I must have been out of my tiny mind to do it. It was totally illogical and goes slap bang against my own interest.
I’ve cleaned for the Browns for just over 10 years. They have a lovely 4 bedroom house with a big garden, in fact its more like a field. I wish I could afford a place like that! The Browns certainly have money. He does something in the city, a stockbroker I think and she works as a solicitor. Lots of couples with that kind of money look down their noses at people like me. We are lower than dirt, the little woman who cleans up their mess. The Browns aren’t like that. £10 an hour which is well above the minimum wage and always a Christmas hamper and generous bonus come the festive season. They never forget my birthday either. A big card and something in it. Such lovely people I can’t think what possessed me to do it.
They have such beautiful things. You could write what I know about antiques on the back of a postage stamp but that grandfather clock in the wooden case, oak I think it was was beautiful. I loved the feel of the wood. It was my favourite job polishing that clock. Such a sootheing sound it made, tick, tick and the way the pendulum moved back and forth fascinated me. I’d love to own a clock like that but being a cleaner there is not a chance!
The Browns are so trusting. I’ve often seen Mrs Brown’s bag open on the coffee table her purse poking out. They trusted me. I was their little treasure, almost part of the family.
It started a month or so ago
“I’m sure I had £70 in my purse but its gone” Mrs Brown said.
“Are you sure Anne?”
“Positive. Oh hold on a minute the zip was undone when I got home so the money could have fallen out or been taken”.
“I’ve told you before darling to make sure your bag is fastened. You’re such a scatter brain”.
“Yes Robert” Mrs Brown said but I could tell from her expression that she was only half convinced that the money had been lost or stolen while she was shopping.
Once you start stealing it becomes a compulsion. You can’t help yourself. The loss of money became a regular occurance. I could see the Browns watching me out of the corner of their eyes as I busied myself around the house. Of course they never caught me taking anything, thieves can be incredibly cunning.
Then today when I came to clean the house was like a bomb had hit it. Ornaments and that beautiful clock where missing. Poor Mrs Brown being comforted by her husband while Amelia, their teenage daughter looked on helplessly.
“Jean can I have a word please?” Mr Brown asked.
“Of course sir” I said my bowels turning to water.
“Lets go into the study” he said leading the way.
“Jean what happened, its obviously a professional job. The people who broke in new the code to the alarm and there is no sign of a forced entry. There is only one explanation. I’m sorry but you will have to go. I’ve no proof of course but you are the only person who could have done this. I’ll pay you until the end of the month. Here is your money” he said handing me an envelope. “We trusted you jean. We where good to you and you betrayed our trust. Please go now” he said the pain etched on his face.
I don’t know why I did it. They are as I keep saying a lovely couple but I’ve known Amelia since she was a little girl. She has sat on my knee and rolled around on the floor in fits of giggles as I tickled her. How could I tell the Browns that their little girl was a drug addict, that she was stealing to feed her habit? I must be mad,god knows why I did it …