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Every Breath You Take

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Hesitancy arose at the prospect of a new opportunity, the position in question seeming illusionary, laced with gold lining. Despite the brevity of it all he could not help the increased beat in his chest, the shake of hands as he had filled out the questionnaire and application. The next several days had been plagued by anxious foreboding, sleepless nights and lacking sustenance in the way of food and entertainment. The desperation proved to be pushed past the peak, dangling off the metaphorical ledge of destruction, signalling the final string snap. He knew he needed money, as is everything in the world, of some value somewhere, in order to stake his place among the living. It was a fight of forgery, deception and cruelty which the common people endured just to survive. By the fourth day he had resigned himself to failure, until the clock struck ten, finding an email in his mailbox addressed in reply to the application.

Relief flourished forth, blanketing his limbs which previously bounced with turmoil rhythmically. Anson was not only relieved, ecstatic even to begin the new journey set forth in his future. The position offered a handsome price, one of the main illicit appeals which drew him to apply despite his lack of professional experiences with children. The only semblance of similarity he shared with the role was his familial structure, that of being an older brother. Stefan was ten years old, although far more intrinsically inclined towards the smart reprieves of the world. The exposure was only due to their circumstance, having an only father who had been disabled during his service to his country. Over years their state of financial and mental strain proved too much for their mother, she fled two years prior, leaving her fifty-two year old husband, twenty-four and eight year old sons along with her hatefully spit venom and erratic punishments. With her went the one tie they had to survival, and with that they were left to fend in a world that never offered reprieve to those who truly deserved it, who were barely holding on to a semblance of a normal life. Because of this, Anson had ventured outside the country, finding himself in British Columbia Canada, embarking on a journey, leaving behind his brother to take care of their father while he was away. Within every check he had received from a small job he sent most back to his family in Germany, leaving a small sum to scrape by until the next opportunity came out of the shadows. The uncertainty of stability rotted and churned in his stomach each night, keeping him awake often despite the ache of limbs and heaviness of eyelids. The only thing allowing him to slip off to sleep was the thought of worse things, the reasons for his trip.

