When You Need Me Chapter 1

Just standing outside of the Johnson’s family home, I knew that I was probably getting into more trouble than I was bargaining for. When I was invited inside the mini-mansion by a woman who appeared to be in her upper fifties, I couldn’t help but let out a soft gasp. My brown eyes first took in the winding-staircase, training my eyes to slowly move up to the high-ceiling and the massive chandelier twinkling and winking down at me.

“This way, Ms. Mya,” the woman said, giving me a dry stare.

I swallowed thickly and slowly followed her throughout the house, losing my way back to the front door in the process. She was a stout woman with graying black hair pulled into a bun. She wore an apron over her tan pans, flat shoes, and a pink shirt with the sleeves rolled up. I wondered if I would have to wear a bun in my hair too or if that was her choice.

Finally, we stopped inside a large kitchen. She patted a stool and I sat quickly, my eyes roaming over the graphite covered counter tops, the electric stove, massive fridge…

“So,” the woman faced me on the other side of the breakfast bar and held some papers in her hand. She pulled a pen out of her apron pocket and twirled it. “My name is Constance Dangerfield. I am the head maid and nanny here….but as you can see I am getting old and handling everything around here is getting difficult in my old age.”

I tried to look serious and professional when Ms. Dangerfield looked up from whatever papers she was looking over. She gave me a smile, and I relaxed ever-so slightly. “You’d mostly be in charge of taking on the nanny responsibilities with light cleaning duties that involves the child such as cleaning up after her and doing her laundry…but I’m sure you know all of that from the job description.”

“Yes,” I responded, recalling the ad they had posted online with the job’s list of duties and responsibilities. “I’d definitely be able to handle all of that,” I added, wanting to appear confident but hopefully not cocky, as my group-home mom had explained to me over the phone.

Ms. Dangerfield nodded. “I’ll be interviewing you before you can talk to Mr. Johnson. If I find you might be suitable for the position, I’ll refer you to him. Sound fair?”

I responded with my affirmative again and the interview started. She fired question after question at me about my background with children, why I was a good fit for the job, and what I would do in different scenarios involving the child. Ms. Dangerfield nodded throughout, jotting down my answers in her scrawly handwriting and not showing if she liked or hated my answers in her face at all.

“Wait right here, please,” Ms. Dangerfield said and exited the kitchen.

I breathed a sigh of relief that the influx of questions was finally over. I took the moment to slip my phone from my jeans pocket, which I had felt vibrate during the interview. I smiled when I saw a text message from

Ms. Kate, the woman who had taken care of me since I was fourteen years old, after my parents had died in a car accident. That was nine years ago and to this day I’m forever grateful to her, despite my initial reaction to being placed in a group-home. I was too old for anyone to want to adopt but too young to be out on my own. Not that I wanted either option. At that point, my head wasn’t exactly on straight.

‘How did the interview go?’ it read, so I decided to wait until it was completely over to give her my take on it.

Ms. Dangerfield reentered the kitchen just as I was slipping my phone back into my pocket, with a smile on her face and a man beside her, making my heart jump.

“Mr. Johnson, this is the young lady I was telling you about. Ms. Mya Kirks. Ms. Mya, Mr. Johnson,” Ms. Dangerfield introduced us. My eyebrows flew up and I hopped quickly off of the stool as the man in charge neared me to shake his hand.

“It’s very nice to meet you, sir,” I spat out. He smiled and told me that the pleasure was all his. Mr. Johnson was a handsome man with dark eyes that peeked behind square-rimmed glasses and brown hair that was cut short. He wore a black business suit and tie checkered with blue and black. He was tall, but not domineering.

“Please, seat,” he told me. I did and he took the former position across from me where Ms. Dangerfield had been. “Ms. Dangerfield tells me she’s quite impressed with you.”

I felt my cheeks heat and smiled to hide my sudden embarrassment, “I’m glad to hear that,” I admitted honestly.

“She also tells me that you lived in a group-home during your teenage years?”
My elation from the compliment Ms. Dangerfield had reportedly given me dropped at the mention of my background history. But Ms. Kate had always told me not to be ashamed of my past…that nothing that had happened was my fault. So I took a calming breath before looking him in the eyes and explaining my story a little more.

“Yes, my parents died in a car accident when I was thirteen,” I started slowly. It had been awhile since I had said it out-loud and the pain that accompanied the story never seemed to fade with time. “I went to live with my only other family, which was my grandmother, but she passed from natural causes a year later. That’s when I went to the group-home. No one adopted me so I stayed until I was eighteen and the program set me up with education, a job as a waitress while I worked on school, and an apartment in the neighborhood.”
Mr. Johnson nodded in understanding. “If you have an apartment by yourself, why would you want to be a live-in nanny?”

I took the time to think about it, fiddling with my fingers before looking at him with the little confidence I could muster, “I want to live with a real family. Ms. Kate and friends at the group-home will always be my family…but there’s something about taking care of children in their own home and environment that’s fulfilling.”

