A single thought was on his mind taking all the room he had for thoughts and probably some more because he couldn't breath or move. What had he done? His heart was beating too fast for someone who wasn't running. What had he done? He felt like his tie was about to strangle him. His shacking hands were clutching the papers. He was sitting behind a big desk looking straight ahead but seeing nothing. His chair moved under him and since he was sitting on its very edge, he fell down letting go of the papers that landed all around him. What had he done?
For the last two years, he was a very happy man or at least he thought he was. Before that, he was working very hard so his dreams would come true. He had only two big dreams in his life and these two dreams were like a guiding light for him showing the direction, helping him overcome all the challenges the life was throwing at him. His father always taught him that in order to have a complete life a man's got to have money and a son to inherit it. Both of his parents came from families of immigrants who run away from Europe right before the war, which made him the second generation born in America. His father had always been his role model, a hard working man who was a reliable provider and protector through all his life. At the age of twenty John clearly realized what exactly his dreams were and dedicated his live to getting what he wanted until one day he finally got it all - a bank account with one million dollars in it and a son to inherit it.
He found himself a fiancée a year ago, shortly after his first dream came true. And his second dream came true only a month ago - his son was born. On the day his son was born he thought he got to experience what living in Paradise felt like. On that day he thought he could be absolutely sure he was going to die a happy man, and that was such a nice thought. But now, he saw how far from the truth all those thoughts were.
He was the happiest father on Earth for a week. But then, combing his hair in the corridor in front of a mirror before entering the baby's room, he heard a conversation between his fiancée and someone on the phone. What he heard changed everything. The conversation suggested that he might not be the father of his baby. That some other man was involved. That it just might have happened that his young beautiful fiancée cheated on him. That all this time she was lying about her love for him. That he was fooled.
He didn't want to believe any of this at first. He loved his fiancée and completely trusted her. He even told her the combination for his safe that he had in the house and the secret number of his Swiss bank account where he moved all his money shortly after their boy was born. But the thought of his fiancée having an affair behind his back and giving birth to the baby that was a result of that shameful relationship wouldn't go away. It was waking him up at night and it was not letting him concentrate on anything else. With this one single thought on his mind he managed to get by for a couple of weeks, but then it became absolutely unbearable. He didn't want to live life full of distrust and dishonesty. His desire to know the truth grew stronger and his pride of being a father grew weaker with every passing day, until one morning he woke up with a strong desire to stop the suffering and to find out the truth no matter what it might be.
Asking his fiancée whether or not she had a lover was not on the list of his preferences. A question like that might destroy any relationship no matter what the answer was going to be. He didn't want to look like a fool especially if his fiancée's lover existed only in his imagination and nowhere else. He was not that young boy anymore with a hot heart and a short temper, who never, even for a second, thought that he could be wrong in his conclusions. On the contrary, those years of short tempered behavior were so far behind that they were long forgotten.
It took a while for him to find a suitable mate, the mother of his son, the woman he loved and was about to marry. For a couple of years he was searching for the one who would take care of him like his mother did, who would always treasure his opinion higher than her own, who would always look at him with admiration, who would be always there for him no matter what, always forgiving, never judging. He lost his own mother to cancer when he was a teenager and in his memories she was nothing short of an angel. That was what a woman should have been like to be the mother of his son. Also, this was not all he wanted his wife to be. There was a couple more things. He wanted her to be thankful and appreciative for everything he was about to do for her. She would have to stay home with the kid like his mother did. At the same time he wanted his wife to be highly educated, not like his mother was who stopped her education the second the high school door closed behind her. But no woman he knew was like the one he searched for. For some time he even considered his maid as a good candidate since she was taking such a good care of his house and his dinners, but the girl lacked in education and was not smart enough to get any. It could just be that his mother was one of a kind, or maybe he was searching in the wrong place, in the wrong culture, in the wrong country. After losing any hope to find himself a bride close to home, he turned his attention to the Internet.
