had already fallen asleep a few minutes
after Cilia had laid next to her on the big bed in the guestroom. She had just
started to tell her the story about an Italian princess, when Samantha passed
into the sweetest dreams a girl could dream. And she looked so cute lying within
the big pillows and they almost let her disappear in the comfortable bed.
remembered the bed she'd had in Italy, when she was Samantha's age. It has
been as big as hers, but instead of the wood it had metal, golden bars and it
was filled with all kinds of dolls and cute little things a girl of her age
could need to feel safe at night. Most of them she had got from her father. Big
ones, little ones – valuable ones and those they'd
won when they had been to a fair together. And those had always been
Cilia's favorites. Her favorite doll Anna had always been right by her side
and when she woke up at night and felt frightened she took Anna and held her
tight. Anna was the only doll she was allowed to take with her when she had to
move into the much smaller house at the other end of the property. There
wasn't that much room and so Cilia had to share her room with two more girls,
who soon became sisters to her.
stroked Samantha's hair once more before she left to go into her own room.
Before she went she saw that she was well covered and wouldn't freeze at
night. She gave her a good-night-kiss on the forehead and
whispered, "Buona Notte, Bella" before she closed the door softly
she didn't know Santa
Barbara that well and had had no chance to search for a place to stay Rosa had
allowed her to stay in one of the few servant's rooms in the Capwell house.
The only condition she'd had to accept had been, that she would have to do a
24 hour stand by shift every day. Cilia could agree with this quiet easily. She
had done these kinds of shifts at the Armonti residence before and knew them
well, and it also gave her the chance to be around the family all day long.
her room Cilia placed herself in front of the mirror and started to take the
little hood out of her hair. While standing there Cilia's thoughts went back
to the years in Italy and suddenly she saw her little room in the little house
on the Armonti property. She saw the little girl in the mirror, trying to put
some colorful hair-slides in to her much lighter curled hair. In the back of the
mirror she could see the bed with all the photos on the wall above it and the
dried flowers that were around them. Anna was sitting on the bed and she wore
the blue dress with the little yellow flowers on it. The same dress the girl
wore that stood right in front of Cilia on the other side of the mirror.
Suddenly the girl was distracted and turned around as if she had heard
something. Cilia tired to concentrate on the voices that came from the other
room and then she could understand them. She knew the voices she heard ..... and
she knew what they would say.
you can't take her with you" a male voice implored someone.
I can't leave her here either. The others are coming with me, too – how
could I explain why she would have to remain here?" the female voice defended
herself. "She has joined his funeral and now she should also be there at his
man wasn't satisfied with this answer at all.
know the arrangement we made. We can't let it happen, they can't meet.
It's too early – for both of them."
there ever be a right moment? You can see how she is reacting. She wants to be
with her again, not with us. She won't stay that patient much longer."
will stay as long as I consider that she has to remain here. She trusts me and
she will listen to me. Maria, we have to keep calm now."
man was willing to make a concession.
Take her with you. But keep a distance between her and the others. And don't
let her talk too loud. Tell her that the right moment hasn't come yet. She
will understand, believe me."
woman couldn't hold back her tears any longer and searched for a tissue.
was so happy to see her again. She's put on her best dress, you know, the one
that Anna her favorite doll has, too. And she has asked for her hair-slides
man didn't care about the crying woman, just touched her arm quick without
looking at her at all and left the house.
little girl had heard enough. Sad she went back to the mirror to take her
hair-slides out again.
is not the right moment. I have to wait. I have to understand" she said to
herself and sounded like a grown-up.
The same time the picture in the mirror turned back to Cilia, who was combing her hair with her fingers. A tear ran down her cheek, but she knew that many years had passed, and that she had learned not to give up that easily. She had waited for so long and now her time had come and she was sure that she would use it and that no one could hold her back this time.
had been notably
quiet during their return trip from judge Lewis' party. Most of the time she
had looked out of the window and was completely lost in her thoughts. CC had
tried a few times to talk to her, but he hadn't gotten any response. He
didn't like the cool atmosphere in the car at all and so he looked for the
next chance to park the car with the hope that this would wake Sophia out of her
dreams and that she would talk to him. If Sophia was mad with him because he had
talked her into going to this party she should be fair and tell him. He stopped
the car and had success, because Sophia noticed it and turned around to him.
did you stop the car ?"
leaned against the driver-door and crossed his arms against his chest.
