Chapter 1: The new job, the new change
Taking a deep breath of encouragement she knocked on the door. Opening the door was the tallest, darked skinned man she has ever seen. He was young looking, and classically handsome she thought. “Can I help you?” He asked in a deep husky voice. “I’m looking for the Jones home. Would you happen to be Killian Jones?” She asked hopefully. “You must be Tristiana Alderman please come in Ellie spoke very highly of you. You’re a little shorter than I had you pictured in my mind.” He said with a chuckle she was barley 5’2 so she got that a lot. “Yeah I know. Please call my Tris.” She said shaking his and with a smile.
The house was very cluttered with things everywhere. “I apologize for the mess, but that is the whole reason I basically begged Ellie for your number.” He said with a heavy sigh. “So um please let’s have a seat in the kitchen and have us a little talk. Can I get you a drink?” “No I’m fine thank you. I did bring a resume if you would like to see it, some references, letters of recommendations. Certifications, licenses things like that if you need to see them or make copies.” She asked. “Uh, no that’s ok I believe you.” He said with a chuckle. “I want to thank you for letting me get to know you calling you for those couple days until I felt comfortable enough to get you here, that really means a lot to me this is not easy for me to let someone in like this and I can’t even imagine how Aria’s going to take to this. I do agree with you this is a time consuming process. I swear you should be charging me like patient since I treated you like a damn shrink.” He said again with a chuckle running his hands along his face downwards, sitting next to and across form her.
“So let’s start at the beginning. Why did you give up being a nurse?” He asked curiously. “Well actually I didn’t I am still a licensed nurse. I just need to do something different. I need something different in my life right now. I was in pediatrics, and cancer and ICU wings. I would like to just be away from working around death for awhile. I do have a lot of experience of working with special needs kids. Which is why Ellie I think told you about me.” She said with a laugh.
“Yeah, that was a huge plus for me. I can understand needing a change from a lifestyle like that. So you’re 29? Do you have any kids of your own or husband who is ok with you getting this position? I only ask because I am and own Beast’s Welding’s. Sometimes the hours can be eight, or ten, we don’t do the twelve hours because I need my guys to be able to see their families. Once in a great moon we might pull a couple hours longer depending on the order or project. So would you be ok with that?” He asked not wanting to make her feel weird about the personal question.
“No, it’s just me. No family waiting for me. I lost both my parents years ago to cancer about six months apart. My job never gave me a lot of time to date. So that left no time to have babies.” She said with a laugh. “Ok, I didn’t want to put you on the spot sorry for that.” “No, that was a good realistic question.” She said waving him off. “Ok so your main job will be taking care of Aria she is 16 about to turn 17, and of course we need some house keeping and cooking basically anything you're willing to help with like food shopping. Laundry I need all the help I can get.” He said placing his heavy body on the table, speaking in a pleading voice.
“Aria is special. She got tested when she was about 9 and her IQ was somewhere between 160-167. I have never tested it again. She is smart and beautiful, however she does struggle, she has bad case of OCD, so the house like this is making it hard for her to sleep. She stutters, and can get a little case of social anxiety. She has only been around men her whole life, and the young girls around her age let’s just say them bitches can be mean.” He said shaking his head in sadness.
“I should tell you the story about her mom, since it’s a small town and everyone else already knows it. I just turned nineteen when I had gotten with this girl, we were together maybe about six months, had been friends for a year though. I had thought she was so amazing. She was like six months younger than me. We always had protection, but we got pregnant. She was devastated she was going to go to Yale she had to take some time to make her share of the tuition and she was gone. She was going to get an abortion, and I begged and pleaded on my damn knees, at that clinic for her to have the baby and than she could just sign her rights away and never have to see either of us again. My parents made her a deal to cover the part she needed for her tuition if she did her part to have and keep this baby healthy.” He took a deep breath before he continued.
“She moved in with me just until she had the baby. Than two days later she took off payment in hand, never held her or anything. She reached out wanting more money or she would take me to court for child support. She signed all her rights away and doesn’t even know what gender the baby was turns out she got addicted and strung on heroine bad, with some bad dudes in Yale. She died of an overdose when Aria was about to turn six. I don’t keep any secrets from her so every time she asks a question I answered honestly. So she knew about her mom when she was about nine. That’s the story of her.”
