Clarissa slid around the corner of the white polished tiled floors and sky blue walls. She really was hoping that she wouldn’t be seen by Michael. If he found her, it would all be over. She scurried down the hallway.
“Hah!” she heard a boy snicker behind her. “I’ve found you now!”
“Not yet!” she shouted. Clarissa know if she just made it out the front door, she wouldn’t have to worry about it anymore. She’d be safe.
She felt a hand touch her shoulder. She stopped running. She’d lost. She would have to deal with the humiliation. She slowly turned to see the smirk on her brother’s face. Yep. That was definitely a huge smirk. Clarissa winced internally.
“Hah!” Michael laughed. “I win! You owe me fifteen pieces of your Halloween candy now!”
Clarissa pouted, “That’s not fair! You’re two years older than me. You’re way bigger than me!”
“I still won, fair and square. You made a pinky promise!”
Clarissa stomped up the stairs by the front door. “Fine! I’ll go get it. You stay here. I don’t want you to see my hiding spot.”
She hurried up the rest of the stairs and hurried to her room. The carpet was soft, but the gold decorations and elegant pattern of the hallway were lost to the eight-year-old girl. She’d lived there all her life. After racing up two more flights, Clarissa hurried down the hallway to her room. She rummaged through the things flung all over her bedroom to find the candy she owed her brother. She choose fifteen of the grossest candies she’d gotten last week trick-or-treating. She’d already eaten most of the good ones.
“I don’t think Michael likes peanut candy. It’s good I didn’t eat them yet. Now I can give them to him!” Clarissa smiled. She was very happy with the fact that her brother didn’t get yummy candy. She hadn’t pinky promised him it would be candy he’d like.
A knock sounded on her door. Her maid, Jessie opened the door. She was dressed up in fancy clothes, and Clarissa thought that was very strange. Jessie usually showed up with strange stains all over her clothes. She wasn’t exactly into cleaning with nice clothes on. Jessie was nineteen years old and Clarissa’s current favorite person.
“Clarissa!” Jessie frowned at the young girl. “I just helped you clean up this mess yesterday! What happened?”
Jessie spoke in an angry voice, but she was smiling and didn't seem to really be very upset with Clarissa. She had a very excited look on her pale freckled face.
“Oh. I was looking for things and they just went everywhere. I don’t even know why! They just did all by themselves.” Clarissa frowned. Her little self was tiny with blue curls and purple eyes. “I’m serious this time too!”
Jessie laughed, a smile lighting up her face, but she seemed a little sad. “I wish I could stay to help you clean it up.” She tugged on her strawberry blonde curls.
“Why are you all dressed up? Why do you look so sad?” Clarissa looked closely at Jessie. Jessie smiled sadly at the small girl.
“I’m leaving for school. I’m not going to be around anymore. I wanted to see you one last time.” Jessie wrapped her arms around Clarissa.
Clarissa struggled free as her eyes teared up. She looked up at Jessie, who she’d know her whole life, short as it was. “You aren’t going to be here anymore? Why? Don’t you love me?”
Clarissa sniffed pitifully. “Can’t you stay?”
“Oh, my darling messy flower. Of course I do. I’ll visit you as much as I can, but I don’t want to be a maid my whole life. This is my dream.”
Clarissa sat in silence hugging Jessie for a while. She didn’t want to let go of her. Jessie had always been there for her. She’d been there when she scraped her knees. She’d been there when Michael teased her. She’d been there when her Mother had gotten sick. She’d been through everything Clarissa had been through with her. Jessie had dried her tears countless times.
“How about this?” Jessie smoothed Clarissa’s hair. “I’ll write you all the time, even if you don’t write back.”
“Why wouldn’t I write back?” Clarissa looked up at Jessie.
Jessie just smiled.