“The coroner said he died from a broken neck. He did not suffer. He died on the spot. He ruled it an accident. But I knew. And the master knew. It was no accident. I don’t know why she did it. It was not as if it would make the master stop loving the boy and love her instead. It was just so completely senseless. So inhuman. So heartless. So unforgivable.
“The coffin was white. I’d never seen a coffin so small. She wore a black designer dress and a black veil to the funeral. In her hand she held a white handkerchief with a lace border which she used to dab at her dry eyes. For the first time since I’d been with the master I saw him sobbing. He fell on his knees next to the coffin and sobbed. Once the funeral was over we all came back to the house. I couldn’t even look at her.
“That night she called me and asked me to bring her a glass of warm milk. I remember that night well. She was lying on her bed wearing a soft pink negligee and her matching fluffy pink high-heeled slippers. She did not look sad or unhappy. In fact, she was watching a rerun of Pretty Woman on her iPad. She had already taken her make-up off, and I could see that her eyes were not red or swollen from crying. She had killed the only ray of light and laughter in that house and she looked completely unperturbed. As if nothing had happened. I thought then that I hated her and I wished I didn’t have to work for her.
“My wish came true. That was the last time I saw her. The next morning, she was nowhere to be found. A few days later her body was fished out of a river. She was wearing a full face of make-up, the black dress she had worn to the funeral and a bit of the black veil she had worn was still stuck to her hair. She had lost her shoes in the river, but in her closet the black Jimmy Choo shoes she had worn to the funeral were missing.”
I gasped in shock and Melania nodded.
“Yes, it was revenge. An eye for an eye. A life for a life. It is their way and for once I cannot condemn it. The story that ran in the paper was she was so distraught by her son’ death she had committed suicide. Everybody in the house knew it was not true, but no one spoke about it. No one mourned for her. But ever since then the master changed. He became unrecognizable. He sold that house, bought this place and installed all his old staff here, but he hardly ever came to stay, and he never brought women here… until you.”
I took a deep breath. It was a shocking story. “Oh my God. What a terrible, terrible story.”
“Yes, it is a terrible story. Now do you understand why he reacted the way he did?”
“My God, he thought I wanted to kill his unborn child. No wonder he wanted me to hand the baby over when it was born.”
“Yes, the scar has never healed. I honestly think he was falling for you, but unfortunately this happened.”
“What should I do?” I whispered.
“Nothing. Do nothing. He must defeat his own demons and find his way to you. Stay here and be yourself. One day he will realize you are not her. You are an angel who has come to save his life.”
My eyes filled with tears. “I love him so much, Melania.”
“I know,” she said and covered my hand with hers. “But you are strong and you can do this. Only you can save him.”Chapter 52Skyehttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t99KH0TR-J4
-The Show Must Go On-Luca did not come back in one day or two, or three, or four, or five. The days became a week and then two weeks. My heart ached with his loss. Then my father came back from Switzerland. I sent a message to Luca’s phone to ask if I could bring my father to stay for a while at Torrington Hall. It would be good for him, I explained. The fresh air, the clean, wholesome food, the beauty of the land. After an hour he sent his reply.
Yes.I stared at the one-word message for a long time. It felt as if a knife had pierced my heart. Eventually, I found the strength to answer him.
Thank you. It really means a lot to me.
Then I put my phone away and I went for a walk. I knew me being depressed and unhappy was bad for the tiny life growing inside me so deliberately I turned my thoughts away from Luca and thought of how lucky I was to be living in such splendor. And better still my father and Laura could come here and benefit from all this beauty too. The snow was beginning to melt and I began to look forward to spring.