I Want To Break Free
“I’m just sick of it now, April. I mean, this is like the sixth … no, hang on one minute, the seventh time, if I count that back-stabbing witch in Hammersmith, that I’ve been fired because the wife thinks something is going on between me and her fat, ugly husband.”
April looked unsympathetic. “Listen, you can’t have your cake and eat it too.”
“What the hell is that supposed to mean?” I demanded.
“Look at you. Natural blonde hair, blue-eyes, a body to die for. Are you surprised that men keep falling for you and their wives hate you for it?”
I looked at her incredulously. “I can’t even believe you said that. First of all, I don’t have a body to die for. I have fat thighs, and secondly, even if what you say is true, what would you have me do? Put on two hundred pounds and scratch my face to shreds so I can keep my job?”
She grinned. “You don’t have fat thighs, you have adorably curvy thighs so stop being such a drama queen. How about we just dress you down for your next job?”
“Dress me down?” I huffed, hands on hips. “Have you not seen the shapeless sacks I wear to work?”
She gazed back unfazed. “Yes, I have, but the problem is the sackcloth just emphasizes your big, blue come-fuck-me eyes.”
I rolled my eyes. “Right. I’ll just gouge them out then, shall I?”
“Don’t be so silly. How about glasses?” She reached for the tub of Pringles and opened it.
I took the Pringle she held out in her hand for me. “Glasses? I’d feel like a fool wearing glasses when I don’t need them. But more importantly why should I do all this just because stupid men can’t control themselves?”
“I thought you really wanted this job.”
I closed my come-fuck-me eyes. “Yes, I do. I really do. I loved Wales when I went there two years ago. No smog, no traffic noises. Hell, the air was so clean I didn’t even have to clean my nose.”
April laughed. “Why are you so strange, Charlotte?”
I looked into the distance dreamily. “Oh, and the people. They were all so friendly, big hearted, and happy. They were not sour-faced and rushing around in mad dash the whole time. Heck, come to think of it, even the sheep had better personalities than some Londoners. And I absolutely loved the idea of walking for miles and miles without meeting a single person. It broke my heart when the family moved to America so I’d really, really love to go back and live in a castle in Wales again.”
“Well, you got your wish.”
I chewed my lower lip reflectively. “Yes, I did. I couldn’t believe my luck when Christine called and told me about the job.”
“Okay, but what was the other thing Christine told you?”
I sighed. “The mistress of the house could be a bit difficult. That she’s some ex-beauty queen.”
“A bit difficult? Ex-beauty queen? We both know what that means. If you really want to go back to Wales—”
“I do,” I interrupted.
“Glasses it is. You know how it works. You’re going into a woman’s home and if you can quickly make her feel you are not a threat to her, she’ll relax and let you get on with the job.”
“But you never know, you might get there and find another completely lovely, secure wife like the one you went to before. Then you can ditch your glasses and sackcloth and just have fun with the kid.”
“Okay,” I agreed reluctantly. I really hated the idea that I had to pretend to be half-blind just so some insecure, jealous woman could feel good about hiring me and trusting me around her husband. I would never ever steal someone else’s husband. That would just go against everything I believed in. My mother brought me up right. But if I did have a husband I would never try to protect him from other women because in my books if he was so weak and uncommitted to me that he couldn’t resist another woman’s flesh then I was well rid of him.
“When are you going?” April interrupted my thoughts.
“I’m leaving on Monday.”
“I’ll miss you, you know?”
I laughed. “No, you won’t. You haven’t closed your legs since you met that Russian husband of yours. You won’t even notice I’m gone.”
“That’s not even funny. Of course, I will miss you. Anyway, I don’t even know why you insist on working so hard and still paying rent here. Yuri has already offered to buy you a fabulous house near us.”
I smiled at her. April would never know how much I really love her. She was the sister I never had. “I know, but I like working. It makes me feel useful. I can’t imagine being one of those women who has lunches and manicures instead of a job.”
“Sure, I get that, but why won’t you let Yuri buy an apartment for you instead of paying rent.”
I shook my head resolutely. “Yuri made all my dreams come true when he bought my mom’s house for her. I’ll be forever grateful for that. I don’t want anything else from him. The most important thing is he makes you happy.”
She grinned. “That he does.” She stopped suddenly, her eyes widening. “Oh my God, the baby just moved again. I’ve got to tell Yuri this.” She reached for her cell phone.
I groaned. “Oh, for god’s sake, where is the vomit bucket? Do I have to listen to the two of you cooing at each other over the phone again?”
She pressed a button on her phone and looked at me smugly. “You better be careful young lady. I won’t forget this when you find your man and go ga ga over him.”
I snorted. “Hardly likely since I’ll be dressed in a sackcloth, ashes, and a horrible pair of librarian glasses for the foreseeable future.”