“The only thing extra you need to know is every Friday I have five friends who come over for poker. So if you do go shopping for us please do so on those days. The weekends you can have for yourself. We don’t work weekends. I call it family time. Plus with the shopping done Friday it would be easier to catch up and relax with her. Please put any of her school things on the calendar. Make appointments with them for me anytime is good, if anything happens to her than I trust you to handle it until I get home, but please call me. I don’t care what it is that’s my whole world right here.” He said with pleading proud daddy eyes. “She does know about you coming today and what you’re here for. So I would need you to meet her first she does not respond to new people well so well give it a week if you agree and than take it from there. If that is ok?” He asked. In hopeful voice. She could see the desperation on him. Being a single dad for so long could not have been easy.
“I think this could be a good thing for all of us, we all take some time to adjust. Is Aria at school now? I could get started now I have nothing else to do I just moved in my house I am renting actually two streets over. I even walked here. Do you think maybe somedays Aria and I could go there, and maybe out shopping around if or once she gets settled with me?” “I think that would be great actually like I said she doesn’t get around women very much except for my mother every now and than. If you could get whatever you can done today that would be great I am going to be working in the garage. Just holler if you need anything. Feel free to arrange things as you see best just please let me know where they are.” He said with a laugh going out the door to the kitchen to the garage.
Tris has been talking with Killian for almost three weeks getting to know him before she got this interview and job, he had some difficulty letting people in or around him and Aria. According to her best friend Ellie, so did Aria. Ellie was the only other woman Aria knew and that’s only because she is seeing Ryder Brooks Killian’s best friend. Seeing how bad Killian was struggling Ryder begged Ellie to help him find a house keeper for him any one who could help keep his best friend above the water just a little bit.
The front door opened and closed. Tris could hear ruffling and shuffling and footsteps quickly going down the hall to a room. Taking a deep breath Tris went up to the door. Aria knew the new house keeper would be here today. So she thought it would be best to get introductions out of the way. Maybe she needed help with homework. Lifting up her finger and bending it a bit to knock on her door, she heard something fall. Opening the door stood a beautiful young girl with beautifully lightly tanned skin, and crazy long black hair, that seemed to be a bit of a mess. “Cccaan I he-e-lp you?” She said in a low voice.
“Hi, I am Tristiana Alderman and I am the new house keeper. I heard a lot about you form my best friend Ellie, and Ryder, and even your dad and I just couldn’t wait to meet you. Please call me Tris.” He said with a sweet smile and her hand out. Aria looked in her eyes for a few minutes, and tan slowly took her hand. “I am Aria Jones.” She said than looking down quickly. “Well I got to say that is a beautiful name for a beautiful girl. I hear your almost seventeen? I am sorry, but is that gum? Is that gum in your hair?” She asked. “Oh um yeah sssoome of the girrrls at school, put like three pieces of gum in my hair.” She said with tears brimming her eyes. “I wasss just getting rrready to cutttt it out.” She said sadly.
“You will do no such thing. You can’t do that to hair this amazing how about you sit down in the chair in front of your vanity, and give me a few minutes. I can get that gum without cutting your hair. I had the same thing happen to me in junior high. I can get out. Do you think you can trust me to help you with this?” She asked looking for confirmation to put her hands on her. This girls room was spotless it was the OCD she knew it. “Cccannn you really gggetttt it outtt. Withouttt ccuttinggg my haiirrr?” She stuttered out. “Yup, just go sit and I’ll be right there.” She said walking to the kitchen grabbing the white vinegar.
“Ok, so we will be using white vinegar to help us dissolve the gums, if this for some reason doesn’t work than we use some baking soda and water. Trust me though this works wonders for me, we just separate to wear the gum is and than we set vinegar in for a few minutes than pull the gum out , than you go wash your hair and I can help you style it when you get out if you would like? I could actually use your help your help you know.” “Myy help? Hooww could III help you?” She stuttered wondering if this girl is going to try to hook with her dad like the last three tried. They were mean, they made her feel bad because she was innocent minded, and super smart. Maybe everyone will always think of me as a freak that not even my own mother wanted. She thought sadly to herself.
