The brother

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My duties were re-tailored based on the young Governor's wishes. He specifically demanded my attendance - always. I was his personal servant, assistant, nurse, nanny, mother, sister...all the title that could possibly exist. Helping him dress, prepare his clothing, bath water...everything! It was like taking care of an overgrown child, and sometimes, his playful demands went a little too far. Master Hooney doesn't know when to stop frolicking.

Having me feed him peanuts by hand one by one into his mouth one afternoon while he supposedly practiced his zen. I prayed for him to choke on one of the peanuts - annoyed - while I cracked the shells for him and feed him the seeds. This took most of the afternoon until he got sleepy and decided to take a nap on my lap. Sometimes, he pretended incapable of undressing himself at night - requesting for my assistance - then tease me.

I told him he's an overgrown child, and he merely laughed at my irritation.

I often tried to keep it together before I lose myself. He's far too demanding and playful. Even though he never took his teasing too far, never went beyond where it's uncomfortable. He never took advantage, never touched me unless it was necessary. I assumed I was his favorite at the time since I'm the newest servant at his manor.

But out of all the things he does, even though he's merely playing around and having fun. I found him the most frightening. He's a dangerous man. What he does, how he acts, his carelessness scares me because he makes my chest tight. My heart race so fast and I don't know what to do around him and I knew he would not care whether he breaks my heart or not.

I tried to hide it, my nervousness, my fret. This confusion. I never felt this way before and I knew this fairy tale thinking needed to stop. I could not hope, I could not dream of a prince falling in love with his slave. A master never chooses his servant. The thought of my own mother came into my mind, how she suffered so much, the way her stray glances wandered to Li He's father, and how he stole time in secret to be with my mother.

Then I thought of Li He, how master Hooney made it his own mission to keep us away from each other.

The only time I ever get to see Li He is when master Hooney and him are in the same part of the manor and even then, he watches us like a hawk. A simple exchange of words was impossible. I miss Li He sometimes.

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