I stared blankly at my computer screen. Vaguely I was aware of the warm summer sun streaming through the windows behind me, playing across my shoulders, and the sounds of insects buzzing in the grass outside interrupted by the roar of a distant lawnmower. I was concentrating, trying to think of a topic sentence for a ten page paper illustrating the purpose of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet. I knew what I wanted to say, that Shakespeare was making fun of young love; it's obvious. Two stupid children fall for each other in the matter of a single evening and then come to an equally stupid end all because they are young and foolish and so is their love. I just wasn't sure how to start.
I furrowed my brow, wondering if getting up for a snack might be worth the effort. Just then I registered the sound of wheels crunching up the drive outside, and I glanced up distractedly to peer out the window. From my perch on a couch in the sunroom I could easily look down into the driveway. My eyes were met with a car I didn't recognize, it looked to be a minivan that had clearly seen better days. The bottom was rusting and the paint had chipped away around the wheel wells making it look like some kind of spotted animal. The whole thing was dirty too, and extremely out of place beside the manicured hedges and lawns of our house. I watched until it rounded the side of the building and I could no longer see it. Humming to myself in mild confusion I slumped back to my previous position and tried again to focus.
"Tyler?" My head snapped up at the sound of my mother's voice, Jackie was standing just outside the sunroom, dressed in a pantsuit and clearly on her way out the door. "The new housekeeper is supposed to be here any minute would you be a dear and let them in for me? I need to run or I'll be late."
"Wait, who?" I asked, instantly curious. Not remembering a single conversation about any new housekeeper.
"Her name is Laurelle, Laurelle Mellet. She's moving in today with her kids, I swear I told you before, didn't I?" Jackie was obviously impatient and her mind was elsewhere, likely on her work. I shook my head but didn't bother to verbally deny it. My mom was a busy person surely she couldn't be expected to remember to tell me everything.
"I'll let them in. Will you be back for dinner?" I asked closing my laptop, it looked like essay writing would have to wait.
"Yup, I'll see you then, thanks sweetie." She blew me a little kiss before rushing off towards the front door.
"Bye mom!" I called after her, not bothering to wait until I heard door close behind her to scurry off in the direction of the stairs.
Our house is pretty big, three floors and a finished basement apartment where the housekeeper lives. I had to admit I was insanely curious about the new housekeeper, especially considering my mom had mentioned there would be kids. I was already imagining a bunch of cute children running around downstairs, maybe they'd bring some kind of life back into the house. Its just been me and my mom ever since I can remember, us and our old housekeeper who was pretty crotchety and not who I would call good company.
On the way down the stairs I heard the doorbell ring and sped up, waving to the woman standing behind the large french doors to show her I'd heard her. She had black hair that was cut in a style I had to admit was not that flattering but I shoved away these thoughts as I opened the door for her.
"Hello, are you Ms. Mellet?" I asked, flashing a smile and refusing to let my eyes flicker away from her face even as I heard the sounds of other people unpacking the car.
"The one and only." She smiled back at me, "I hope we're not too terribly late." My eyes widened just a fraction at her accent, was it British?
"Just on time," I quipped and then held out my hand to her, "I'm Tyler Oakley by the way, Jackie's son."
"Its lovely to meet you Tyler, I'm Laurelle, and these are my kids," She gestured to two children now hauling boxes and bags out of the van behind her. One was a girl with long blond hair and the other was a little boy with dimples who looked like he was in middle school. I was silently disappointed they weren't younger. "Tyde and Sage, and Troye's here somewhere." Laurelle finished, looking back towards me.
"Well come on inside, I'm sure you want to unpack and everything." I smiled broadly, stepping out of the way so Laurelle could walk through the door. Tyde and Sage came running in a moment later seemingly in the middle of an argument about who got to pick their room first.
"Mom you said I got to have my own room didn't you?" Sage demanded, ignoring my presence completely and focusing on her mother.
"Well I said there'd be enough rooms for one of you to have your own room..." I stopped hearing her then because I became completely and totally distracted by the angel who had just walked around the side of the minivan. He had beautiful chocolate colored hair that was messy and windswept, his frame was slight and he looked fragile as a doll dressed in black skinny jeans and a T-shirt. He looked up when he reached the door and I caught his gaze. My breath was whisked away as I stared into his endless blue eyes, framed with perfect dark lashes.
"Hello," He said tentatively, and with that one word and my world collapsed around me, melting into the perfection that was his voice. That same beautiful British accent sounded a thousand times more attractive when spoken by this boy. My knees felt weak and I realized suddenly that I'd just been standing there with my mouth hanging open like some kind of idiot. Also I was in his way.
"Hi!" I said way too loudly, sounding terrible and fake even to my ears, stupid, stupid, Tyler. "I'm Tyler Oakley!" I held out my hand for him to shake, not just because I wanted to touch him, not at all. This was another stupid move, because his arms were full of boxes.
The beautiful boy carefully readjusted the boxes he was holding so he could have a free arm to shake my hand.
