You Don't Own Me(2)

By: Georgia Le Carre

‘Oh yeah. Is that why you’re so terrified of him?’

She turns her mouth downwards. ‘I’m not terrified of him.’

‘Could have fooled me.’

She sighs. ‘Actually, I’m a bit … in lust with him,’ she confesses with a wry smile.

‘A bit? You?’ I explode in disbelief. This is Stella, the woman who turns a spider sighting in her bedroom into a shrieking Victorian melodrama.

‘Yeah,’ she says softly.

‘In lust?’


I shake my head in wonder. ‘Since when?’

‘Since,’ she shrugs, ‘forever. I’ve always had a thing for him, but of course, he’s way out of my league. The women he dates are all at least ten feet tall and totally perfect. I only register on his radar as a pair of strong hands.’

I stare at her suspiciously. ‘Are you just making all this up so I’ll go and massage him?’

She shakes her head. ‘No.’

‘Why haven’t you told me about this man crush before?’

She looks down at her right shoe. ‘There seemed to be no point. I’ve come to terms with it. The truth is it is way stronger than a crush, and it could even be love, but there’s nothing I can do about it.’

Suddenly I realize why every time we go out she freezes out every man, even the ones that look like serious contenders, who come up to her. ‘Oh, Stella!’ I breathe. I had no idea she was suffering in silence.

She looks at me sadly. ‘It doesn’t matter. It’ll pass, but right now I just need your help. I don’t want to let him down or give him cause to fire me. Until I’m ready to let go of him I want to keep this job going.’


She holds up her hand. ‘Don’t say it. I know. It’s stupid and it’s crazy, and I don’t know where I’m going with this, but I can’t let go. Not yet. One day I’ll eventually leave, I know that, but just not quite yet, OK?’


One corner of her mouth lifts. ‘So you’ll do it?’

Now I am torn between feeling horribly sorry for her and not wanting to be manipulated into massaging her Russian. ‘I do want to help, Stella, but I can’t. I’m not qualified. I wouldn’t know what to do or say to someone like that.’

‘You don’t even have to talk to him. He never says a word. Just comes in and lies there, and after I’ve finished, I turn down the lights and leave. He doesn’t even lift up his head to say goodbye.’

Ugh, sounds like a horrible man. I have a sinking feeling in my stomach. ‘I think this is a really bad idea,’ I say, but my voice is weak. Both of us know that she has won.

‘Yes, you can. It’s a plain massage. Nothing fancy. Just basic moves. You could do it with your eyes closed. All you have to remember is that he likes it hard.’

I stare at her indecisively.

‘Remember three months of no cleaning.’

‘Stella,’ I groan.

‘Oh, thank you. Thank you. I promise you’ll never regret it. I owe you one.’

I sigh. ‘I’m already regretting it.’

‘Come on. Let’s get you into one of my uniforms.’

We go into her room and I take my T-shirt off and slip into her white uniform. It has a black collar and black buttons all the way down, but because my boobs are so much bigger than hers I cannot button all the way.

‘Now what?’ I ask.

Her head disappears into her closet. She comes out with a scarf, hooks it around the back of my neck and tucks it into the front of her uniform.

I look at myself in the mirror.

‘I really don’t know about this, Stella,’ I say doubtfully.

‘Are you kidding? You absolutely look the part.’

‘Are you mad? This uniform is too tight.’

‘No, no, you look great,’ she says quickly and bundles me out of her room. ‘Look, you best get going or you’ll be late. The car will be here anytime now.’ She grabs my handbag from the dining table, presses it into my hands and practically pushes me out of the front door. Holding on to my elbow she rushes me down the corridor.

‘Does he even know that I’m going in your place?’

‘Not yet. Noah’s phone was engaged, but I’ll call again in a bit.’

We go into the lift together and as she said, there is a black Mercedes with tinted windows waiting outside. She opens the back door and manhandles me into it.

‘See you later,’ she calls cheerily as she closes the door with a thick click.

The driver glances at me in the mirror.

‘You all right, Miss?’

‘Yeah, I’m all right,’ I say with a sigh. Looks like I’m massaging the man Stella is in love with.’

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