Friday, May 6, 2011

Chapter 4 - Eve

My eyes flew open. The pitch black room suffocated me, pinning me, terrified, in my bed.
Where am I? Where’s Micah?
I pushed up to a sitting position, my hands sinking into the soft down of my bed. My heart rate slowed, and my breathing came easier.
A dream. That same, stupid dream that always shoved me back in time over three years to the night I lost Micah.
“Where’s Micah?” I whispered. I closed my eyes and swallowed useless tears. Gone. Probably dead. I fell back against the pillow. I pushed my face into the soft cotton, taking a deep breath. I peered up at the clock next to my bed, the red numbers gleaming 4:50.
Only half an hour anyway, and there’s no way I’m going back to sleep now. I threw the fluffy covers back and slipped out of bed. Silence pressed in from all around me. Above, the Isolis wouldn’t be up for at least another two hours; Mrs. Isoli’s migraines would probably keep her in bed past noon.
I walked quietly down the hall to the bathroom I shared with the other two maids, Becky and Sarah. I smiled at their closed door.
I took a quick shower out of habit, despite the extra time. It didn’t take long for my thoughts to turn from Micah to all the preparation for that evening’s dinner party. I planned on cooking the main course myself. Could I trust Sarah with the bread?
I spent some of my extra time carefully pressing the black pants and white collared shirt I wore as a uniform. Mr. Isoli said it made me look more important than the head housekeeper. Mr. Isoli wanted the very best in every aspect of his life, which was why--he explained numerous times--he went to such drastic measures to procure me.
“You’re probably the most beautiful girl in the world, Eve. Considering the work you’re tracked into, this is the best you can do. I’m doing you a favor.”
The tone of his voice when he said that my first night without Micah still made me shiver, but I’d moved past it now. There wasn’t anything I could do to change it. I rubbed a finger lightly along the bar code on my wrist. Housekeeping--management.
“You made it, Eve.” I whispered. “You have much more than your own laundry room here.”
The shadow of Micah’s voice pierced my thoughts. “You’re settling, Eve. You’re the most beautiful girl in the world, and you’re settling for head housekeeper when you could be so much more if you just fought for it. Whatever you wanted, Eve.”
“You’re wrong, Micah.” I shrugged into my shirt and yanked my pants on, winding my still wet hair into a tight bun at the nape of my neck before walking briskly out the door and up the stairs to the main floor of the Isoli townhouse.
I flipped on lights as I strode through the hallway toward the kitchen. For the first time that morning I reveled in the pristine silence of the house. In a few hours extra help, delivery boys, and party planners would crowd my kitchen.
This dinner party meant everything to Mr. Isoli. President Dannah was bedridden. His doctors said he could die any day and Mr. Isoli was tapped to succeed him, of course. Tonight would seal it all, if it went well. The men coming this evening would ensure that Mr. Isoli got elected.
I don’t need to fight for anything, I told myself. Tonight’s my night to shine. Mr. Isoli’s success might not have my name written on it, but it should. I’ve made this house a political centerpiece. I made it, Micah. I wish you could see me.
I pushed through the door out of the ballroom and nearly dropped a whole tray of dishes on the floor when I almost ran into Darion.
“Careful.” He grinned and steadied the tray for me.
“What are you doing back here? Aren’t you supposed to be schmoozing?”
Darion laughed. “I’ve done enough schmoozing tonight to get Dad elected as president of the entire world. I deserve a medal.” He straightened his shoulders and tucked one hand into the pocket of his tuxedo. He looked--dashing. “You too,” he added. “Dinner was fabulous.”
“I had help.” I smiled, checking it to make sure it didn’t give away too much, and moved toward the kitchen.
Darion chuckled again, falling into step beside me. “I know how your kitchen works, Eve. I’m willing to bet you did 99% of it with your own two hands.”
His praise made red crawl up my cheeks. “What do you think all the people were doing in my kitchen today? Watching?”
He smirked. “Probably.”
I arched a playful eyebrow and turned away. The bold dong of the doorbell rang through the house. I froze. “I thought all the guests were already here,” I said more to myself than to Darion.
Two bus-boys came from the ballroom, balancing piles of dishes. I shoved my tray toward one. “Take this to the kitchen.”
“Yes, Miss Eve.”
I looked down at my clothes, dusting off the still immaculate pants. My shoes clicked on the tiled floor as I walked back through the ballroom. I passed through, smiling at all the mingling guests but none of them paid attention to me.
When I reached the large, white double doors, I yanked one open. I recognized two of the assistants from Mr. Isoli’s office.
“Where’s Mr. Isoli?”
I nodded back to the ballroom. “With important guests. Is there a message you need me to give to him? I know he won’t want to leave right now.”
The dark haired one pushed open the door and stepped through into the foyer. “He’ll want to for this, Eve. President Dannah is dead.”


  1. Wow, three years have passed? This changes the dynamics of the "rescue" when Micah shows up. It probably will be more of an abduction. Good description of Eve's surroundings and of her position in the household. Only thing I'd redline would be "His praise made red crawl up my cheeks". Unless she's looking in a mirror, she can't see this. Now she'd feel the heat of embarrassment crawl up her cheeks because this is internal, and her POV. Good job, Ranee!

  2. I like Eve. Her first thoughts upon awaking are of her brother. She shows exceptional organizational and managerial qualities, seems content with her lot, and oblivious to her beauty. Her positive attitude is charming. All this couldn't come without positive thinking and self confidence.