"It's good to meet you Mr. Oakley, I'm Troye." He said shyly, giving just the faint glimmer of a smile. Then his lashes fluttered as he broke our eye contact to grip his boxes again. His hands were so soft and delicate also startlingly cold. My insides felt like jell-o.
Thankfully I remembered to step out of the doorway so he could get past. Troye walked into the kitchen and set his boxes down on the counter. I figured as much as I wanted to stay and watch Troye for the rest of the afternoon, it would get awkward pretty soon with me just hovering about while they moved in. Definitely very weird. I decided now was a good time to make my exit. I began to walk slowly towards the stairs.
When I reached my destination I cleared my throat, "Laurelle, the keys to this door are on that hook there," I pointed to the wall by the sink where a large set of keys sat on a ring. "All the keys to other rooms are on it too, my mom er, Jackie will be home tonight so I'm sure she'll go over other stuff then." My eyes darted around nervously; I was not really used to having to give explanations to new staff. Who usually did these things? "I'll let you guys get settled, make yourselves at home!" I finished, unsure if that was enough information.
"Thanks Tyler!" Laurelle smiled seemingly satisfied with what I'd said. I relaxed a bit, turning and making my way up the stairs. Closing the basement door at the top I sighed and made my way back to my earlier position in the sunroom.
I collapsed onto the couch and flung an arm across my face. My thoughts raced with Troye, his perfect face, his magical voice, his delicate body. My face flushed, I didn't even know how old he was! He could be sixteen for all I knew! Actually I knew next to nothing about him, for example his sexuality, maybe he liked girls, maybe he was already dating someone, maybe he was asexual, maybe he was way too young for me. I groaned, at least I knew one thing, he was now living in my house and I was going to discover the answers to all my questions. Also I was pretty sure I'd just fallen in love at first sight.
My eyes opened and I blinked blearily in the sunlight. The smell of the ocean wafted around me in the puffs of air blowing in from the open car windows. I struggled to sit up in the backseat of the minivan, packed in with all the boxes and luggage, wincing when something sharp jabbed into my side.
Looking out the window, the view was breathtaking. We were driving along the edge of the ocean now, the sea sparkling in the summer sun. Past houses that looked like paintings in pretty pastel colors with flowers everywhere and that probably cost more money than I'd ever make in my entire life. Some of the houses were enormous and I seriously wondered who could afford to live in such a place.
My family is from Australia, though I was born in South Africa. We'd moved around a lot as my mother tried to find work and support our family. Now my older brother Steele was in college and between the cost of living, and paying his tuition we'd needed to find a better paying job than housekeeping in Australia. So here we were in America, the land of opportunity, poised before another great change.
I watched the beautiful scenery go past and thought absently about my plans. I'd have to walk into town and see if any of the shops were hiring, I'd long since given up on the idea of school. In fact, I'd not so much given up as never had the thought in the first place. I hadn't ever set foot in a school and that didn't seem likely to change. I didn't think about the future much, I found it was a mostly depressing topic and tried to live day-to-day as much as possible.
I heard my younger siblings bickering, Tyde was still sore that Sage got to ride shotgun and he'd kept bringing it up through the entire trip. I loved my family dearly, but they sure knew how to be noisy. Somehow I'd still managed to drift off again when I heard my mother announce that we'd arrived.
Jerking upright, I pressed my face to the window. My mouth fell open. The mansion before us was more decadent than any of the others we passed on the drive. It was three stories, an enormous front porch complete with massive columns and a beautiful balustrade that led down the massive front stairs into the driveway. The driveway itself was a work of art, the ground covered with crushed white shells instead of asphalt and a perfectly manicured garden in the middle of a roundabout. Everything looked perfect; like the pictures in magazines you see of the houses of billionaires. I was half expecting Julie Andrews to come waltzing out the front door followed by a band of seven exceedingly rich children singing.
Mom pulled the car around the back of the house and parked in the small lot there. This side of the house was decidedly less grandiose, the french doors before us seemed to be the entrance to the basement apartment which was where; my mom had explained, we would be living.
"This is the hugest house I've ever seen!" Tyde exclaimed from the front seat, "are we seriously going to live here?"
"Its 'biggest' Tyde, and duh, why else would we drive all the way here with our things." Sage responded not even looking up from her phone.
"Kids, please behave yourselves. We need to be making a good first impression alright?" Mom was clearly growing tired of their antics. "Why don't you gather your things. I'll go get us in." With that she opened the car door and stepped out into the afternoon sun. She didn't bother closing the car door behind her and I could hear the bleached shell bits crunching under her feet as she walked to the door.
Tyde and Sage were quick to follow her, Tyde dashed around the back of the car and threw open the boot. I struggled to get out of my tight spot in the backseat of the van, I'd been wedged in there all day and being out of the cramped space was such a relief. I stretched, relishing in my newfound freedom.
"I'm the only girl so I get to have my own room, it's for privacy." Sage was explaining while gathering her bags from the boot, Tyde pouted as I walked around the back of the car.