You haven't spoken a single word with me at all, since we have left the party.
You even ignored
my attempts to start a conversation with you and I would like to know why."
needed some time to understand what was going on. But then she recognized that
there might be a big misunderstanding between them.
so sorry." She tried to excuse herself and put her hands on his arm. "Obviously I was lost in my thoughts."
I noticed that. Would you like to talk about it, Darling ?"
tried to be as soft as he could and hoped that Sophia would tell him what she
had been thinking about and together they could try to solve it. He also wished
that it wouldn't have anything to do with the party and Samantha being at
..." Sophia wasn't sure if and what she should tell. She wasn't sure how
she should describe the ways her thoughts were going in her mind. But when she
noticed the sad and disappointed look on CC's face she decided to try her best.
has something to do with what Cilia
told me before."
had been ready to listen to any kind of explanation. But that the stories of
their brand new housemaid should interfere in their social life was too much.
His answer came out a bit harsh and his gesturing hands just scared
Sophia into withdrawing.
want to tell me, that we left the party – a very important party to me as I
have mentioned – because of something our housemaid said, and that made you so
quiet that everyone at the party could notice it ?"
felt completely misunderstood and got angry with CC and the way he had behaved
again. She opened the door and got out of the car. CC had no choice but to
follow her. After all, he wanted an answer. And her second one should be
better than the first one.
seems to be so impossible for the great CC Capwell, that a simple creature like
our housemaid could say something that makes me start to think."
But I don't like it when people working for me are causing trouble in my
family. And to stop it happening again, she will leave the house tomorrow
had said everything he had to say and so the case was closed. He insisted on
getting back into the car.
don't do this CC!" Sophia became afraid that all the questions she had in
her mind wouldn't be answered if Cilia were to leave.
will think about it if you tell me what for God's sake is going on here and
what she had said or done that's confused you so much."
patience seemed to be at its end. Sophia knew that she would have to tell him
now everything she had on her mind.
has told me, that she lived and worked at the Armonti residence in Italy and
that she knows me as the Contessa."
had no idea where it would get her, but CC still had this look on his face and
so she went on.
know it sounds silly, but I know this girl. I can't remember her, but I know
her. Right when I saw her for the first time she was so familiar to me. She said
that she didn't know that I was living here with you and since she had no
other chance to see the Contessa Armonti than from far away she couldn't have
recognized me. But ....."
searched for the right words.
that I know, that she knows parts of my past, a past that I always tried to hide
and forget since being back in Santa Barbara, I've started to remember so many
things that happened in Italy. I see the house, the garden, the people. I hear
people talking, watch them celebrating parties, being together and having
had come around the car again and stood next to her. When Sophia stopped for a
moment he tried to hold her by putting his arms around her and he could feel
that Sophia was trembling. Suddenly she broke away from him and turned around
and looked at him.
"And you know what frightens me the most and makes me start to wonder who I am? I see me, in the middle of them – as a part of them."
Mason and Julia arrived on the party, they had just missed a special event :
most of the party guest had just jumped into the pool and had started to get rid
of their superfluous clothes.
did you say again – who invited us ? " Mason asked and couldn't take his
eyes off the pool.
client mentioned today, that she was planning to celebrate the good results she
got in the case." Julia explained and was as fascinated by the happenings in
the pool as Mason was.
a few more moments they looked at each other, nodded and turned around to go
back to the entrance. But they didn't get far, because Mason bumped into
someone and hit the glasses in his hands by mistake, so that one of them fell
really sorry" Mason apologized and tried to help when he noticed that it was
Kelly he had bumped into.