Mr. Johnson folded her arms and nodded, giving me a dashing smile. “Well, since you’ve told me so much about you it’s only fair that I tell you something about me and this household,” he said, “the reason we need a nanny is because I work so often. I love my business, which deals with technology, advertising and marketing. I also own other venues and they’re all very successful. In fact, my wife left me because she claims I loved my businesses more than I did her.”

He paused as if to let that sink in, and it certainly did. I fidgeted uncomfortably.

“It was certainly more than that though. She wanted to be a free bird and left our ten month year old daughter, Madison here. I know nothing about children, but I love my daughter and want the best care for her,” he looked at me pointedly.

“That’s a wonderful age,” I commented, “and I’m sorry about your situation.”

Mr. Johnson waved a hand, “its fine. I have my daughter here with me, which is more than what most men can say when they go through a breakup. I even have my son from a previous marriage here as well. But you don’t have to worry about him, he’s old enough to take care of himself. Right, David?”
My eyes followed Mr. Johnson’s over to the kitchen entrance, where a young guy about my age was moving past Ms. Dangerfield.

I thought my heart would stop right then and there.

Mr. Johnson’s son was beautiful. That’s the only way I can explain him. He seemed to be around my age, in his early twenties. He was about six feet and shared his father’s brown colored hair, except his was cut so that his bangs was on his forehead and low in the back. Blue eyes roamed over me as he strolled past in his light jeans and white t-shirt.

He snorted and went to the fridge, pulling out an apple and tossing it in the air before catching it and giving his dad a condescending stare.

“You’re going to hire someone so plain looking?”

Ms. Dangerfield sighed loudly.

Mr. Johnson groaned and ran a hand through his dark locks.

I felt my face heating in embarrassment and rage at the same time.

Yup. Totally got myself into more trouble than I bargained for.

————————

This series is inspired loosely by the movie Nanny McPhee. The title comes from a quote in the movie: “There is something you should understand about the way I work. When you need me but do not want me, then I must stay. When you want me but no longer need me, then I have to go. It’s rather sad, really, but there it is.”

I will be trying to update this story regularly, so please follow me and enjoy! Constructive criticism is always welcome. I know I’m very rusty and have a lot to learn. This is also my first time writing a story in first person.

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I Am…

I am as loving as a mother because I love my siblings as my children

I am as passionate as a dancer because I sway through my life with each step synchronized before the next

I am as intelligent as a smart phone because my photographic memory lets me hold all the data I download

There could be more hidden beneath the layers and folds but

I am Unfinished.

Writing Prompt 2/Character Creation: Breakfast

Katherine made sure she made breakfast for her family each and every morning. It was the most important meal of the day, after all. On the weekends, Saturday usually, she loved to make pancakes. On Sundays homemade Belgian waffles were spread across the table. During the week, she would sit her loved ones favorite cereal out on the table or make eggs, bacon and toast. Sometimes her husband could only grab a simple pastry and coffee before running out to work.

Whatever the meal, Katherine put her heart into it and hoped her love would reach her loved ones.

Her children had sprouted into teenagers; Joey was fifteen and Amelia was eighteen. They were hardly around. Not to mention her husband, who was putting in long hours at work.

Katherine struggled to push her loneliness aside, as she was a stay-home mom who really had no one to stay home for anymore. But with only a high school degree she knew she could not start a career and jobs that did not require a college-degree did not interest her.

She was lonely, but her family had lives even if she didn’t.

So breakfast would suffice. It had to, after all.

Poem: Nervous.

I’m a small hairless animal, shivering all over

I’m standing under a raincloud, drenched

A deep dark pit, you can’t see to the bottom

Sandpaper and peanut butter sandwich, try to swallow

A clock ticking and tocking

There, standing at a fork in the road, running out of time

And I’m feeling nervous, try’na be so perfect

I’m a heart rate monitor indicating a number sky high

With my blood surging as hard as a tidal wave, I just want to-

Speak- make the 26 letters of the alphabet make sense

But they’re all mixed up like Alphabet soup

And the spoon is turning, churning, stirring

Just like the butterflies in my stomach

Flying up to my throat and landing on my vocal cords

Blocking my ears with their constant fluttering

And I’m feeling nervous, try’na be so perfect

I’d rather be an eagle

Let my voice be my wings

Soaring above all things

But instead I close my eyes

Because butterflies are a timid creature

Flying away when you get nearer

And I’m feeling nervous, try’na be so perfect

Writing Prompt 1: Forgiveness

Kaya Johnson stood at the foot of the bed and stared at the unmoving woman who was occupying it with a cold, hard expression. The woman looked older than she remembered; she had lost an extreme amount of weight, along with most of her hair, and her face was covered with prominent wrinkles. Kaya examined the tubes sticking out of the woman’s arms and wondered what they were for. She listened to her breathing, which was ragged and coupled with a terrible wheezing.  The woman coughed every so often but did not wake up from her deep slumber, which Kaya was thankful for.

