I let my heavy backpack slip off my shoulder and onto the bed in my boat room. My legs ached from walking and I could hardly keep my eyes open. It felt like just yesterday I'd escaped from my home.
Oh, where are my manners. My name is Lottie St. Dennis. I'm sixteen years old today. My mother was a poor housemaid to a European heiress, Colette Van Hale. Her deal with Mother was, "she can stay if she can clean." And I could! But... after Mother's death, Colette hasn't been too merciful on me.
In the past four months I've had to clean the stairs, scrub the floors, iron EVERY piece of clothing she owned, steam her undergarments, make two meals and a banquet daily, wash dishes, watch her snobbish daughter, Cordelia, clean Cordelia's room every week, and bake cakes for Colette and her fancy group of friends.
But I managed to get out of there when Colette and Cordelia went on their trip to Paris to meet a suitor for Cordelia. Now I've been hopping trains, and taking buses from city to city, and eating only scraps or food generously donated.
I just boarded a boat going to London, in hopes to find refugee. It's the first time in what feels like forever that I've got my own bed and clean clothes. It's like paradise.
I must've dozed off after putting my bag away, because I opened my eyes and it was dark outside. I sat up and noticed the tray of tea and cookies on my nightstand. As I stuff my face with warm(ish) cookies and lukewarm tea, I hear a knock on my door. "come in," I say, not really caring who's at the door. When the door creaks open, I drop my cookie and spill my tea. My eyes widen and my heart beats faster. "Dad?"