At first, the idea of marring someone from a foreign place looked a little scary to him. How was he going to be able to understand her, growing in a different culture? How were they going to communicate? Would she be able to learn enough English to participate at least in a simple conversation? After reading lots of successful stories published on the Internet by international dating sites, he started to feel at ease. After all, it seemed to work well for so many other couples. Why not for him? Plus, he imagined how much she was going to appreciate him for saving her from the terrible suffering she was experiencing in her third world country. Poor her! He was going to save her!
But now, after so many sleepless nights all he wanted was to know the truth. There had to be a way to find out if he was the father of the baby without directly questioning his fiancée. After searching on the Internet he came to the conclusion that the simplest and the easiest way to find out the truth about his son was a DNA paternity test that could be performed by Testing Laboratories by mail and would take only one week. All he needed to do was to collect samples of his and his son's DNA by rolling the cotton swabs on the inside of the cheeks, put the swabs in the envelopes, and send them to the Laboratory. The task turned out to be quite simple and soon he was well on his way toward knowing the truth, the answer to the question that was spoiling his life.
A week slowly passed in waiting for the desired envelope with the answer before it was finally found in the mail that his maid puts on the table in his office every afternoon. In the last couple of days there was a little disorder in the house since his maid announced she was quitting her job and going to college. That surprised him a lot. But none of that mattered now, the envelope was right here, in his hands. For so long he questioned his paternity and waited for the answer that it became a part of his life. He hated that but at the same time he got used to that kind of life enough to secretly wish that the answer would never be known. But here it was.
For a while he was just looking at it thinking about how his life was going to change the second he opened it and read the answer. He felt scared and a little lost. Scared, because he didn't know what to do if the worst he imagined turned out to be true. A little lost, because he couldn't imagine living alone without his fiancée and his son. Although, if it turned out to be true and the baby wasn't his that would mean he had never had a son or a good loving girlfriend whom he was about to marry. It all would turn out to be just a product of his imagination, it would mean that all this time he was deceived. With that thought in mind he opened the envelope and saw the words "... is excluded as the biological father." His hands started to shake so much that it took a lot of effort to read the rest of the paper that explained that he could not be the father of the boy because the analysis showed that he and the boy did not share a paternity relationship.
What had he done? What happened? He found himself sitting on the floor under his table with paternity test result papers lying all around him. He stood up, walked to the fireplace, and for a while stood there looking how the logs were burning in the fire. Something inside him was burning too. His live was getting destroyed.
He found her interviewing yet another girl for the opening maid position in his house. He grabbed his fiancée's hand and pulled her into the baby's room. There in the quietest place in the house, where the baby was sleeping, he told her he knew there was another man in her life. She went silent for a while. He found himself holding for the thin string of hope that he might be wrong. She called him crazy, saying that he was delusional, that there was no other man, never since their big date in Paris ten months ago. She was denying everything but he didn't believe her. She did cheat on him. He was sure of that. She started to cry. His heart felt broken. He moved closer to her, tried to put his hands around her. She moved away from him. And then she asked him the last question he would ever hear from her. She asked how he knew, who told him. So, she did cheat on him! Her question just confirmed it. He felt like his head was burning. He lost his mind. For some time he was screaming incoherent sounds running from one corner of the room into another tearing the cloths he was wearing in little pieces. She was silent. Then he stopped, his eyes were burning, he wanted to cry but there were no tears. He couldn't stand her presence anymore. He told her to get out of his house and his life forever and take her baby with her.
He was back in his office sitting on his chair looking at the fire. He heard his ex- fiancé shouting something at his maid in the corridor. The maid sounded very surprised, but what she was surprised about was not something that interested him right now. Right now he just wanted to be left alone. Just sit here and look at the fire. A glance at his watch made him realize that an hour has passed without him noticing. He stood up from his chair and went into an empty corridor. His bedroom was empty too. His ex-fiancé was not to be found anywhere and there was no baby in the cradle.
