"Mikasa, do you hate me?" Levi asked me, holding my hand tightly as we walked away from the church. I looked up at him with soft charcoal eyes that matched his. The twenty five year old waited for me to answer. I looked down and away, shaking my head with a soft 'no'. I watched him as he exhaled quietly, tears at his eyes. I leaned to him and tried to console him. And even from there, I knew that he wouldn't be able to be fixed.
"Levi, don't you think you've had a bit too much to drink?" I asked my brother as he put down his fifth bottle of beer down. My eyes drooped sadly as I watched him hiccup and glare at me,
"You can't tell me if I've..if I've had too much to drink." He slurred coldly. I shut my mouth and nodded, turning my head back to my homework. I couldn't stand to watch Levi in this state. Since mom and dad died, he's become bitter and cold. He had picked up habits like obsessive cleaning and a drinking problem I didn't have the power to stop. It was coming to a point where he could hurt himself or me. He had recently lost his job as a teacher to this drinking. He was attached to the bottles. He was trying to numb the pain of our parents' death, I know that. But it was getting dangerous.
I finished my homework rather quickly, thanks to the notes Armin had given me during school. I stood up and headed to my room. On my way up the stairs I had tripped and fallen, letting out a small yelp that made Levi jump up and run to the stairs.
"Mika?" He asked, running to my side. I sat up and shook my head, scrambling to my bedroom. I shut the door and locked it, knowing Levi wouldn't try to pry. I slid down the door and put my face in my hands. I was exhausted. I needed a job, I needed to do something to make Levi realize what he was doing wasn't worth it. Lost in my thoughts, I didn't even realize I got a text. I looked at my phone and sighed. A text from football captain, Reiner. What did he want now?
sash told me u needed a job. u lookin for one?
Yeah, why do you ask? Good job at saying 'hello', btw.
sorry, im on a time limit. have u herd of Leonhardt Industries?
*Heard. And yes, I have. Why? Are they hiring?
they're kind of looking for a new housekeeper
You're expecting me to take a housekeeping job from the same people who refused my brother?
u need the money, dont u?
I guess, I'll apply.
i kind of alredy filled out an application for u
I can always count on you, Reiner. Are you at practice rn?
Tell Eren I said 'Hi'.
I threw my phone on the bed and got up, slumping on to the mattress and staring at the ceiling. I swung my legs over to the side and quickly grabbed my laptop to search up about Leonhardt Industries and the housekeeping job.
"The job requires me to stay at the house 24/7 not including weekends and vacation times. A well paying job...food services." I murmured. I guess it would work. I just had to wait for me to get accepted.
And a week later, I did, I got the job. And was now working for Mr. Leonhardt.
"Mikasa.." Levi held my face tightly, searching for emotion. He was worried about me for sure, he didn't want me to leave, but I was leaving. I was leaving for the Leonhardt's home today. I looked back at Levi with a sad look. I was doing this for him. For our parents. For myself. Reiner honked his car horn outside, and it's obvious Eren and Armin are there too, for they were calling my name. Loudly. I let Levi kiss my head and help me bring out my bags to the car. Reiner dismissed Levi and we stuffed my bags in the trunk. I sat in the backseat and worriedly stared at my brother, who waved goodbye sadly as Reiner started the car and drove away. Armin gently patted my back, reassuring me my home would be good, but I blocked him out. I blocked everybody out, not bothering to engage in conversation. I leaned my head against the window and watched everything go by in a grey blur.
I didn't even realize how fast time had gone by during that drive. I just kind of stared out the window on the verge of tears the entire time. So when I heard Reiner call my name and tell me we're here, I looked up at him with teary eyes.
"Really?" I mumbled tiredly, looking up at him from under dark lashes that obscured my vision. Reiner sighed and patted my back gently,
"You'll be fine. We'll make sure to come visit you this weekend and we can go out to eat or something like that." He said, opening up the driver's side door to get out of the car and grab my bags for me. I stepped out of the car and murmured to myself about how much I didn't want to be there right then and there. Running away sounded like a pretty good idea, but as soon as I prepped myself to start, Reiner grabbed my arm and dragged me into the huge manor. We walked through large, towering gates. The manor filled me with fear and made my stomach hurt. I did not want to be there. I wish I had another week or another day. I also wished I didn't have to have this job. This is for Levi. I told myself. Reiner dragged me through the huge front doors and into the living room. He quickly stood straight when he heard footsteps, signalling me to do so too. My back straightened and I watched as a short, blonde girl walked in front of us. She had this permanent scowl on her face that made me want to break down and cry right there. I really wanted to go home.
"Ms. Leonhardt," Reiner started, "This is your new housekeeper, Miss Mikasa Ackerman." He said. Ms. Leonhardt grunted,
"An Ackerman? You mean like, an actual Ackerman got a job here? My dad is insane." She said. I was instantly offended and I was just about to open my mouth to make a brash comment, but Reiner stopped me by putting his hand firmly on my upper back, adding pressure. I quickly straightened my back again and took a deep breath. Reiner nodded in response to the other girl's question. Her expression darkened and she looked at me in the face,
"I'm Annie Leonhardt. I'm in charge of you. You will follow my every whim, no matter how ridiculous."
