’s Porsche, yelling at everyone we knew from the open windows. We made a couple stops to eat something and another for Lucy to throw up after Adam stepped on the speed pedal. Lucy, Jamie and Chris seemed to really be compatible with Adam, though he didn’t talk much. Sometimes I’d caught him smiling from the corner of my eye. I might not know him at all, but maybe he missed being a little kid, and spending the day with us was a way of freeing that inner child he’d been keeping under his frosty looks.
Or maybe that was just my childish thoughts.
Around half past six, I decided it was time to go. The ride back to Adam’s house was still three hours, and I wanted to make one last stop. I wanted to go to the cemetery, whilst I hadn’t told Adam yet.
He was nice to leave each on their respective houses. I said goodbye to each and promised I’d be back. While at it, I could see in their eyes that they wondered if Adam would come back. I seriously doubted it. He’d only come today because he’d argued with his father. Otherwise, I’m sure he had better things to do than hanging around with a maid.
When Adam was driving as fast as possible, I said, “Adam, I... I need to go to some place. The last one today.” I avoided looking at him, though I knew he’d want to know the place. “Can you stop by the cemetery? It will just take a couple of minutes, I swear.”
“Sure.” He replied, “But you have to tell me directions because I don’t know this town well enough to get there without your help.”
And then, I told him the directions while he drove. Less than five minutes later, Adam was parking the car, and I was grabbing my purse and ready to leave. When I noticed Adam did the same, I said, “You don’t need to go.”
“But I want to.” And I couldn’t possibly guess why he wanted to. Did he want to see me crying over my mother’s grave or something? He knew why I’d come here. But I couldn’t be arrogant enough and say I didn’t want his company. That would just be mean.
Unconsciously, and thinking of Adam’s attitude, I guided me and Adam throughout the cemetery, and moments later, I stood in front of her grave.
I didn’t know what to think, what to say, what to remember. All I was certain about was that the person that knew me better and made be happy was dead, while the person I worked for was right behind me, silent.
“If she hadn’t died, I wouldn’t have met you. You wouldn’t have spent the day with me. I wouldn’t have to live in your house, and I wouldn’t have to work for you to survive in this crappy world.” By the tone of my voice, Adam really didn’t need to make an effort to realize I was about to cry.
“Not all of us are born lucky, kid.” I heard his deep voice, “If it makes you feel better, I didn’t even know my mother.”
I shook my head, “No, it doesn’t make me feel better.” My vision became blurry. “She was everything I had, Adam. She did everything for me, you know? I loved her with all of my heart.”
“I don’t doubt that, kid, but... life comes to an end at a certain point and you just have to move on.”
“What if I don’t want to move on?” I didn’t even know why I was having this discussion with him. I might be replying to him, but my mind was elsewhere.
“You have to move on. It’s one of life’s laws.”
“She didn’t deserve to die! She was young! She had plenty of years ahead of her! My mother had the right to see me get into college and graduate! She had the right to see me getting married!” My voice was involuntarily rising, but I didn’t care.
Then, I felt his hands on my shoulders. And I showed him how weak I was. “I want her back, Adam... I want her back...” I couldn’t fight the tears and the pain anymore. All I did was to struggle to remain up. But I couldn’t resist the moment I turned around and leaned on Adam, my hands automatically wrapping around his lean waist.
Now, I admitted I was a kid. I was a kid desperately needing someone to embrace me. But Adam didn’t do it. Maybe he was just too shocked about a maid holding onto him in such a frantic moment.
“I’m sorry. I shouldn’t be doing this.” However, I kept holding onto him. “I-”
“It’s ok, Eva.” For the first time, he spoke with a soft tone... His voice was so soothing now. “We all need to feel someone’s support sometimes.” And finally, but slowly, Adam engulfed me with his arms.
I cried and sobbed. I didn’t speak for quite a while. I was sure that, if Adam let go of me, I probably wouldn’t have the strength to support myself. “You’re really just a kid, Eva, you know? You definitely need someone to look after you.”
I felt his fingers playing with a lock of my wild hair. “I don’t have anyone to look after me. I don’t want anyone to do my mother’s job.”
“You have Deena, Eva. Don’t you think you’re being unfair to her now? She got you a place to stay, even if you have to work for it.” I didn’t say anything. He was right, but I wouldn’t give him that. Oh, and his shirt was probably all wet due to my tears on the chest area.
He suddenly moved his hands and forced me to lift my head. I gazed into his dangerously icy blue eyes. “You do know you’re grabbing me like I was someone you’ve known for a long time?”
“I’m conscious that I’m grabbing someone I shouldn’t even be with, in the first place. Maids should stay apart from the ones they serve, right? Well, I declare this as my weak moment. Besides, if you call me kid all the time, why can’t I act like one sometimes?”
“Don’t dramatize so much, Eva.” He smiled at me. God, he was really tall. “Come on, I think you’ve had enough of crying and acting like a kid. Besides, it’s getting late and we still have a long way back home.”
Finally, I was able to let go of him, and stand in my own feet. I wiped off my tears and looked at my mother’s grave one last time this week,
“I’ll see you soon, mother.”
Then, I turned around. I thought Adam wouldn’t touch me anymore, but I was wrong. He placed his arm over my shoulders, and commented, “Maybe you should go in the backseat.”
“Well, you’re really acting like a kid now.”
“Oh, shut up, Adam.” In that moment, we looked like friends other than maid and boss. It felt good to have someone I could distract myself with, even if it was just for a short period of time.
We reached the car and got in. When he started it, he asked nicely, “Ready to go?”
“I have to.” I whispered, but loud enough for Adam to hear. I then added, “Thanks, Adam.”
“For being with me the whole day, even though you had to put up with three extra kids.”
“It’s ok.” I noticed he’d suddenly come back to his normal state: didn’t smile, didn’t laugh. “I needed to distract myself as well so... I didn’t mind. Anyway, since we’re going back to the house, will you try not to eavesdrop on me and my father while we’re arguing, kid?”
“Of course. I’ll try, though I didn’t do it on purpose the other times!” I defended myself. It was the plain truth! “I just happened to be there!”
“Right.” He chuckled, “I should already be waiting for that answer. You’re always there, in my way.”
For some moments, Adam looked at me and his lips curved into a faint smile. Maybe he hadn’t yet come back to his usual state. Either way, I liked him like that.
And thinking about him and the whole day, I seldom spoke during our way back home, unless Adam asked me something. I was tired, and I wanted to go straight to bed. I wanted to forget that last part of the day as well, though I’d found out I actually felt... secure in Adam’s arms when he’d held me.
But that was just because I needed someone at the time. Nothing less, nothing more.