He looked all around the house but found no one except the maid who was crying in the kitchen. Already knowing what the answer was going to be, his hands cold and shaking, he asked her where his fiancée and son were. She answered with a very long speech which he didn't hear because he ran out of the kitchen the moment he heard words "...she left you..." He ran out of the house in hopes to find her somewhere nearby. But he didn't find her on the street. He went back in the house and called her cellphone in hopes she answered it and was surprised hearing how it rang in their living room. He ran to the living room but found it as empty as before and only a little cellphone on the sofa was singing her favorite song " ... please forgive me but I'm still loving you ..."
Did she really leave him? Where would she go? Did she take any money? He always kept a couple of thousand dollars in his safe in case of an emergency. He ran to his bedroom and entered the closet, moved the hanging clothes out of the way and opened the safe that was hidden there. It was empty. The only thing left was his parents' wedding rings. He sat down on the floor with both of his hands on his head. So, she really left him! And she took the baby with her. And she took all the cash and all the gold and diamond jewelry he bought her. It was all gone with her.
With everything she took she could afford to have a decent life for a while, taking care of the baby without having to go to work. For some time he was sitting on the floor thinking if he should call her friends. Her relatives? She didn't have any relatives in America, he knew that for sure. He was the one who brought her to America from one of the poorest countries on Earth, taught her English, gave her everything she needed or at least everything she asked for. He thought she loved him. How could he be so mistaken? Why did she cheat on him? He thought they were perfect together right until the moment he heard that conversation she had with someone on the phone.
Time was passing but he was still there, sitting on the floor in front of his empty safe. The emptiness of the safe didn't worry him anymore. He thought about his past, about the long hours he did worked a construction contractor to save one million dollars. He remembered how proud he was buying her expensive diamonds, telling her how much money he had, where it was and passwords to access it. This last thought made him jump up and run to the phone. He called his banks and after making sure there were not any withdrawals from his accounts in the last couple of hours he changed all his account numbers and passwords. Finishing taking care of his money he smiled, put his jacket on, and went to a local bar for a drink.
He will never try to find her. He will always be suspicious of women. Maybe, just maybe, he will find a wife and have a son with her, his real son, to whom he will be his biological father. He will always try to understand if his first fiancée ever loved him. Why did she need someone else? What did he do wrong? But, he will never know... He will always believe that he saw what he saw, and what he saw was what really happened. But he will always be mistaken thinking he knew the truth...
* * *
She was walking down the street looking at the stroller she was pushing in front of her. The baby in the stroller was sleeping and the noise of passing cars didn't disturb him. She was glad that her boy was sleeping and she could have a quiet time to think what she was going to do and where she was going to go now after she left her fiancé. A little bench standing on the side of the road looked comfortable for taking a short rest, so she sat down.
She still felt love for him. She always loved him or at least she thought she did. He found her on the other side of the planet on one of the Internet dating sites and after communicating with her through computers for more than half a year he asked her to meet him. They met in Paris for a week to look at each other with their own eyes without digital interpretations and she fell in love with him even more seeing him spending all this money on her dining and shopping. There was a time when other men were of some interest to her but it all stopped ten months ago after she got pregnant after meeting him in Paris. She thought she was going to be happy with him. She thought she would never leave him no matter what. She thought she could trust him. But now, she knew how wrong she was.
She was surprised how little her fiancé trusted her, this was not how it should be in a good family. Why would he ask her about having another man? How could he suspect her of cheating? She loved him, she trusted him, he was the only one. She tried to be rational asking him for the reasons for his mistrust, tried to understand him, but he went crazy. He told her to get out of the house and so she did. Why would she want to marry a man like that? No, she wouldn't.
She grew up in one of the most respected families in her small country where the respect toward people was measured directly by the amount of money they had. Back then, her father was one of the richest men in the country which gave him a reason to be very proud of himself. But she didn't share her father's pride thinking he was not rich enough. There were other kids in her privileged school whose fathers were even richer and that made her suffer. She grew up wanting to be the best, the richest, wanting to have the biggest diamond earrings in her ears, the biggest diamond rings on her pretty fingers, but others were always in her way, someone always had more and bigger.
