Maid to be a Man?
By Maid Joy
Mia kept working on the house, even though it was still clean. The problems she had been contemplating over the last few days didn't go away and they didn't suddenly give her answers that she was looking for. Whenever her mind wasn't occupied while doing her chores, she turned over the whole tangled mess of questions, and none of them had any answers.
Questions kept coming at her no matter where she turned, questions about herself, the house, her future and more wouldn’t stop spinning in her brain.
She decided simply to start from the beginning. She seriously considered the question of "will I remain as Mia?"
The immediate answer, the one deep in her heart was "yes”. She wanted to be Mia and she enjoyed being Mia. Whenever she thought about plans and the future as Gerome, she got lost. She had no idea about what Gerome was going to do with his life and so she couldn’t make plans for the future.
It was possible that she could live simply while having as much money as he did. Mia remembered a tale about a lady in the 40’s who had a multi-million dollar empire that she had built during the Depression while living on the streets as a bag lady. While the living simply was an attraction (as well as the multi-million part) Gerome really didn’t want to be homeless to do it.
The situation called for skills that Gerome didn’t possess, good middle class values and an eye toward cost and frugality that he had never had to develop before. He could learn these things, and he could get help with them from others. His greatest fear was being exposed, or that the people around him would call him a fraud for living in a style that was unnecessary to them.
Mia gave him options that Gerome just didn’t have. Mia was an immigrant, she was a woman, and she was from the middle lower class or the lowest middle class social strata as well as being forced by circumstance to live frugally. Mia didn’t have to pretend to be poor, she was. Domestics didn’t make a whole lot of money in the first place, and she was lucky to find a job as wonderful as the one she had.
When she replaced Gerome with Mia, when making plans for the future, things got a lot easier. It wasn’t that Gerome had more confusing responsibilities, but more that he had too many options, and they collided with each other and made things worse.
Mia in comparison was simple. Her life consisted of cleaning and doing it well. Right now she wasn’t under a manager’s thumb, but that could change quickly if she wasn’t careful.
Should she continue to live a lie? Keeping the lawyer and other such people who might have the power to hurt her was simple prudence, but keeping this secret from Angie might hurt their relationship in the long run. She didn’t want to keep lying to Angie, and she truly wanted to tell her everything, but there was the “unknown” fear factor of “will Angie be pissed at the deception?” Gerome didn’t want to contemplate it.
Then there was the whole Gerome/Mia dichotomy. She hadn’t missed how often she would think of Gerome as a separate person and change her pronouns when thinking about the other. It was a whole mindset and she was worried that she might go crazy eventually trying to be two people at one time. Maybe she was developing a “split personality”.
The next question naturally was, should I keep the house. Yes it was a bear and it had all kinds of upkeep that went with a house of this size. She would have to hire more people to help her and Angie. Two girls alone couldn’t do everything that was necessary to maintain the house and grounds.
But most of my life has been spent here. I know this place and I know there is a lot of tradition here. Just letting someone else have it to destroy turns my stomach and I want to throw up.
If the house was staying in Gerome’s hands, it would have to be easier to maintain. A staff of some sort was going to have to be hired. Despite all those Maid stories on the Internet, one or two people alone couldn’t maintain a house this size by themselves.
She could hire a service to come in to do the grounds, cutting the grass and trimming the hedges and so on, that wouldn’t be too hard. She would have to turn the construction crews lose on the outbuildings, just to get them back into “working” order or safely remove. There were also the dilapidated “homes” on the grounds as well. Sometime in the past, one of Gerome’s ancestors had decided that putting the servant’s families in nice places to live would be to their advantage, so there was a little “servant’s village” about a half a mile away on the grounds. It wasn’t much better than the tract housing that people like DuPont and the construction company of Hoover Dam had put up, but it kept the people who actually did the work close.
There were also “rustic cabins” that could be recovered. Each was isolated somewhat and dotted around the property. They were there for guests who didn’t want to stay in the main house, but who still wanted to come to the hunting parties or the get-togethers. Something would have to be done with them as well.
Mia realized that she was done with her chores for the day, two hours early. She decided to take a survey of the rest of the land.
