In England, Rosalie works as a maid for a high-society family to support her poor family. Treated cruelly by her mistress, Rosalie slaves away day after day, wishing for an easier life. She is surprised when a way out comes in the form of a proposition from her mistress's handsome son.
I scurry in, keeping my head bowed. His mother is shouting commands at me, her blue skirts swirling around her like sea spray. She twists this way and that, pointing and making demands. "Oh, do clean the windows. You've let them get awfully dirty," she says in an accusatory tone, as if to say I haven't been working hard enough. I peek out meekly from beneath my stringy hair. I've been staying late at work and haven't had the time to wash.
"Yes, I will get right to it," I squeak. "Don't say! Do!" she yells, her alabaster face turning red with rage.
I hurry over to get the pail, soap, and washrag, and set to work. I'm sponging down the stained glass windows, my arms aching, when he comes in. He, being my mistress's son. He, being the boy who is the handsomest boy in the country, quite possibly the world. He, who all the girls titter about at the balls and parties. He, who I am hopelessly and utterly in love with, though I myself don't even get why. He paces around the room, his eyes lowered, muttering something to himself. I continue my work, pretending I don't notice him. Pretending I'm not listening to whatever he's saying. Pretending I'm not noticing the way the sun hits his hair, turning it an almost preternatural shade of gold.
All of a sudden, he straightens and says my name. "Rosalie," he says, the name sounding so beautiful as it rolls off his tongue.
At the sound of my name, I immediately stop my work, surprised. He rarely talks to me, except to tell me what's expected of him and me at parties and the occasional shallow chat when no one is around.
Other books by Bellagy419