“Well you know I am going to be in charge of keeping this place in top shape I was wondering if you could come around the house with me once you’re all cleaned up and show me where you would like things. It’s already getting late maybe we can make a quick dinner together you can tell me what you guys like or are allergic to. See here’s the thing Aria I am new in town, and you are the lady of this house. I would like not only to my job the best way I can towards your standards but also try to make a new friend. I don’t have a lot of those.” She said looking at her with a sweet smile. Aria smile back to her with soft eyes. “Do you think we can try that. Would you please give me a chance here?” She asked softly. “Yyyeah I cannn trry that.”
“Thank you. All done. She showed her with a mirror to the back of the hair, to reflect forward to the bigger one. Aria couldn’t believe how easy that was. She wondered what other tricks she knew, that could be helpful to those damn bullies at school. “Triiisss ccaan wweee not tell mmyy dad about thisss.” She asked looking at her with hopeful eyes. “Hheee jjusst woorrriess about enoughhh wittth mmee alreadddyy.” She tried to get out. “You know when I was in high school my dad gave me a piece of great advice. He said there are just some things that parents don’t need to know. Some things should just belong to you until you’re ready to share them. So as long as you are physically, emotional, and mentally healthy, my mouth stays sealed on things you need just for you. I promise.” She said holding out her pinky. Aria smiled at her silliness and hooked her pinky in hers. “Go get in the shower and than come tell me where you prefer things to go.” She said playfully.
Before she could walk out the door. Killian came into it. “I thought I heard voices, Aria have you meet Tristiana?” “Please call me Tris.” Tris butted in. “Yeeahahh daad I ddiid. I’mm just going to hoop in theee shower realll quick and bee riggghhht out.” She sais as she quickly got her things and went into her bathroom in her room. Aria pressed her ear against the door after turning on the water to see if Tris would tell him. “So what were you girls talking about?” He asked happily. “Oh you know just a couple hens clucking about hair. I’m going to go ahead and get started straightening up I hope you don’t mind but I asked the lady of the house to come show me how she would like things.” She asked. “No, actually that’s a great idea she spends the most time out of everyone here, I would like here to have that kind of say. Thanks Tris.” He said as they walked out. Aria smiled deeply, getting a different feeling from her from the others, maybe she would actually get a friend, she could really use one. Would be nice to have someone to talk to that was an actual girl besides Ellie as much as she liked her, she didn’t want to feel like too much of a burden.
After her shower she brushed her hair out and had falling in her face as she came out to see Tris. “Is all of this ok?” She asked as over half of the house was already cleaned. Aria mouth dropped she was so happy. Everything was in the places she was already trying to get it. “Thissss iss perfect. Yooouu did ssso muuuccch so quiccckkkly.” She got out slowly. “How about we get started on dinner? I took a look in the fridge real quick, and saw we have everything for spaghetti. Does that sound ok?” Aria smile nodding her head. “Would you like to help?” Tris asked. “II ddoon’t know hooow ttto cook.” She said. “Well would you like to help and learn?” Tris asked. “You can always say no or leave whenever you would like.” Tris asked. “I woullld lliiike ttto lleaarn. Nnooo oone hasss eveeer had tiimme to sshhow mee.” She said in a low voice.
“Well we got to get your hair out of your face first.” Tris said laughing “If you’re up for it I could French braid your hair and we can get started?” “Oookkk. Ttthankk you.” She sat her back down to her vanity and started to braid her hair. “Can I ask you a question Aria?” “Oookkk.” She stuttered out. “Why did those mean girls put those gums in your hair?” Aria put her eyes down to the floor. “You know you don’t have to answer that, you can tell me whatever you want and you can not tell me anything you want.” Tris said trying to brush it off. “Iitss ookk. Thhheeyy goottt mmadd thaaat ann oolldderrr bbooyy theeeyy like asked meee a question. I hhavve ann oppurttunity to take a test too puut mee at a sseenior level. I turn seventeen in twooo months. I ccooulld graduatttee eearrly.” She said a little proudly at the end of that statement.
“Oh my god that is incredible Aria, just think you could be a freshman in college just before your seventeen? You’ll have so much life ahead of you. That is such an amazing opportunity. You know I graduated two years earlier too. It was totally worth it. Are you thinking about doing that?” “Dddaddd saaysss ittss myy chooicee. III thinnkk I will I wooouulld bbee awayyy frroom thoossse girls and bee out off school sooner. II ddonnt feel challleneged there rright now I feeel boorred and kiinda ssad.” Aria said as they made there way to the kitchen. Fill this pot with water and add some salt and place it on the burner. Aria did as she was asked. Ok now get the ground beef and set it here to the side.” Tris said as she was dicing a green bell pepper and onion into really small pieces.