Quickly writing a note for Angie, she left it under a magnet on the fridge, and went to their room to change. She had a couple skirts that would match the blouse she was wearing, but that didn’t come down to her ankles. She changed clothes and went out to the garage.
Mia remembered that there was an ATV in one section, used mostly for dragging debris to a fire pit for burring, and it would suit her purposes completely. She checked it over, making sure all the fluids were topped off and it had enough gas in it, and she started it up.
She shut off the ATV when she realized that she had no clue where all the buildings were, so she went in to get the surveyor’s map of the grounds. With that in hand, she started going around to all the buildings on the property. Yes, having your own dairy and stable was interesting and added to the charm of the whole estate, but fully built homes would ultimately be more profitable than a building that was, in essence, eye candy.
It was several hours later when Mia finally got back to the main house. What she had discovered was intriguing.
The “servant’s village” was ready for occupation right now. All the houses were in top order and had been recently lived in. When she discovered that she mentally kicked herself for being silly. Of course the homes would have been lived in, the staff had to have someplace to live while they were taking care of Grandma. So naturally, the best place for them was the village, at least for those with families.
The other 12 homes were in sad shape. They were run down, and it would require major overhauls to make them someplace to live in. Several of them had wildlife living in them. They’d have to vacate the premises. Still others had flora growing in places they shouldn’t be, like gutters and rooftops for some trees, broken windows in others. One had some sort of fast growing plant of tree-like consistency that had taken over half the porch, breaking it into pieces.
One building was totally ruined, and had been long before the others had stopped seeing use. It was ruins along one pathway from one cabin to the next. On the map it had been listed as “structure ruins”, but nothing else had been noted. She could tell that it had once been a nice home, a bit more modern than the “rustic cabins” but not as modern as the village buildings. At some point it had just been abandoned.
Well, I should probably get in touch with the contractors and have them come out and look at all this work. They might be able to get it all back together they’d been working on the house and it was fine. Besides, I have to let those crew people who were interested know that we are getting ready to put the tools up on eBay.
As was their routine now, Angie and Mia did their catching up over dinner, made by Angie this night. Mia was very grateful to her doing the dinner all alone because Mia was simply too tired to come home and make dinner too. So Mia would do the dishes and let Angie sit.
They spent the rest of the evening talking about things. Angie commented on the short skirt, and Mia told her why.
“Those cabins are so interesting, it’s a shame that they are just falling into ruin like that,” Mia lamented.
Angie nodded. “I think I’d like to see them at some point.”
“Well, we could go out tomorrow and take another look. I need to get photographs for Mr. Gerome anyhow. I don’t think the manor will fall apart if we don’t clean it one day.”
Angie looked a bit concerned. “Are there any scheduled showings for tomorrow?”
Mia thought about it. “Not that I’m aware of, but the estate agent might get a wild hair or someone might want to come back. I can send her an email so she knows where we are and that we won’t be available to show the house tomorrow. That should give her enough warning that she can reschedule things if necessary.”
“Sounds like a plan to me.”
No sooner plotted than done. They dropped a note to the Estate Agent and the next morning, both got into casual clothing to look at the outbuildings again. Mia grabbed a good digital video camera and started taking movies with it. From that, she could take screen captures when she needed a picture.
They went through every building in the servant’s village, then through all the extra outbuildings like the stable and the workshops. They piled on the ATV and Mia drove them both to all the rustic cabins on the grounds. At each one they took the time to film the conditions of the houses, inside and out.
In one they had a bit of a surprise. Apparently, someone had been into some kinky stuff. They found leather and rubber “toys” laid out on a bench near a window, ready for use. There was a large cross of some sort on one wall, and restraint points on the bed. Or at least that was what they could puzzle out from the ruins of what was left. The rubber toys were mostly intact, but the cross had whatever padding on it rotted away, and the steel frame of the bed still had rings at all four corners that could serve no purpose except to chain someone down.
They had giggle fits over this room.
Mia was thorough and took video of everything anyhow, no matter how embarrassing to her family, but it was still ridiculously embarrassing.
The sun was setting when they finally got back to the big house. Being mutually exhausted, they agreed to have pizza for dinner. Neither had much energy left, and it was all that Mia could do to pull the .avi files off the camera and onto the computer they used.