Yes, indeed he had moved to embark on a new opportunity, the lack of workforce needed in his hometown, as well as the standard processing of six to twelve months proved far too drawn out to produce any good results, often met with denials of service or need. Once the desired salary was met, he planned to make way back to Germany. There was uncertainty in that aspect, because truthfully, it was easier to survive in Canada with the economic climate which proved to be quite the physical barrier for the family's situation. Transportation from Germany to Canada was quite expensive for one person, let alone three as well as a small portion of belongings they had not pawned off. It was often a cascading landslide of worry which embedded itself into his pale flesh, wondering if it was truly the best decision to leave them behind, if Stefan could really take care of their father. Another obstacle was their lack of ability to properly portray the English language. His father and brother rarely left the house, and because of this they did not have enough exposure to the outside communities who spoke English, unlike Anson who found himself quite acquainted with the community. He made a habit of attempting to teach them, despite his efforts they were still pronouncing broken structures and unsure tones. Language was one thing he knew how to excel at, the calming hours spent in the depths of cedar scented book covers and candle light into the late night were moments cherished among few. He found the ability to understand came with the cognate between languages, given proper context clues and sentence structure bloomed an entirely new inexperienced world he had not yet touched.
Guten Morgen Stefan, ich beginne bald Arbeitstag. Wünscht mir Glück, passt für mich auf Vater auf. -AD
The silence stretched languidly as a coffee shot was placed into its machine, producing hot sip-able expresso, dispensing the hot liquid into the mug beneath. Smoke winded from the cup, shifting to shield the liquid from the cooling air. The time shifted by, filled with tapping of digits against the frozen milky marble of the countertop or the soft blowing exhale of air in an attempt to cool down the beverage as he waited.
Have a good day at work, I’ll watch over him, don’t worry. -SD
Expanse of fleshed rosebud lips pulled into a smile, somewhat proud of himself that Stefans English had been getting progressively better as the days passed with training. He brought the mug upwards, taking a deep sip, flooded with heated limbs and throat, settling thickly in the expanse of his abdomen. Fingers flew across the phone screen in reply, sending a short message.
Stay safe. Tschuss. -AD
The rough texture of material shifted across his chest uncomfortably, scratching against the collar of the black t-shirt. Mug adorned in his hand once more, Anson withdrew from the kitchen and into the expanse of the bedroom, drawing a pair of jeans. The fabric sat against the soft duvet until the last drop of liquid was consumed from the cup that would soon be discarded on the dresser until later that evening. Wind pelted against the tree branches outside the window, lashing in a fit of barely tempered rage. Making towards the exit, keys in hand he swiftly made his way out into the bustling streets to hail down a cab. The wind whipped desperately against the pale fleshed expanse of his neck, rising bumps adorned the layer, highlighting the lightning strikes of crude blue peeking through skin, blood rushing beneath them. It tousled the silver curls into vision, drawing digits across the scape to dismiss them abrasively against his forehead as he hailed down a cab. It took only minutes to flag down a vehicle, the yellow shab dinge of paint chipping off the bumper caught his eye as the passenger window rolled down haphazardly. It was a woman, if he guessed correctly she was somewhere pushing eighty, her smile calm and warm as it stretched across her soft saggen features. Stooping into the vehicle she spoke, focusing on him through the rearview mirror patiently.
“Hello dear, where are you looking to go?” Her tone matched her expression, flooding with a kind of feeling Anson had not experienced in a long time, somewhat akin to the motherly love of a stranger.
“The address is 1050 Joan Crescent, Victoria, please.”
“Oh you mean the Heelshire mansion! That is one of my stops for today, they had rung me in the morning to see them off to their vacation. Nice couple they are, sad what happened really don’t you think?” Her whole spiel left him reeling, unsure of the context of her dismay. He knew little of the city or its inhibitors so he nodded his head along, throwing gaze out the window. It wasn't very nice to pry. She seemed content with the silence, flipping through the collection of musical disks until settling on one, a classical composition. He had recognized the symphony almost instantaneously as it began, Bach, Cello suite no.1 in G major prelude. Fingers drawn across his knee in a tapping motion, the metaphoric cello string which harmonized with an angelic undertone piano burrowing into his skin and settling there.

Truth be told Anson was not quite intrinsically inclined towards classical, save for the professionalism of Cello work. It was one of the instruments he had the pleasure of learning from a young age, although it was never truly used for what his parents had originally designed its purpose. He supposed classical just wasn't his style, which brought upon the meticulous process of filtering out that concentration until left with a small pool of community that welcomed him kindly. It look roughly half an hour for the two to make their way towards the residency, geography slowly shifting to incorporate more greenery, trees blurring together in a mix of mahogany and gold colour leaves passed as they hypnotized his attention. The cab slowed as the road began to twist and tumble in a curve, breaking off into two smaller semblances of backroads. The dark estate came into view, shrouded as equally as the rest of the properties surrounding it with a light mist and fog.

The white haired man ran his palms against his leg in a soothing manner as they breached the first set of gates. The cobbled grey seemed to dull against the crimson roofing after years of decay and weathering. Twinned towers cascaded up the left side of the building, three separate towering levels of ascending windows, at the top stood a small semi-circle balcony rimmed with intricate black steel, woven within shapes of leaves and spirals. Each level jutted out slightly to pronounce the quelling architecture of the Scottish mid 1800’s, reminiscent in a previous stagnation of development, although beautiful in theory. The main block of the mansion stood tall and thick, four stories high. Within the first level lay the porch, long and winding with large steeled marble pillars which clung to their supports. Just above was a larger expanse of balcony, seeming to be the main area of exposure to sun, twinned with two long hanging white windows which caged a mahogany door, supposedly entering the inside.

