The house was situated on top of the largest of the many hills in town. It was a newer structure, but it tried to wrap itself in an old world disguise. To new arrivals the trick worked, but for those who had more than a year in the town, it was somewhat of a blight. Nonetheless, it was an impressive house, albeit still small compared to some of the other houses Miles had served. It lacked the grandeur and spectacle he was accustomed to. Yet, in those walls he hoped to find something other than decadence, something pure.
You won’t recognize me. You were only a baby when your eyes caught me for the first time. At least I hope you won’t recognize me. I suppose it’s possible that my identity is available to you somewhere in the ether, where our actions and ambitions are all that exist.
He was greeted at the door by the owner of the house. This was a shock to Miles, but he had to remind himself that these were different times and new money acted accordingly. The owner was a handsome man. He held himself in a Gatsby like poise even though his body was covered in the jeans and t-shirts of the new era.
Miles on the other hand was a walking museum exhibit. His black suit and bleach white shirt weren’t appropriate for the heat, but he wore it proudly. It was his uniform, and a uniform is often all that a person has to know another by. He wanted people to know that he was a servant, who wasn’t ashamed of his occupation.
I have been an abused worker, a trusted confidant and a vessel through which deeds were carried out. Perhaps I will become all of these again under your roof. This would please me to some extent but, if I’m to be completely honest, my goals are far more selfish. You won’t know of them of course, but I hope I’m forgiven nonetheless.
“Hey! You must be, Miles right?” The young master asked.
“Alright. Well first things first, I’m not a knight or a soldier so you don’t have to worry about the “sir” thing.”
“Also, what are you wearing? It’s like 100 degrees out there. You must be roasting.”
Sweat beads dotted Miles forehead, he kept a small handkerchief in his jacket pocket to wipe away the ones that went stray and ran down his face.
“It is a little warm.”
“Then we need to get you a new uniform. I’ll get on it first thing tomorrow.”
“If that’s what you want.”
“Come in, come in.”
How did you manage to become so benevolent. Everything in your life has built a road to anger and spite. Yet, you treat the ones who are supposed to be beneath you as friends? Even one you have just met. Well, just met in your adult life.
The interior was spacious and open. There were no narrow corridors. Nothing that could be considered labyrinth-like. It was a modern house. A product of the times. It left nothing to the imagination, everything was shared, nothing off-;limits. The master did his best to make it a home. There were pictures of him and his young finace, his mother, even one small picture of his father, all hung on the wall. The furnishings were obviously picked by a designer with themes and Eastern theories in mind. But it was also obvious that the owner had done what he could to make it his own.
“You have a very lovely home.” Miles said.
Miles’ eyes went to the pictures first. His employer did not fail to notice.
“That’s my family. You might’ve known them actually. When I was looking over your history I recognized a few names. Mostly from stories about my dad and his work that my mom told me. Hey, did you know my dad.
Of course I knew your father. He was the main topic of conversation in more meetings than I can recall. He was different. He didn’t follow the old doctrines. Some called him a revolutionary, but those people were few. Most thought of him as a threat. It’s a shame really, a lot of things could’ve been avoided if others possessed a certain amount of malleability.
“Not personally, just in passing. It’s a shame what happened to him though.”
“Yeah, I don’t remember him. I was too young when the accident happened.”
There was a pause, that lasted far too long to not be recognized. “Anyways, enough of that. How about we talk about what you’ll be doing here.”
“That would be nice.”
“Basically, I just need some help. My business is really taking off, which means I have a lot on my plate. I’ll be out of town a lot, and when I am home I’ll most likely be hosting some sort of party. I mean, business type parties, not the kind that I like.”
“I wish I could handle it all on my own, but I’ll be honest, I don’t even know how to set a table. I don’t want you to think of yourself as a servant, you’re my backup. I’m going to need you to help me with the parties, make sure everything looks respectable. Also, there will be some day to day stuff, nothing crazy. Some laundry, light cleaning. I mean, when I can I’ll do it myself, but there’s just those times, you know what I mean?”
“Also, this may sound strange, but do you know anything about cars?”
The last time I toyed with the inner workings of a car, things ended in tears. I wish I was making a joke, but it’s true. The only tool I had was a pair of snips. It was all I needed to complete the task I was given. You have to understand, I was young then. I feared expulsion and the life of a beggar. If only I had been afraid of the things that mattered.
“No. I’m sorry.”
“Oh that’s fine. I’ve just been having some trouble with one of my cars and the local mechanic is trying to charge me his retirement fund.”
“I will find you a better mechanic.”
“You’d do that? Wow, thanks.”
“It’s my job. But I’d also be happy to.”
I’d be happy doing anything for you. I don’t deserve to have any of my dreams come true. But God has decided that I be given this one. I suppose when dreams and penance become one, worth isn’t questioned.
“Well then, I’ll let you get settled in. You’re room is upstairs, first door on the left. Take the day to get yourself situated. I actually have to get going soon, we can talk more about your place here over breakfast tomorrow?”
“If you’d like. I’m sorry I don’t know this off-hand, but what would you like for breakfast?”
“Um, wow, I usually just eat a bowl of cereal.”
“If I may, a man needs more to fuel him than a single bowl of cereal can give him. Especially one who’s as busy as you. How does an omelette with cheese, ham, green peppers, mushrooms and spinach sound? Perhaps with a side of toast and jam?”
“That sounds fucking delicious. See, this is already going great. Thanks Miles.”
Thank you, sir. You may come to know the truth someday. I expect when that happens, my life as a servant will end. I wish I could do more. I’ve taken so much from you and what I can give back will never equate. And, while my heart is still darkened by my actions, I can say with certainty that my faith in you, to never ask me to do what my old masters did, has given it a small hint of color again.
Thank you, sir..