Darling. I didn't expect you here at all. And Julia is here, too. Good to see
two glasses in her hand, Kelly gave Julia a big hug.
on. We have just moved the party into the pool and now we're getting drinks
Kelly tried to go further on to the pool Julia held her back.
we were just on our way home again. I didn't know that ....." Julia looked
at Mason embarrassed and seeking help. "And I don't have my bathing suit
with me." she finally ended awkwardly and earned Mason's sarcastic note. He
saw it as his chance to swing the situation his way and started to give Kelly an
explanation she would hopefully understand and respect – under the given "alcoholic"
lovely hostess was Julia's last client before the pregnancy and we only
stepped in to congratulate. Had we any idea what kind of party this would be, we
would have sent some flowers and stayed at home, sitting in front of the fire
knitting little socks."
my brother is getting all serious, now. Seems to be "in" in this family at
the moment. First Ted and now you." Kelly had no intention of sinking down to
Mason's "bad-party-mood-level". "So it will be left to me again to keep
the Capwell-tradition alive and to celebrate a party and I will fall for it
!!!" Kelly stopped for a moment and looked around. "Talking about falling.
Did you see Connor, by the way? Last time I saw him he fell for a pretty
Kelly was still looking around, Julia and Mason just looked at each other.
fell for a pretty blonde ?" Julia asked again.
over – not for. Did I say "for" ?" Kelly started to laugh but stopped
again when she saw that no one was laughing with her. "Connor fell over a
pretty blonde who was crawling on the floor searching for her earring. Connor
didn't see her and ......."
indicated with her hands how Connor fell down and spilled the other two glasses
on the floor, too.
Now I can go to the bar and get it all again."
had a look at all the spilled drinks around her and tried to clean her dress.
Then she looked at Mason.
you will come with me to give me a hand!" She took Mason's hand to pull him
away. Julia followed them.
the bar Kelly gave orders for new drinks and then turned around to Julia and
was it again that brought you here ? A client of yours, Julia ?"
didn't want to have a long conversation and answered first.
Kelly was drunk and so he wanted to cut a long story short.
a kind of farewell-party for us before Julia
starts her maternity leave. So we ..."
have no idea what "maternity leave" you are talking about, Mason." Julia
interrupted. "I have no intention of staying away from work at all."
day you will have to."
day. But not yet!"
displeased by Julia's opposition, Mason sipped some water before answering
we really have to discuss this here, Julia ? And by the way, I thought that
discussion had been settled."
no! Not for me, Darling. Not until you give up your pre-historical, chauvinistic
male opinions, then we can talk about it seriously."
gaze in her eyes gave her statement a sarcastic emphasis.
I agree, that a pregnant woman is absolutely capable of going to work."
was delighted by Kelly's statement and felt her views confirmed. Happily she
jumped into the air. Mason's enthusiasm otherwise ......
Could you please concentrate on yourself and spare us both with your remarks.
You'd better see if you can find Connor, otherwise he might get lost and
we'll have the pleasure of your company all night long."
became very aggressive and loud and made everyone in the room stop talking.
male! When there are no arguments left they try to argue by shouting. You should
try to cover yourself with a isolated feeding – to avoid that you disturb the
whole human nature." Kelly was offended. " And now I will see if I can find
Connor. Tell the bartender to bring the drinks to the pool."
Kelly had left Julia turned to Mason.
offended too, answered again by drinking some water. Suddenly Julia took the
glass out of his hands and put it on the bar.
will tell you this for the last time now : I'm pregnant, not sick. I'm
living, I'm breathing and eating and I'm even enjoying myself. This baby
inside me grows and thrives and by the time she comes into this world ...."
??? I thought were having a boy ?"
don't know that yet."
why are you saying it ? I've already ordered everything for a boy. I can't
change it that easily" Mason defended himself.
stuff are you talking about ?"
bike, baseball, football. The encyclopedia on the Yankees, LA Lakers – all of
took Mason's hand.
should go – you're not feeling well" she said and pulled him to the door.
also got the special-issue " How to survive a radical wife". " Mason
stopped and thought for a moment. "Well, perhaps I would have use for that,
by so many eyes on their way to the door Julia apologized with a embarrassed :
"Pregnant !!!" and pulled Mason through the door.
next morning Rosa had a lot to do in the kitchen and wanted to be left alone.
