AGE( it is just a number) * Written by Princess Juliet * Episode 1

 


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 Meet Hazel Dakota 

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   A cold sweat broke out of my forehead and I mopped it away with my fore arm....

     Opening my mouth , I tried to say something but didn't find my voice ....

    Are you deaf? My employer ,Mrs Martin barked at me and I shook my head nervously 

 Good! Then tell me , how did you loose this much money? She asked, touching the account book  

 I erm er don't erm . I stuttered not knowing what to say 

   I was confused as well!

   What the hell are you saying? are you trying to say you don't know how $ 1000 got missing? She half yelled and I swallowed hard

   I thought you were a good girl Hazel but now I know better, you are nothing but a pathetic thief! She retorted angrily 

  No ma! I am not thief . I said trying to defend myself and she scoffed 

     Then tell me, did the money suddenly grow wings and fly ? She asked in sarcasm 

    I remained quiet , lost in my own thoughts 

  The only time I left my duty was when Donna sent me on an errand to...... wait! What if she knows something about the money?

    And as if reading my mind , Mrs Martins asked 

  Do you by any chance leave your duty post today?

   I exhaled deeply, this was the only chance I have got to vindicate myself 

    Yes ma, Donna sent me on ..... I tried to say but she butted in

   Donna! And why would you drag my daughter into this mess? Are you trying to say my daughter stole the money! She retorted in a huff and I bit my lower lips trying to stop the tears from rolling down...

 You are not only a thief Hazel , you are also a pathetic liar . She accused 

    having said that , she picked up her purse from the table , opened it and brought out a few cash

   Take this. She said , handing the money to me

  I looked at the money and then at her

  What should I do with it? I asked confusedly

  That is your pay off . She answered rudely 

 Pay off! I repeated staring at the few dollars I was holding and that was when the realisation hit me , I have just been fired!!!!

  Immediately, I went down on my knees and clutched tightly to her clothes 

    You can't do this ma! You really need to believe me! I know nothing about the money . I pleaded but she did not budge instead she kicked my hands off her clothes and then stood up 

  I don't want to see you here when I am back or else I will call the cops . She threatened 

   Please ma don't do this to me. I pleaded as the tears rolled down but it was of no use as she walked out of the mall ignoring my pleas......

      I watched her go and exhaled deeply 

  What will I do now? I wondered , staring at the three $20 note I was holding....

  $60! It was not even up to my monthly pay 

 Standing up, I dusted my knees and walked slowly to the counter ...

     I am sorry Hazel. My partner who had been watching the happenings quietly said and I broke down in tears 

    I didn't do it Mike , I didn't steal the money ....

     I know you didn't do it. he agreed with me

 Then why didn't you defend me in front of Mrs Martins? I asked , banging my fist on the table and he exhaled deeply .......

  You Should know Mrs Martin does not go back on her words so there would be no point in doing that . he explained 

  Oh yeah! he is right 

   Picking up my purse from the table , I turned to leave when he suddenly asked...

     What do you intend on doing now?

  I turned to face him and then sighed 

    I really don't know , no one would want to employ a high school dropout like me . I blurted out and immediately regretted it ........

   Erm I mean who would erm where would I see another job within a short period of time ? I asked trying to ease the awkward silence between us and he smiled lightly 

   I came across a job vacancy on my way to work this morning but I don't know if you would like it . he started 

  Vacancy! What is the job all about? I asked trying not to sound so desperate....

  And without saying a word , he opened the drawer in front of him , brought out a flyer and handed it to me ......

    I stared at the flyer and went through it 

  It was a vacancy for the post of a " personal maid" 

 Personal maid! I muttered and then looked up at mike 

 Can you do it? he asked with a small smile and I shrugged 

   I guess I can!

   I am sorry Hazel but this is the only vacancy I know of . he apologised again , I could tell he was feeling guilty 

  No Mike! it is alright . I assured and he smiled lightly 

    I guess being a maid is not that bad ! he said trying to make a joke but it came out dryly.......

    I chuckled nervously 

 I need to be on my way now , I wouldn't want Mrs Martins to meet me here when she comes back . 