I sighed, I knew she was going to try make my life a literal living hell. I wanted to cry or vomit or both. I opened my mouth to ask one question,
"Where are my living quarters?" I asked, tears already forming in my eyes from how nervous I was. Annie grunted,
"Reiner, go show her to her room."
Reiner nodded and pulled me along to my bedroom. It was large, larger than the one at Levi's house was. It was expensive.
"I'll help you unpack." Reiner said, throwing my bags on to the cushy beds. I smiled, "Thanks, Reiner." I said, going to open my bag. Someone cleared their throat from the doorway. Reiner turned around, "Oh! Hey, Bert." He said, standing up straight. I turned my head and looked at him. He was professional looking; tall, tan, and proper. He had messy brown hair that curled at the top of his ears and warm, pretty green eyes. He was dressed in a crisp white button up and tie loosened around his neck, the sleeves were rolled up to his elbows and he wore black slacks. As our eyes met, I felt my face heat up and I looked away.
"Bertholdt, this is Mikasa, she works here with me." Reiner said. My face dropped, I did not want this guy knowing my name. Bertholdt looked at me,
"Hello, Miss Mikasa, I'm Bertholdt Fubar, your employers future son-in-law. I'm not into marrying girls I just met, though." He said, letting out a a laugh as if he was trying to raise my spirits. I sighed, he was cute and going to marry the girl I just met.
"It's nice to meet you." I said, even though it wasn't nice, because I was kind of into him. I looked at him again and I could tell he had never seen someone like me before.
"Uhm...A-ah..-" Bertholdt started stuttering. Hm, maybe he was into me too.
I could deal with Annie Leonhardt if it meant getting to know Bertholdt Fubar.
"Fuck, fuck, fuck!" I stammered as I scrambled into my room, shutting the door behind me tight. I slid my back down the door and put my face in my hands. I had just suffered through Annie's verbal abuse once again. It was just after I had a panic attack, in which I had dropped the tea set I was holding and shook for about ten minutes. I embarrassed myself, Mr. Leonhardt, and his daughter in front of Bertholdt Fubar and his father. I locked the door. I was going to be fired for sure.
I climbed into bed and pulled the covers over myself, curling up into a tight ball. I hadn't had a panic attack since my mother and father died. I tended to be such a strong-willed person. How could I let such a short demon put me down and hurt me the way she does? I've been trying my hardest to get along with her and I've been trying even harder to keep this job. I just wanted to make sure my older brother was feeling alright and that he was healthy.
I looked up as someone knocked on my door. I let it happen. They kept knocking and knocking. I wanted to scream but I couldn't even let the words out before I heard-
"Mikasa? It's Bert and Reiner, let us in, please." Bertholdt said. He sounded sincere so I replied with,
"There's a key on top of the door frame. Put it back when you've unlocked the door." I called back, trying my best not to start crying. I sat up as Bertholdt unlocked the door and came in, Reiner following closely behind. I sighed at the both of them, a small frown on my face.
Bertholdt walked over and sat next to me and Reiner sat at the foot of the bed.
"I'm sorry about Annie, Mikasa. I've been trying to get out of this marriage for so long because she's so..so cold. And, Mikasa, you don't need to feel bad. She does this to everyone." Bert said, stroking my hair gently.
"Don't try to tell me things I already know, Bertholdt." I said, "I won't have to deal with her any longer." At that, Bertholdt looked at me, "what do you mean?"
"I'm quitting." I said softly. Reiner looked up at that,
"No you're not, Mikasa." He said, frowning. "You can't." He said. I sighed, "Yes, I can. I'll find another job." I said. Reiner looked at me with a knowing look, "Think about what Levi's gonna say about this. He'll be so disappointed." He said. I squinted,
"Please don't make me think about the consequences. At least let me take a break. How many vacation days do I get?" I asked. Reiner looked at me sadly,
"Five, do you wanna get out of here for a while. Eren doesn't live too far. You can stay with him and I'll give my pay to Levi." He said. I smiled softly,
"I can always count on you, Reiner." I said. Reiner leaned forward and patted my head, "You're like a little sister to me, I want you to count on me." He said. I laughed,
"Call Eren, tell him I'm staying over there." I said, getting up to pack my things. Bertholdt watched me with sad eyes. I knew he'd miss me. I packed a backpack full of clothes and all of my necessities: my laptop and my toothbrush and perfume and deodorant, anything I needed for my week away from the devilish Annie Leonhardt.
When I arrived at Eren's house I was welcomed by the forever-warm arms of kind Carla Jaeger, Eren's mom. She was always so kind and welcoming. I loved her like she were my own mother. The Jaeger's were like a second family for me. I walked inside, taking in the warmth of the cozy little home.
Eren jogged down the stairs to meet me, pulling me into a kind, familial embrace, "Armin's upstairs, let's go hang out." He said, pulling me upstairs. Carla watched us,
"Food will be ready soon, dear!" She said. Eren grinned, "Alright, ma!" He chimed. He pulled me into his bedroom and smiled.
"I can't wait to tell you about what's happened in school, Mikasa."