Standing On My Own

Standing On My Own Chapter 2

1I followed the butler up three flights of stairs to a long hallway with glass windows on each end. The sun was now obstructed by a large storm cloud, and I could hear thunder approaching. “My name is Caffrey by the way.” he said. I thought so. “Okay.” I nodded. “Mr. Caffery, where are we going?” “You’ll see soon enough.” he replied.

2.1We approached a door at the end of the hall. He opened it and instructed me to follow him inside.

2“What is this place?” I asked. “This is a place for you to prepare for work every morning. There is cooking items if you grow hungry, makeup to fix your appearance, your uniform will be hung on the racks in the far corner and…” “Uniform?” I asked, interrupting him.

3“Yes, proper attire is required for working. Don’t you agree?” he replied, slightly annoyed that I cut him off. “Right.” I said. I looked further into the room and liked the coziness of it. It was quite well stocked.

4I walked over to where my uniform was hanging; it smelled like lavender and cotton. “As I was saying…” Mr. Caffery began. “Sorry” I said apologetically…

5“You must wear this uniform every morning, prim and proper. Your hair has to be held up behind your head, and you must report to the main kitchen first thing in the morning. Make sure your appearance is never unkempt as there are always guests of importance in this household, aside from the homeowners themselves…” Mr. Caffrey was still talking about my working hours, but I zoned out. I was just staring in awe at my uniform, and attempting to process all of this.

6“Ready?” he asked. Uh-oh… I should’ve been listening better… “Ummm… ” “Shall I repeat myself?” he said. “Yes please.” I replied. “You must take two examinations before we fully accept you as a member in this household.” Oh right… I forgot about that. “The first will be a drill to see your efficiency when it comes to work. The second will be revealed to you if, and only if, you pass the first which you will take now. So get dressed and meet me outside in 5 minutes.” And with those words he left.

7I closed the door quietly behind me and glanced at Mr. Caffery. He was looking at his watch impatiently. Was I in there longer than I thought?…

8When I walked up to him he just began talking without a greeting or an assessment of my attire. “The first test is one that will show us whether you are good at cleaning, organizing and time efficiency.”

9Thankfully both organization and cleanliness are my area of expertise. “Perfect.” I said.

10“Yes, well that is what all of the others have said…” he said dismissively. Others? “Just go down the hall to the last room on the right and make that room spotless. You can get supplies from the room I just showed you. Go on then, I will come and find you around the time I think you will be done.”

11I followed Mr. Caffrey’s instructions and arrived at the room. Well I guess I have my work cut out for me.

12I looked at the tuffs of hair on the floor, the melted wax coming from the candle on the table, the mold on the garbage, and the layers of muck on the curtains… Everything about the room seemed so filthy…

13But I just cracked my knuckles, put on a smile, and got to work. “I can handle this.” I said to myself…

14How long has it been?… Minutes… hours… days… Time is passing so slowly and all I can feel is the sweat on my back, and the ache in my hands…

15Now I sit down… waiting for the throbbing in my hands to subside.

16I smell the lemon from the wood polisher still swarming in the air, I think I did a pretty good job, at least now you can see the design of the curtain and the shine of the metal trash bin.

17I scan the room again; not a single strand of hair is to be found… I hope Mr. Caffrey sees the same. Just as I think of his name, I hear the sound of his footsteps approaching.

18I lower my head and close my eyes hoping for approval from him.

19“Wow, I’ve got to say, you’ve done a good job.” My heart flutters. Does this mean I’m hired?… “I hope you do well on the next and final test as well, though I must admit hardly anyone ever passes” he says. Well that’s just comforting…

20I decide it’s time for me to get up and get this next challenge over with but…

21…as I attempt to lift myself from the ground a sharp pain freezes me for a moment. It felt like a stab to my back from being hunched over for so long. I manage to hold in my screech. The last thing I needed was for Mr. Caffrey to think I was a whining baby who could barely accomplish one task. I can do this, I know I can.

22I force myself to stand straight. And I feel the blood pumping hard throughout my body, the pain in my hands, the soreness in my back, and the aching of my feet from carrying supplies here and there.

23Mr. Caffrey doesn’t notice my internal agony, and to that I am thankful. He repeats his doubts for me, in case I missed it the first time. I didn’t. “This last challenge is hard. Only one person has managed to pass it, and honestly I doubt you will, but let us see how you do.” Only one? That’s worse than ‘hardly anyone’.

24I walk out with Mr. Caffery and take one last glance at the room I just poured my last amount of energy into cleaning. If this was not considered challenging, then I have no idea what is in store for me next, and honestly, I’m not so sure I want to find out anymore…

Thanks for reading! What do you think Arianna’s second test is going to be? Feel free to share what you think of this story thus far~ Take care.
xoxo Amy

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