Therefor she ordered Cilia to dust the big entry hall, pointing out that she
should do it very carefully, however long it might take.
one could call them real friends, but each had learned to accept and respect the
other, and so working together was quite easy. Rosa liked it when Julia came in
early that morning to pick up Samantha, and mentioned that her daughter
couldn't stop talking about her short stay in the house and that she had
already asked to come back and stay here that evening again. Although Rosa had
nothing to do with caring for Samantha, she took it as a compliment and so did
big entry hall was empty and quiet. As Rosa had mentioned earlier the whole
family was out and so Cilia felt safe to take out her little pocket radio and
turn it to a channel that played Latin music all day long. Fixed with a small
clip on her apron, she turned the volume to a low level, so that Rosa wouldn't
hear anything in the kitchen. Cilia needed music to feel good while working. The
rhythm of a Mambo made her dance through the hall and when she passed by the
antiques and flowers, she cleaned the dust. Just like that. Cilia was a very
musical human being. She loved music and couldn't remember starting
a new day without it. It belonged to her like the sun in the morning and
it was the last thing for her to hear before she felt asleep at night. Musicals
on stage and TV had been her favorites for many years and sometimes she amused
the workers on the property by imitating little scenes from the films she had
recently seen. One day a worker had called her "Little Ginger" and from that
day on it was her nickname. Everyone knew "Little Ginger" and when the music
played she was the first to be called to come to the dance floor. Cilia even
forgot that she didn't like to be watched or that she felt uncomfortable. She
liked it to be watched and a kind of triumphant mood came up in her when the
music the radio station played was very good and so she didn't hear when Ted
came down the stairs, concentrating on the folder in his hands. Just at that
moment when Cilia turned around to threaten the huge flower-vase with her dust
whisk, her and Ted's paths crossed. No chance to stop, she bumped into him and
all the papers in his folder fell out and scattered all over the floor. Cilia
was almost shocked, because she hadn't expected anyone to be at home. Aware
that she hadn't behaved decently at all, she was scared she might get into
trouble. But when she noticed that it was Ted Capwell and not his father
whom she had bumped into, she calmed down.
Capwell. I'm really sorry. Wait, I will pick this up for you."
bent down to pick up the papers.
me help you." Gentleman-like Ted helped her to get everything together. "I've
never seen anybody fighting the dust with such
were still able to hear the rhythm the radio played and so Ted started to dance
Latin music – you've got good taste in music."
was an embarrassing situation for Cilia that Ted had caught her dancing and the
music was still on.
God. The radio. I shut it off." And quietly she added "And hope that Rosa
didn't hear it" but Ted did hear this, too.
worry. If they'd have played some kind of heavy metal music, Rosa would have
probably been horrified. But I have seen it with my own eyes, that she
danced to this music herself. At work, I mean. I watched her secretly from
behind the big flower-vase."
imagined how tall grown Ted tried to hide behind the vase – crouched, but
have been quite uncomfortable."
started to laugh.
was a child. And I don't think I would fit now if I tried it again. You would
see my left ear."
why the left ear. Is it bigger than the other one ?" Cilia wanted to know.
Cilia had said it, they both couldn't stop laughing at all. And the radio was
still on, so Ted opened his arms and gave a sign to invite Cilia to dance.
Irritated Cilia looked around.
Rosa gets to know
about this, this will have been my one and only dance with you in this
house" she warned Ted.
answered by taking her in his arms and directly he started to dance slowly.
would she say? You are dancing with the "master" of the house. Master of all
servants and dance classes."
got right into step and it harmonized immediately.
thought that Mr. CC Capwell, your father, was the "master" of the house."
off today. Will be in charge again tomorrow" Ted answered like a gun shot.
had to laugh again and devoted themselves to the Mambo rhythm that came from the
radio. And so they danced through the big entry hall and didn't notice, that
Sophia had come in and had watched them for quite a while. She recognized how
much both were enjoying dancing together and felt infected by their mood. If
Lilly weren't Ted's woman they both would make a nice couple. How old could
she be ? A few years younger than Ted or the same age ? Cilia was a mystery to
her. Serious and honest most of the time and the next time she could feel and
behave like a kid. Strange but familiar at the same time and no one could be
really mad with her. Sophia couldn't help herself and started to applaud.
The most beautiful couple since Ginger and Fred!" she called to them.
wanted to stop immediately, but Ted had no intention of stopping or letting her
Mum. Did you know that your son is such a brilliant Mambo dancer ?"
to me that your partner is as gifted as you are and that you complete each
other." Sophia answered and gave Cilia a sign that she wasn't angry about
the situation at all.