A couple more days of work and they had all the movies edited and screen captures were done. She compiled the information, put it up on an internet page, and sent out some queries for bids from contractors.
“Mia, are you sure you should do that? I mean, Mr. Biggs was pretty insistent about the hiring of other staff. Maybe you should check with him first?”
Mia thought about it. “I believe that I can solicit bids without committing to anything. I just want to find out how much this will cost so I can present an accurate estimate to Mr. Gerome.”
Angie nodded. “Okay, if you are sure. I just wonder what they will think about the playroom.”
Mia got an idea. “Well,” she said archly, “we could refurbish that and try it out…”
Angie’s eyes got very wide and Mia wondered if she had gone over the line. “Um... no thanks. I’m not that kind of girl.”
Mia was about to apologize to her, but then she saw the twinkle in Angie’s eye. “Oh, darn!” she pretended to pout. “I need to practice my skills.”
“Well,” Angie considered, “we could buy you a slave to wail away on if you really want. I might have enough money, and it could be your Christmas present for the next five years or so…”
Mia dissolved into giggles at that point. She just couldn’t keep a straight face any longer. The thought of some girl or boy with a big red ribbon and bow tied around their neck just made her dissolve into laughter. She couldn’t imagine that it would be attractive to anyone.
But she supposed that someone must find it titillating, or it wouldn’t still be around.
Work around the estate kept them both busy for the rest of the month. There still weren’t any serious offers on the house, so Mr. Gerome had to relist it with the estate agent. Mia thought with the amount of money the woman would make if it sold, she would work a lot harder in selling the place.
The construction bids came in and while they seemed reasonable, it would take tens of thousands of dollars to refurbish all the cabins too. Mia looked through everything and sent it all off to Mr. Gerome with her recommendation as to whom to hire.
She CCed the Estate Agent and the lawyer so they knew that she needed to hire a crew or two to fix those cabins. She knew that it would be some time before Mr. Gerome got back to it.
Two days later, she got a call from Mr. Biggs.
“Bellweather Mansion, this is Mia speaking. How may I be of service today?”
“Mia, this is Ricky Biggs. I’ve made arrangements with Mr. Gerome to have a business party out there. I have about fifty guests coming and they all will be spending the day there.”
“Mr. Biggs, that’s wonderful, but I’ll have to clear this with Mr. Gerome first.”
“Oh, no need to do that. I have a letter here that I got from Mr. Gerome saying that I could have the party there. I’ll get someone to send it over to you. For now, I’ve hired a caterer and some others to help with the party and we are going to have it in two weeks. I thought I would let you know these people are going to be descending on the house.”
Mia knew that he was lying, but decided to give him plenty of rope. “Very well, Mr. Biggs. I’ll look forward to the authorization letter. Meanwhile are any of your guests going to be staying over? Should I have bedrooms prepared?”
“I’m not sure if they are planning on spending the night, but definitely have the rooms ready, I’m sure some of the guests will be using them.” Mia could almost hear the smirk in his voice.
“Thank you Mr. Biggs.”
“Thank you Mia. Maybe we could talk after the party too.”
Mia tried to make sure her revulsion wouldn’t be heard over the phone. “If all we do is talk, sir, I don’t see any problem. If there is anything else, I don’t think it would be possible, sir. Goodbye.”
She hung up the phone and thought about what a good Maid would do in this situation. They would probably check with their employer despite what Mr. Biggs said just to make sure.
So she hurried to the computer that she and Angie used and looked into Mr. Gerome’s email account. Of course there were no emails from Mr. Biggs about wanting to use the house for a party. So she signed out, cleared the browser history to be safe, and got back to work.
But she kept thinking about what to do now. Should Mr. Gerome discover the lie and the use of his property without permission, or should she just let Mr. Biggs do what he wanted and allow him to hang himself for later?
The latter seemed to be the safer course of action.
Soon the front door chimed and Mia went to answer it. As expected, there was a messenger with a letter for Mia from Mr. Biggs. She signed for it, tipped the boy and took it inside to read.
It didn’t take long to read the letter. And there it was, signed in Mr. Gerome’s own hand, permission to let Mr. Biggs have his party there and instructions to treat him as though he were the property owner for the weekend.
