Money has been described as many things: The root of all evil; the answer to all things; bait for hookers; you name it. The truth is money is a tool. It is a catalyst and an accelerant, and one of the things that it accelerates is ones character. I once heard someone say that money doesn’t change a person – it rather makes them MORE of who they already are. That’s the mystery of money, isn’t it? It can buy you many things, but it can never buy a person class or character.
Annabelle discovered this with the Rajwanis.
After she abruptly gave her notice, Anitha and Ravi ceased all verbal communication with her. For 3 days Annabelle’s only contact with the two was via text. If they wanted anything done, they sent her a text. If they wanted her to change Serena, they sent her a text. If they were leaving the house they sent her a text! Anitha had begun arranging interviews for Annabelle’s replacement.
I’ll need some privacy when these interviews begin showing up, she sent in one text.
Of course! Annabelle texted back.
All though she would be well within her rights, she wouldn’t give in to the urge to tell the next employee to run for the hills. It was not safe here!
Annabelle’s “excommunication” continued in this way, so it was much to Annabelle’s surprise when Anitha came knocking on her bedroom door on the fourth night. She entered the room and sat on Annabelle’s bed.
“So tell me about the new Twilight movie,” said Anitha.
Annabelle was astounded.
“You…you want me to talk to you about Twilight?” she reiterated.
“Uh huh!” said Anitha with girlish anticipation. “I don’t mind the spoiler alert.”
Clearly she had misread Annabelle’s surprise. After shunning her for the last 3 days, this woman wanted to discuss Twilight? Amazing.
“Oookay…” began Annabelle, “sure.”
She monologued about the next chapter in the series for a few moments before Anitha interrupted her.
“You know these things really frighten me,” she began. “It takes a very vivid imagination to conjure up these sorts of things.
Annabelle tried to console her.
“Oh it’s alright Anitha. These things about vampires and such are just make believe.”
“Yes, but that’s the point,” countered Anitha. “Only someone with an artsy mind would come up with these things! They are very deep, very spiritual.”
She paused and looked over Annabelle, as though preparing to share something thought provoking and personal. Finally, she continued.
“You know, you wouldn’t know by looking at me, but I’m quite the artist myself,” she gloated impudently. “I was once accepted into one of the finest art schools in New York, but I gave it up to pursue medicine.
And now you’re a part time dietician.
“Ahhh. I see,” said Annabelle audibly.
Anitha looked her over once more.
“How long did it take you to learn English when you got here?” she asked.
“Well, you speak English so well,” explained Anitha. “It must have taken you ages to get to this point!”
“Well, Anitha. I’m a Kenyan…and we were an English colony. All of our instruction in school was in English.”
“Oh,” sniffed Anitha. “Well in Pakistan, only the very wealthy learn English. Everyone else has their instruction in Urdu.”
“Yes, well in Kenya, even children in the rural areas still have their lessons in English.”
Annabelle decided to leave off the fact that their English may be very poor, but it was English nonetheless.
Annabelle had tuned Anitha out after that point. She was insulted and the woman didn’t even have the compassion to notice…or care for that matter. In that one sentence, Anitha had confirmed all of Annabelle’s assumptions about her: that was incredibly ignorant. In that ONE sentence, Anitha had confirmed what Annabelle had assumed that her employer had thought about her all along: that she was a ‘nobody.’ That she was an illiterate, impoverished African woman whose pleasure it was to do their bidding, no matter how foul. Ugh!
“I think I’m tired now Anitha. I’d like to go to bed.”
“Oh. Oh, well…good night.”
The next morning, Annabelle heard Ravi get up and take a shower and used the bathroom. She heard him pad down the stairs, open the fridge and get something to drink. Then she heard his engine start and roar out of the driveway. This sent her into a panic. Serena!
The child was still sleeping when Annabelle rushed into her room.
“Serena, wake up sweetie, we have to get to school,” said Annabelle.
Serena was confused.
“Where’s Daddy?” she asked, putting on her clothes without resistance for once.
“He left for work,” Annabelle muttered.
For the last three days, Ravi had gotten up and gotten Serena ready and dropped her at school. Neither he nor Anitha had informed Annabelle that he would be doing this, not even via text. It was their way of “revenge” she supposed. With Annabelle’s mornings thus freed, she took her time getting up. Now the child was going to be late for school. As they were preparing to leave, Anitha stopped them at the door.
“Oh no, no, no my dear,” she chastised Serena. “That ribbon doesn’t match your dress. You’ll have to go upstairs and take it off.”
The girl was going to be late! Who cared about a ribbon, Annabelle fumed inwardly. Just a few more days, just a few more days, she chanted.
When Serena reemerged, her mother approved her ribbon and allowed the child to leave for school, with minutes left to bell time.
Annabelle carried Serena out of the car and rushed her up the stairs. After she bid Serena good bye, she was greeted by Southern Accent, her nanny informant and confidant. She looked surprised to see Annabelle.
“You decided to stay! Good for you!” she gushed.
“Huh? Oh no. I’m still leaving. I already gave my notice.”
“Notice? Girl, they told everyone ‘round here that you had been dismissed!”
“Yeah! Anitha said…”
Annabelle cut her off. She didn’t want to hear what Anitha had said about. Besides, she could already imagine.
“I’d rather not know, thanks.”
“Well we all figured you had already gone, seeing as dad had been dropping Serena off these last couple of days.”
“Yeah…that’s been a bit strange.”
They chatted for a few minutes more before they each said their goodbyes. Annabelle could not believe it. Dismissed indeed! What did Anitha have up her sleeve, telling these sorts of lies. Annabelle pondered this all the way home, until something at the back door snapped her out of her thoughts.
*NB: Okay, Readers. I wanted the last chapter of The Hue to be a triumphant one, where Annabelle comes out the victor and we all go ahead with the love of Christmas in our hearts, but Anitha will not let it be so! The woman has a black heart, and it is up to me to expose her for the villain that she truly is! Do you know what else is interesting dear Readers? I couldn’t find a single image of an African woman with a bone in her nose or her lip for the installation. The woman pictured here is, ironically, Indian.
The Hue continues!!