I knew I didn't belong as soon as I'd entered the house. It was huge, richly decorated and the clear indication of a wealth I would not even be able to imagine I could ever possess.
Even though the old grey butler had kindly smiled upon me when opening the door, he had not been able to take the feeling away that I had made a huge mistake. This feeling became even stronger when I was led into the waiting hall, where more then a dozen girls where gathered.
"Your name please?" a woman dressed in black asked. Even though her face did not show any emotion, her voice clearly showed she disapproved.
I could not blame her. I had been proud about the way I had been able to gather what I thought to be appropriate clothes. I mean, what could they expect from a girl who tried to get a job as a maid.
Before entering I'd been confident I looked nice. For a girl who normally only wore jeans, the knee-length skirt and black jacket gave me a feminine feeling I was not used to. But looking at the other girls made me realise I had been wrong.
My clothes, bought in a charity shop, were not even last season's, my shoes were cheap, my nails not done and I did not wear any make-up. But those were just the flaws I might have been able to correct.
The others would be impossible to change. All the girls looked gorgeous: beautiful faces, with sparkling eyes and perfect bodies. They looked healthy, attractive, young and confident. They looked like they belonged. I knew I looked the exact opposite.
While one would expect a poor girl to have at least the body of a model and be extremely slim, I had not even been blessed with that. Ok, I was not overweight, but my stomach was not completely flat, I had hips that one could see, but no obvious bone structure in my face to make me look interesting.
I was not hideous, but not the type of girl to get noticed. My nose was a little bit crooked, I had a small overbite and my grey blue eyes were too small for my liking. My heavy brown hair looked nice, but had not seen a hairdresser in years and it showed.
Of course I was no miss perfect. I mean, when a girl is 25 and never even has been asked for a date, she kind of gets the hint she might not be that attractive. It had bothered me when I was a teenager, but now I had accepted it as just one of those things of life. I had not thought looks to be important for this job. Looking through the room made me realise that I probably had never been so wrong.
"Your name please?" the woman in black repeated.
I blushed. Looking around I had completely forgotten to answer. "Anna," I mumbled, "Anna Keizer".
The woman noted something on the list she was holding in her hands, before looking up again and giving me a cold smile. "You can sit here and wait for your name to be called. Then you can come to me and I will bring you to the interview room."
I nodded and shyly sat down in a corner of the room. I got some looks from a few of the other girls, but most of them ignored me, too busy glaring at each other, while politely conversing. Clearly I was not considered to be any competition and not worth any of their time.
I just sat there, waiting for my name to be called, when another girl entered the room. Even though she too looked beautiful, she looked more plain and normal then the other girls. Confidently looking around her she gave her name to the lady in black and when told to sit down, came towards my corner and sat next to me.
"Hi, I'm Amanda," she smiled and then, after a quick look through the rest of the room, she added: "I'm so glad to see at least one other normal person, when I first entered I thought I had accidentally entered a beauty pageant!"
I grinned and introduced myself as well. However the innocent comment, overheard by a few of the other girls, was not received very well.
'Just because we take some pride in our appearances and you and your friend clearly don't, doesn't give you the right to look down on us", one particularly beautiful blonde girl sharply remarked. Angry she stood up and walked towards our little corner, followed by some of the other girls.
The sight of the pretty girls approaching us made me cower in my seat. It reminded me too much of my old high school days, where the beauties had reigned by making the life of outcasts like me as difficult as possible.
Amanda, however remained calm. "Come one," she grinned, "even you guys have to admit it is a bit weird to go for a job interview for the position of a maid, with clothes like that! What kind of work do you expect to get, that you have chosen to wear a miniskirt that is showing you underwear, and a shirt that is barely covering your breasts!"
The beauty queen glared and screamed with a high voice: "Are you suggesting I'm a whore?" "Your words, not mine, sweetheart," Amanda calmly answered.
"Now let's keep it all nice," I tried to quiet them down. "I am sure Amanda did not mean any harm." It was not the best thing to do. The blonde now put all her attention on me and glared. I tried to hide even more in my seat, while muttering "I mean you have to admit, you are perhaps a bit underdressed for the job."
The next moment a few things happened. First I felt how next to me Amanda tried to hide her laughter, but miserably failed. At the same time I tried to explain that I had not meant it the way it had come out. "Overdressed…overdressed", I repeated. The other girls looked furious and I felt myself shrink under their glares.
And then the blonde, who had finally grasped what I had said, reacted. With an angry cry she threw the glas full with lemonade at my chest. With horror I watched the white shirt I was wearing under my black jacket now being soaked with the red liquid. The room went completely silent, while I grabbed a handkerchief out of handbag and furiously tried to clean as much as I could. Amanda started to yell at the blonde girl, who yelled back.
Then the door opened and the woman in black entered again. "Anna Keizer", she called, and my heart stopped. "I can't go like this", I shrieked, while making matters even worse in my attempts to remove the red stain.
Again, Amanda came to my rescue, "Excuse me, but Anna has had a little accident, with her" – and she pointed towards the blonde girl – "drink, could any of the other girls go first, while she tries to clean up?"
"I'm sorry," the woman answered Amanda, while glaring at me, "but we can't change the schedule. I she does not want to go right now, it might me best for her to leave all together."
I could not leave! I had to go! I had to get this job. So before my new friend could explode with anger, I raised and muttered: "It's ok, I'll go". I followed the woman out of the room and onto the stairs. If I had felt uncomfortable with my appearances before, now stained with lemonade, a dirty handkerchief in my sticky hands and white face I really had reason to fear the way I looked!
A/N Thank you for starting to read this story. I am still writing, so don't be too upset that isn't finished yet. I know it still has many flaws. Once I've finished it I will go through it again and have a serious look at it. So even though I appreciate all the reviews, here the answers to some FAQs:
a. At the beginning of the story I'm too formal: I know it, have been told many times and want you to know I will change it once I have the time!
b. the interpunction isn't right - also something I'll change when I have the time...don't remind me!
c. it's too slow - I guess that's a matter of opinion - I want my characters to grow slowly.
d. Anna is too timid and hasn't got a clue about love. It's irritating. - Well it might be but that's how she is. She's likeable but not perfect. She's not very confident, hasn't got a clue about having a relationship and well is a bit of a nerd.
e. What moviestar does Anna look like? No...Anna doesn't look like any movie star, so I can't point out which moviestar she looks like. She's just an ordinary girl. Not hideous, but not gorgeous. She's a lot like me. :)
f. it's too much a cliche story! I know: it is meant to be a modern fairy tale.
Anyway....I love getting reviews, so please do tell me what you think. I know that the people who posted the comments (I seem to getting them with every chapter I write) above mean well - so it's just my way of telling them: I know, I will change it, but hey I can't do it straight away!