Atop that stood three brass carved window panes along with the smallest of the railings, an attic balcony, the brick above seemingly charred with thick dark smog. It stood ugly in comparison to the decently manicured image of the estate, bringing an erratic hollow depth to the brick. The roof parted into three sharp juts, mirrored by miniature spiked pillar supports. The land was shrouded within decadent miles of compact trees which seemed to swallow up anything that dared wander off into its depths, even the muck of mud and branches below gave the illusion of sinking death. Despite this, he felt comforted in its darkness, enjoying the future opportunity to walk solace the path he set forth for himself for a while.
“Alright, here we are sweetie. You take care of yourself now.” The driver expressed a courteous wave as he exited the vehicle and made way up to the large set of thick wooden doors. The ascension of short stairs, Anson was greeted with two suitcases propped off to the side, sitting lonesome together. The wide doors swung open abruptly, the man coming face-to-face with an older woman with many aged lines littering her skin. She jumped slightly at the confrontation but recovered quickly, a kind smile adorning her features.
“Hello, are you Mrs. Heelshire?” Anson questioned, digits fumbling with the edge of shirt fabric behind his back. Shifting center gravity to the left leg and burrowing his chin into his scarf in an attempt to ease the growing ache in his stomach. She stood stock for several seconds before her expression shifted, lips drawing into a small frown, brows scrunched and brought closer to the nose.
“Are… are you Anson, the new nanny?” Mrs. Heelshire asked, lifting the digits of her hand to clasp the necklace she wore in contemplation, completely ignoring the previous question in favor of her new predicament. The man gave a curt nod, deciding it best to not say anything more and let the woman get herself situated. With the acknowledgment out in the open she shifted her hand to her cheek, lips drawn thin with worry.
“I’m sorry dear, I was under the impression that you were a woman..” She quipped. Silence followed as Anson frowned. Mrs. Heelshire covered her mouth quickly before continuing somewhat in a hurry, attempting to resolve the assumed implications.
“It’s only that he has never had a nanny that wasn't a woman, I’m not sure of how he would react given he is quite a fickle child…” She trailed off while giving the man a sympathetic gaze. Anson squinted, about to reply just as the door opened behind the woman, revealing an older gentleman who looked equally if not more shocked than his assumed wife.
“Hello, I assume you are Anson, correct?” His voice was warm and kind, although it carried a note of disdained worry. The younger male nodded again before Mr. Heelshires attention was directed towards his wife as he placed a hand on the small of her back.
"Do you mind giving us one moment to discuss the preparations?" The question came off more as a statement while he led her into the mansion, closing the door lightly behind them. The silver haired man stood stunned, eyes trailing after the leaves that grazed against the welcome mat, something one wouldn’t honestly expect for this kind of estate. In a solace state, the whipping wind came back to the forefront of thought as the birds chirped loudly from the fog filled sky. He was beginning to think this whole endeavour wasn't worth his time anymore.

"Do you mind giving us one moment to discuss the preparations?" The question came off more as a statement while he led her into the mansion, closing the door lightly behind them.
"What are we to do now? Our plans have already been made, how will he react?" The pained tone carried through the room as Mrs. Heelshire paced the floor.
"It's too late to consider other options. Brahms will just have to be a good boy while we are gone, won't you Brahms?" Mr. Heelshire voiced louder to the somewhat empty room. The silence continued for a solid minute before he smiled to his wife, whispering
"I suppose its decided then." giving her a peck on the cheek before maneuvering them both outside once again, this time to greet the nanny with a better attitude. The older man extended a hand to Anson, clasping his digits tightly in a firm shake.
"Welcome to the estate son, we will show you around briefly before we leave, as well as answer questions you might have." The relief in his voice transferred well in a comforting way, happy that the plans had at least come to somewhat of a fruition. The younger man smiled genuinely, the scar pulling taught against his lower lip, the small disfigurement often forgotten around the fabric of his scarf, becoming noticeable now to the trio of people. Mrs. Heelshire produced bright features, pulling him directly into a deadly gripped hug. He was surprised but returned the embrace, relishing in the female motherly figure and sincerity of the grasp.
"I truly hope you and my Brahms become close, I always worry for the boy, especially since this is our first time leaving him for such a long period of time." She withdrew, her hands remaining put against his biceps, giving a gentle rub before retracting completely, reaching to open the door and usher both men inside.