Author: Therealonee


Humming a tune known to nobody but herself, yes she was that kind of girl, she focused on the job at hand. Mopping and scrubbing floors had never been her cup of tea growing up. However, she was helpless in the face of destiny, just like we all are.

There she was at one of the world's most renowned Hotels; La Vida, down on her knees, scrubbing the tiled floors of the bathroom suite belonging to the Hotel's lavish penthouse.

This right here was what other workers in the Hotel considered a dream come true. For what reason, you might wonder. First and foremost, this was the penthouse. The only place in the whole 85 floors of the entire Hotel that never required much cleaning. Just a little dusting, mopping and scrubbing was enough. 

Now secondly and apparently most importantly to the entire female population of workers, was the fact that Mr Black resided here. By cleaning his penthouse one might be lucky enough to get a glimpse of the mystery man. Their words not Anelia Telford's. 

In all the times people had cleaned the penthouse, not a single person had seen him. She was no exception either. Everything about him proved to be one big tub of mystery. The only reason why Lia was so much as even aware of his name was because of the grapevine which coursed amongst the workers, male and female alike.

If Anelia had to be honest, she did not think that anyone was ever going to see this so called Mr Black. Not if the manager could help it. 

He, a kempt man whose receding hairline stood to reflect the number of years the man had lived through, always made sure that their shifts never clashed with the times during which the guests were around. In the event that they did clash, he had firmly instructed the whole lot of them to politely excuse themselves and leave the suites as soon as possible. Failure to do so would result in some very sober consequences.

In actuality, Anelia was beginning to question the very existence of this man. Was he an actual real person or just an enigma formed to spice up dealings at the Hotel. 

Besides, whatever the case may be, it was a seemingly lost cause. Well, hoping to ever see this man, she thought. She would, however, not be crazy enough to voice that opinion. Simply put, she wanted to keep her name off the Workers' blacklist.

As crazy as that sounded, it was an actual thing. There were, undoubtedly, classes in their group of workers. Firstly, the Dappers, a group that comprised beautiful and handsome workers whose looks pretty much got their work done, not hard work. 

The Averages, who worked when it suited them but could still get away with any fallouts. Last and most probably least, well in terms of fashion sense and looks, the Misfits. These were the group of dedicated workers who served the hotel to their last drops of sweat. The group which she belonged to.

The Dappers, it was indeed an interesting choice of name, was reigned by the 'Three Bad Bitches', as they oh-so-liked to call themselves. Once they disliked you and decided to add you to the Blacklist, you were as good as jobless. They were so conniving and influential, even the manager took heed of them. How that was possible was beyond her.

She did not dwell much on it though. As a matter of fact, Anelia applauded herself for managing to stay off their radar, focusing on doing her job and earning her due. That was all that mattered to her.

Now back to the matter at hand, she was done mopping and scrubbing the marbled bathroom floor, which was not necessary but Anelia liked to do everything to the best of her ability. All she was left to do was some dusting and her work for the day would officially be done.

Entering the study, she thought that Mr Black was indeed a neat freak. Not a single thing was out of place. The table made out of oak, was so shiny, it looked almost unused. On its wide surface was a little container that comprised of pens, pencils on one end while on the other was a pile of papers stacked oh-so-well, not a single sheet was overlapping. She couldn't quite believe the setting before her.

She looked at the woody cabinet that stood tall and proud, against her short height of 5'3. It was during moments like these that she felt the drive to question her genealogy. She could not even reach halfway up the cabinet, not even when she stood on her tippy toes.

Oh, you and...your tallness, she remarked begrudgingly to the cabinet. She was pretty much hopeless.

Now, where to stand? She mused.

She eyed the plush leather chair behind the shiny table. What can it hurt using the chair to aid my little height problem, she asked herself a rhetorical question.

She moved behind the table but could not shake off the odd feeling in her stomach. That sinking feeling in her gut which was screaming at her to pull her hands off the leather chair. She was not one to go around touching stuff and violating the guests' privacy. 

It was actually quite the opposite. Anelia was always one to refrain from touching any property that had nothing to do with what she was paid to do. Drawers, closets, suitcases, treasure chests. Yes, treasure chests. They had a wide range of guests after all so go figure. 

Mr Furler, the manager, who had an eye that let nothing go unnoticed, just really happened to be a perfectionist. He would always find time in his busy schedule to follow up on every little task. From concierge to room service to the kitchens to well, every other part of the large Hotel.

So she had to make sure she left everything spotless. She shuddered at the mere aspect of getting fired. She would do anything to keep this job, if ever her job was threatened. She just could not afford to lose her job. That thought alone was enough to send a surge of refreshed determination rushing through her. 

As a last safety measure, she eyed the room desperately, in search of any kind of surveillance and to her uttermost surprise, she did not spot any. At least none that were visible to the eye. She pushed aside any gut feelings and objections from her heart and willed herself to continue with her work.

What was the worst that could happen?

Determined to implement her plan really quickly, she dragged the chair all the way to the cabinet. And boy did it weigh a tonne.

She took off her flats, tucked her uniform into the waistband and miraculously found herself balanced on the really comfy chair.

Dusting just for the sake of the act because to be honest this place was already clean, she swirled the duster back and forth over the surface of the cabinet. Seconds turned into minutes and she lost herself in the pool of thoughts stuck in her head.