But even that life was not meant to last for long. She was in her last year of college when everything changed to the worst as her father's business went bankrupt because of some legal issues. There was no more money left in his bank accounts. He couldn't afford even to pay for his daughter's education any longer. One day she found out that her father secretly from her sold all the diamond jewelry she had and spent all the money on his newly developed drinking habits and playing in a Casino. Living in her parents' house became unbearable and she jumped to the first opportunity she saw to distant herself from her parents.
After waitressing in a bar for a couple of months she got frustrated she couldn't get as much money as she needed to be able to have a life at least some how close to what she used to have not so long ago. One day, she saw an advertisement of an Internet dating company and after a couple of days she found herself having a new dream - to come to America where, as she thought, she could start a new life. So, she decided to try it since the price of putting down the information through the agency was not too high but the promise of a better life was too emptying to let it go. She followed her dream. And she got it all, a rich American who loved her, a big house, lots of diamonds in her possession, and a son with whom she was spending too much time now but thought to change this in the future by hiring a babysitter for him so John and she could dine out more often instead of eating what that stupid maid cooked. All she did was try to get her old life back when she could spend all day as she wanted - going to a spa or a nail salon, shopping, going to a movie theater with her friends, and dancing in nightclubs until late. She had it all before. And just a couple of hours ago she thought she was about to have it all again.
She didn't know what to do next. She left her ex-fiancé's house without a plan with only one thought in mind of getting as far away from him as she could. She didn't want to discuss anything with someone who thought of her so lowly, who didn't trust her and didn't love her. She got very angry at him when he told her to get out of the house. That was not how she expected to be treated by a man who loved her. He told her he didn't what to see her any longer, and neither did she. She didn't what to live in his house any more and be treated the way she was. She was going to leave, but she was not going to go without her diamonds. Opening the safe she saw that all her jewelry boxes were gone. Everything that was hers was gone, but money was there. Did he take all her diamonds to hide them from her? Or had he sold them already? She knew the answer so well remembering standing before her father's empty safe back home a year ago. Men buying her diamonds with one hand and taking them away with another. She saw this all before. Her diamonds were gone yet again.
Not a single tear dropped from her eyes, not a single gasp, not a single sound was heard. She grabbed all his cash he left in the safe thinking that he left it for exactly that purpose, to pay her so it would be easier to get rid of her. She slammed the safe's door and ran to the baby's room fearing that the baby like diamonds also had been taken away from her. But there he was, her little boy, sleeping. She grabbed the boy and a couple of things that she brought with her from home when she moved to America. She was on her way out of her fiancé's house when the maid stopped her asking stupid questions. Pushing the maid away she went through the door saying that in case her ex-fiancé asked for her to let him know his Fiona was gone forever and would never come back.
It was getting dark. She stood up and crossed the street to the bus stop. She took the first bus that came and rode it for a long time before the baby started to cry. Looking through the bus window she noticed that the bus was passing a city center. There should be lots of the hotels and many places for her to look for a job. She exited the bus, looked around, and went in the direction she thought she liked.
She will find a job of a house keeper in a nice big house and will earn enough money just to get by. Her son will grow up not knowing his real father but will be provided with a lot of bad stories about him by his mother. The boy will never know if any of the stories are true. Maybe he will try to find him, one day, when it's too late because by that time his farther would be living in the next world...
* * *
She had been working in his house for two years. She hated her job of cleaning his house and cooking food for him. She loved him a lot and never, even for a second, doubted that her future with him had been already written down with her as his wife and the co-owner of his money. She knew he had had no real girlfriend for a long time, just some women he was dating on the Internet. Sometimes he would take a break for a couple of months, and then start searching for a new one. She thought it was going to be this way forever until one day he told her that he was going to Paris on a date with the girl of his dreams. Closing the door of the airport taxi he asked her to wish him luck and so she did, but after he left she grabbed his favorite crystal vase that was among several things he inherited from his father and dropped it on the hardwood floor so the little pieces of crystals flew all over his guest room. She was so angry she couldn't breath, but a couple of minutes later her usual calmness took over her and she cleaned the floor putting the crystal garbage in a plastic bag so he could see it was an accident, she didn't steal the vase.
