Friday, February 26, 2016

Story: Molly in Singapore. Part 9.

By Camille Langtry and Monica Graz
I have been in a complete state of shock during the next two days.  All I could think of was the upcoming arrival to Singapore of Mark Fitzwilliam and his wife. The formal dinner at the Moretti residence he was supposed to attend this Saturday was fast approaching.
I had a moment of rest in my room before going back to my never ending chores. I was sitting on my tiny bed looking at the formal black uniform dress hanging on the opposite wall, the dress Signora gave me during our meeting two days ago, and I was trying to think how I was going to act as a Filipina maid in front of Mark and his new wife. Do I know her? Has she met me as Julia? Would they recognize me? God! I felt so miserable and uncomfortable. How could I let myself be so badly cornered? Or, deep down, as professor Caprio was telling me, was I really craving for that sort of exposure and humiliation?

At that moment Signora entered my room without knocking in her customary abrupt and busy fashion, carrying a package in her hands. I stood up immediately and greeted her with a formal curtsey. She has hardly ever visited my quarters so it must have been something really important.

She went straight to the point.

"Molly, there are two things I need to talk to you about,” she said in her brisk manner after putting the package next to me on the bed. “The first is that you are off the hook this Saturday, your old friend Mark and his wife had to cancel their trip because she got sick from pneumonia so, as you can imagine, they had to stay in UK for several weeks. Pneumonia can be very debilitating."
She stopped and looked at me, an amused look in her face, "I can see it in your face, you are very relieved that this exposure of maid Molly to her old rival is not going to happen for the time being. It's only a matter of time though until they arrive in Singapore, so you can look forward to meeting them in the not so distant future."
"Thank you Ma'am, good news for Molly, no want meet Mark, not yet, Ma'am,"  I curtseyed full of gratitude, remembering to address her in my illiterate English I was so familiar with now.
Her face became stern again as she said, "But the dinner party is happening anyway on Saturday. Very important people are coming. There will be people from the foreign ministry and the government here, the Ambassador and his wife said they’d definitely come. I can’t stress enough how important it is for everything to be flawless. Do you understand me, Molly?”
"Yes, Ma’am. I clean very nice,” I said in my sing-song Filipino accent and a big smile on my face. If previously I had to constantly remind myself to dumb down my speech and only use the limited vocabulary of a three-year old, now I was doing it without any real effort. That realization would have worried me if I wasn’t so damn tired most of the time.
"No, Molly, this isn’t about your cleaning. Tell me, have you served at a party before? Do you know how to set a table for a formal dinner?”
"Yes, Ma’am. When I in Italy I set table,” I said, moving my hands to imitate spreading of a cloth on table, to compensate for my lack of English vocabulary.
“This is very good, Molly. I shall inspect you later on to make sure you haven’t forgotten the basics. I’ve brought you something extra as well, since this will be a very formal affair, as I said, and everything must be immaculate. You will wear of course the black formal dress I gave you the other day, " she said, pointing to the package on the bed at the same time.
I unwrapped it and discovered inside a pretty maid’s cap - fancier than the simple ones I wore daily, black stockings and matching shoes with medium heels.
"Put everything on and come to my room, I want to see how you look”, she said and left me.
I removed my apron and cheap polyester dress - my uniform throughout the day - and rolled the hold-up stockings up my legs. It was an almost-forgotten sensation as I’ve stopped wearing any hosiery since leaving Milan - it was way too hot for pantyhose or even socks. I put on the dress over my head first and tied the white half apron tightly around my narrow waist.

The high-heeled pumps came next - another item of clothing I haven’t worn in a while. Wearing them proved much more challenging that I remembered from my Julia days. My knees were swollen from all the scrubbing on all fours I’ve been doing every day and just standing on heels proved painful. I attached the cap to my black hair and gave myself a look over in the small mirror.

I had to admit that the black satin dress really accentuated my slim upper body and showed off my narrow waist and flat stomach. The dress had short puffy sleeves with a white trim, a lacy collar and a full skirt just above the knee. The signora probably had it custom made for me - that wasn’t the type of dress one could simply buy at a uniform shop. Certainly, none of my fellow maids wore anything like that.

