My Own Little Mistress
I lay on a rough scratchy surface, pressed up against a cold, hard metal mesh. I tried, unsuccessfully, to squirm into a more comfortable position. I gave up quickly, letting a silent sigh pass through my sore lips. My neck was stiff and I was loosing feeling in my fingers and toes. I was also cold - freezing really. The chilly winter air was seeping through my skin and into my bones. I tried to comfort myself with the images of a warm -no a hot - place. Preferably somewhere near the equator, where the sun would beat down mercifully, thawing my stiff body.
I held my breath as the sound of a creaking door sounded in the silence. I heard a soft clicking sound and an artificial light flooded the almost barren room. The sound of small feet hitting the hard ground was the only noise that could be heard. My breathing stopped as my heart rate sped up. I shrunk down making myself flatter and more spread out over the uncomfortable floor. Suddenly a loud thump sounded as the owner of the small feet fell to their hands and knees beside me.
“Found you,” my little cousin, Lily, announced in a singsong voice. She smiled at me from under the pink glittery mask she was wearing.The fake feathers hungin her face, blocking her bright blue eyes, though she still refused to take it off. She’d gotten it for her birthday a couple of days ago and had been wearing it ever since.
“You a weal good hider, Sanwa,” complimented Lily, stumbling over her 'r's.
“Thanks Lil’s,” I said, smiling, messing up her soft, brown hair playfully. She gasped and pushed my hands away with her small, chubby hands.
“No touch my hair,” she complained, pouting.
“Aww sorry,” I said apologetically, pulling myself up with the help of my bed. I let out a long moan as my many stiff joints cracked and my muscles stretched. I shook my head and looked down at Lily, who was sitting at my feet.
“Upzies, upzies,” she squealed, raising her arms towards me and clenching and unclenching her small fists.
“Fine,” I sighed dramatically before bending down and scooping her four-year-oldbody up into my arms. “What do you want to do now sweetie?” I asked, walking out of the motel room I would be sleeping in. She shrugged, resting her head on my shoulder and letting out a wide yawn. “I think it’s almost bedtime for a certain someone,” I teased knowingly.
“No, no!” she exclaimed, her blue eyes suddenly wide open and alert under her party mask. “I wanna see ta pwetty stars,” she ordered, pointing towards the twinkling stars that could be seen through the glass sliding door. I smiled in agreement and took her outside. I placed her down onto the small concrete balcony and leaned up against the metal railing. As Lily gazed up at the stars, wonder and awe in her young eyes, I looked out across the gully.
The motel we were staying at was positioned halfway up one of three hills. Another larger hill was positioned to the right off me and a smaller one was directly in front. Streetlights and house lights glowed just as brightly below us as the stars did above. The dark silhouettes of trees stood silent and unmoving as the howls of bored dogs echoed into the night.
I sighed tiredly, leaning my head down against my crossed arms, which were resting on the railing. I had no idea how my Aunty Catherine did it. I was half dead on my feet and I’d only been looking after Lily for two hours. Two hours of none stop energy usage. Including tag, dress ups, dollies and more.My eyes slowly fell shutand Ihad to force the traitors open again. How the hell was I going to do this? I peeked out of the corner of my eye at Lily to see a small yawn escape herpink,cupid-bowlips.
“Was that a yawn little missy?” I asked smugly. She turned to me in alarm and shook her head back and forth quickly.
“Nuh ah,” she denied stubbornly. I groaned in frustration on the inside as I bent down topick her up.
“Well then what do you want to do now?” I inquired, yawning myself. It was quickly approaching ten o’clock and I’d gone to bed well after midnight last night. Then I’d been forced up at seven, to pack and clean up so that we could check out of our hotel before ten.
“Movie, movie,” she answered, pointing at the T.V and bouncing in my arms.Great, I thought sarcastically. Beforewhen I’d checked the provided DVDs, not one had been worth the amount of time it took to watch them.
“Okay,” I agreed reluctantly, trying not to show it. “You pick while I go get you some warm milk.”
“Yup,” Lily replied, racing over to the small cabinet under the large - in width not length- black T.V. She kneeled down in front of it and pulled opened the cabinet doors excitedly. I walked over to the cramped kitchen that was separated from the squishy living area by a small, thin bench. I quickly poured Lily a cup of milk and placed it into the microwave to warm up. While I was waiting, I got myself a cup of coffee, desperately needing the caffeine boost.
I hadn’t been paying attention to what Lily was doing and was surprised to here a woman talking about a drug dealer named Tommy in a cold, detached voice. I spun around to see a show that looked suspiciously NCIS-like on the T.V screen. The scene switched to that of the bloodied body of a teenage boy. Shit! I screamed in my head. I raced around the kitchen bench, snatched up the remote and pressed the TV/AV button hard. I let out my breath when the screen became blue.
“Whew,” I said out loud as I turned my attention to Lily, who was staring at the T.V mouth agape and eyes wide.
“Hey, why you change ta channel?” she asked, hersmooth foreheadcreasing in confusion.
“Well that was the wrong channel to watch the movieon, so I had to change it.” I half-lied quickly, pushing some loose strands of my blonde hair out of my face. “So what movie did you pick?” I asked, changing the subject as I went back to collect her milk.
“Barbie and the Nutcracker,” she answered, bouncing up and down as she hurried over to the old, maroon couch.
“Wonderful.” I lied smoothly. I exchanged the milk with Lily for the DVD and set it up. As it started playing, I walked back over and picked up my coffee and downed it in a few gulps. I went back over and sat down next to Lily watching her eyes slowly drift shut, and her little body relax back into the green and red pillows. I smiled to myself. After her eyes stayed shut for five minutes and her breathing levelled out I decided to get her into bed.
I walked over and carefully picked her up, pausing when she let out a soft moan. She curled herself inwards and rested her cool cheek on my chest. I smiled down at her, my heart swelling as a wave of love came over me. Lily was my only cousin and I thought of her as more as a little sister. I carefully made my way to my room - only walking into a doorframe once. I placed her down onto the bottom bunk of the bunk-beds we would be sharing.
Using every bit of gentleness and care I possessed I changed her into her pink, fairy pyjamas.I wokeher up once, but she simply shut her eyes and ignored me as I finished off changing her. I manoeuvred her under the cool, lime green sheets and placed a quick kiss on her forehead. I walked to the doorway before turning around to give her sleeping form one more quick look. I had baby-sat many kids over a range ages, but I was only a true servent to Lily.
For now, a traitorous voice reminded me in my head.
I know, I answered, sadly. My heart felt heavy as I placed a hand over my flat stomach.
Not for long, the little voice spoke up again.
Oh shut up, I muttered to myself angrily. I heard a car pull up outside, announcing that the adults had returned from their night out. I took a deep breath as I readied myself to finally come clean to my parents. I sent Lily aquickkiss through the air, thanking her for giving me the strength I needed.