He trusted her. He needed her. She knew that deep in his heart he loved her very much but for some reasons was too shy to openly admit it. She was waiting for that to happen one day. And when it happened she was going to be ready. Looking through the fashion magazines she bent the pages with the dresses and shoes she would ask him to get for her the moment she became his wife. One day, she was going to be his wife, there was no doubt about that.
She knew he was the one the moment he put his head on her shoulder crying at his father's funeral. She was working at his father's house as a maid while finishing high school, trying to save some money for college. She wanted to become a nurse. She liked the idea of taking care of others. She took good care of his father's house, so good that right after his father's funeral he asked her if she would consider working for him. That was what he told her, but she always knew there was another reason for him to invite her to be his maid. And since then, she was patiently waiting for that moment when she gets to become his wife and not a maid anymore.
Time was passing fast. She didn't go to college thinking that with a husband like him she wouldn't need to go to work. She tried to openly show him her affection by giving him suggestive smiles and having long conversations about her thoughts on love and marriage. He seemed to be interested while she was talking but so far his interest stopped there. Once, he told her he would have to marry her if he didn't find a wife soon. She waited. Two years passed by, yet she was still there waiting to hear the words she dreamed about hearing so much. There came a day when she finally heard what she was waiting for, she herd him saying the words of love and the promise of taking care forever, but not to her. These words were directed to another woman, the one whom he brought from somewhere overseas, the one whom he was about to marry.
Seeing another woman taking her place in his life was so unbearable to her that she fainted when Fiona stepped over his threshold. After that day her life changed. She continued working for him cleaning and cooking as before, but something inside her died. There was no hope for her anymore but constant suffering seeing how someone else is living the life she was supposed to have. She cried while she was cleaning, she cried while she was cooking, but that didn't change anything and was not noticed by anybody. Sometimes she tried to think about her future but these attempts always ended with nothing but more reasons to cry.
Almost three months past this way. It was late Spring now and that meant it was time to clean their windows. So, that was what she was doing when she saw a high school girl passing by. She had never seen this girl before but there was something that made her heart stop - the girl's backpack, an old black leather backpack, that same one she had been carrying to school a long time ago. It was hers, no doubt about that, she remembered it too well. His father gave it to her as a birthday present wishing her to finish school and go to college to become a nurse as she dreamed, promising her that the backpack being a very high quality would survive through anything. She sold it to someone after she finished her high school and selling it at that time meant that she was going to be a student no more. She was going to be his wife and all dreams about doing something else that was not leading there would take a lot of her time away from him and had to go away.
This is how it was then. This is how small her dreams became a couple of years ago, she could see it now. Falling in love with someone so selfish and greedy. He never gave her any presents even for Christmas but enjoyed hers all the same, she could smell the French cologne she gave him for Christmas, and every time she cleaned his office she could see the Montblanc fountain pen she gave him for his birthday. What he payed her was almost half of what she could have in another house, but every time when she was brave enough to bring up the salary question he changed it into a joke saying that for allowing her to work in such a nice house she should pay him instead. And she was forgiving him, trying to forget the moments she didn't like and remember only the good ones, like when he told her that she could be a great wife for a guy like him. She thought he really meant it. Her blind love for him made her so stupid...
