She didn't speak to me the entire way home. No cursing, no throwing insults, not a word. I didn't push her to say anything and drove her home in silence. She stormed inside the house as soon as I parked the car without saying a word to me. Jeez...a thank you would've been nice.
"Mr. Laverne would like to see you," Linda said when I came in," Does this lady live here?
He was waiting for me on the terrace. I guess it was his favorite place of leisure.
"Everything went okay at the party?" he asked when I said hello to him.
I almost told him about the incident with Mason and his friends but stopped myself at the last second. Something told me Rose wouldn't want me to say anything. I wanted her to trust me and the first step was to keep her embarrassing secrets to myself.
"It was fine. Just your typical college party. Loud music, obnoxious kids. You know, the usual," I said casually.
"I see. I have some important matters to discuss with you," he said.
"Yes sir?" I asked.
"I want you to move into the mansion," Mr. Laverne said.
"Excuse me? Move-in here?" I was shocked.
"Yes. I know this is sudden but I believe it'll be convenient for both of us," he nodded.
"I...William...that's very generous of you to offer but I can't. I have to stay at home to take care of my father. He is very ill," I said.
"Yes, I know about your father. I am willing to hire a nurse for him. You can visit him whenever obviously. I'll provide you with a car and double your salary so you can still maintain your house," Mr. Laverne declared.
Whoa...this was the most outrageous offer I've ever got. But why was he offering me all of that? Why me?
"Sir...I don't understand..." I hesitated.
"I know this may come as a big shock as I seem to be overcompensating you but trust me, I have my reasons. I've been watching you with Rose and I like how you handle her. Your calming aura is just what she needs. She may seem pretty out there but Rose doesn't have any real friends. I want you to take this opportunity to become her friend. Someone she can trust, someone close to her age," he said.
"But William, I can still do that without you offering all of this," I protested.
"I know. It's just that, I need you to stay here and look out for her at all times. Linda is usually the one who does it but she is moving out of here to get married," Mr. Laverne said with a sad expression on his face.
Oh, so Linda did live here.
"Why does she need to be watched?" I asked. There was definitely something weird going on with that girl. "She is an adult, don't you think it's crazy to be on her case all the time? What is wrong with her anyway?"
"She..she is not well. She tried to commit suicide three times already," he paused.
I was taken aback by that information. I didn't realize Rose was that messed up. I thought she was just an angry, spoiled rich girl.
"I know it's shocking, I am sorry I didn't tell you earlier. This is why she needs someone with her. I tried to get her help and send her to therapy but she rejected them all. And I really don't want to have her committed. All I can do is have someone to be her friend." he said sadly.
So I was basically a watchdog for her. This seems like a way too big of a responsibility.
"Don't worry she hasn't tried anything recently. But I am still worried about her. Please do not refuse. I know you need the money, Liam. This will be an easy task for you. Aside from being verbally abused by her of course," he smirked.
"What about my other job and college? I can't be with her during those times," I pointed out.
"Yes that, I suggest you quit that job. With the amount of money I'll be paying, you won't need it. And as far as college is concerned, you are taking a summer break, correct? So you'll be free to be with her. After that you can resume going to classes on your regular times," he said.
The old man thought of everything. I knew this offer was way too good to reject. I get to live in this enormous house and get paid the big bucks in exchange for babysitting a rude and depressed girl? I couldn't refuse.
"I'll do it. I'll move in here," I said.
"Excellent! I will have my driver help you get your things from your house. You can explain everything to your father then," Mr. Laverne said cheerfully.
So that's how my new life at the Laverne residents had begun. It didn't take much to convince my father. He was surprised at first, but he nodded in understanding. I always had a feeling that he felt guilty about me taking care of him so much and not having fun like most kids my age. He was more than happy to let me move out.
I didn't have many things in the first place so I was able to move pretty fast. I saw Rose sitting outside by the pool with her usual melancholy expression on her face.
"So you are going to be living here from now on, huh? How annoying," she said, not looking at me.
"Yeap, sorry if that's not what you wanted. I promise I can be fun to be around. We will get along just fine as long as you don't try to murder me in my sleep. That's where I draw the line," I said and smiled.
"Does this mean you are going to break into my room every morning and drag me out of the bed?" she asked. Her lips twisted into a small smile.
"That depends. I'd rather not but if you act stubborn, lifting you off of the bed might become my regular morning workout routine," I said.
"I guess that's fair," she nodded.
What? Did we agree on something? PROGRESS!
"Oh, by the way, thanks for helping me with those guys the other day. Sorry I was rude to you after that," she said and avoided my eyes again. "And thank you for not mentioning it to my grandfather," she added.
"You are welcome. That's what I was there for. You are the beauty and I am the muscle," I said.
"You are a fucking dork," she scoffed.
"Whatever, does this mean we are friends now?" I asked.
"Not a fucking chance in hell," she got up and left.
I'll break you down one day, Rose Laverne!