  Okay Hazel! He said softly and then faced the customer who needed his attention ....

     Staring at the flyer I was holding , I walked slowly out of the mall...

     The address of the house was boldly written on it and as for the pay , it's space was blank ......

  I sighed 

   Personal maid! there would be no harm in trying!!!!

*

  I got out of the mall just in time to see Donna alighting from a big car 

    And without thinking, I rushed to her and held unto her clothes tightly 

 Why did you do it? I asked with anger

  She looked at my hands on her cloth , her boyfriend who is seated in the car and then at me....

   What are you doing Hazel! Are you trying to disgrace me in front of my boyfriend? She asked in a huff 

      Why did you do it? I repeated and she huffed 

   What are you even talking about?

$1000 got missing today , why did you take it? I asked bluntly and she laughed 

     Is that why you are all worked up , it is my mother's mall so I have all right to take whatever I want . She defended herself and my heart churned in pain 

   Then call to tell her about it . I insisted but as expected, she didn't listen instead , she pushed me off her and then adjusted her clothes 

     It is not my fault you were born poor ! She retorted, glaring at me and I gulped hard, making a sound 

     She was right , I was just an helpless poor girl ... oh lest I forget! Let me introduce myself.....

*

  I am Hazel Dakota a twenty one years old girl who dropped out of high school 

  I am white , blue eyes, petite in stature which make most people mistake me for a teenager , funny isn't!!!!!

   Hmmmh I live with my sick mother and a 13 year old teenage sister who is still in middle school ....

   My dad is late , he died when I was in senior year at high school and I hope this explains why I dropped out of school .....

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 On getting home , I found my kid sister Alexia outside 

   She was leaning on the wall and was looking here and there with a bewildered look on her face 

    And on seeing me , she rushed to me

   Hazel! She called with a trembling voice and I became alarmed 

    Are you alright? Is mother alright? What is wrong? I asked in a rush 

     It is mother, her medication just got finished and I am worried that she might.......she paused, breathing hard and I patted her to calm her down 

    Does mother knows about the finished drugs ? I asked calmly 

   No, she thinks it still remains little. She answered, shaking her head 

 Good!

   I opened my purse and brought out two of the $20 note 

  Take it and go get mother drug . I instructed, handing the money to her .......

     But how did you get this? Have you been paid half of your salary? She asked staring at the money 

       Yes. I lied and without saying anything more, she scurried out of the small compound....

       I walked into the house and met my mom in the sitting room 

   She was laying down on a small foam placed in front of the old worn out sofa with her eyes wide opened 

     Hi mom! I greeted , sitting down on the floor and she smiled weakly

     Hazel! how are you? She asked , fixing her gaze on me

    I looked away 

    I am fine mum! I answered and she sighed 

   She held unto the sofa to sit up and I supported her by holding her waist ........

    Are you worried about finding a new job ? She suddenly asked and I froze 

   how did you know about it mother? I inquired 

    Your boss called to inform me. She replied and I bit my lower lips

     Damn her and her basket mouth . I cursed silently......

      I know how you feel Hazel but I believe you didn't steal the money . She quickly added

     Sure mom! and ......guess what? I said trying to lighten up the mood 

   And what is that? She asked with a curious look and I grinned 

  Tada! I exclaimed, placing the flyer in front of her......

      She went through it and her eyes grew wide 

  Personal maid! She muttered as she closed her eyes 

   Mum! Are you alright? Please open your eyes . I pleaded and when she did , I saw her the tears 

    My mom was crying , she was clearly not happy about the job .....:

     Mum!I called softly and she took my hands into hers 

    I am sorry for making you go through this , I am sorry for not being there for you and your sister . She apologised 

    No mom , it is not your fault . I assured and she smiled lightly 

     I will be fine . I added 

   She was quiet for a while and then she exhaled deeply 

    So have you gotten the Job? She asked but I shook my head 

     I will go over to the house tomorrow and if the vacancy is still on, I will give it a shot ......

     Alright baby! 

     I shifted my gaze back to the flyer and sighed 

     Will I get the job? If yes , will the pay be good?

   I just hope it is because my mum really needs better treatment ....

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TBC

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