Seeing her old backpack still going to school made her feel so ashamed of herself, of where life had brought her. She would have had the bright future of a college girl if it had not been for her love for him that made her desire to stay as close to him as possible, working and hoping for something that never came. Why did she waste two years of her life on cleaning his house instead of siting behind a student's desk learning something that one day could help her to earn enough money to have her own big house and even her own maid? What was that thing still holding her working in this house even now when all her dreams have been dead? Where was her life heading? Was she going to clean this house for the rest of her life? That was a frightening thought. She wanted to get out of this house and out of his life. She wanted to get back to her own life, she wanted to have dreams in which there was no place for him. She wanted so much, so many different things but working for him was not one of them. So, she stopped. She spent quite a while sitting on the windowsill thinking about her future and regretting about her past.
She wanted to leave his house immediately but the feeling of unfairness stopped her. Leaving right now wouldn't help her in any way to get back all the time she lost on him, being disrespected, unappreciated, underpaid, and overworked. He owed her so much. If he had payed her what was due, by now she would have saved enough money to get to any college she wanted. Leaving him now wouldn't help her to get all the money she needed for college. But staying could help. She had never had any ideas of stealing something from a man she loved, but stealing from someone she hated and especially from his fiancée didn't seem so bad. If she had no money to get her through college after all this cleaning and cooking for him, how come his fiancée who did not do any work at all deserved to get so many diamonds as presents? All those diamonds surely would be enough to pay for college.
The diamonds were kept in a safe hidden in the closet wall in his bedroom. That much she knew since she started cleaning the house. But she did not know the safe combination until a couple of weeks ago when she saw it written down on a piece of paper that his fiancée put on the bedside table trying to memorize it. It took a couple of hours for his fiancée to memorize eight digits, but not so long for his maid who had only three seconds to look at the numbers while she was picking up an empty coffee cup from the table. She liked numbers. In fact, mathematics was her favorite subject and she was pretty good at it before she met him and started to spend all her time on day dreaming about him loving her.
Maybe she didn't remember everything about mathematics she learned before, but one thing she definitely remembered were the Fibonacci numbers. She considered them to be so much fun that she liked to play counting them while cleaning his floors. She was unimaginably surprised when she saw an eight digit string that was nothing more but a Fibonacci numbers starting at two hundred thirty three.
At that time she didn't know what it was but decided not to ask. She saw how two of them went into the closet and spent some time in there behind the closed door. After that, he went to his office and put that little pice of paper into the paper shredder. At that time she got very intrigued but soon she forgot all about it. Now, it seemed a good time to find out if the code she saw was opening that safe in the closet.
She found a moment when there was nobody else in the house but her and walked into the closet. There it was, hidden under the clothes, the safe's door with the combination lock. For a short moment she stood very quietly listening. There was no sound. She put on her cleaning gloves and dialed the code. A little red light on the lock turned green. She opened the safe. She looked at all the diamonds that should have been hers if she had been his wife. She saw his father's diamond wedding ring she knew so well. She closed the safe. Now it was not the time to take anything. She should come up with a plan first.
There was nobody whom she could trust with the task at hand but herself. She found that relaxing since it would be only her alone suffering if anything should go wrong. But she was going to make sure nothing was going to go wrong. She needed a good plan. So, this what she was doing while taking a couple of days off from her cleaning and cooking job lying she had a cold, she was planing how to get away clean with her hands full of gold and diamonds.
She saw how her beloved John exploded with happiness and pride after his son was born. It looked like he unquestionably believed he got the best fiancée on Earth. She saw how he had been giving his fiancée diamond presents even before the baby was born, but now there was no week passing without him getting her more and more little shinny presents. It looked like he had a goal of making her shine. And that had to be stopped.
Maida was on her knees cleaning the floor in her own little apartment. Her TV was on creating the feeling of other people's presence. She was tired of a two day thinking marathon that was supposed to create an idea of how she would get everything she wanted. She felt empty and disappointed in herself because no matter how hard she tried her imagination was not strong enough to produce anything useful. A new show was about to start on TV, one she didn't want to be played on her TV. That show she never watched but hated a lot because it was his fiancée's favorite soap opera. She got up from her knees and walked toward the coffee table where the TV remote was. But before she was able to grab the device the commercials were over and the recap sequence started. And since she was standing right in front of the TV, she couldn't avoid looking at it. What she saw stopped her from changing the channel. For a moment she froze. Then she waltzed across the room holding her sports pants on both sides like they were a skirt. She was dancing, singing, and laughing. Finally, she knew what she had to do. She would do that tomorrow.