Cilia thought that it would be better to stop to dance and so she switched off
the radio and gave Ted the rest of his papers, that she had put on the table
you very much for this dance, Mr. Capwell. Maybe we can continue another time
– when I have won the battle against the dust." She held the dust whisk in
front of her and marched like a soldier to the other end of the room.
was still amused by the situation and was happy to see that her son was having a
me mum, did we ever have such a housemaid? She's marvelous."
right" Sophia had to admit "It could be because of her Italian mentality –
so passionate and full of life. I used to have something of that, too, until
your father came back into my life."
saw that his mother meant it as a joke, but his smile turned into a shocked
expression, after he had had a look at his watch.
God. I'm late" Quickly, he pressed a kiss on Sophia's cheek. "I'm
meeting Lilly in town. She said that she's found the perfect apartment for us
and I should have a look at it." Then he ran out of the hall and before Sophia
could say something the door had
already been closed behind him.
what about me ?" she asked there standing all alone, knowing that nobody would
be home. She had taken a day off from Armonti, but suddenly she had no idea how
to spend the time she had available. Slowly she walked over to Cilia, who stood
in front of the big mirror next to the study, trying to reach the upper sections
of it to clean it from dust.
it remind you of something ?" Sophia asked, pointing at the mirror and
shocking Cilia, who wasn't expecting her.
made a step back from the mirror closer to Sophia. The golden ornamentation
framed the glass in which both women were mirrored. Looking into the mirror
Cilia said the first thing that came into her head.
huge mirror in front of the ballroom. Two mirrors exactly, hanging opposite each
other, so that the ladies could have another look at themselves – from the
front and the rear – before they entered the ballroom. I enjoyed sitting in
the little corner between the library and the chimney-room
and to watch them. It was funny to see them turning around all the time
to find every little pleat that had to be corrected."
had her suspicions confirmed. Cilia had been in the front rooms of the Armonti
residence more than a few times – she knew it too well. But she didn't
mention it, to keep Cilia talking.
remember that. And I have to admit that I did it myself before I entered the
ballroom. The count had an eye for detail – appearance was very important to
him, his own and that of others."
He was an impressive man"
couldn't help to fall into her memories.
tall – for an Italian."
remark made Sophia smile. She has had the same thought
very often during her stay in Italy.
remember, that the tailor brought a suit once. The Count put the jacket on
immediately, went to the mirror and had a look at himself, just as the
as the ladies had. Then he took off the jacket again, gave it back to the
tailor and said, "It's very nice. I will take it, when the left sleeve is
shortened by 3 inches and both sleeves are equally long." No one could cheat
him. He had eyes like an eagle."
noticed that she had spoken more than she wanted and became silent. Sophia knew
that this would be all she would get to know from her today and became directly
were in the front room of the residence. And you were there quite often. You are
familiar with the realities of the house and you are familiar with my deceased
husband's practices. How's that ?"
had got her. How could she ever get herself out of that?
I told you, life
in the residence had always had something mysterious for me and as a kid, I was
curious. So I walked into the rooms and saw it as an adventure to hide and to
watch the people there secretly."
seemed to be satisfied with Cilia's answer, but not with the way Cilia looked
know," she started quietly, "to remember all these things that happened
during childhood, all the adventures you were playing is one thing. But to
remember the life of almost strangers – which is what the Armontis were to you
so much emotion is something different. And even to start crying ....." Sophia
looked at the tears in Cilia's eyes, "means that these people meant a lot
more to you than you are telling.
walked away from Cilia but stopped again after a few steps and looked at her.
it be, Miss Ardello, that your stay here is just another adventure you are
playing and you don't want to get caught again ? Then I have to warn you.
Don't see me as one of your playmates, and always remember, that your
adventure is based on my memories. Memories full of emotion and pain. Your game
could easily get dangerous for you if you try to provoke me. You should think
about it again – consider the rules."
wasn't able to answer while Sophia walked away.
? We both can win – if we both fight and none of us runs away."
The games had been opened and it was Cilia's turn now.