Chapter Thirty-Five

Start from the beginning

The moment we stepped through the door, I felt everyone's eyes on me. Doctor Ealing was sat on one of the chairs near the piano whilst Mrs Ealing stood in almost the exact same spot Robert had been in earlier that day. Her arms were crossed over her chest and the moment she saw me enter the room, it felt as though her eyes were staring directly through me. She did not look happy. Everyone else was planted around them and all looked as nervous as I felt, though both Charlotte and Zachariah looked like they had their heads in the clouds.

Everyone who worked in the house and everyone who lived there was gathered to hear the verdict on whether or not I was going to keep my position. Samuel, who I had never seen in the house before, trailed into the drawing room and lingered in the doorway, not wanting to step over the threshold and into the actual room. I knew exactly how he felt. With the way Mrs Ealing was looking at me, I wanted to turn around and walk straight out of the house, so I didn't have to deal with it.

"Right Rosie, Elizabeth and I have been talking about your position. I know this is earlier than planned, but all things considered, we both believed that the past week or so has given us an accurate look at your work ethic as well as how well you fit into our household. Now, I want you to know that anything that happened yesterday was not considered, neither was the information we learnt today. Everything we discussed was about your previous duties.

"Now, we both agreed that the work you have done over the past week has been exemplary, even though you have faced a fair few challenges." With that, he glanced towards Matilda. "Therefore, Elizabeth and I would love to have you stay on in your current position. You will work the same hours you do now, with Sunday afternoons off. You will be paid for your work and we will make sure you have adequate clothing and shoes to complete the job. I will also be talking to Miss Jenkins about having you come and help out at my office once every week or every other week depending on how often she will need you. Do you have any questions?"

"No." I paused. "Thank you, Sir, I won't let you down."

"I know you won't. We can go into more detail about everything tomorrow, but for now, I have work to do." Doctor Ealing placed his hands on his knees and pushed himself up, as he passed me near the doorway, he placed a hand on my shoulder and smiled. "Welcome to the household."

"Thank you, Sir," I said.

As Doctor Ealing left the room, Mrs Ealing remained at the far side of the room watching her husband disappear towards his office. I watched as her eyes scanned the group of people in the room, eventually landing on the twins who were moments away from hitting each other with some cushions. Pushing herself away from the window, she took the cushions from the twins and hurdled them off the sofa and towards the door. She brushed past me as she went, her shoulder lightly knocking against mine, she didn't say anything as she left, but I caught her glancing over her shoulder to look at me as she went.

"Your mother doesn't like me," I muttered, turning to look at Robert.

"She'll come around, she probably thought your behaviour yesterday was impolite or something." He paused. "But enough about that, what I did I tell you? There was no way Father wasn't going to keep you on."

"I suppose you were right."

"Huh, I don't think I've ever heard anyone say those words before. Matilda, did you hear that? I was right!"

"First time for everything," she muttered, "Rosie, could I have a word with you? In private?"

"Yes, of course."

Matilda turned from her position at the far side of the room and glared at Robert as a warning. Robert looked at me and grinned, he had a glint in his eye like he was up to something but instead of doing or saying something to Matilda to annoy her, he wrapped his arms around my back and pulled me into a hug. Not really knowing what to do, I stiffened on contact but after a few moments relaxed into it and hugged him back. With my head slightly pressed into his chest, I could hear his heartbeat, slow and steady compared to my own which was still beating out of control. Listening to his heartbeat, I felt my own slowly start to calm down and with it went the anxiety that had been bubbling up in my chest.

The Factory Girl // Book 1 in the Rosie Grey seriesWhere stories live. Discover now