"You could share with mom, I want to have my own room too! I want privacy!" Tyde complained loudly.
"Hey, you and me are gonna share buddy, I thought we agreed that would be fun!" I said rubbing my brothers arms from behind.
Tyde just kept on pouting and Sage didn't help by muttering, "It's 'you and I' Troye." She was going through some kind of grammar nazi phase, but to be honest I didn't mind that much.
"Excuse me, you and I are going to share." I corrected myself, looking at Tyde and wiggling my eyebrows. He laughed then but didn't hesitate to rush off after Sage when she headed to the door.
I took my time gathering an armload of boxes, all labeled 'kitchen' and full of pots and pans. They were surprisingly heavy and I cursed my twig-like arms. I should start working out— too bad that will never happen.
When I finished adjusting the boxes so I wouldn't drop them, I began my own walk to the door. I was watching my feet to make sure I didn't trip on something, so when I looked up I was utterly unprepared to see the person standing at the door in front of me.
He looked to be in his twenties, with soft blond hair, styled too well. His clothes were very nice and they were obviously some expensive brand. He had glasses, the kind I associated with hipsters, but they didn't look bad, in fact they were pretty cute. Actually he was undeniably good-looking. My heart beat a little faster. It just happens when I'm around attractive people. I have this weird thing that makes me want to impress them. And I certainly was feeling that around this guy.
"Hello." I said, too quietly. I likely sounded extremely shy, so much for being impressive.
"Hi!" He responded enthusiastically, "I'm Tyler Oakley!" He sounded so confident, so sure of himself. I felt even worse about my own greeting. He stuck out his hand then and I was forced to fumble about awkwardly with my armful of boxes so I could take it. His grip was firm, even his handshake emanated confidence. Great I probably looked even sillier now, why couldn't I just keep it together?
"It's good to meet you Mr. Oakley, I'm Troye." I spoke again, no more sure of myself then before. I wasn't even sure what to call him, he was technically my mom's employer so I felt the need to tread carefully and be extra formal. But what if he thought it was weird? Should I have called him Tyler? Ugh.
He moved out of the doorway and I took this as my cue to enter the house. Inside I stood in a pretty little kitchen. The walls were yellow and there were curtains on the windows, I put down the boxes I'd been holding on the counter.
"Laurelle, the keys to this door are on that hook there," Tyler was speaking again and I turned to look at him. At first I thought he was pointing at me and my heartbeat sped up considerably, before my brain registered what he'd said and I looked up to see the key ring hanging by the sink. I tried to steady my breathing.
"All the keys to other rooms are on it too, my mom er, Jackie will be home tonight so I'm sure she'll go over other stuff then." I noticed he looked uncomfortable for the first time since our meeting. "I'll let you guys get settled, make yourselves at home!" He smiled, regaining his composure.
"Thanks Tyler!" My eyes darted to my mother when she spoke, and then towards Tyler's receding back as he headed up the stairs. I felt relieved somehow, obviously I wasn't successful in making a good first impression, but with Tyler around I felt the need to try. Not that Tyler was even looking at me, still, I felt self-conscious around new people. Especially wickedly attractive new people.
I let out a breath I'd been holding and turned back to the task at hand, namely lugging boxes from the van to the apartment. We all helped, even Tyde and Sage who'd run off to explore our new home, returned to unpack. It didn't take very long to get all the boxes inside. We didn't have many things considering how often we'd moved in the past. It doesn't help to have a billion things to bring with you.
When all the boxes sat piled in the kitchen we stood around for a moment, admiring our handiwork.
"Who wants some lemonade?" My mom asked, reaching into one of the boxes on the counter and pulling out a container of lemonade mix.
"I do!" We all chorused together and then burst out laughing. We collapsed in various places about the kitchen. I sat on the island between a box of pots and pans, and one full of food cans.
"This house is truly beautiful, I feel like a princess." Sage said sincerely and Tyde nodded in agreement. "Though probably like a Cinderella type princess since we're the servants." She added a moment later.
"You mean mom is Cinderella." Tyde giggled and I smiled, it was kind of hard to imagine actually. Mom twirled around with the pitcher of lemonade pouring out glasses dramatically.
"If I'm Cinderella then you'll all have to be my little mouse helpers!" She cheered, handing me a glass.
"I'll be Gus, that really fat little mouse." I said, taking a sip of my lemonade. It tasted wonderful. This comment elicited some snickers from my family.
"I'll be the skinny one then." Tyde said.
"Who does that leave for Sage then?" I asked, not remembering the film all too well myself.
"I'm Lucifer, the cat." Sage quipped.
"Its so fitting somehow." Tyde chortled. Even mom laughed at that. I was suddenly struck by how grateful I felt, for the moment, for our fresh start, for everything I'd been given in my whole life, and for my family, here together.
A/N: Thank you all for reading this and I hope you continue on! As a side note, this story is also avalible on wattpad at the URL story/40448263-fortune%27s-fool-a-troyler-au so if you felt like supporting this story even more and following it on wattpad I would love that! Thank you all again, have a splendid day.