Growing up, Anelia was showered with love. Being the only child to Bianca and John Telford for ten good years, she had all the love she could have ever asked for. They were always around. Neglect was something unknown to her back then. She had indeed been blessed. 

Then came along Natalie Cassie Telford. Her baby sister. A surprise really. She was a surprise but definitely not a mistake. A surprise because after the birth of Anelia, which had comprised of a number of complications, her parents had sworn to never having any other children. 

But, surprise surprise! Against all odds, she had come into the world. Anelia always smiled at the one time she asked her mother about her 'big tummy'.

"Mommy, why is your tummy big? Did you eat all the food like Uncle Lanny does?" Anelia being the curious child she was, had  asked her mom. 

Uncle Lanny, in case you're wondering, was the uncle who ate a lot, they had resorted to calling him their very own Father Christmas, with the bulging stomach, full round cheeks and the works.

She remembered how her parents had exchanged amused looks. That day she had found out that she had a little sister on the way. She had scrunched her nose in response at the time. She had only thought of how the coming baby was going to 'steal' all the love away. 

Skip a few months down the line and little Natie came bouncing into the world like a storm.

Growing up, they came to be inseparable. As a matter of fact, Anelia grew to be very protective of her little sister. She'd always rush over to her when she fell and scraped her knee, way before their parents could. 

Natie grew up to be Anelia's little shining star. Their 'toothless Natie', a nickname that had come about when Natalie Telford had lost her front teeth at a stage when it was well most expected.

However, the inevitable had happened. The memory was still clear and vivid in her head. She remembered walking on that sunny day, with Natie chatting up a storm about her lively day at school. About the shy boy with the glasses whom she had befriended. 

She remembered nearing their house and seeing two policemen standing on the front porch. Of course the scene was too familiar to Anelia and not in a good way, if the numerous movies she had watched were anything to go by. She had pushed all bad thoughts aside and walked towards their house.

Thee two police officers had in fact brought nothing but bad news. Their parents had died that day, victims to a head on collision. Anelia had bawled her eyes out and fallen apart right there on the doorstep, without a care in the world about creating a 'scene'. She cried for the fact that the two people she loved had left them all alone and she had not been there for them. 

In her grief, she had had to comfort her seven year old little sister. To try and be the grownup. And that's how it had been ever since. On that day, she had taken a vow. She was going to thrive to make a better life for Natalie. She put her own aspirations, hopes and dreams aside. 

With the trust fund her parents had so thoughtfully put aside for them, Anelia had managed to study and only managed to obtain an ordinary level certificate. To have furthered her education was something that was completely out of the question. 

The trust fund was beginning to edge close to being helpless and so, she worked. She could not afford to be picky about the jobs either; what with her not so impressive academics and the bills that had to get paid. 

This went on for quite a while until heaven saw through for her. One of the good people in her neighborhood had known someone who so happened to know someone. The typical story about who knows who. One thing led to another and she had landed an opportunity at the La Vida Hotel. Something she was forever going to be grateful for. Even if it meant cleaning after people.

But who was she kidding? Lia was not made of steel. She was not immune to feelings. Now, at twenty-one, she looked at the past three years and all she could say was that they had been nothing but trialing. 

She had felt the urge to give up more times than she could count. She had never had someone, anyone to help carry the burdens that had only managed to couple over the course of the years.

It was such a shame that Uncle Lanny had passed on due to bowel cancer. He had come forward and taken them in when there had been a question of guardianship by the officials from Childcare Affairs. Sadly, three months of being together, he had passed on. 

Another victim to the grip of death in her life. Yet again, the hand of despair gripped her before it had barely subsided from the loss of her parents. She had been grief-stricken but again, she trudged on.

She could not count the number of times that she had broken down, locked away in the bathroom, after Natie's curiosity got too much for her to handle. Am I ever going to have a daddy? Everyone at school has one. 

The other time, Natie had come back crying saying everyone at school had made fun of her for saying that her daddy had gone to heaven. Is heaven a bad place Lia?

Or the times when she could not even provide a decent meal. At times she had pathetically cried herself to sleep when she reflected on how all alone she and her sister truly were. Their relatives, both paternal and maternal, 'lost' contact faster than she could fathom. 

She guessed that they maybe were not ready to take on two extra burdens, especially after the death of Uncle Lanny.

Whatever the case, she was not going to sit still and watch her sister's life wither away. She had to mature and take up some responsibilities, which she quite frankly had been doing a great job at.

Not that she was complaining or anything. What she had encountered over the three years that had passed had made her reflect on life as a whole. She had come to cherish and be grateful for what she had. Life was indeed too short to beat herself up about things that were beyond her control. 

She had come to learn to make something of whatever time she had in her life. Besides, if working hard meant that she got to keep her sister, then she was ready to work to the last drop of sweat.

She broke her train of thoughts when she felt a lone tear make its way down her cheek. She wiped it away furiously. Thoughts of her life always ended up with her in tears. Bittersweet tears, typical story of Anelia Telford's life. 

Her life flashed before her eyes when she suddenly heard a very much deep baritone voice behind her.

"Mind telling me what you're doing on my chair?"

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