Chapter no 6

The Housemaid's Secret (The Housemaid, Book 2)

It’s my first day working for the Garricks.

Douglas has already told the doorman to let me in, and left me a copy of the key so I’m able to insert it into the slot in the elevator. The elevator creaks and groans as it makes its way up twenty stories. Well, nineteen stories. Even though the apartment is Twenty-A, the building is missing the thirteenth floor. No bad luck here.

The gears in the elevator grind to a screeching halt as I reach my destination. Once again, the doors swing open to the Garricks’ impressive apartment. Despite the fact that Douglas says they’ll require my services several times a week, the apartment hardly seems to need it. It’s dusty, like every apartment in the city gets, but other than that, it’s relatively tidy.

“Hello?” I call out. “Douglas?” No answer.

I try again: “Mrs. Garrick?”

I venture into the living room, which once again makes me feel like I’ve wandered into a home from a century or two ago. I would never be able to afford even one piece of this antique furniture, even if I spent my life’s savings. Most of my own furniture came from the curb outside my apartment building.

I walk to the mantle that is positioned over what must be a faux fireplace. There are about half a dozen photographs lined up. Each of them features Douglas Garrick and a stick-thin woman with long auburn hair. There is one of them on a ski slope, another post in formal clothing, and another in front of what looks like a cave. I study the woman, presumably Wendy Garrick. I wonder if I’ll meet her anytime soon or if she’ll stay

locked up in that room every time I come over. I have no problem with that though—I have had plenty of clients that I never laid eyes on the entire time I was cleaning for them.

A loud thump echoes from upstairs and I jump away from the mantle. I don’t want anyone to think I’ve been snooping. That would definitely not be a good introduction to Wendy Garrick.

I back away from the mantle, looking over at the foot of the stairs. Nobody is on the stairwell, and I don’t hear any footsteps. It doesn’t look like anyone is coming.

I decide to get started on the laundry. Douglas pointed out the wicker basket where they keep their dirty laundry in the master bedroom. Once the washer is going, I can start tackling some of the other chores.

I head up the polished wooden stairs to the massive master bedroom. In the walk-in closet, I locate the large wicker basket Douglas showed me the other day. But when I open up the laundry hamper, I am stunned.

In my time doing other people’s laundry, I’ve seen a lot of crazy things. I’ve seen laundry that didn’t quite make it into the hamper and instead was scattered in a circle surrounding the hamper. I’ve seen every kind of stain from chocolate to oil to a few stains I’m pretty sure were blood. But I’ve never seen this before.

All the dirty laundry is folded.

I stare at it for a moment, trying to figure out if I got it wrong. Maybe this is laundry that has already been done and needs to be put away. Because why would dirty laundry be folded?

But this is the laundry hamper Douglas showed me. So I have to assume it must be dirty laundry.

I grab the hamper and haul it out of the master bedroom. Just as I’m heading down the hallway to the washer and dryer units, I notice that the guest bedroom door is cracked open.

“Mrs. Garrick?” I call out.

I squint at the crack in the door. I can just barely make out a green eye.

Staring at me.

“I’m Millie.” I start to raise my hand and then realize it’s not going to be possible while holding the laundry hamper, so I put it down. “I’m your new cleaner.”

I start to walk toward the door, my hand outstretched, but before I can even get halfway there, the open crack vanishes. The door has snapped shut.


I understand some people aren’t terribly social, and especially don’t like to be social with the cleaning staff. But couldn’t she at least have said hi? Just so I’m not standing here in the middle of the hallway awkwardly?

Then again, it’s her house. And Douglas told me she has an illness. So I’m not going to bully her into meeting me.

Although would it really be terrible if I knocked on the door and just told her my name?

But no—Douglas told me not to bother her. So I won’t. I’ll finish up the laundry, make them dinner, and then I’ll be on my way.

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