Kaya turned in her red heels and clicked, clacked across the room and back into the hallway of the hospital. A man sitting in the chair that was right outside of the room stood quickly to his full height as soon as Kaya came into his sight. “You’re done visiting Mom already? Is she awake?”

Kaya sighed heavily and rolled her eyes. She put her hand on her hip and appraised her brother, three years her junior, with critical eyes. His hair was in a short curly afro, his sweater was slightly too big, and his brown eyes large with worry. “She’s not awake,” she replied shortly.

“Before she went to sleep she said she really wants to see you, Kaya,” Keith reminded her, as if he had not called her fifteen times this morning trying to get her to come down to this dreadful hospital saying that exact statement.

“She can see me in her dreams,” Kaya responded, earning a small gasp from Keith as she walked away without bothering to wait for him to say anything. She strode down the hall in her pencil skirt and blazer before locating a restroom and entering it. Kaya looked in the mirror and stared into her own blank, brown eyes. Her curly chestnut brown hair had long ago been straightened so that it rested gracefully on her shoulders. She pulled a tube of lipstick from her purse and slowly began to apply it to her thick, pouty lips. Her hand shook as she stared into the mirror now; her eyes slowly began to well with stinging tears that she wiped away forcefully with the back of her hand.

Kaya jumped slightly when the door suddenly swung open. Her eyes, now pink from attempting to hold back her tears examined a girl who looked to be about fourteen. The girl wore ripped skinny jeans, dirty gym shoes, and a black graphic t-shirt. Her thick black hair was pulled into a ponytail and her caramel colored skin was riddled with freckles. The girl sighed and walked to the nearest sink and began to wash her hands. Kaya imitated the girl.

“What’s wrong with you? You sick or somethin’?” the girl suddenly asked her as she began to pump out the coarse brown paper towels from the paper-towel dispenser.

“I’m not,” Kaya replied, taking a critical look at the younger female, “my mother is,” Kaya laughed bitterly and looked back into the mirror, “I’m crying because everyone expects me to be all sad that she’s in the hospital. But who cares? She didn’t do anything for me or my brother when we were younger!” Kaya spat out, surprising even herself at her sudden admission to a complete stranger; a child at that.

The girl looked as if she was actually chewing on Kaya’s words before she smacked her lips and spoke again. “How come she didn’t do nothin’ for you? You look like she did lots for you.”

Kaya could not have looked more taken aback at the girl even if she tried. “She left me home alone almost every day. I would have killed for her to pay attention to me. To come home and hold me before she decided to pass out. To say ‘good job Kaya’ when I got a good grade. Anything! But she was just a workaholic that used her job to get away from her own children. Even when I grew up she didn’t bother to try to get to know me. She just…she just let me go!” Kaya huffed at the end of her outburst and stared at the girl who was staring at her with a smirk on her lips. “Why are you looking at me like that?” Kaya questioned, frowning at the smug young teen.

“Because you’re a spoiled brat,” the girl replied with a laugh that made Kaya want to rip her throat out. But before Kaya could respond the girl continued, “You’re all mad because your mom was working for you. So what if she wasn’t all lovey-dovey like you wanted. Didn’t she get you stuff and take care of you cause of all that working?”

Kaya’s frown deepened and she nodded slightly.

“Yeah,” the girl went on, “she did. Meanwhile my mom got sick and died. She wanted to do lots of stuff for me too but she couldn’t ‘cause she was always sick. That’s what Daddy said. Now my dad’s in here dying too. You’re lucky you had a mommy to take care of you.”

Kaya swallowed the lump in her throat as she watched the girl’s eyes fill with tears. “Daddy’s nice, but he doesn’t know stuff mommy would know. Like how to do my hair or about my period and stuff. Anyways…” the girl wiped her eyes and threw her paper towel into the trash bin, “at least your mommy was alive to try to do stuff for you.”

Kaya nodded slowly and stood still even after the girl left her alone in the restroom.


 

“Kaya…” her mother’s voice was raspy and her eyes were half-open. Kaya handed the sick woman a glass of water.

“Thanks for working so hard, Mom,” she whispered, pushing the thin hair off of her mother’s forehead.

Kristen Johnson smiled softly and took her daughter’s hand.


 

Note: Kaya means forgiveness. I hope you all enjoyed this story. It was for my Creative Writing Class.

Writing: My Escape & First Love

Once upon a time there was a young girl who couldn’t express herself. Speaking only resulted in stutters and nervous jitters. Life was bleak and did not seem to be getting any better. But one assignment to write a story by her third grade teacher changed everything for the small, voiceless girl.

Her world came alive. She could understand the characters of those around them, she could take them and make spread them out onto the pages. She could create new worlds, new situations, new lives.

All with a pencil.

And so, that girl grew into a young woman.

This blog will capture bits of the stories swirling throughout my mind on a daily basis. I would love to be a novelist one day, but I realize that practice makes perfect. And so, in my spare time, I will post short stories here. It is my hope that I will get comments (CONSTRUCTIVE criticism), and perhaps a few followers.

I hope that you all will enjoy!

-JoceyBitz