The next day she came back home tired and frustrated. She was frustrated because she couldn't find the right time and conditions to do what she intended to do. Instead, her whole day passed in doing things they told her to do. There were mountains of dirty dishes in their kitchen since nobody took care of them while she was absent, there were piles of dirty clothes on the floor in their bedroom since nobody would pick them up and carry into the laundry room. Plus, she was told to clean the baby's room since John believed that his baby's room was not clean enough. Of course, she had to clean the windows she didn't finish last time. And in between of doing all that she had to manage cooking lunch and dinner. That was her day. That was her life she didn't want anymore.
Every day she would come to work hoping that was going to be the day when she could try to do something according to her plan. Every second she was waiting for the right moment. But the right moment was taking it's time. Until one day when she knew it was the time. It was that right moment.
She saw him quietly standing in the corridor in front of the mirror with his hair comb in his hand, thinking about something. She saw his fiancée sitting on the sofa breast-feeding the baby with her cellphone in her hand. It looked like she tried to call her mother as she always did while feeding the baby but this time her mother wasn't there. It was that right moment when he would definitely hear Fiona talking on the phone. He would hear her every word.
Being a made in someone's house had its advantages and one of them was knowing the house better than the owners did. She dialed his fiancée's cellphone number and heard her answer. Hiding in the kitchen she could see John in the corridor, she could see how he stopped thinking and started listening. What he heard was a conversation on the phone between his fiancée and someone else, what he didn't know was that the person on the other end of the phone line was his maid hiding behind his kitchen door, looking at him and hopping to see him reacting as he did. The conversation went as planed. Maida explained to Fiona that right now she couldn't leave the kitchen because she was cooking and asked her to help her dumb maid to understand if the baby in her favorite TV show was born from a man who was officially known as his father or not. Fiona tried to explain that the baby was born not from the one who is on the documents but from another man that nobody knows yet, but the made turned out to be very stupid. She asked so many questions about the unknown man. She asked one question after another giving no time to answer the questions in complete sentences. All Fiona could do was to answer her in short fragments like "no, the baby is not his ... no, someone else's .... no, he is not the father... the baby was born from someone else... no, not from him..."
Hidden in the kitchen Maida saw John's face. She saw the doubt growing inside him. She saw the anger becoming more and more clearly visible on his face. She saw his hands started to shake. She heard him breathing fast and heavily. She knew her plan was working.
Time was slowly passing by as she waited for something bad to happen in their family but nothing did. She was patiently waiting for a fight between them or at least a little dialog about the question she planted in his mind but that didn't happen. She was about to give up her dreams of ever getting out of this house with something more than broken heart and empty hands when handling his mail she noticed an envelope from the DNA Testing Laboratories. That was unexpected. That was much more than she could hope for.
New ideas were swirling in her head. If he decided to do a paternity test then there was something she could do to further play with his mind. She still had a chance to get what she wanted.
Next day she was walking home with an envelop in her purse, the one she was waiting for. It was in his outgoing mail hidden under all the other envelopes, but she immediately recognized it by the address it was going to. She couldn't just let it go with the other mail. First, she had to add some of her own DNA to his cotton swab so it would completely mess up his DNA test which she did by rolling his cotton swab on the inside of her cheek. And only then the envelope was allowed to go into the mail.
It was time for her to make sure nobody was going to be surprised when she suddenly stopped working. She had to tell him she was planning to go to college soon. It was a very pleasurable experience to make announcement that surprised him so much but also it opened her eyes to how little he was thinking about her. She thought he would be positively surprised but instead he asked what made her think she could manage being a student. He wasn't sure she had what it took to be a good student. At another time, she would pretend that a remark like that was nothing but later come home and cry for hours. Now, she was too busy to do that. After work she didn't go home, she went to the college to fill an application.
