by Mikaela Wong
A short monologue from the perspective of a maid being questioned about the death of her lady .
“Forgive my curtness–-- my! I didn’t even offer you tea! It’s just that, I have so many things to attend to. Oh but of course you’d know! You are here about… the incident, aren’t you? Take a seat inspector, will five minutes do? Perfect, then let us start.
Oh Lady Green was marvelous. She was whimsical, witty and always kind. I started working here when I was 17 and now, five years later, she remains the same person I first met. Or remained.
My fondest memory of her? We had so many, I couldn’t tell you off the top of my head. As an example, we used to bring the rowboat down to the Thames every Saturday. The things we’d get up to, alone and far away from the rest of gloomy Llondon-- Inspector, I simply couldn’t tell you! But not because I have anything to hide. No, of course. Of course you understand.
I pride myself on how well I knew Lady Green. As a maid, one must know her employer well–-- both professionally and intimately. I knew how if she was worried–-- which we quite frequently were, she’d run out to the veranda, lean over the railing and trace circles into the palm of her left hand. While I worked, I will admit that I often danced to the staccato clip-clop of her Louis heels, stepping in time and pretending to walk in her shoes. Oh, and her gowns! I can still hear the gentle swishing they made as she floated by, seemingly on a sea of fabric that swept behind her.
Now, on that day, at about sundown, I knew my lady should have been returning soon. On record, I would have been relieved of my duties, but I enjoy my work. I like seeing when Lady Green comes home, cheeks blooming carnelian red, hidden well under a smattering of dirt and sweat, built up from a day well spent tending to her garden.
I knew her well. I’d even say that I would have known her well enough to… do the deed. I bet she wouldn’t even protest. But obviously, there was no way I'd actually go through with the–-- a plan.
What plan? Did I say something about a plan? Well Inspector, in this dreary city who wouldn’t dream of a way out?
Truthfully, sir, this was something we had spoken about many times. She usually reserved this topic for our boat trips and to be honest, she didn’t really have much planned out. It was a lot of hoping and wishing that one day, she might get lost, or sick, or fall into some other misfortune and nobody would ever have to worry. Now, Inspector. My lady was a bright woman. Be that as it may, I always thought her dull as dirt whenever she thought that "no one would ever have to worry". I’d tell her it was too late for that. I had already started worrying a long time ago and wasn’t about to stop. If she glanced over the lip of our rowboat, I’d grasp her hands, pull her close and say:
“The Thames is cold. Let’s just go home and I’ll fix you a cup of chamomile tea. My lady, even though you make me wash your dishes and fold your laundry, I must say. I have grown oddly fond of you.” She’d laugh.
Oh my, not that you needed to know this! Inspector, I do apologize. It's just that, I've never told anyone about this. It's a relief to finally say it out loud.
Did I always go with her? Some days, she’d suggest we go together. Somedays, she’d insist on leaving alone. But no matter what she said, I always stuck by her side. Inspector, I know its hard to believe but when she was like that, I’d never get short with her. Never. Alright, sometimes I might have imagined throwing her overboard, just so she would quit her whining, but then what would I do with myself! I’d have to dive in after her as well!
Oh Inspector, lighten up a little! We all have our fantasies… most of us keep them in our heads. But some of us… we forget how imagination works.”