My Life As A Maid
A.N. It's been a while, I think. Oh well! Here is Chapter eleven! Thank you for all your reviews and favourites! What will happen now, I wonder? I have no idea to be honest! We'll see how it goes, then. Enjoy!
"Ow," I muttered as I woke. Pain spread through my arms immediately, and I groaned inwardly. My elbows stuck outwards, as if I had my hands on my hips, although my hands were resting on my knees. It looked so awkward, and it really was uncomfortable. I'd slept on my back, trying to avoid bending my arms. It had been a long, long night.
I suppressed a cry of pain as I opened the door. I had no idea how I was going to clean up today. I'd never be finished. I picked up the sweeping brush and winced. Next was the sponge. I made an effort at straightening my arm to get the scrubber, but only managed halfway. I decided to come back later for the mop. Despite myself, I cursed Flippy over and over.
I managed to scrub the basement area, my arm bent the whole time. I stood on my tip-toes instead of reaching up to get the higher spots. When I was done the basement, I leaned against the wall and closed my eyes, sighing and moaning to myself. After a minute or two I was up again, holding the brush and scrubber awkwardly, the can of cleaning spray was dangling from a loop in my skirt, where a belt should have been. I hadn't been given a belt though, and I certainly couldn't afford one.
I held the sweeping brush awkwardly and moved around, gathering up any dust and dirt lying around. I told myself to keep going, although I felt like dropping the brush and crying. The pain in my arms was getting worse by the minute. I slowed down when I reached Flippy's room. I walked along, trying to make as little noise as possible. I kept my eyes on the door the whole time. Seconds later, I stood on one of my feet and tripped over myself. The sweeping brush followed soon afterwards.
Flippy opened his door and stepped out into the hallway, looking down at me. He realized I was on the floor and looked down at me. I squeezed my eyes shut and bit my lip to prevent myself from screaming. My arms felt as if they'd been cut off there and then, the pain was so bad.
"What happened to you?" asked Flippy. He bent and moved to pick me up, one hand on my arm.
"Don't," I gasped.
"Oh, I'm sorry... I forgot about um, last night... You know..."
"No Mercy. Yeah."
An awkward silence fell between us. I managed to sit up, my elbows were turned inwards now, my hand splayed out. I clenched and unclenched my fists, and tried to straighten my arms out again. I watched Flippy pick up the sweeping brush.
"I'll help you clean if your arms are sore," he said.
"O-Oh, no it's okay," I insisted, making an effort at pushing myself up. Flippy bent and picked up the sweeping brush, ignoring my protest.
"I'm fine, really. I can do it myself."
"No, I insist," said Flippy, and began sweeping the floor with so much vigour, we both stopped at a cracking sound. Flippy looked down, red in the face, at the two pieces of the brush. I stared at it too, and despite myself, giggled.
"I'm sorry," said Flippy, holding one piece of the brush in each hand. "This is my fault."
"Oh, n-no, you were just trying to help," I assured him. "I'll fix it."
"Nonsense," said Flippy. "We'll get you a new one. I think you're due payment today anyway."
I let him pull me to my feet, trying to ignore the pain in my arms. We walked in silence to Flippy's father's office, and I knocked once on the door.
I took with me the two pieces of the sweeping brush; I'd convinced Flippy to stay outside. His father looked at them, and then to me.
"What happened to the sweeping brush?" he asked.
"U-Um, I was leaning too hard on it, sir. And, it snapped, sir."
"You're stronger than you look, then," he said, with a flicker of a smile. "You can buy a new one today with the money from your salary."
"Thank you, sir."
Flippy's father fished around in his pocket and pulled out a few notes. I took them from him and thanked him once more. I put the money in the pocket of my shirt and stepped outside, looking around for Flippy. He was nowhere to be seen. I passed the butler on my way to the front door. He looked at me, puzzled, and I saw him hurry in the direction of the office.
I closed the front door, and took in a deep breath. It felt so good to breathe fresh air, feel the grass wet beneath my shoes. The last time I'd been outside, I'd been petrified. Now it felt as if I was free, able to run around and have fun again. But I knew it was impossible, I'd be returning to the house, and the doors would close again, and I'd remain inside for four years. If I lasted, that was.