A week later there was a reply from the DNA Testing Laboratory in her hand. Breathing heavily and feeling her heart beats in her stomach she put the envelope on his office table. What was said in the test results?
She saw him entering the office and closing the door behind. For an hour she was waiting to see him exit the room, and the longer she waited the easier she could breath. He wouldn't be sitting there for so long if the news was good. She was getting tired of pretending to clean their shoes and boots so she could have a reason to be in the corridor and have a good view of the office door. When the door opened and he came out, one quick look at his face made her heart jump with joy. It seemed that everything was going the way she intended.
She saw him pulling his fiancée into the baby's room and heard him screaming at her. Standing in the corridor alone Maida smiled to herself. She was wearing one of her working aprons, the one with the widest and deepest pockets. The fight in the room was just getting hotter with every second so it seemed to be the right time for her to go and take everything that was meant to be hers if only he loved her instead of that bitch. She put on a pair of fresh cleaning gloves went to the closet where the safe was waiting for her.
She didn't take a single dollar of his money that was in the safe. She took only the things that should have been hers - his fiancée's jewelry all in beautiful jewelry boxes, and also his parents' wedding rings that she intended to return at the right time. She emptied the jewelry boxes in her big apron's pockets. The empty boxes went into the garbage bag she prepared for exactly this purpose, that she put in the kitchen garbage can as fast as she entered the kitchen.
Looking through a half closed kitchen door she saw him walking into his office with the face as red as could be, his clothes torn into pieces. She saw his fiancée crying and saying something in her native language. Maida didn't understand a single word but the intonation full of hate was talking for itself. Was that bitch finally leaving his house for good or was she just going somewhere to take a short break and then come back and continue to play with his mind as always pretending to love him? Was Maida going to get into trouble for what she had done? She would have to put everything back the way it was if his fiancée decided not to leave him. That would be so unfair!
Her heard jumped with joy as she saw Fiona caring the baby in one hand and the ugly luggage she came with from her home country in the other, walking in the direction of the front door, kicking everything out of her way including her own numerous pairs of shoes that Maida was pretending to clean in the corridor. It looked like his fiancée was leaving the house for good.
Closing the door behind his ex-fiancée Maida jumped with joy, and hearing the sound her pockets made, she smiled with the widest smile she cold possibly muster. She was free to be what she wanted to be, free to leave this house and never come back, free of her love for him. And she was not leaving empty handed.
He could appear out of his room any time now so for her it was time to run back to the safe that looked so empty now, put his parents' wedding rings back in there, and be ready to play her final little role of a concerned maid. She went to the kitchen and turned on the water so he could hear the water running and knew that there was someone in the kitchen. A couple of drops of tap water on he face made it look like she was crying. When she heard his footsteps in the corridor she rubbed her face with her palms to make her cheeks red and talking to him tried to keep a sad expression on her face. From her kitchen window she saw him outside of the house looking in all directions, searching for Fiona but not finding.
Maida looked at him running from one room to another like a cat looks at a scared mouse. It was all over, it came to the end where there was nothing else for her to do but to say goodbye to him, to his house, and to this part of her live. It was time to start a new one. The last thing she did in his house was taking the kitchen garbage out. And then, she went home...
On her way home all she could think about was him, the man she still loved so much. Would she ever see him again? She felt guilty and small. She wanted to run back, grab him in her arms, kiss him, tell him how much she loved him, but the weight of the diamonds in her pocket stopped her from turning back and she slowly continued to walk forward, into her future, to the new life where she becomes a nurse as she dreamed, one of the best surgical nurses, saving many lives and getting her hands kissed by the patients and their relatives. She will always have a question if the destruction of the family of one man is worth saving her own life and the lives of hundreds. She will never find an answer no matter how many philosophy classes she takes in search for it...