Chapter 2

Annabelle opened her eyes but couldn't find the energy to get out of bed. After laying in her bed for a while, she finally sat up and got out. She stretched for a few minutes then went to her wardrobe to get her training suit. 

After putting it on, she went to a corner of her room to begin her morning workout. 

She stretched again and began. 

After about an hour of doing squats, pushups and eventually her jump rope, she was finally done. She first rolled the jump rope and put it on the cabinet. Then she took her soap, shampoo and towel to the bathroom. After taking off her clothes and putting them in the wash basket, she walked into the bathroom and had a quick shower. 

When she was done with her shower, Anna walked into her room with her towel wrapped around her. She did her skincare routine and chose an outfit for the day. It was Saturday and she didn't plan to go outside so she chose something simple: a pink blouse on a short black skirt then wore her puffy black slippers. She combed her hair, put it in a ponytail and took her glasses from the bedside table. 

She quickly made her bed and went downstairs to find something to eat. To her surprise, there was already a woman who she presumed to be the cook cook in the kitchen when she entered. 

″Good morning miss,″ the woman greeted with a smile.

″Oh, hi,″ Anna said. ″When did you get here?″

"Miss, I've been here since yesterday. I came to your room to call you for dinner but you were asleep,″ she replied. 

″Okay. What are you cooking?″ Anna asked as she walked to the cooker to look.

″I'm making scrambled eggs. I thought you and your parents would want a rather light breakfast,″ she said.

″Why would you think that?″ Anna asked with a frown. ″There's nothing wrong in bringing something that's a little heavy unless you're given specific instructions.″

The woman shrugged. ″Well, you and your parents have this model look. I just felt you wouldn't look like this unless you were eating light meals.″

Anna chuckled at her assumption. ″We are just like that. It has nothing to do with our diet. I think it runs in the blood, I guess,″ she explained. 

″Okay miss.″

Then there was silence as Anna watched her prepare their breakfast. Then she remembered a question she forgot to ask.

″Ma'am?″ she called nervously but the cook didn't respond. 

″Ma'am,″ she called again.

She responded with a shocked expression. ″Are you talking to me?″ she asked. She never expected Anna to seem respectful. She thought she would be rude, like most rich teenagers.

″Of course. I forgot to ask your name.″

″My name is Katherine,″ she said, still in shock.

″Your name is lovely.″

″Thank you miss,″ she said with a smile. 

″There's no need to thank me. Can I call you Kathy?″


By then, Katherine had set the table so Anna had no reason to stay in the kitchen though she wanted to. 

She went to the table and waited for her parents. As much as she wanted to dig in, it was improper for her to eat without her parents. After sometime, they finally made a grand entrance. 

″Good morning mom and dad″, she greeted. 

″Hello Anna,″ her mom replied. 

″Annabelle,″ her dad greeted with a nod.

Then they began to eat in silence. Anna finished first but didn't leave the table as that would be disrespectful to her parents. 

A few minutes later, they were done. Her father left first but her mother remained. 

″Anna,″ she said.

″Yes mom.″

″Anna, I know this is difficult for you but please, just try to adjust,″ she said. 

Annabelle just sat gaping at her. She didn't know what to say or where to start from. 

″Anna,″ her mom called. 

″It's fine mom. I'll try,″ she said. 

Her mom sighed in relief. ″Thank you dear.″ She tarried a while, looking at her daughter with concern in her eyes while Anna desperately hoped that her mom would leave the table. 

At last, she stood up. ″I'll be going now dear. I'll be in the library. If you need anything, just tell me,″ she said and went up the stairs.  

When Annabelle was sure her mother was gone, she gathered the used plates and took them to the kitchen.

Katherine saw her and screamed. ″Miss, please don't. If your parents see you, I may lose my job for this,″ she said as she hurriedly collected the plates from Anna and put them in the dishwasher. 

Then she went to the door and peered out to check if anyone saw them. 

Meanwhile, Anna watched her with amusement. ″Kathy, don't be scared,″ she said, ″I made sure they weren't close by when I did that. And don't worry, you won't lose your job, I promise.″ 

″Oh alright Miss,″ she said and waited for Annabelle to leave but she didn't. Instead, she took a seat and looked at Katherine expectantly. 

″Kathy, what will you be doing today?″ she asked. 

″Not much. I'll just cook the afternoon and evening meals. The housekeeper is coming to tidy up the house. Then maybe when I'm done cooking, I will go to my quarters,″ she answered.