Aria looked at her ok now take that skillet and put on the burner let it get hot for a minute. Aria placed her hand just barely above the pan feeling for the heat she put the ground beef into the pan. “Ok now season it with the garlic salt and parsley seasoning there, and the ground pepper. Than we toss these in there too.” Aria smiled doing as she was told. “Thhheee waatter isss boiiiling.” She said looking at the other pot. “Take the spaghetti noodles and put them in the pot and stir them around. Than don’t forget to stir around the meat.” Tris said getting the salad bag out and getting that ready. “Ok now take the French bread cut a section off than cut in long ways in half. Next we get the margin soft butter and sprinkle the garlic salt and parsley flakes in there and put it into your toaster oven until it’s golden-brown.” Tris said.
After everything was done cooking and straining and mixing the sauce once it was all done. Aria set the table while Tris was cleaning all the dishes in the kitchen, the put them in containers so once they were done they could just go into the fridge. Aria looked at the table and she felt proud for a moment she had a smile she never had before. She made this. She did all on her own for the most part. She felt like if she could learn to do more things, than she can push herself to do other things that could make her feel accomplished and proud.
“Aria I am going to head out. Everything looks amazing and smells mouth watering just remember what I told you before you go to bed. Would you like me to come over early tomorrow maybe make you some breakfast before school maybe style your hair a little?” Tris asked with a smile. “Iii wwoooouuulld liikkkee heeelp with myyy haiirr III don’t knowww hooow too geet iit to stayyy upppp.” She said sadly. “Than I will be here by about six thirty ok my number is on the fridge you save it to your guys cells and you call if you need anything. Aria I do mean anything.” She said with a pointed look. “Ttthhhhannnnk Yoou Trriss.” Aria said smiling widely. Tris walked out the door.
Killian came in looking around his jaw was dropped his house was just about completely cleaned. The house even smelt clean, and delicious his stomach started to turn. “Wow, this place looks great. Your hair is different, you look nice Angel. Did Tris leave already?” “Yyyeaah sshhheee diidd. Shhheee tauugght meee ttoo maakee diinner loookkk daddd III diidd it alllmmmooostt all oon mmyy own.” She said proudly. “This looks great baby girl. Better make me a big plate please I’m starving let me just wash up.” He said kissing the top of her head. Something about her was different tonight not just her hair. The way she smiled, was… different. It was almost heartfelt.
“Ddad.” Aria asked looking up at him. “Yeah.” He said enjoying the food in front of him. “II waantt too bbeee aa seeniior ccooouuld yooouu sign thheee papper. Triissss wiiilll bee hereee early tooomoorrow about six-thiirty.” “Alright baby girl. That sounds good. Wow, that is early. I guess I should text her about what hours to expect her. I guess I should leave a schedule on the fridge like a calendar. I’m proud of you by the way. Are you sure about this, this is a big step. It means only a couple more months and than you’ll be off to college instead of the about two years as the same as the other kids your age. I’m ok with whatever you want. Is this what you want?” “III wwwaaannnt ttoo feeelll liiikkee II goot ssooommee conntroolll of my lifffeee ddadd. II thhiinkkk III need thisss. “She said. “Ok than tomorrow my baby is a senior. I uh already signed the paper though. Just go in the office and tell them what you want I told the principle whenever you were ready it would be there. Go ahead get ready for bed. I’ll clean up here.” He said as she kissed her dad ’s cheek. “Nniite dadd.”
As Killian got everything cleaned up he couldn’t believe the big impression Tris left on such a little time. He was hoping Aria would take the senior class and graduate earlier those kids her age were a bunch of pricks he knew she got bullied by the other girls because they were jealous she was such a laid back girl, not to mention beautiful. He wanted to make those kids felt what Aria did, but she was too good of a person to speak out for herself, she would just do what she could to avoid confrontation. Maybe a little time with Tris could actually be great for her according to Ellie Tris went through the same exact things in school. It would be great to have someone she could relate to. Killian just wanted his baby girl to be happy, and for the first time in a long time she was taking those small steps to make that happen.