Alarm bells were going off all over Mia’s head. First off, the signature was a forgery. She knew it because she knew that Mr. Gerome wouldn’t sign anything like that. So if he would forge Mr. Gerome’s name to something like this, what else could he be signing Mr. Gerome’s name to?
She put the letter in Mr. Gerome’s desk and resumed her work. She could think while cleaning.
Later that evening, she informed Angie about the upcoming party. They both agreed to give the bedrooms a more thorough going-over in the next week to make sure they were up to standards when the guests showed up.
The days slipped past and Mia still couldn’t decide what to do. Since Mr. Gerome wasn’t stopping anything, the day for the party came even closer. The caterer and his staff showed up and started to prepare things for the party, including a fifty-bottle wet bar. Mr. Biggs showed up finally and started talking to the caterer about possibly being in uniform like Angie and Mia. He called Mia over and verified that they had period clothing available for everyone, and ordered her to get it all out.
Mia and Angie spent a day fitting and altering the vintage clothing for the people who would be serving at the party. Angie and Mia both were asked if they could stay out of the way of the caterer’s staff, since they had worked together for a long time and knew what needed to be done. Mia took some umbrage at this, but decided to let this slide.
So Mia and Angie went through the rooms again, making sure it was all up to standard and doing any last minute touch-ups.
That is how Mr. Biggs found them.
“Mia, Alice, why aren’t you guys down at the party? I specifically wanted you there to help with the guests.”
“Mr. Biggs, we were asked to stay out of the way.”
“Well, you can still answer the door and take the coats.”
Soon Mia was at the front door greeting guests as they came in, and shuttling coats and bags to Angie who took over the Withdrawing Room to house them all. The guests were all over the house, drinking, and laughing.
A man had set up in the back yard with a sound system and was now playing music for anyone who wanted to come and listen. Once everyone had arrived, Mia and Angie were circulating and directing people around the house, showing them where bathrooms were and where to go to sit for some peace and quiet.
A couple people disappeared into the bedrooms as the hour got later, and Mia figured that they were probably making a mess of the beds. As she saw some of them reappear at the party, she and Angie went around to the rooms to see which needed to be cleaned. When they found one, they locked the door to that room so no one else could use it.
From overheard snatches of conversation, this was Mr. Biggs’ client list. He was entertaining them here in an attempt to impress them with his contacts. Most of these people were mid-level business people, some higher ups, but no board members or CEOs. He was apparently hoping that they would assume this place was his and be impressed with his savior-faire. Mia knew it was fake, but apparently, none of the guests did.
As the night wound down, it was apparently a success for Mr. Biggs. His clients were impressed, he made a few deals, the hookers were happy with the money they made, and the caterer was apparently happy with the money he made.
There were a couple people who were too drunk to drive, so they were escorted to a room and tucked in for the night. Mia and Angie just collapsed in their beds, after making sure the doors between them and the guests were locked tight. At least the Caterer had said he would send some people over to help clean up after the party.
Morning came as it always does, and Mia was in the kitchen making a meal for herself and Angie. Since no one had asked for a breakfast, she wasn’t too concerned with the “guests” that were still here. Mr. Biggs could see to their comfort if he wanted to.
But apparently that message hadn’t gotten to Mr. Biggs. He came into the kitchen some short time later and wanted to know where breakfast was for him and the people who stayed over.
“Mr. Biggs, Mr. Gerome made no provisions about guests, overnight or otherwise. He stated that you would be entertaining a few people here, and that you would take care of the refreshments and meals needed. I have it in that letter you sent me. So, sir, I suggest that if you want breakfast for your guests, you get cooking.”
The look on Mr. Biggs’ face was too priceless. Mia wished that she had a cybernetic eye so she could take a picture and share it with Angie.
“Furthermore, your overnight guests have left Angela and I in a bind. We have to clean up after them, even though the catering mess was taken care of. Cleaning and straightening everything is going to take the two of us days, and it will cut into our other duties, which are of considerable more importance. However, they are here, and courtesy requires that we at least see them all out. Or should I mention all this to Mr. Gerome?”
At the mention of their mutual employer’s name, Biggs started sputtering and looked truly frightened. He started backpedaling and saying that it was okay, he’d take everyone out for a meal.