I walked to the main part of the city, where there were more shops and stalls. The market was on, rows and rows of merchants selling beaded necklaces, some nuts, others playing music. I looked around happily, smiling for the first time in what seemed like forever. I walked along the street, looking at the items on display. I was so caught up in absorbing everything I didn't see the girl in front of me.
"S-Sorry!" I stammered, then gasped. The girl gasped too. She had fair skin, and long hair in different shades of blue, pulled back into a ponytail. A pink flower rested in the centre of her head. Her eyes, too, were blue and round, taking me in. She wore a blue shirt with small ruffles on the ends of both sleeves, and darker blue jeans. She was about a year or so older than me. Nevertheless, we recognized each other immediately.
Petunia and I hugged, and then parted, each stunned. Petunia was the first to recover.
"I haven't seen you in so long! Where have you been? We have to talk."
She took me by the hand and led me through the streets until we reached a small corner café. Petunia called a waiter and ordered two coffees, before turning to me.
"Tell me everything," she said, eyes sparkling.
"Well, after my Mother died, I was alone for a couple of years. But, I knew enough to stay well," I added, after seeing the worried look Petunia sent me.
"Then, when I reached fourteen I started looking for work and found the house I'm staying in."
"What's it like?" asked Petunia. She thanked the waiter and I sipped at my coffee before speaking.
"It's... interesting. And big, too."
"Have you been working there long?"
"It'll have been about a week. But, enough about me. What about you?"
"Well, I've been mostly fine," she said, stirring her coffee with a spoon. "My father had some issues with money and the rest a while ago, but he says we'll be okay. My mother's been fine, and she started up working in a day care with one of her friends. Her daughter is nice, but she's in hospital at the minute. Which is why I'm out here."
Petunia must have noticed the shock on my face. "What's wrong?" she asked.
"Wh-Why is she in hospital?"
"Oh, she was at a party at some rich place, and a speaker fell on her or something. Her back is the worst."
"I... I know her."
Petunia raised an eyebrow. "You do? How did you meet?"
I bit my lip. "That accident with the speaker. It happened at the house I'm staying at."
Petunia blinked in surprise. "No way. That's so weird! You didn't tell me you worked there. The family's supposed to be weird. Well, what family they have. They have a son, don't they?"
"Yeah, Flippy," I said nodding, feeling a chill crawl up my back.
"What's he like, then?" asked Petunia, grinning. "Weird?"
"Um, y-yeah. A little. He's not... like his father."
"Is he good-looking?"
I almost choked on the coffee at that. "Wh-What? Good-looking?"
"Yeah. Is he?"
I thought about it. From the moment we'd met, I'd been afraid of Flippy. I hated to look at him, meet his eye. But now that I thought about it, Flippy wasn't half-bad. If he wasn't a sadistic weirdo. He was quite nice. I felt myself blushing scarlet. Petunia grinned from ear to ear.
"He's gorgeous, isn't he?" she asked. I only blushed redder. Petunia smiled in satisfaction.
"I never thought I'd see the day when you told me someone was good-looking," she said. "In fact, I never thought I'd see you again. We'll have to arrange something soon. We can go shopping, or you could come round to my house."
"S-Sure. Next time I have a day off," I said, managing a smile.
A woman like Petunia, stockier and with fairer hair, approached.
"Ah, I have to go Flaky," she said standing up. I stood up with her and we hugged once more.
"I'll see you soon," she called after me as she walked away. I waved after her, and then left to buy a sweeping brush. I found a cheap plastic one in a store nearby, and rushed home. I arrived at the front door, reminded of my first day.
After putting the sweeping brush away in the storeroom, I sat down on my bed and engraved the picture of Petunia into my mind. I didn't want to forget her. I knew it would be a while since we saw each other again.
"Hey, neko," called a voice. I moved to the laundry chute, but realized Flippy wasn't there. He was at my door. He knocked impatiently.
"Open up, neko, or I'll get angry."
I opened the door and stood awkwardly, hands behind my back. Flippy smiled, flashing sharp teeth.
"You met with your friend today, right? Petunia."
"Y-Yes. H-How did y-you know?"
Flippy said nothing, but his smile grew wider. He tapped the side of his head twice and backed away from the door, walking up the stairs to the first floor. I watched him until he was out of sight, and let go of a breath I hadn't realized I was holding. I sat on my bed and sighed with a mixture of happiness and relief.
"I'm not done yet, neko. We have games to play."
A.N. Hope you liked this chapter! And I hope it was worth the wait too!