The dark skin of my arms and my neck contrasted nicely with the snow-white material of the collar and the edge of the puffy sleeves. The outfit was old-fashioned, but in a vintage sort of way. I almost felt like a character in a period theater production. I gave myself one last look in the mirror and hurried to my mistress’s room - as fast as the dreaded high heels allowed.
“Very nice! Make a few steps for me, Molly,” said Signora, who was clearly pleased with my appearance. I did several steps and then turned around and returned, stumbling on the unfamiliar heels.

“Have you worn high-heeled shoes before, Molly?’’ Signora inquired and, without even waiting for me response answered her question herself. “Stupid me! Of course you haven’t. You were probably mostly running barefoot in your village back in the Philippines, have you not, girl?”

“Yes, ma’am,’’ I answered with a slight curtsey. The Signora was really persistent in her attempts to drill the peasant persona into me and, for the most part, I played along. Or, was I even playing anymore, given how natural my reactions were? Sure, Julia was there somewhere in my brain, but my daily experiences as a Filipina maid left her no chances to express herself. I was behaving and thinking like Molly the peasant girl almost all the time now.

"Well, it’s two days before the party, enough time for you to practice. As I said, everything must be immaculate and I want you looking your best. Please wear the shoes in the house for practice. Dismissed,” said the Signora and turned her back on me, indicating that the conversation was over.

I quickly put on my regular uniform, my apron and maid’s cap and went back to my duties - this time wearing the heels as Signora instructed - feeling somewhat worried that I may be put on display during the party - especially wearing a fancy old-style uniform that I was expected to put on. I really cherished the feeling of anonymity, of being totally unimportant to pay any attention to. Whenever anyone addressed me on the street or in a shop - especially if it was a Westerner - I felt very nervous and unsure of myself. I would mumble something in my broken English or giggle like a stupid teenage girl. I did feel a lot more confident around my fellow Filipina maids, but it was very rarely that Signora would let me take time off to go out.

Two days later I, dressed in my satin uniform, was nervously running my feather duster on all the surfaces in the dining room, trying not to forget the instructions that Signora has given me. My job was to be as quiet and invisible as possible, while making sure that the guests had anything they needed when they needed it. Needless to say, I wasn’t expected to speak to anyone - not that I wanted, really - but, if someone addressed me, I had to remain as polite and respectful as possible. I was also given a thorough refresher course on setting the table and was reciting in my head which spoons or forks went where, where to put the white damask cotton napkins and the glasses and in what order to serve dishes.

John Carlo, dressed in a snow white chef’s costume and a large apron, was making the last preparations in the kitchen. He’s been busy with his cooking all morning, but that didn’t stop him from non-stop and rather transparent flirting whenever I came into his line of vision. The past weeks he’s been really trying to get to know me better and I - remembering Signora’s advice - was accepting his courting attempts by blushing at his crude jokes and largely letting him speak his mind.  

The bell rang, I put the feather duster down, straightened my apron, made sure my lacy cap was sitting straight on top of my head, and opened the door. Two couples were standing by the entrance - two very professionally looking men, accompanied by their wives or girlfriends. I curtsied deeply and said in my heavily accented sing-song accent what Signora told me to say to greet her guests: “Welcome to Moretti residence. Please pollow me.”

I led the first guests to the big room, where Signora, dressed in a light blue silk cocktail dress, greeted them in English - one couple was probably from Britain, the other couple - an older German man in his late 50s and a much younger Asian woman, who gave me a somewhat surprised look over. The bell rang again and then again. As I was greeting the guests  I couldn’t help but notice that my satin black-and-white dress straight from classic Hollywood was being noticed, especially by men, who were openly checking me up and down. I had to admit I looked rather pretty in my satin uniform, that was by far the nicest thing I’ve worn since becoming a maid. Still, somehow I felt humbler than when I was in my regular simple polycoton uniform dress.
I was carrying a tray with wine and snacks, trying to be as invisible as possible. The guests were busy discussing current international affairs, exchanging latest gossip about people I’ve never seen and making references to local and world events I wasn’t aware of. I’ve been isolated from the bigger world for so long I did indeed feel like a backward peasant woman now.

“With all due respect, outside of Europe nobody cares what the EU does or thinks. Especially in this part of the world,’’ said a tall thin man with greying hair, an American as far as I could tell. A group of Italians standing next to him were obviously not pleased with his assessment. A tanned older gentleman with mild manners shook his bold head in disbelief.

“I don’t think this is quite right. EU matters. A lot,’’ he said with a thick Italian accent.

“Not until it sorts out its own problems. It’s just not a player globally,’’ insisted the American. “How many people in Singapore have heard of… I dunno. Mogherini? Tusk?”

