I was enveloped in such warmth as we laid together on a bed the size of a lake, while he whispered of his love for me and told me how beautiful I was. It was a crashing disappointment to wake up and find him not there.
I laid in bed an extra five minutes as I waited for the sadness to pass. It had seemed so real. “I’m not running a hostel young lady get up out of that bed.”
My eyes flew open and I jumped off the mattress in such a hurry I almost slammed into the wall. My heart was racing out of control in my chest but not for the same reasons that it had been just moments before.
Her face was a mask of displeasure as she stood just in the doorway studying me. It was the first time she’d stepped foot in the room since I’d been here that I know of and I ran a quick glance over the room to make sure it was still as neat as a pin.
I stood in the corner unsure of my next move not quite knowing what had set her off this time and not willing to do anything that would make her even more upset. I’d come to realize in the last day or so that I was actually afraid of her, just a little bit.
“Did you need me to do something for you aunt Marion?” I kept my voice on an even keel because she seemed to take everything said as an affront.
I’d noticed it at the office as well so it wasn’t just me, however I was the only one here. There was no Robyn to run interference like she had the day before when aunt Marion was scolding me in front of everyone for a misplaced file that was later found in her desk drawer.
Robyn, who seemed to be the only one not afraid of her wrath had told her in no uncertain terms that it was rather unprofessional of her to berate me like that in front of others, and it was she who had suggested that maybe aunt Marion had misplaced it herself.
Though I appreciated the stand, I knew it would only make things worst for me, I just wasn’t sure how. I guess I was about to find out.
“I need you to not discuss me with my employees, you think I don’t know what you’ve been saying about me?”
“But I haven’t…”
“Silence. You better watch your step young lady, don’t forget it’s only because of my kindness that you’re even here. Do you know how much it cost to live here on your own? To have to pay bills, have food on the table, and a job that pays well? When I came here I had no one. So I would think you’d be grateful for all that I am doing for you, instead I find that you’ve been talking about me behind my back, spreading lies.”
I started to defend myself against these new accusations, for all that she had been in a better mood, she always seemed to think I was undermining her somehow with every little thing. I wasn’t sure if that was her usual behavior but by the way the others ignored it I guess it probably was.
I’d heard whispers about the last assistant and had been bending over backwards not to suffer the same fate. I no longer believed that my mother’s dear friend wouldn’t hang me out to dry in this fair city.
Whatever, I wasn’t a child anymore and I could certainly put up with her erratic moods if it meant having a roof over my head and a job until I found my way.
I tried once more to reason with her, “aunt Marion I promise that I haven’t, I would never do such a thing…”
“Of course not, you’re too sticky sweet to say a bad word aren’t you? Well you might be able to fool some people with that innocent schoolgirl act, but it’s lost on me. Don’t forget I know where you came from. How friendly do you think your new pals would be if they knew you’re nothing but a pig farmer’s daughter?”
The smirk on her face was ugly and distorted. Should I tell her that in fact the others did know of my background since I hadn’t seen any reason to keep it from them when they’d asked?
I wasn’t ashamed of my life back home, just because I wanted something different doesn’t mean that I would change anything about the life I’d led; except maybe where no one had asked me to the prom or out on a Saturday night, but those were minor.
In the end I held my tongue and waited for whatever spell had befallen her to pass. I suppose my silent acquiescence satisfied her this time because without another word, she turned and left the room. That warm glow I’d been enjoying was long gone and I snuck down the hallway to the washroom to take a quick shower.
I’d already been warned about being wasteful in the shower. I longed for a nice hot soak but was sure that was out as well. When the misery of my situation threatened to choke me I battled it back. It was only for a time, I told myself; nothing is forever.
It was only on Monday of the following week that I knew why I hadn’t seen Callan. I’d decided that I could call him that to myself; how was she to know after all? Anyway, the buzz around the office was that he had been away, some last minute thing at one of his other businesses, but that he’d been spotted coming into the building this morning.