Maid To Order
Maid To Order
June in Alabama
Like nails falling from the sky, the hammering rain stung what flesh remained unexposed and drenched the clothes that covered the rest of her slight body - all this in a mere five seconds between the taxi and the covered front porch of the sprawling house. With the taxi door slammed shut, the bright yellow vehicle zoomed through the puddle of water so fast that it splashed grey mud against the back of her legs as she made her dashing exit. Her hair in wet ringlets, the girl shook off the excess water and rung out her crocheted hat, which she then stuffed inside her knapsack. She wiped her hands against her skirt and took a deep breath to calm herself.
Although it was no time for being nervous, her heart still beat in a painful and uneasy rhythm, while her mind swirled with questions. She should stop now and turn back - the refrain had repeated itself a dozen times in the last hour, the only conscious thought she had. But turn back? How? She was far far from home where this foolish adventure began, and now far from the dilapidated clapboard house where she'd stayed six weeks while she was being processed. A two day car trip took her south to a small house on the outskirts of an unknown city; then she was shoved into the yellow taxi, driven another twenty-five miles to her final destination.
She rang the bell. What else could she do ...
But wait. How does one wait for Miles Covington Hitchcock? A stranger? The man who chose her from pictures, from a video Pavel's friend Nikolai made to sell her on the Internet? How does a man seeking a maid chose one? Mind riddled with crazy thoughts, she nearly bolted into the driving rain, but then the door swung open before her and a tall man appeared; at first like a ghostly presence on this gloomy fog-ridden day, then, as she looked up into his face, he came clearly into focus. Older. Middle-aged. Groomed to be perfect. And handsome - maybe for a woman twice her age. But no time to ponder that now.
"Daniela Zito, the agency sent me," she said, after nearly thirty seconds of awkward silence. This was what they told her to say.
The girl standing before him looked a bit like a drowned rat. So small, wet, her curly hair dripping, her clothes, yes, her clothes - what was this with her clothes? An odd combination. No. It was more than that, more than just the quirky clothes. This was not the girl he'd seen in the advertisement. That girl was blonde, pretty, dressed like a mannerly young woman, her smile bright and her eyes a sensuously soft blue. This girl was short and dark, her eyes a deep mahogany color. She'd dressed in a tiny blue suede skirt and slutty patterned tights; while her feet were tucked into a pair of grossly large boots. Although she wore a thin, grey, and now very drenched, sweater, it did very little to cover the lacy, low-cut teddy underneath. He supposed it was the current fashion, but he didn't like it. And of all things, in addition to her darkly-lined eyes and purple lipstick, there was a small but very visible nose ring through her septum.
"I believe there has been some mistake," he said in a voice deep enough to carry some weight and make the waiting girl shudder.
It took a moment for Daniela to understand this; not that she didn't understand English well; her mother had been English and she grew up with the language from birth. But these words were not what she expected to hear. Not now.
"No, sir, no," she shook her head, "there is no mistake. I belong here, I do. I'm your new maid." She stuffed her hand inside the pocket of the grey sweater and pulled out a piece of paper, shoving it forward so he could see. "Your name is here and my name. See that? Your address. Right here. Please!" She pointed her finger at what was once crisp blue writing - now a soggy but distinguishable blur. "I am yours." She paused. "You have to take m