″Your quarters?″ Anna asked, confused.

Yes Miss. Your parents gave us, the servants, a duplex at the back of the house. It's more like flats inside there. We just know one another's territory.″

Anna nodded. ″Okay then. Kathy, I would like to watch you cook. That is, if you don't mind.″

Katherine was afraid. She felt the girl just wanted to get her into trouble with her parents even though she looked too innocent for that. Still, Katherine couldn't refuse her request so she gave in. 

She started her work with Anna watching and helping when she could. They worked in silence until both lunch and dinner were done. 

Annabelle really enjoyed Katherine's company but she had no reason to stay with her any longer than that and going to her apartment was out of the question. 

″Thanks Kathy. I really enjoyed staying with you,″ she told the cook. 

″Oh Miss, there's nothing to thank me for. It was my pleasure to have you grace the kitchen today,″ she replied with a smile. 

Anna chuckled as she left. There was nothing else to do so she decided on watching n*****x on her laptop.

After watching three movies, she checked the time and it was almost time for lunch but knowing her parents, they would be too busy to eat. She felt like eating spaghetti so she went to the kitchen to make some. 

She got to the kitchen and guess what? There was no spaghetti. There was no junk food at all. She thought of going to her mother but discarded the idea. She had handled worse situations without her parents so why would she start now to need their help? 

Instead, she went to the servants' quarters to ask Katherine if she had spaghetti. 

She rang the doorbell when she got there. 

″Hi Kathy″, she said when the door opened. 

″Oh, Miss,″ Katherine said in shock. ″What are you doing here?″ 

″I'm sorry for disturbing you but-″

″No, Miss, you're not bothering me. It's just that your parents won't be happy to see you here,″ she said, cutting Anna off. 

″Don't worry about them. They're working. I only came because I wanted to eat spaghetti but it wasn't there. I thought you would have some,″.she said, finally stating her reason for coming there. 

″I'm so sorry. Your mother told me not to buy any junk food. I don't have spaghetti here either but you can order pizza,″ Katherine said apologetically. 

″It's fine Kathy. And please, stop calling me miss. My name is Annabelle.″

″Okay. Can I call you Belle? That's because you're very beautiful.″

″Sure,″ she said then turned and walked towards the house to find something to eat because her stomach was rumbling.

Anna eventually ordered pizza and when the delivery man dropped it off, she went to her room to eat. She didn't want to watch any movie so she began to think. 

She missed Pakistan. She wanted to go back but that was too much of a risk. Why did Aunt Makayla have to do all that? She also blamed her parents. Running was not the solution. If they wanted to go far away from the woman, they could have relocated to a different city but not another country. And of all the countries, why did it have to be the United States? India was still there, after all.

Well, there was nothing she could do. She would have to adjust. 

The next problem was how to adjust. Obviously, her parents wouldn't be there to help her. They were never there. She was even surprised they were still in the house. She had expected them to come and tell her that they had an important trip to make. 

Anna was so occupied with her thoughts that she didn't know that her father had come into her room and was calling her name.

″Annabelle,″ he called again.

She jumped when she finally heard him.

″Dad? When did you come in?″ she asked.

″I've been here for a while and I've called your name three times. Why didn't you hear me?"

″I'm sorry dad,″ she said, looking at her sheets. Her dad looked at her hard for a few minutes before speaking.

″You are starting school on Monday. Start preparing your mind. You'll get your uniform at dinner,″ he said then left her.

″Okay,″ she said but it came out as a whisper. Her fears were closer than they seemed.

 She sat on her bed, staring at nothing in particular until Katherine came to call her for dinner.

Dinner was eaten in silence. As soon as she finished eating, she excused herself but her dad declined it. 

″Wait a while. We need to talk to you,″ he said.

Within a few minutes, they too finished their meal and beckoned on her to follow them to the living room.

″Anna dear,″ her mom said. ″You'll be attending Regis High school from Monday.″

″We know this isn't easy for you, but it isn't easy for us either so please try to adjust,″ her dad continued.

Then her mom handed her a package. ″That's your uniform,″ she said. "It's been washed and ironed. All you need to do is put it on Monday.″

″Okay mom and dad. Good night,″ Anna said.

″Good night,″ her mom responded while her father gave his signature nod.

On her way upstairs, she stopped by the kitchen to wish Kathy a good night.

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