I listen to the echoing sound of their receding footsteps and their now muffled murmur, followed by the sound of the front door opening and closing, then silence.
I sigh and turn to inspect the living room of the house where I’ll be residing for the next several days while Mr. and Mrs. Wilson are out of town. A pathetic whimper sounds at my feet, where I find Lottie, the Wilsons’ black lab that I’m supposed to dog-sit while they’re gone, staring up at me with her big, expectant, brown eyes.
“What is it girl? Miss them already?” I ask her.
She continues staring at me, expecting me to do something, like a spoiled woman waiting for her servant to fetch her some more tea. I reach down to scratch between her ears while simultaneously looking around the large, pale living room. The Wilson’s must be loaded, because this entire house it huge and filled with a bunch of fancy decorations that my mother could only dream of owning. A crystal chandelier hangs above the center of the room. The floor is white marble and sparkling clean. A giant flat-screen TV hangs on the wall. Plush furniture fills the room. Signs of wealth even show on Lottie, who is wearing what appears to be a diamond-studded collar.
I roll my eyes. What a waste of money. But am I really surprised? It’s almost stereotypical for a rich couple to have a prim-and-pampered dog that they shower in ridiculous and unnecessary luxuries. After all, they’re paying me big bucks to stay here for a couple of days just to keep her company. Seriously, a hundred dollars. When I put up advertisements for people looking for someone to do odd jobs for them, I expected twenty per job, at the most.
I put out the advertisements last month, covering the south part of the city (where all the rich people lived) in flyers. My parents were having money troubles, and I wanted to help out. I’d been doing random jobs round the city for a couple of weeks when the Wilsons contacted me. When they told me how much I’d be paid, I jumped at the opportunity.
After scratching and petting Lottie for a good five minutes, she still doesn’t look pleased. I roll my eyes once again and give up. If she expects the two of us to get along, she better put a little more effort into at least pretending that she likes me.
I walk to the center of the spacious room and consider what I’d like to do. There aren’t many options. The Wilson’s told me that I was free to use the television or read any of the books that they kept in their library (That’s right, their personal library. Who can afford an entire library in their house? Ugh, rich people). Those were the only sources of entertainment they gave me (due to the fact that they probably don’t trust me with any of their fancy technology), and neither are really piquing my interest at the moment. So instead of doing either, I decide to explore the house. After all, I’ll be here for the next four days, I might as well learn where everything is (A courtesy that my rude employers failed to provide to me).
I decide to begin with the top floor first. With Lottie panting at my heals, I ascend this ridiculously large marble staircase. At the top of the stairs, I find a small sitting area with two couches sitting adjacent to each other. Past the couches is a long hallway with an endless amount of doors. How could this couple need so many rooms?
Now you might be thinking that what I’m about to do is pretty rude, but you should understand that I am a very curious girl, and a large, empty house filled with tons or mysterious rooms provides a very tempting opportunity to explore. An opportunity that, frankly, I just can’t pass up.
So, I start down the hall, with Lottie still breathing on the back of my shin. When I get to the first door on my right, I turn the knob and enter. An office. There’s a large wooden desk that’s holding a fancy-looking computer and stacks of papers. The walls are lined with bookshelves. I decide to snoop around the desk, only to find some boring paperwork from the bank. I quickly lose interest and move on to the next door, the one across the hall.
This one appears to be a spare bedroom with dark red accents. Boring. I go to the next one. There’s a bunch of exercise equipment. Boring. Next: Another spare bedroom, which looks exactly like the one I looked in before. The next five doors: A large bathroom that consists mostly of the color white (that’s a good room to know the location of), another spare bedroom (looks the same as the others), ANOTHER office (nothing interesting inside, except for a tablet sitting on the desk, which needed a pass code), the library (HUGE), and finally; the master bedroom.
I decide explore a bit more here, but there’s nothing interesting. I guess I don’t really know what I’m looking for anyway; maybe some juicy secrets about the personal lives of the rich. But no, just a GIANT walk-in closet, a huge bed, and a vanity with some fancy-looking jewelry sitting on it (let’s get this straight, I’m no thief, merely a curious person). The colors are the same as the spare bedrooms, except in here there’s gold trim on all the furniture. I decide to go back to the main floor.
Living room, kitchen with new-looking appliances, coat closet filled with designer jackets, another bathroom. Boring.
I head downstairs, along with Lottie, who looks a little confused. Halfway down the steps, she freezes.
“Come on Lottie. What’s wrong?” I ask her.
She responds with a blank stare. I roll my eyes and continue down the last couple of steps. Behind me, I hear Lottie whimper, then follow me down the steps. It’s dark down here, so I run my right hand along the wall until I feel a light switch. Once I find it, I flip the switch, illuminating an enormous area that consists of a large flat-screen TV three couches, and a fully-stocked bar. I let out a low whistle and look at Lottie.
“You are one lucky puppy.” Another blank stare.
To my left is another hall; there are two rooms on each side, and one room on the very end. The first four: Two spare bedrooms (Geez, are they running a hotel here?),
a bathroom, and a storage room. Finally, I turn to the final room, the one at the end of the hall. Behind me, Lottie begins whining. I turn to her.
“What’s your problem?”
With one last pathetic whimper, she turns and races back up the stairs. I narrow my eyes at the spot where she was just standing. What a strange dog. I shrug and turn my attention back to the door. Goosebumps raised on my arms. I should have brought my sweater down here. I grab the door knob.
Locked? All the other doors were left open, even the offices. What could be in there? Whatever it is, it must be important.
Now this piques my interest. I HAVE to open this door.
I take a look at the lock. and realize that I’m gonna need a key. I look around the door frame and don’t see any place where it could be hidden. I search the rest of the basement; nothing.
I check the other two floors. I don’t find any keys. I end my search back in the living room.
I’m stumped. Where would they hide a key? And what’s behind that door? I have to know. My eyes search the room once again, finally landing on Lottie.
“Do you know where they hid it?” She whines and lays at my feet. I roll my eyes and bend over to scratch the back of her neck, along her collar.
I quickly squat down next to Lottie and examine her collar. It’s purple, covered in some suspiciously authentic-looking diamonds, and has a tag with Lottie’s name and address, but no key.
That’s when I notice that one of the bigger diamonds is loose. I grab it and pull. The stone pops off, and then a clanging noise sounds at my feet. There, I find a key.
They kept the key in their dogs collar. Unbelievable. Whatever’s in that room must be pretty important, because they really didn’t want anyone to find it.
I grab the key and dash down the stairs, not stopping until I’m in front of the locked door. I grin; the Wilson’s must of thought they were SO smart. I put the key in the lock, and slowly turn until I feel a click. Then, I grab the doorknob and twist. I slowly pull the door open, anticipation building inside me, and I look in the room.
This is wrong. This is horribly, horribly wrong. I don’t even think. I sprint back up the stairs and out of the house, leaving the front door wide open. I run. I have to get away. Far away. I have to tell someone. I run, and run, and I never go back.