Mia nodded in satisfaction and continued with breakfast for herself and Angie.
While they worked and straightened up, Mia related the breakfast conversation to Angie. “Isn’t that going to get you in trouble?” she asked once the story had been related.
“Frankly, he can’t do much to me. I’ve been doing some research and the documents he gave me are about as genuine as can be. He can’t get me deported for being illegal since he made sure that I was legal in the first place. If he tries to state that my credentials are forgeries, then he’s going to have to prove how he knows their forgeries, which can only mean that he reveals where he got them.
“I’ve told Mr. Gerome the whole of the story here, just checking and covering my own tender posterior, and it turns out that the ‘letter’ Mr. Biggs sent over actually is a forgery. Mr. Gerome never signed anything of the sort. Guess he felt this illegal immigrant was too stupid to follow up with their employer about this, so Mr. Biggs isn’t in the best odor with our employer right now.”
“What did Mr. Gerome say he was going to do?”
“I was not told, but I was also instructed to keep a professional distance between Mr. Biggs and myself at all times. Apparently he’s as shady as he is sleazy.”
“I know what you mean. He’s pretty scummy and if I had to endure one more of his leering stares…”
Mia nodded in sympathy. He couldn’t hit on the guests or the staff he hired for the event, so the “safe” targets of his lascivious attentions were obviously the ‘helpless’ maids. Except they weren’t helpless, Angie had her contract with the agency that said she was safe from “unwanted sexual advances” from her employers, and Mia had Mr. Gerome. Just invoking his name sent Mr. Biggs running for the hills.
She was thinking of what could be done about Biggs when Angie asked her a question. “Mia, you are in contact with Mr. Gerome. Maybe you know what he wants to do now?”
Mia’s forehead wrinkled a bit. “What do you mean?”
“Well, he’s got us boxing up and selling the things on eBay, and that’s fine. I don’t mind doing it at all. He’s also got the Real Estate Agent showing the house, but it’s been a while since a serious offer was tendered. But he’s still renovating and now he wants us to repair the various fallen cabins and outbuildings. What’s he planning?”
Mia didn’t think she could prevaricate much. “Angie, I really don’t know. Yes, I’m in contact with him, but he hasn’t taken me into his confidence at all.”
They both fell silent as they thought. “I can tell you that Mr. Gerome is much more informed about what is going on here than anyone suspects. It’s my suspicion that he’s been out to the property several times, just to keep an eye on things. I’ve been keeping him fully aware of what is going on here, not only with the people hired to work on the buildings but also with some of the business employees I’ve come in contact with.
“So you think Mr. Gerome is not in Paris right now?”
Mia nodded. “He’s as much as told me so. I have no clue where he is, but I know he’s not where everyone thinks he is. He’s told me ‘I’ve seen yours and Angie’s work, and you are doing an excellent job. Keep it up.’ The only way he could do that is if he came on the property directly and looked at everything.”
Angie looked a bit nervous. “When and how do you think he did that? Maybe he came here as one of the workmen? Or a prospective client to buy the house? You can’t be saying that he’s Mr. Biggs, can you??”
Angie was nearly screaming in fear.
“Angie, ANGIE! Calm down.” Mia went to her friend and hugged her tight. “It’s okay. Mr. Gerome is a very nice man. He could have come in as one of the people to buy the house. He’s not Mr. Biggs. I’ve seen too many things that validate Mr. Biggs’ identification as him, pictures on his business cards and a full page ad in the Yellow Pages.”
Angie pointed out, “But you’ve seen Mr. Gerome. You know what he looks like.”
Mia’s brain froze. She had stated that she had met Mr. Gerome in various places, including his home. She couldn’t very well say that she hadn’t seen him now, could she? For a few minutes she did think about another set of lies to cover herself.
But, then she remembered the old axiom about how lies got more complex the more you tried to keep them. She sighed deeply in resignation and backed off from Angie.
“Angie, I know what Mr. Gerome looks like. I see his face in the mirror every morning.”
Confusion stopped Angie’s near breakdown. “I don’t understand.”
“Angie, I’m Gerome Phillips.”
If you liked this post, you can leave a comment and/or a kudo!
Click the Good Story! button above to leave the author a kudo:
And please, remember to comment, too! Thanks.