“Quite a lot. At least people that follow news,” the Italian wasn’t giving up.

“I am yet to meet anyone like this in this town who doesn’t work for a EU country embassy,” said the American and smiled. “Want to hear the voice of the people? Mrs. Moretti, would you mind if we talk to your maid for a minute?”

“But of course, George, be my guest!” said the Signora, a mischievous smile on her face.

All eyes were suddenly on me and I came closer to the group, holding a tray in my hand.

“Don’t be afraid,’’ said George and took the tray from my hand and put it on the table. “What is your name?”

“It’s Molly, sir,’’ I said and curtsied.

“Very well, Molly. Can you tell us what the difference between the European Union and the European Commission is?”

I looked at Signora, then at George, then at Signora again.

“Go on, this is a simple question.”

“I not know, sir,’’ I said.

“This may be a tough question for you. How about this one. What is the capital of the European Union?”

I looked at the smiling Signora. Did she want me to give the correct answer? Could Molly the peasant girl, with her primary school education, know the answer? Of course not.

“I not know, sir,” I said.

“Come on, Molly. You must know. This is, after all, the world’s most influential organization, is it not?” he said and looked at the Italians triumphantly. “Surely, you must know!”

“London, sir?”

There was a round of laughter around the room. The guests were having fun at my expense. I looked at the Signora again. She was clearly pleased with my performance.

“That’s what Cameron would want, right?” said George and there was another round of laughter, this time even stronger. “You do know, who Cameron is, do you, Molly?”

My hands were clutching my snow white apron as I delivered my coup de grace: “She actress, sir. In America. Cameron Diaz.” There was a pause in the room and the guests began laughing uncontrollably.
“I think we should let Molly go. I assure you she is much better at serving the table than she is at international affairs,’’ said the Signora, who could barely contain herself.

It was then that the bell rang again. The signora motioned for me to stay with the guests and went to open the door myself. I picked up the tray again and went back to the kitchen to pick up more wine. I returned a minute later with two new bottles and saw the new arrivals - a man and a woman - chatting to Signora. By the look of things they were apologizing for being late and Signora was telling them it was no problem.

The man turned to the right, looking around the room, and I froze in complete and utter shock. It was Mark! I looked at Signora, who,  after seeing my reaction, walked toward me, blocking Mark from my view.

“Follow me. Let’s talk briefly before you do something stupid,” she said quietly and walked toward the study. I followed her, too scared to check if Mark saw me.


  1. Welcome back Molly. Happy to see you again. Hope Mark will apreciate your new uniform, apron and cap and ... who knows, maybe his wife will need very soon a maid like you. Anyway, by that time I believe there is still a lot of work to do for Signora Moretti.

  2. This is indeed a delightful series. Just the sort of story I love (there is a reason that I have created the tag "demotion fetish" on Tumbr).

    1. Thank you very much. It is a powerful fetish, is it not? By the way, did you manage to write a new story inspired by an old favorite of mine, Substitution games? You mentioned it on the Changing Mirror forum a while back. Such a great plot even if a bit different from most exec2sec stories.

    2. You have the link to this Substituion games?


  3. When can we expect the next part for this story.looking forward for it

  4. It has been two months. =( When can we expect the next chapter? i am on PINS n' NEEDLES> =)

    1. Hello, I wish I knew the answer! Looks like I'd have to conclude it myself, but still not all hope is lost that the original author will come back with the next installment!

  5. Dear Ms Langtry. As a former FDW, may I write the next episode. My English is not of the best, but I have followed the adventures of Molly since they started and it is almost 100% accurate. xo

    1. Would you like to write to my email to discuss?

    2. Dear Ms Langtry. Thankyou for your reply. I have emailed you. xo Jasmine

  6. Can you please update us when u will be sharing the next part.very eager to know that.

    1. Sorry, dont have an answer for you yet. Lady Charlotte has gone incommunicado and looks like I'd have to finish it myself. I have an outline ready, but so far little time to concentrate on this story. I hope it wont be too long.

  7. Hi Camille ,
    Is there any update for us when can we see the new version of embracement for julia alias molly

  8. Hi Team ,
    Unfortunately seems like this blog is not active , It has been three months. When can we expect the next chapter? i am on NEEDLES

    1. The next chapter is coming in days. It needs some minor touches before I publish it.

  9. thanks for the update.