As soon as I finish folding this laundry, I am going to meet Brock for dinner.
Douglas texted me and arranged a time for my final cleaning session. After this, I will have to look for a new job, so I’m hoping he gives me an enormous tip. Although I’m not holding my breath.
I’m glad this will be my last time working for the Garricks. I haven’t given up on Wendy, but I don’t want to be in this house anymore. Douglas Garrick gives me the creeps, and the further away from him I can get, the better. I’ll do whatever I can to help Wendy on the outside.
There’s something else weighing heavily on my mind tonight: As soon as I’m done here, Brock and I are going to have The Talk. We have carefully avoided any serious discussions the last few times I’ve seen him, but that’s gone on long enough. I am meeting him at his apartment, and I am going to tell him everything. A Complete Guide to Millie. And maybe it will be over, but maybe he’ll be fine with everything. There’s only one way to find out.
Most of the Garricks’ clothing goes to the dry cleaner, so it’s just a small load of undershirts, underwear, and socks, most of which barely even seemed dirty when I threw them in the washing machine. As I sort them and place them in the appropriate drawers, I can’t stop thinking about the gun hidden in the bookcase.
I made Wendy swear she wouldn’t do anything stupid, and although she did promise me, I don’t entirely believe her. She has reached the end of her rope. I could see the desperation in her bruised face as she held that gun in
her hands. The next time Douglas pisses her off, she very well might kill him.
Not that I have a problem with that asshole getting 86’d. But if she does it, she’s going to prison. She never went to any doctors or hospitals to document the way he was abusing her, and although I would swear to what I know in a courtroom, it might not be enough.
I’ve officially decided I’m going to call Enzo tomorrow. The best thing might be for me to step away from this situation entirely—especially since I won’t even be working here anymore—and I’ll let him handle it. After all, he’s the one who knows all “the guys.” It made sense to be a team when we were dating, but the truth is, it’s hard to be around him now.
Enzo will help Wendy. I know he will.
I’m just about finished with the laundry when a crash comes from down the hallway. I’ve heard a crash here like that before. The difference is, now I know that it’s the sound of Wendy being hurt.
I come out of the master bedroom to see what’s going on. As always, the door to the guestroom is closed tight, but I can hear Douglas’s voice coming from inside:
“I just saw this charge on the credit card!” he booms from down the hall. “What is this? Eighty dollars for lunch at La Cipolla?”
I’ve never heard him speak to her this way. He must not realize I’m in the house. He told me to leave early, so he must think that I have already left and that he can say whatever he wants to her without me hearing.
“I… I’m sorry.” Wendy sounds frantic. “I met my friend Gisele for lunch, and she’s between jobs, so I offered to pay.”
“Who told you that you could leave the house?” “What?”
“Who told you that you could leave the house, Wendy?”
“I… I just… I’m sorry, it’s just so hard to be inside all the time and…”
“Someone could have seen you!” he rants. “They could’ve seen your face, and then what would they think about me?”
“I… I’m sorry, I…”
“I’ll just bet you’re sorry. You don’t think about anything, do you? You
want people to think I’m a monster!” “No. That’s not true. I swear.”
There’s a long silence coming from the room. Is the fight over? Or do I need to barge in or call the police? But no, I can’t call the police—Wendy
told me that’s off the table.
What I wouldn’t give for a friend in the NYPD…
I tiptoe as close as I dare to the bedroom, straining to hear them. Just as I’m about to knock on the door, Douglas starts talking again, and this time he sounds even angrier.
“That restaurant is awfully romantic for you and a friend, isn’t it?” he says.
“What? No! It’s not… romantic…”
“I can always tell when you’re lying, Wendy. Who were you really having that fancy lunch with?”
“I told you! It was Gisele.”
“Right. Now tell me the truth. Was it the same guy who drove you upstate?”
I creep closer to the room. Wendy is sobbing. “It was Gisele,” she whimpers.
“This is bullshit,” he hisses. “I’m not going to allow my tramp wife to go all around town with some other man! It’s humiliating.”
That’s when a sickening crash comes from inside the room. And Wendy screams.
I can’t let him hurt her. I’ve got to do something. Except all of a sudden, the room has gone completely silent.
And then I hear a gurgling sound coming from inside the room. Like a woman is being choked.
There is no messing around anymore. Whatever is happening in that room, I have got to stop it.
And then I remember the gun.